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  • I was late to join the church I had attended with my family throughout my childhood. I refused to attend the confirmation classes when I was the appropriate age. I even stopped going to church entirely for about a decade. I couldn't see how I could have anything in common with the members of this old congregation. But shortly after my partner and I got together we began joining my parents on Sunday mornings. I was pleasantly surprised at the reception we received.

    This was a fairly conservative crowd in a small Ohio town. They did not judge us. They did not shun us. What they did do was welcome us, embrace us during the greeting portion of the service, and express the wish that we return regularly.

    We did.

    This was my father's church. He had attended services there since he was a child. I was the only one of his children not a member. But he was patient. He and my mother allowed me the chance to be my own person and to make my own decisions about my faith. A couple of years before dad died, I became an official, on-the-books member of the church. I don't like to think about the regret I must have felt had he died without seeing my confirmation.

    My church (as I can call it that), was built 100 years ago. It has a ceramic tile roof that leaks, and beautiful stained glass windows that paint the interior with a kaleidoscope of sunlight. Those windows are what got me into the art of stained glass. One of my proudest moments was when I presented a window to the church. It is now part of the architecture of that inspirational building. That building with the leaky roof.

    We are not a rich congregation, but the roof needs to be replaced. There are several fundraisers scheduled over then next year, all with a goal of putting a new covering on the centennial building. One of the events is a craft sale. Artists will buy a table, the cost going to the roof fund. I'm selling glass pendants. I will donate any money I take in to the fund. My pendants are like my church, my congregation.

    Pot melt is a process of throwing scraps of different glass into a flower pot, suspending the pot inside a kiln, and firing the kiln up high. At a sufficient temperature, and allowing enough time, the different glasses melt together and pour out the bottom of the pot. They join in a beautiful swirling of random colors. Each pot melt piece is different, but each is more beautiful than the separate pieces that went into its makeup.

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