Anderson, Indiana

School of Theology sermon series highlights stained glass window

Wed, 2013-06-19 10:20 -- univcomm
Willhardt Memorial Window in Miller Chapel, Anderson University School of Theology
June 19, 2013

At the front of the Anderson University School of Theology's Miller Chapel is the Willhardt Memorial Window, a stained glass window that takes center stage. It is not easily ignored, but instead, it is marveled at as people gather in the chapel. During the spring semester, the window served as a guide while seminary faculty preached through a sermon series focusing on the different themes represented in the artwork.

“The Miller Chapel stained glass window has been an object of our graduate and undergraduate students since its creation in 1974,” said Dr. David Sebastian, dean of the School of Theology. “This stained glass window was thought of under supervision of the dean and other faculty when I was a student here. They put together the pictures, images, and words that have been touching the lives of students since then.”

The sermon series, which started Jan. 29, honored the Willhardt family, who donated the funds for the window, and the faculty who designed the window. The sermons were delivered by 10 faculty members throughout the semester.

“The chosen faculty members preached on the stained glass images from the window itself,” said David Neidert, director of student development in the School of Theology. “The first sermon discussed the overall meaning of the window and was delivered by John Aukerman, professor of Christian education, and the rest preached on individual meanings of the themes.”

The following nine sermons discussed themes such as creation, judgment, truth, and holiness. Sebastian spoke about redemption in his sermon entitled “We All Need Saving,” which he delivered on Feb. 12. “His sermon was very good and powerful,” said Neidert. “We Christians often fail in taking the next step and realizing that we are set free. That was the main point of his sermon, which came across beautifully.”

Neidert served as editor-in-chief for the series. He worked to ensure the speakers’ manuscripts were posted to the School of Theology website to reach a wider audience. “In the conclusion of this series, a book that contains all the sermons will be published, and I am in charge of that process as well,” said Neidert. “Since I am a writer at heart, I will be adding contextual information that will support the material already created by the speakers.”

The book will be given to those who contributed to the series, as well as to donors and faculty who made the construction of the stained glass possible. The book will also be available to the public.

“In a world where images are so powerful, we get to see how commentary comes alive with images,” said Neidert. “This series is a fresh way to learn these themes, which were thought of 40 years ago but are still relevant today —and we get to learn them through glass!”

— Kayla Meid is a 2013 graduate of Anderson University, majoring in communication arts and theatre arts. Meid is an associate of Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.