|Since the renovation of the worship space in
the 1960’s, United has been exploring the installation
of a permanent work of art in the chancel area. Through the
years, and for various reasons, the project was considered
and postponed. In 2002, following nearly two years of discussion,
David Hetland, a nationally recognized liturgical artist, happily
undertook this project. The mosaic, “Light of the World,” is
rendered in brilliant hues of Italian and Mexican smalti (glass) – the
same material that has adorned the monumental cathedrals of
Europe through many centuries of worship.
Measuring 18 by 18 feet at its widest and tallest points, the
design features an ascending figure of Jesus, victorious over sin
and death. A colorful rainbow – a celestial sign of God’s
promise of eternal life – echoes the shape of the a tri-radiant
nimbus (halo) set with the Greek symbols for Alpha and Omega.
The hands and feet of Christ bear stigmata
(wounds of the crucifixion). From his right hand flows not
blood, but water – a
symbol of baptismal cleansing and rebirth. His left hand
holds the traditional staff and banner of resurrection. A
butterfly floats nearby as a further reminder of our Savior’s
resurrection and the promise of new life.
Against a radiant sky
filled with stars and planets, an earthly orb frames the
risen Christ. Woven into its lines of longitude
and latitude are pictographs representing the diversity and wonder
of God’s creation: Humans, fish, animals and birds.
The following pages include pictures of the Construction
and the Dedication Festival for
the “Light of the World” Mosaic.
Click here to view David Hetland's brochure on the "Light
of the World." Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the
file. You can obtain Reader free of charge by clicking