Our Story – Butterfly Image

April 2, 2020

When New Life was ready to build the second addition to enlarge the sanctuary, in August 1980, a building committee was set up. Obviously a large focus for that committee was the construction and logistics of the project. But there was also the interior design aspect of the new sanctuary.  They wanted the focal point of the wall behind the altar to be a beautiful cross that would enhance our worship service. We didn’t have any stained glass windows in our church at that time nor a budget to add them to our sanctuary project, so the thought was a single stained glass window in the middle of the new cross would work well.

The butterfly is seen as a symbol of resurrection and new life by Christians. In addition, our church had already adopted a butterfly as a symbol on our bulletins and newsletters. That’s why it was chosen to be the center of our window design. As a member of the committee, Sue Kluth had a friend, Rita Pawlowicz (Schmid), that was skilled in stain glass located right in Bolingbrook. Together, they designed the butterfly along with the vine and branches from the verse that states Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. The window was made octagonal rather than round to accent the design of the wooden cross. Vern Hilgoe, a very talented craftsman in our congregation, was asked to construct the cross.

From that evolved the design of the movable altar rails to match, the altar and the pulpit. Since our sanctuary also had to double as our fellowship hall and theater for large functions, the whole altar platform was made movable along with movable pew chairs. The new sanctuary was dedicated in January 1981. Rita Pawlowicz (Schmid) commented later, “It was the highlight of my life, to know a work of my hands is in the house of God! I still stop occasionally to see it when driving down Rt. 53.”