Sanctuary Banners

NCPC Sanctuary Banners

You've probably noticed the banners hanging in the sanctuary and wondered, "Where did those come from? Why are they there? What do they mean?"

First, the banners were designed by our former Assistant Pastor, Todd Weedman, and excellently constructed in 2012 by:

  • Marlene Allen
  • Tonya Caldon
  • Marya Fancey
  • Adrienne Mathues
  • Debbie McFall

Second, the banners were created to help distinguish our sanctuary as a place of Christian worship. Many churches have pews and stained glass-windows, which contain symbols of our Christian faith and heritage — we sought to do this with banners. Many of the banners are Christograms: a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ

Chi Rho

The Chi Rho symbol is a very ancient Christogram. As early as the 2nd century BC, Greek scholars used the symbol as a diacritical mark next to particularly profound passages. For them, the Greek letters Χ (chi) and Ρ (rho) abbreviated the Greek word Χρεστον, which means "good." The symbol took on a special meaning for 1st century Christians, as the letters also abbreviate the name Χριστος (Christ).

Communion

The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that the outward and ordinary means of grace, whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are the Word, the Sacraments and Prayer.
More The Sacraments are represented on two of our banners: Holy Communion being represented in this banner, and Baptism represented in the Spirit of Pentecost banner. The bread and wine (fruit of the vine) of communion symbolically point to Christ's body and blood, but they also are tangible evidences of God's grace, for as surely as we can touch, see, smell and taste these elements, we can be assured of the salvation work of Christ's body broken. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." (1 Corinthians 11:26) Less

Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, is Latin for "Lamb of God."  This symbol references the Biblical image of Jesus as the Lamb of God. In Revelation 5:9, Jesus, the "Lamb of God", is found worthy to open the scroll and to break its seven seals.
More Jesus, as the Lamb of God is referenced throughout Scripture prophecy describing the Messiah as a "suffering servant", one who, like a sacrificial lamb would be led to die for our atonement. John the Baptist was the first mortal to acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy when he declared, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world"(John 1:29). In Acts 8, Philip also associated the now risen Christ with the prophetic vision. Less

IHS

IHS is an ancient Christogram, abbreviating the Greek Ιησοῦς (Jesus). As Christianity flourished in the west, Latin speakers found a second meaning for the symbol, an acrostic:
Iesus (Jesus)
Hominum (Men's)
Salvator (Savior)
Jesus, the Savior, is the light of the world. (John 8:12).

Anchor/ΙΧΘΥΣ

The Anchor traditionally has symbolized the hope and security all Christians have in Christ (Hebrews 6:19). The Fish is a first century Christian symbol. ΙΧΘΥΣ (pronounced icthus) is the Greek word for fish, and it's individual letters form an acrostic:
Ιησοῦς (Jesus)
Χριστός (Christ)
Θεοῦ (God's)
Υἱός (Son)
Σωτήρ (the Savior)
More The Anchor became the most prominent Christian symbol, more so even than the cross, during the first century period of Roman persecution symbolizing hope and security in Christ. Epitaphs of first century believers' tombs frequently displayed anchors alongside messages of hope. Less

Spirit of Pentecost

Before He ascended into heaven, to the right hand of the Father, Jesus promised to baptize His disciples with the Spirit.  At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in tongues of fire, empowering them to fulfill the Great Commission.  The very same Holy Spirit is the gift and seal to all believers, received at conversion, also empowering us to accomplish God's world mission.
More Baptism is the sacrament by which we enter the visible church; it is our own initiation to the worshiping community of God. "… for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:5) Less

לאוּנמּע

There are two aspects to this symbol. First, the Hebrew word, "Immanuel", and the second, the star of David. The Hebrew word "Immanuel" means "God, with us."  In Isaiah 7:14, God promises a sign to the people of Israel – a sign of His covenant faithfulness – a child, born of a virgin, the long awaited Son of David, who would rule with justice and equity forever.  In Matthew 1:17 it is revealed that Jesus is the messiah, that is, Immanuel.
More When we gather to worship we are actually engaging in a political activity, ushering in the Kingdom of God. We are expressing our longing for Him to come and make all things right and new in our broken world. The words we read, the prayers we pray, the songs we sing – they are all declaring our allegiance to King Jesus, The Messianic Son of David, to whom all rulers and powers and authorities will one day bow the knee. Less

The Word

In his Gospel, John the Evangelist describes Jesus as "The Word" (John 1). In his Revelation, John the Presbyter records Jesus' own words (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13), "I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end." This testimony is profound for the Christian. This means that Jesus is more than a good teacher or a prophet – He is God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. As Christians, we unapologetically worship Jesus Christ, and His Word is the only rule to direct us in faith and practice.

IC XC NIKA

IC XC NIKA is an ancient Christogram, usually placed upon a cross. IC is an abbreviation of the Greek Ιησοῦς (Jesus), XC is an abbreviation of the Greek Χριστός (Christ), and the Greek word Νικα means "conquers." Upon the cross of death and shame, Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. (Revelation 17:14).
More For this reason this Christogram has traditionally been placed upon a field of white, surrounding a cross. "The lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." (Revelation 17:14) Less

Triquetra

The triquetra, has been used by Celtic Christians as a symbol of the holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) since St. Patrick first took the Gospel to Ireland.  The image reflects the complexity of the divine nature, being three in one.
More The triquetra recalls, especially to Irish believers, the three-leafed shamrock which was similarly offered as a representation of the Trinity by St. Patrick who first brought the Gospel to Ireland in the late 4th century. A very common representation of the symbol is with a circle that goes through the three interconnected loops of the triquetra. The circle emphasizes the unity of the whole combination of the three elements. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."(2 Corinthians 13:14) Less

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