Volume 35, No. 24
The Coming of the Crèches by Cookie Stokes
A description of the Crèches on display in the windows of the Sanctuary
West Window 1. This is a 1950’s vintage cardboard nativity from Theresa Helms in 2013. Theresa uses the word vintage instead of old.
West Window 2. The Makonde set of black ebony from Tanzania is from Surtida Bhandari in 1995. Surtida’s family was from India but went to Tanzania as refugees. No one since her grandmother had been back to India. Surtida was a music major at Arkansas Tech, one of the college international students that Cookie Stokes hosted for Christmas in 1994. Surtida was a professed agnostic but got the nativity set on her trip home to Tanzania the next year, because she knew that it meant something special at Royal Lane. Cookie has a large doll made by her mother named Surtida because it looks like her.
The tiny stick figures, handmade from straw and corn husks, are from Kenya on a trip with Anna Lou Brown in May 2013.
West Window 3. The wooden one-piece crèche was painted in 2017 by Royal Lane children: Sadie Watson, Brodie Keller, Penelope Meier, Shirley Bracewell, and Ashley Fleenor.
West Window 4. This is a combination of sets. The pieces of cloth from Guatemala have a unique arch. The small white and purple pottery set from Mexico is from Corrie Stokes when she was a student at Trinity University in San Antonio. The colorful clay figures are from Ecuador and include the traditional rooster.
West Window 5. This Native American crèche is a favorite for many people.
East Window 1. This is a combination of 3 Parastone figures and a crèche of Alaskan Inuits from Margaret and Doug Ross, after their cruise to Alaska in 2003.
East Window 2. This set of large, red clay pottery pieces from Mexico, was a gift from Joey and Rosa Belgard in 1997, the first year that Royal Lane used the diverse crèches in the sanctuary windows for Advent.
East Window 3. This is a whimsical African American crèche that Cookie Stokes bought at Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, Washington, in 1993.
East Window 4. This marble sculpture came from Vietnam in 2003 or 2004 when Cookie Stokes and Nancy Ferrell went to support the work of her brother Roger who had a passion for helping the Vietnamese people. The carving depicts the Holy Family at a later time in the story of Jesus birth. Jesus is a toddler in his mother’s lap as she rides a donkey that Joseph leads.
East Window 5. This is a hand-made crèche from Thailand of beautiful, colorful cloth and paper pieces.