The Church often has been portrayed as a ship sailing through the seas with Christ as the captain. In fact, the Latin word for ship, "Nave", is the word used to describe the central part of the church where the people (crew) are.
The ship theme is carried out in the architecture of St. Thomas as the sanctuary has a "bow" and a "stern". The cross, representing Christ, is the mast as he is the captain. The two wings (Fellowship Hall and educational/office) are making it a Trimaran
(could recall the Trinity).
Danish Lutheran churches often portray the ship theme by hanging a boat in the sanctuary. The display of five ships, made by master model ship builder and St. Thomas member, Harvey Nissley, carry the theme of the church as a ship for the congregation.
It is most appropriate as an island community with many boaters, lying along one of the great shipping channels of the world, that we highlight this maritime theme.
The five ships displayed here each have local historical significance either as
renowned Great Lakes vessels, the David Dows and James F. Joy (crafted in memory of
Joel Nissley) or the Wyandotte, Wyandotte Chemicals, and Michigan (dedicated to the memory of Patrick Marsh). - copied from explanatory sheet at the back of the sanctuary