Crosses of Holy Cross
Cross facing McCarran
This cross was crafted with 4 inch by 4 inch beams
by Wib Namestka around 2010. 


We draped a black cloth over the horizontal beam on Good Friday and then on Easter morning, removed the black cloth and draped the cross with a white cloth.

Cross on exterior wall facing McCarran

This cross was dedicated by Dan Sugden, Jr.
and his wife Mildred “Joyce” Fuller Sugden,
who both joined the church October 23, 1983.

Cross on exterior wall near entrance

    Wib and Nellie Namestka dedicated this cross to the church in October 2014 following the building addition.
     Wib designed the cross, crafted of heartwood redwood, to complement the cross on the south side of the sanctuary facing McCarran Blvd.



The Processional Cross

     Wib Namestka crafted the Cross during Lent of 2017 in time for our Good Friday worship service. Nellie Namestka and Pastor Scott Trevithick provided design help, which included the admonition to Wib not to sand, stain, or otherwise finely finish the cross as it’s intended to look rough and rugged. High schooler Karl Goebel carried the cross into the sanctuary on Good Friday during the processional and then it was removed at the close of the service. The Easter Sunday service began in a darkened sanctuary with the cross leading the processional. The cross was then posted in the front of the sanctuary between the pulpit and baptismal font. As Pastor Scott lit the Christ candle and held it aloft, he proclaimed, “Christ is risen!” and the congregation responded, “He is risen indeed.”

Sanctuary Cross

     In most Lutheran and Protestant Churches, a featured cross would most often be an empty cross, without a figure of Jesus on it, symbolically emphasizing that Jesus is risen. A Schwidder crucifix often contains the corpus of a dead Jesus, head bent to the side, seemingly resting on his shoulder. This lifeless body which paradoxically brings new life seems to emerge from the wood in a dramatic hint toward resurrection. The artist makes a direct reference to Jesus’ words in John 12:24: “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Ernst Schwidder sculpts the theology of the cross.


     Ernst Schwidder (1931-1998) is the artist of the cross in the sanctuary, along with the baptismal font and dove/Holy Spirit sculpture which accompany it. His father had been pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Seattle; in fact, there had been Lutheran pastors in his family since the days of the Reformation. Schwidder’s works are in over 90 churches in the state of Washington and over 300 churches across the United States.

     He earned a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Washington. In 1959, he became the first head of the Art Department at Valparaiso University in Indiana. His career as a liturgical artist coincided with the great post-World War II church building boom. Taking a leave from Valparaiso, he went to work as a designer of chancels and chancel furnishings in the Charles Stade workshop. In 1963, he gave up his chairmanship to work fulltime with Stade.

     The Schwidder family moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1964 where he became the chair of the art faculty at Seattle Pacific University and also continued to consult, carve, and work for Stade from the West Coast. From 1967 to his 1992 retirement, professor Schwidder taught art and headed the art department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Following his retirement, he opened his own south Seattle studio and continued to produce art suitable for worship space in churches of a variety of denominations throughout the U.S. and western Canada.

Much of the information about the sanctuary cross is summarized from articles from the website, which serves as a repository of Ernst Schwidder’s work. The aim of the curators is, in part, to assist parishioners to treasure visual art as an enhancement to worship.