Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
At West Heights UMC, symbols play a crucial role in elevating worship experiences. These symbols are not valued for themselves, but for what they represent. The shape of the sanctuary, for instance, is designed in the form of a cross, with the choir loft and nave symbolizing the shaft, and the chapel and Gallery West representing the arms of the cross. This intentional use of symbols helps to deepen the spiritual connection and evoke a sense of holiness for those who worship there.
Eye of God
The Eye of God window in the upper left is a symbol of divine watchfulness. The triangle, symbolizing the Holy Trinity, features an eye, with rays of the Holy Spirit streaming below. This powerful symbol reminds us that God's presence and love accompany us always, both inside and outside of the church.
The window depicting the olive tree and the chalice symbolizes Jesus' moment of contemplation and decision in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. It represents his inner turmoil and ultimate submission to God's will. This serves as a reminder to us of the power of prayer and the importance of putting our faith in God's hands.
In the chancel area, above the lectern, we see the burning candle. It is to remind us that “Jesus is the light of the world” is eternal and has challenged us when he said, “You are the light of the world.”
The prominent stone altar stands at the center of the worship space, inviting people to gather and participate in the two United Methodist sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. The baptismal font is attached to the front of the altar and the communion rail circles it, creating a sense of community and family as participants come together at the Lord's table.
The Cross stands tall above the altar, a symbol of triumph and glory for Protestant Christians. Our bejeweled jubilee cross embodies the message "He has risen, Hallelujah," transforming the traditionally negative symbol of punishment and shame into one of celebration.
The first window symbolizes how God's message impacts humanity. It depicts a human figure reaching upward, symbolizing that God speaks to us through our bodies. Behind this figure is another symbolizing the mind, with purple color, and artistic lines above it to represent the descending spirit. This window reminds us that worship reaches us through our body, mind, and spirit.
Works of Humankind Window
The symbols in the window were chosen to illustrate the connection between our actions, thoughts, and beliefs. At the top, there's an atom, the building block of all creation. Below that, a book and a lit lamp symbolize knowledge and enlightenment. The medical symbol, flask, and laboratory equipment symbolize the healing profession, while intermeshed cog wheels stand for cooperation in industry. A balance scale represents justice, and a rope or vine ties all the symbols together, reaching towards God as our ultimate goal.
Key and Crown Window
The lower part of the sculpture features two crossed keys, symbolizing the power given to Peter to unlock the kingdom of heaven. These keys represent the choices we make in life that shape our experiences, both good and bad. The cross and crown symbols above the keys remind us that faithfulness to Jesus' teachings will bring us a crown of life, both in this world and in the afterlife.
The Trilogy, a stunning art sculpture on the east wall of the Sanctuary, symbolizes the Holy Trinity. The centerpiece represents Jesus Christ, inviting all to come to him with open arms. Above and to the right of Christ is an open hand, symbolizing God's acceptance and delight in his beloved son. Above and to the left is a descending dove, representing the Holy Spirit descending upon us. This Trilogy has become a signature symbol of West Heights UMC, expressing the essence of the church's beliefs and values.