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20th Anniversary of the
Altar Rail Kneel


Many members and guests ask about the origin of the beautiful decorations in our Sanctuary. Some of the most popular and meaningful are the altar rail kneelers. In honor of the Lenten Season, here is a brief history of these treasured additions to our worship area.

To consecrate an object is to declare it sacred and set it aside for holy use. On February 8, 2004, the 18 altar rail kneelers were consecrated and placed in their permanent home after 3 ½ years of needle-pointing by 19 dedicated women in our church. The average time to complete one kneeler was 497 hours. Depending on the size, between 156,000 and 176,800 stitches are in each kneeler. Each motif is enclosed by the same shape as our radiant cross, stained-glass window. The shapes on the border of each kneeler are taken from the chandeliers. The border forms a linkage of crosses – just as we are linked together in Christian fellowship. Biblical fruits and flowers are on either side of the center motif.

The following women (pictured above) stitched the kneelers we use today to the Glory of God:

Diana Baker, Maggie Borda, Beverly Brucher, Pat Buehler, Barbara Burney, Judy Copp, Katie Copp Collins, Ann Marie Conant, Lois Horner, Jean McGowan, Joan Mougey, Valerie Osborn, Willie Phillips, Betty Bob Smith, Marcia Suelflow, June Turnbull, Bobbie Weber, Ellie West

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Kneeler Placement


Starting on the right-hand side, the first kneeler has the Alpha & Omega symbols - Jesus, the Beginning and the End. Then is Noah's Ark - a symbol from the Old Testament. Next is the Angel - a symbol of joy and praise. Baptism is symbolized by a shell with three droplets of water. The Holy Spirit kneeler has a descending Dove with tongues of fire for Pentecost. The Sailing Ship kneeler symbolizes the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul and the spread of Christianity. Next is the open Bible kneeler representing the Gospel message available to all who hear and believe. The Holy Trinity kneeler has three fish. Early Christians used the fish as a way to identify themselves to one another. The two Communion kneelers are symbolized with a chalice and grapes, and with shafts of wheat. The next kneeler is the Lamb of God, a symbol of Christ and of His sacrifice. Good Friday and Christ's crucifixion are depicted by a crown of thorns. Easter and Christ's resurrection has a butterfly as its kneeler symbol. Next, the loaves and fishes kneeler represents Jesus' miraculous feeding of the 5,000. Biblical musical instruments on the next kneeler are a tribute to our choir and the singing of praise to God. The last three kneelers celebrate the Christmas Season: an Advent wreath, Jesus' birth in the manger, and three crowns as a symbol of the Magi.

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