St. John's Episcopal Church in Medina, New York is the oldest church congregation in Orleans County and the oldest building built entirely of Medina sandstone. St. John's was recognized by the Sandstone Society in 2015.
Built of Medina Sandstone, the first service was held in the current building on Christmas Eve 1838, prior to completion of the structure in 1841. The interior of the building has been carefully restored, an ongoing process and work continues to maintain the fine stained glass windows commissioned by families as memorials over the years. In addition, there are two mosaic memorials by Jacob Holzer.
Rite II Sunday Services are held at 10:30 each week, the Reverend Nancy Guenther officiating. Healing prayers are offered during the service on the fourth Sunday of the month. Telephone (585) 798-3219.
Study classes led by Nancy Guenther are ongoing, with books and materials selected for the appropriate liturgical season. A Christmas Carol and Study Guide, by Charles Dickens and Alan Vermilye was selected for Advent. Due to the strong interest and limited time during the holidays, we are continuing this book study in Lent. The book includes the original story and character sketches, scripture references and related commentary. It can be read for self study or discussion as a group. The group will meet next at 9:00 on March 1. Please contact the office at 798-3219 if you are interested and would like a copy of the book. In addition, children's religious education and nursery care are available.
Bishop Sean Rowe
Bishop Rowe's Visitation
We are very pleased to welcome Bishop Sean Rowe as our Bishop Provisional. Bishop Rowe will serve for five years under an agreement between the Diocese of Western New York and the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Bishop Rowe made his first visitation to St. John's on November 24, 2019, assisted by Deacon Susan Firestine.
The Holzer Mosaics
Saint John’s Church once again participated in the New York Landmark Conservancy’s statewide open house event on Sunday, May 19. With this year’s Sacred Sites tour theme Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York’s Religious Art and Architecture, we highlighted the two Jacob A. Holzer glass mosaics in the sanctuary. Both mosaics are memorials to the Pitts Family. The Alpha and the Omega is in memory of Edmund L. Pitts,(1839 — 1898) who represented the area as a state senator. The Angel, in memory of Grace Margaret Pitts (1867 – 1900), his daughter, is featured as our website masthead. The Angel measures 82” x 42” and is set in an arched frame with Holzer’s name within the work. The Alpha and Omega (above) measures 52” x 52” square. The memorials were given by Mrs. Una Pitts and Charles Sigison of Buffalo.
Jacob Adolphus Holzer (1858 – 1938) was born in Switzerland and worked as a sculptor and painter, training in Paris before coming to the U.S. He began working for Tiffany before 1890 and was considered their primary artist for glass mosaics. He continued to work for Tiffany until about 1896, creating a number of notable projects including mosaics at the Chicago Public Library, Princeton University and a variety of churches and residences. Holzer then left Tiffany to establish his own studio. It was during this time that the mosaics in St. John’s sanctuary were created, using Tiffany materials but no longer with the affiliation to Tiffany Studio. Holzer returned to Europe in 1923 and lived in Florence for the remainder of his life.
Carey, Deborah M. From Behind the Shadow of Tiffany and La Farge. Unpublished thesis, Art Institute of Chicago, 2012.
Crouch, Edith. The Mosaics of Louis Comfort Tiffany. (2009) Schiffer Publishing Ltd.,Atglen, Pennsylvania.
Edmund L. Pitts. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 18, 2019
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