Our Windows

The windows in the Sanctuary at Sierra Vista were constructed between May,1990, and September, 1992. Based on an original design by Mary Lynn Lee, they contain a total of 21, 609 hand cut pieces of glass. The glass artists were Joe and Jeany Coughran.

Each window is designed as a celebration of the gift of creation and of our lives in our own promised lands. Each of the four windows contain a composite of various flora and fauna mentioned in the scriptures or indigenous to the Holy Lands. Israel, along with much of the Mediterranean area, has basically a two season year -- the growing time and the resting time; the days of the sun and the days of the rain. These two season have been subdivided to coincide with our general understanding of a four-season year.

The Holy Lands are part of a land bridge, a crossroads where the flora and fauna of Africa, Europe, and Asia meet. A part of the Fertile Crescent, the promised land was once alive with foliage and trees, flowers, and fruit. Centuries of cultivation, caravans, construction , and destruction have greatly changed the face of the primeval landscape. The vegetation and animal life have been greatly reduced, and some species have disappeared entirely.

We invite you to consider the explanations below to learn more about their designs.


This window features the flowers blooming in the Holy Lands from late January through March – or what we would consider to be the spring season.  The air becomes sweetly scented by colorful blossoms carpeting the countryside.  Included in the design are the following: 


HYACINTH; YELLOW DAISY; FLAX (Joshua 2:3,4,6); DANDELION -BITTER HERB;  MUSTARD (Matthew 13:31,32 and Numbers 9:11); STACTE (Exodus 30:34,35); MOUSE (I Samuel 6:5); ALMOND TREE (Numbers 17:8); MADONNA LILIES; SPIDER WEB (Job 8:14);POPLAR (Genesis 30:37-39); CROWN OF THORNS (Mark 15:17,18); WILD GOURD (II Kings 4:38-40); ROSE OF SHARON/TULIP (Song of Solomon 2:1,2); DESIRE VINE/CAPERBERRY  (Ecclesiastes 12:5,7); LILIES/IRIS (Hosea 14:5); ALMUG TREE (I Kings 10:11,12); JUDAS TREE (Matthew 27:3,5); COCK/ROOSTER (Matthew 26:34,75); TEREBINTH TREE; ROCK DOVE (John 1:32); BUTTERFLY (traditional resurrection symbol); and LUPINES WILD DONKEY (Psalms 104:11).


The third window depicts the native plants of the Holy Land as they would appear in the early part of summer, before the hot winds of July and August bring the dry, resting season.  Heat loving flowers display their vivid colors and spring blooming plants have set on their seed pods or fruit.  Included in this window are the following elements:


HERON/EGRET (Deuteronomy 14:18); FISH (Luke 5:6); WATER LILIES (I Kings 7:19,22,23,26); HYRAX (CONY/ROCK BADGER) (Proverbs 30:26); MYRRH (ROCK ROSE) (John 19:39); GRAIN (WHEAT/BARLEY) (John 12:24); GALL (Matthew 27:32-34); SUNFLOWER; COTTON/LINEN (Esther 1:5,6); BEE/HONEY (Isaiah 7:15); LOCUST (Matthew 3:1,2,4); OLEANDER (ROSE TREE) (Ecclesiasticus 39:13-15, Apocrypha); ALOE (John 19:39); THISTLE (Isaiah 34:13); FIG (John 1:48); HOLLYHOCK; EAGLE (Isaiah 40:31); APRICOT (APPLE) Proverbs 25:11); CATTLE (Numbers 32:1); GOAT (Matthew 25:32); POMERGRANATE (I Samuel 14:2); WILLOW (Isaiah 44:1,3,4).            


This window represents late autumn with the first hint of clouds signaling the end of the dry season, the completion of nature’s cycle.  The Jewish New arrives in October, as the growing year begins again with newly moistened soil.  The stork is one of the many birds to migrate southward through the area toward winter grounds in Africa.  Features of this window include the following:


REED (Matthew 27:29, 48); REED WARBLER; SAFFRON (Song of Solomon 4:13-16); CYCLAMEN; HOLLY OAK (Amos 2:9); AUTUMN CROCUS; QUAIL (Numbers 11:31); CEDAR (Numbers 19:6); BALM/BALSAM (Ezekiel 27:17); BRAMBLES (Judges 9:15; believed by some to be the burning bush); LAUREL/GREEN BAY (Psalms 37:35,36); FOX (Song of Solomon 2:15); DEER/HART (Psalms 42:1); GOURD/CASTOR BEAN (Jonah 4:5-7); STORK (Jeremiah 8:7); VINE/GRAPE (Matthew 8:20); OLIVE (Psalms 52:8); STRANGE VINE (Jeremiah 2:21).


During the winter months the rains continue, greening up the countryside and awakening dormant plants which bear witness to the beauty of the return of life’s growing season.  Deciduous trees shed their leaves, and maturing berries lend their special glory.  Features of the window include the following:


MUSHROOMS; LILIES (ANEMONES) (Luke 12:27); HARE (Deuteronomy 14:7); ROSE (NARCISSUS)(Isaiah 35:1,2); DOVE’S DUNG/STAR OF BETHLEHEM (II Kings 6:25); BOX TREE (Isaiah 41:19); ARBUTUS; FIR (ALLEPPO PINE) (Isaiah 60:13,14); MASTIC TREE (Susanna 51,54; First King James version, Book of Daniel); CEDAR OF LEBANON (Ezekiel 31:3,5); ALGUM TREE (II Chronicles 2:8); OWL (Psalms 102:6); IVY (HEDRA) (II Maccabees 6:6,7 Apocrypha); LAMBS (John 10:3); TURPENTINE (TEIL) TREE (Ecclesiasticus 24:16, Apocrypha); LION (II Samuel 23:20).