South Nave Window #5 Missions
In memory of Burt N. and Eva M. Pierce by Mr. and Mrs. William C. Pierce
There was an ordination in Salem Tabernacle on February 12, 1812 of the first American Foreign Missionaries, in the upper left.
In the center is a prayer meeting which was held on a hot humid afternoon in August 1806 in a grove of trees near the campus of Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts. This was one of a weekly series of meetings. Those attending, Samuel Mills, James Richards, Francis Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Bryan Green, were caught in a sudden heavy rainfall. They took refuge under a haystack. The rainbow following the storm was accepted as a good omen. Today the site is marked by a monument (shown right) to commemorate these men who inspired American foreign missions. The Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was instituted in 1810.
In the lower left predella is Samuel J. Mills distributing copies of the Scriptures. He is one of the original members of the Haystack Meetings and one of the early missionaries to the American Southwest. Largely through his influence the American Bible Society was organized, in 1816, to circulate the Scriptures.
In the upper right is the union of the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States with the General Convention of the Christian Church consummated in Seattle, Washington in 1931. This formed a single national organization known as the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States of America.
In the center right lancet, Eugene Carson Blake is shown at the meeting of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam in 1948.
The ship with cross-topped mast is the seal of the World Council of Churches. The Greek word oikoumene means “the whole inhabited earth” – the interaction of religion, philosophy and political administration. The term “ecumenical” derives from it.
In the right predella, in 1960 in Philadelphia, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Church merged to form the United Church of Christ.