Yvette Luchaus installs one of the church's refurbished stained-glass windowpanes.

Window glitch delays
church renovations

The congregation of Kaumakapili Church will celebrate Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The music-filled service will not be in the historic Gothic-style church at 766 N. King St., but in Hale Kamika, the meeting hall next door.

The landmark 1912 building was ringed with scaffolding for eight months as workmen replaced termite-damaged lumber and stucco. When the $2.5 million renovation project got under way in April after Easter, the aim was for a Christmas reopening.

But, said Henry Maunakea, of the sanctuary restoration committee, as work progressed on the crumbling structure, "We knew it would not be ready for Christmas."

Good thing the grand reopening and blessing weren't planned for this week.

Kaumakapili Church is undergoing an extensive renovation.

On Friday, day three of reinstallation of an antique Tiffany stained-glass window, artisans found that it didn't fit -- new wooden framing is just inches bigger than the window. It was back to the planning board for the various contractors.

Artisans from Judson Studio in Los Angeles are expected back in a week to complete the return of the famous Good Shepherd window, a depiction of the biblical story in which Jesus described himself by that title. It is the only window that dates back to the building's original construction. Others were removed during the 1940s, said Maunakea.

The design is like a puzzle, with six sections in each of three tall, narrow lancet windows.

The glitch has historical precedent.

One piece of the puzzle was out of place from the time it was first dedicated in 1912, Maunakea said. Anyone who pondered the picture saw a piece showing the temple in Jerusalem was tucked in the wrong panel.

Some people were upset when the glitch came to light last week, said Maunakea. But he found comfort in the scriptural reading from last Sunday in which the prophet Isaiah quotes God as telling mankind, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways."

The empty window frames, which turned out to be too big, will hold the Tiffany stained glass that John Mihld, left, and Paul Martines carry. Artisans are making the frames smaller.


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