Olson 50th Anniversary Window
The window honoring Charlie and Flo Olson’s 50th wedding anniversary was dedicated on Sunday, September 21, 2008
Introduction – Rev. Sharon Wilson
Let me begin by introducing some special people: Margaret Orchard, Kathy Burnell, Judi Olson Chiswell and, our honoured couple: Flo and Charlie Olson.
Mugs, Kathy and Judi have come today to give a gift to our church that we will all enjoy every time we are in this sanctuary. It is a gift to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their parents, Flo and Charlie Olson. As active members of this congregation they have demonstrated how many ways a faithful person can express themselves. Flo is very visible in the choir and is often playing organ as a substitute at various churches around the city and beyond. Now, while Charlie really can’t carry a tune, he does carry a hammer. I know that this doesn’t seem to relate, but Charlie often lends his skills as a handyman where they are needed, as well as being Flo’s personal driver, more often than not with a van full of women choir members. In the past, Flo has served as church organist and with Charlie give leadership to our youth. They may not seem to have much in common but they do have the thread of God that has stitched them together for fifty years, and, hopefully, many more.
Scripture: 1 Cor 13
Explanation of window design
The Roman numeral “L” on the left had side stands for 50 years – it is made up of 3 lines symbolic of the music staff – 1 line is for marriage, 1 line represents Flo’s time at the organ and 1 line stands for Windsor Park United Church, their church home. The flowers at the bottom represent Charlie and Flo by using their birthstone colors.
A vine growing in Christ’s love leads up to 3 flowers and 5 buds representing their 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.
The hummingbird is for our connection with God’s creatures, and is special to Flo and Charlie as Charlie feeds them. Also, to remind us of Arizona, where Charlie and Flo enjoy wintering, there is a cactus instead of an ampersand between the names near the bottom of the window.
Colors used in the window:
The flowers for Charlie and Kendra are violet for February. Violet also represents faith, patience and the sovereignty of Christ. Flo and Samantha are represented by white (pearl) for the month of June, while Michael is also shown in white for October. White also symbolizes happiness, love and the brightness of the Biblical day of harvest. Sarah (May) and Judi and Margaret (August) are shown in green. The color green represents growth, freedom from bondage and fertility. Kathy and all of the spouses (Glen, Ken, Scott) were born in March and are shown with blue. The color blue represents the sky and also honours Mary. The month of January, for the father of Margaret’s children, is shown in the red of the hummingbird’s head. Red traditionally represents martyrs and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The piano keys at the top, as well as lines representing the music staff, are for Flo’s love of the organ and piano.
Litany of Dedication (Sharon)
One: Let us call upon God’s Spirit to be with us and to bless us as we dedicate this window.
All: We celebrate with Charlie and Flo their life together and the many ministries they have shared with us.
One: Life is full of music. Our souls sing out as our hearts burst with love…when there is quiet contentment and peace…even through the dischord of conflict and pain.
All: In faith God joins the whole human family in an embrace that assures us we are never alone.
One: May this window draw our eyes and our minds to appreciate its symbols of commitment and longevity, of music and beauty, of colour and joy and life.
All: We gratefully accept this gift given in love.
One: This window is here to delight and inspire us. It is the embodiment of God’s loving, powerful, forgiving presence on our journeys of life. So it is to God, the creator of life, the mysterious mediator of human love, and the sustainer of our hope always that we dedicate this window to God’s glory. May it inspire us to worship passionately and love unswervingly.
God of rich harmonies and different drummers we thank you for the wisdom and generosity that have brought this window into our sanctuary. In this place you give us praise to sing, work to do and an abiding sense that we belong here—accepted as we are.. valued for the skills we can share…a place where we are heard completely. We thank you today for Flo and Charlie and for all the ways their love has enriched their lives these five decades. We are blessed by all the ways they have given so freely of themselves for the betterment of the life and worship of our church. Today we are mindful that in their love for each other, their love for their three daughters and their love of you, O God, that the church became the right place to honour their life together. This is a remarkable tribute to lives lived with faith and grace.
May this window prompt us to sing with gusto, to appreciate the wondrous beauty of family as it extends from one generation to the next and, most of all, may it cause us to cherish what a precious gift love is in our lives. There are many gifts, as the Apostle Paul said, but the greatest of all is love. May we, by our faith and our actions in our homes and in the world, testify to the power of divine love. We ask this in Christ’s name. AMEN