After Her Son Passed Away Unexpectedly, Her Church Came Together to Make a Beautiful Stained Glass Memorial
Mahala Rankin wanted to create stained glass windows in remembrance of her son, but had no idea how to start. Then, fellow parishioners came to her aid.
Lisbon Presbyterian Church in Sussex, Wisconsin, celebrated 125 years of service in October 2012. It started as a place for a farming community to thank God for bountiful harvests. Currently about 60 members attend; Pastor Marty Coons leads the congregation.
In 1980, Paul Rankin, son of members Gordon and Mahala Rankin, was killed in an auto accident. This was a terrible shock to the community. Mahala yearned for something to fill her empty heart.
As she sat in the sanctuary, she thought stained glass windows would be a beautiful remembrance of her son. But she didn’t know how to begin. Then Mahala learned of a class where do-it-yourselfers learned to make windows look like stained glass without cutting glass and soldering lead.
Elaine and Harold Delfosse, Arlene Kowalski, and Rose Jacobs all added their time and talent to the project. One of the windows, called The Resurrection Window, depicts the life cycle of a butterfly and reminds us of Jesus’ promise of eternal life.
The beautiful windows took two years of hard work and were a true labor of love. They brighten the hearts of the congregation and are visible to all who pass by the church.
My wife and I attend regularly as visitors to the congregation, which has a standing invitation for anyone to come and share in the warmth of Christian fellowship. These good, friendly people know how to make everyone feel welcome.