by Lisa Valdez
After more than 17 years, beautiful stained glass windows now provide a radiant worship setting at the Livermore SDA Church. The new windows were dedicated during a special service on February 24, 2001, where more than 100 people celebrated the work that God inspired, including a former pastor who presented the dedication message and many former members who had helped make the dream a reality.
Back in 1983, the dream began when memorial donations were made by friends and relatives after the death of long-time member Muriel Salas. From time to time, additional money was added to the fund in memory of others who followed her in death.
Several years ago, one former pastor received a bid from Rio Lindo Academy to handle the project, but unfortunately, the church did not have enough money to cover the costs. Over the years, suggestions were made to use the money for other purposes, but it was decided to keep the stained glass window fund in place.
In 1991, Wes Brown, a church member with experience installing stained glass, transferred to the Livermore church and offered to serve as project manager. The church Board approved Wes’ proposal, and Dr. Grace Devnich was appointed chairperson of the committee overseeing the project. Along with Richard Zuk, who also had experience working with stained glass, they created a rough sketch of the design, including several key symbols of our faith – a cross, dove, Bible, lamb, grapevines, and the Ten Commandments.
Soon the project proceeded in earnest, with almost all of the church family participating. Many members have the scars on their hands to prove how difficult it is cutting and working with glass. After Wes moved out of the area, the project lagged for a time. However, the money was finally raised to finish the project.
Under the guidance of the facilities team, the front of the sanctuary was prepared for the windows’ installation, and a professional installed them in time for the dedication service. The memorial windows were dedicated to God’s glory, and through the tireless efforts of Dr. Grace and others, the church learned once again that if you stick with a project and don’t give up, with God’s help, you can get it done.
After completion of the stained glass windows there was a period of inactivity. A huge thanks to Chris and Betty Farley for guiding the installation and seeing the project to completion.