New book chronicles Oswego church’s historic stained-glass windows

The Good Shepherd Window, a composite of six stained-glass windows at Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist in Oswego, was donated in memory of the late Carrie Knapp by her parents, Charles and Karoline Shoger Knapp.

A new book from Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist in Oswego was inspired by a congregant’s question.

With a presentation on Sunday, March 3, the church is releasing “The Stories of the Windows,” a booklet illustrated with 23 color photos of the church’s historic stained-glass windows, according to a news release from the church.

Culminating a year of work by congregants, the 29-page volume (Yorkville Press) is the first record of the windows and their stories in the church’s 128-year history, according to the release.

In addition to windows photos, the booklet includes an emphasis on stained glass, history of the church, the windows and their stories.

After Sunday worship, the committee invites the public to a presentation about the booklet in the church sanctuary and a luncheon following in Fellowship Hall. Reservations are requested. E-mail the church office –

Booklets will be available to buy for $15 cash or check after March 3, according to the release.

Oswego residents Jessie Livingston, left, and Rachel Conover view Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist’s ”The Story of the Windows”  booklet Saturday at Oswego Hometown Expo at Oswego High. To be released March 3, the 29-page  booklet chronicles 23 historic stained-glass windows mounted in the Oswego church’s 128-year history.

Pastor Steve Good said the church’s history committee – Pam Roberts, chairperson; Mary Ann Stees, compiler; Barb Wood, Janet Bornancin and Nancy Patush – decided to research about 128 years of Good Shepherd stained-glass windows since the church was established in 1896.

“We are fortunate to have a wealth of information available to us from members of the congregation and the community. The committee wanted to share what we found out and so a book of the windows and their stories was created for anyone else who might be curious,” Good said in the release.

Yorkville photographer Paul Burd, assisted by Bob Mead, contributed color photos. Valerie Burd handled layout of the booklet.

In the booklet’s forward, Stees wrote “As pieces of the puzzle came together they became not only a chronicle of our windows but moments in history that we celebrate today.”

She said the project started with an inquiring mind. A member of Faith Circle, a women’s group at the church, wondered about stories behind the church’s stained-glass windows, according to the release.

The answers became the quest of another member and eventually the church’s history committee.

Roger Matile, director of Oswego’s Little White School Museum and a member of Oswegoland Heritage Association board of directors, was among many sources of information, according to the release.

Selected windows were chosen to be displayed on ceramic discs with a scripture passage on reverse sides. Congregants Bornanacin and Tracy Johnson selected 14 windows for disc images. Five have been completed with funding from an anonymous donor.

According to a concluding statement on the Good Shepherd Window page, “Our windows are important to us and to our community. The windows bind us to our past, nurture us in the present and guide us to our future.

“They help to restore our soul and trust in God. The Spirit moves within us. Carrie, her parents and all the ‘window’ families can be proud of their gifts. They give us hope that is eternal.”

Call 630-554-3269 for more information.