Stained Glass Windows

At ground level, sunlight filters into the Altadena Community Church sanctuary through individuals pieced out of warm, colored glass. Slide into a pew. To your left, in the front -- there's John the Baptist in his hairy suit. Then Nathaniel, Martha, Peter, and Paul -- each had something to learn. Or come in late, softly up the right aisle, past Thomas, who needed proof, a lovely Mary, and John. Most of the windows were created between 1946 and 1950 by the Judson Studios under the leadership of Horace Judson, of this family of stained glass craftsmen now led by its fifth generation. Jesus, teaching the children -- the last window on the right -- was installed in 1961.

The windows were donated by individuals or families in Altadena Community Church's founding generation, most in memory or recognition of loved ones, as was the 1967 mosaic on the east wall, also created by the Judson Studios. Look to the round window over the altar: Christ cradles the lamb he has found; sheep in the background drink from a stream. Simple arched windows in the clerestory, each with a symbol drawn from worship, let more sunlight fall into the building. In 2006 a windows conservation project was launched to ensure that the beauty of the windows would endure for future generations; in 2010 windows restoration was a key part of ACC's successful capital campaign. Step up into the chancel and turn around. The large round window on the south wall shows Jesus holding a lantern and celebrates the four Gospels: "I am," Jesus said, according to John. "I am the light . . ."