A key objective of our 2011 renovation was to bump out our entryway to the sidewalk, creating a spacious, glassed-in narthex that purposefully yet instinctively invites passersby in from the streetscape. Increased transparency and architectural welcome at the entryway is highlighted by the central focus, through lighting and placement, of St. Paul’s full-immersion baptismal font.
Designed by renowned local artist and sculptor Julie Speidel, St. Paul’s full-immersion font is unique to the Episcopal Church USA, and perhaps the Anglican Communion. Inspired by the organic shape and placement of two sections of animal horn, Speidel created a font that would attract people of all ages to dip fingers, arms and full bodies (as the occasion allows) into the motion of its holy water. Flowing from one large upper segment to a lower basin, baptismal water moves constantly and freely. The sound of moving water reminds parishioners and visitors of their baptismal identity.
The altar is made from a slab of 800 year-old naturally felled Oregon walnut. Supported by two horn-like organic shapes made from rolled bronze, Julie Speidel’s altar mirrors the design elements of her font. The two supports reflect femininity and mystery, supporting the ancient slab of wood like two upturned hands. At the same time, the altar is still clearly perceived as a table, in keeping with St. Paul’s strong sacramental commitment to the Eucharistic meal. Nestled within a natural reliquary cut from a knot in the wood of the slab are the reserved remains of St Gregory and Father Ralph Carskadden.
The crucifix above the altar was carved by John Anderson, a former parishioner. John Anderson carved our crucifix at the invitation of Rector John Lockerby in the late 1960s, in keeping with St. Paul’s history and tradition of encouraging aspiring artists. Using a relative as a model, the artist sought to create a crucified Christ that communicated the victory of the cross. Thus our crucifix depicts a Christ who is very much alive and is looking toward heaven.
The ambo, or pulpit was designed and built by John Gierlich who was a professor of art at Cornish College of the Arts and represents the role of a proclamation as well as a source of ‘the water of life.’ Upon close inspection, it is revealed that the Christian symbols set in the blue enamel of the body of the pulpit can also be found in the sage-green metal fencing surrounding the church property by Deborah Mersky.
Hanging above a ceramic sand bowl in a niche to the right of the chancel is our Mary Icon. It was written in the traditional Russian style. You will find a collection of parishioners gathered in front of it preceding the 11:15 a.m. Mass, saying the Angelus. Others will stop before it to light long taper candles to place before it in prayer. This icon of Our Lady of Vladimir was created by a contemporary icon writer at a Russian monastery. The parish is very attached to this icon in part because of the presence of warmth and light that emanates from it.
Our stained glass windows fill six bays, three on each side of the far side aisles of the nave. Installed as part of the 2011 renovation, St. Paul’s art glass was hand-crafted at a studio to compliment the modern Northwest atmosphere of the nave. Hung in organic asymmetry, the local tones of blue, green and gold reflect the water, evergreen trees and sunlight of our region. Upon closer inspection, the casual viewer will detect recurring patterns and themes, which reveal the warmer hues as central and core to each window bay, filtering out to cooler greens and blues on the periphery. Random pockets of clear glass let in the natural forms and textures of the urban gardens encompassing our building.
Chapel & George Lopez Statues
Experience a little of the early history of old St. Paul’s by visiting our All Saints Chapel. Built in 1938, All Saints Chapel is the highlight of our parish office building, the only St. Paul’s structure to pre-date the 1962 re-build. Experience Morning & Evening Prayer in All Saint’s Chapel during the week. Two early 20th century stained glass windows refract light over the altar, but of utmost artistic significance is our crucifix and statue of St. Peter. Created by renowned Southwestern artist George Lopez, both statues are representative of the Cordova, New Mexico school of woodcarvers that emphasizes simplicity of form.