Chancel Tapestries

History of the Chancel Tapestries


In the design of the Chancel Tapestries, God the Father (our creator), God the Son (our redeemer) and God the Holy Spirit (our sustainer) are represented in the shape of the star, the cross and the dove. The shapes are only partially complete to deliberately state that God's work continues and is never finished.

The design is based on a square of nine curved triangles, turned in various configurations to form the patterned images. The 89 colors of the pieces reflect the diversity of our congregation. Utilizing a needlepoint, basket-weave stitch allowed maximum member participation – more than 300 people contributed stitches!

The tapestry includes three prescribed images, but we invite everyone to contemplate and discover others. What do you see? What speaks to you?

Circle Tapestry

Liturgical designer Catherine Kapikian created the designs for the dossal cloth and roundels. Ms. Kapikian is the founder director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Her installed, large-format work numbers more than 80, in myriad ecclesiastic spaces that represent every major Christian denomination, interfaith and military chapels, and synagogues.

Congregational members transferred most of the patterns, stitched and installed the 28 panels. Several of the 21 primary stitchers handled multiple panels. A third of these people weren't even members, but believed enough in the symbolism to join in! Three mother-and-daughter teams worked on panels together. Several stitchers were novices, and completed four panels by herself!

Overall, another 271 others contributed to the "add-a-stitch" program. The youngest person was two years old, and the oldest was more than 90 years old. Relatives and friend of members helped as well. All will be part of the project's lasting memory; an Honor of Stitchers was kept.

The Cross panel measures 6 feet by 9 feet and the Roundels are 6 feet round. The three pieces were installed and dedicated in October 2004. The chancel cross has hung in the sanctuary since 1963.