BOISE – Boise’s Cathedral of the Rockies and regional church leaders officially “deconsecrated” and removed a stained glass window of a Confederate general during a service Friday.
The Idaho Statesman reports the Cathedral of the Rockies, also known as the Boise First United Methodist Church, announced plans in June to remove the image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the stained-glass windows in the church sanctuary.
The windows were installed in 1960.
The Rev. Duane Anders said church documents showed the window, featuring Lee standing with Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, meant as an “inclusive nod to Southerners who have settled in Boise.”
“We proclaim that the image of Robert E. Lee does not deserve a place of honor in God’s house,” said Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church on Friday. “It never belonged in this place, or in any place of worship. And now it is time for it to be removed.”
Despite years of requests from Black members of the church and community to remove the window, many in Boise were unaware of its existence – or the Confederate connections it symbolized.
“Consecration services are typically held to bless a new building or new monument and one was held at Boise First UMC when the new sanctuary opened in 1960 with this window prominently on display,” wrote Kristen Caldwell, the spokeswoman for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church in a press release.
“As Christians awaken to the continued and persistent institutional racism and white privilege within our communities – and in our churches – there must be a commitment to acts of deconsecrating monuments and memorials that glorify white supremacy.”
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