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Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church celebrates return of stained glass after years of refurbishment

Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 07, 2023

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — If you stop by Koutnze Memorial Lutheran Church downtown, you will quickly notice something.

Beyond friendly faces ready to share their faith, you'll see eye-catching stained glass that turns nearly every room into a work of art.

“All of our windows in the facility tell a story," said Jim Smejkal, Superintendent for Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church. "We have 94 windows in the church itself and it's beautiful to be here on Sunday morning with the sun shining in.”

But in recent years the church has been missing the centerpiece of the church’s already impressive display.

“They came in January of 2021, they removed our two largest windows including the frames, they were sent back to Fairfield, Iowa, where they had about a two and a half year renovation,” said Smejkal.

The massive stained glass wall on the Eastern side of the sanctuary was taken apart piece by piece and meticulously renovated to bring the luster of the windows back to life.

After many years and COVID delays, the stained glass display is back where it belongs: overlooking the pews of Kountze Memorial.

“To be at a place with so much history, we talk in the Christian faith about the Saints. When you stand in the Sanctuary and lead worship you are surrounded by the Saints and the windows of course tell those stories,” said Reverend Lucy Wynard with Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church.

Kountze isn’t keeping their new renovations to themselves, they want to share it with the community and this Sunday, they will hold a special re-dedication ceremony and everyone in the community is invited to attend.

It’s a chance to share their joy with the people of Omaha and remind them of the message behind the stained glass.

“Sometimes we think these are exceptional times and in one way they are, but throughout history God’s people have faced challenges and God has been with them," Wynard said. "The windows are such a great reminder of that, the work that God has done throughout the ages and we get to be apart of that."

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