Submitted by Joe Siefkas, Student Pastor of Bowling Green First Presbyterian
One hundred and twenty-five years ago, the architect and builders of Bowling Green First Presbyterian Church laid out the foundation of the new sanctuary just northwest of the town square.
These men, no doubt supported and nurtured by strong and capable wives and families, used the tools and technologies of their time to align the sanctuary with the vernal and autumnal equinox.
Only one record remains of their design and intent – on the occasion of a clear morning, on the first day of fall or the first day of spring, the gleaming reflection through the stained-glass on the east wing pans directly into the center of the stained-glass on the west wing.
These large windows are set high on the apex walls, and the resulting glow in the sanctuary is glorious.
We don’t know what motivated these men to take the time and effort to create this effect. We can, however, speculate that they did so for the glory of God.
Perhaps they understood that future generations would appreciate their imagination and handiwork.
The floor plan and foundation of the sanctuary is laid out in the shape of a cross and we believe that the design was taken from an architect’s catalog. The arm of the cross forms the wings that are aligned East and West.
The tilt and travel of Earth limits the position of the sun on the horizon – the phenomenon in the sanctuary takes place at the center point of the summer and winter solstice.
The men, women, and families that built the church are the ancestry and legacy of our community. Their forethought, in terms of our relationship with God, can be found all around us in so many ways, and this is just one of the magnificent manifestations that truly brings God’s glory to light. Their celebration of His love and grace is meant to inspire us to praise.
It is an inspiration to praise that comes most sincerely and is unyielding, in the face of our inevitable difficult circumstances and moments of doubt as human beings.