Anaheim United Methodist Church

Our Stained Glass Windows and Sanctuary Banners

Our sanctuary is a beautiful place to worship, reflect, rejoice...

Stained Glass Windows
In the Middle Ages, when most people could not read, stained glass windows were used in churches to illustrate stories from the Bible, and to teach the Christian Faith.  Even today we can discover truths through the symbols in our beautiful sanctuary windows.  By understanding the meaning of these symbols, we can greatly enrich our own faith.

Beautiful windows greet folks as they enter the sanctuary, and fill our eyes with wonder as we worship together.
For example:


On the West Sanctuary Wall...



The descending dove is a widely used symbol for the Holy Spirit.  The seven flames represent the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Revelations 5:12.  The uplifted hands signify man’s longing for spiritual fulfillment.  We remember that the Holy Spirit descended as a dove at Christ’s baptism, and then as tongues of fire upon the apostles.

Revelations 5:12 - ...singing in full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"

Take a "tour" of all the stained glass windows in our sanctuary, and discover the meaning behind the designs: 
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Worship Banners

"Lenten" Banner
Worship banners adorn the west wall of the sanctuary throughout the year.  They were lovingly handmade by church members, and represent the different church seasons.

The Story of our Sanctuary Banners

For years, Joan Farr stared at the blank walls in Anaheim United Methodist Church’s Sanctuary. She imagined colors and designs filling the space. But Joan's plans to create seasonal fabric murals to decorate the church’s walls were dormant for years. She was so busy with teaching her high school students about art that she didn’t have time to create the project she longed to finish. When she retired, in 1984, she began to spend hours at the drawing board toiling over the murals.

“When I started thinking about what I was going to put on that wall, I had to get in touch with my own deepest thought,” she said. “I’d sit there in the choir and look over at that wall and say, ‘Let’s see." Sometimes ideas come through music, art or some innocuous thing a friend says to me.”

The huge fabric murals began as tiny sketches on notepads. Created largely from materials such as satin and rayon, the murals depict Easter, Pentecost, Lent, Advent and Epiphany.

The giant, three panel pastel butterfly that is hung up for Easter services is a favorite of many church members, who say they find something new in the banner each year.

Many often prefer the Pentecost banner, which depicts the wonder, fear, confusion and enlightenment of 11 life-like men with flames in their hands. The banner hangs on the sanctuary’s south wall for six months until it’s time to put the Advent banner up December 1st.

“I had to spend hours thinking about what it was like to be Mary.” she said. “It took me about four hours to paint her face. It stunned me so much to see what I had painted. I thought ‘I didn’t paint this, God did.’" One woman told her the angels had spoken to her.

Joan’s most painstaking project was finished in time for Lent. She thought about the many years that went by and the ideas that were a dead end. It seemed everything she came up with was dismal . . . in her eyes. After consulting with the churches two pastors, she opted to add a rainbow to the three-piece, 45- inch wide and 2 1/2 yard high banner that depicts an airbrushed crown of thorns nailed on a cross, a rooster and coins.

The Reverend Robert Shepard said the banners were obviously a wonderful and beautiful addition to the church, that provided a different medium in presenting Christian symbols to enhance the worship service. The reaction to the murals has been overwhelming . . . and still is today. It has been reported that wedding rehearsals are often interrupted when participants stop to gaze at the murals. If you watch new people attending a worship service, you can see their heads turn to study the murals. There probably isn’t a Sunday that passes . . . or any other day you are in the sanctuary, that you don’t feel the artistic inspiration and passion in the banners. The church was named the winner of the Anaheim Art Council’s Art in Public Place Award in 1990.

Thank you Joan Farr!