Crafting Community

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 29, 2024

In the welcoming atmosphere of the Motherhouse at the Nazareth campus, a special kind of magic is unfolding. Sister Martha Clan, alongside her enthusiastic colleague Kelly Easton, is immersed in a project that brings not just joy but a sense of communal spirit to their surroundings. Their latest endeavor, art wreaths, has become a beloved activity, not just for them but for everyone who witnesses their creations.

A creation by Sheryl Dowell

The reception area, usually a place of quiet comings and goings, has transformed into a hub of creativity and laughter. Here, Sister Martha and Kelly, often joined by Sheryl Dowell, another dedicated employee at Nazareth, spend hours meticulously crafting these wreaths. Each creation is a testament to their dedication and artistic flair.

“I made ten wreaths for all the Sisters on one Carrico Hall floor for Christmas,” Sister Martha shares with a smile that reflects the joy her work brings to others. The wreaths are more than just decorations; they symbolize love and the spirit of giving.

Working on their next creation.

The process, as described by the duo, involves cutting ribbon, dovetailing, and gluing pieces together – a task that requires patience and precision. “Kelly is very patient,” Sister Martha remarks.

They often turn to videos for design ideas, ensuring each wreath design is unique and beautiful. The laughter and fun they share during these sessions are as much a part of the creation process as the materials they use. Kelly notes, “The materials can be costly, but we enjoy the happiness it brings.” They hunt for the best deals in stores or repurpose leftover materials from churches but never compromise on quality.

A wreath for Lent

As Lent approaches, they embark on a new project – making wreath crosses for the Lenten season. This project holds special significance, symbolizing the solemnity and spiritual reflection of the period. The crosses, like the wreaths, are crafted with the same love and care, destined to adorn various spaces around the campus, adding a serene atmosphere of Nazareth.

The wreaths and crosses make an impact. They are a source of inspiration and a reminder of the beauty of shared efforts. The Sisters and other employees at the Motherhouse often stop to admire these creations, each piece sparking conversations and a sense of togetherness. In the halls of the Motherhouse at Nazareth, their beautiful designs are more than just art; they celebrate community, faith, and the enduring spirit of joy.


  1. Sherman Pillis

    I was taught by the sisters in the 1950 – 60 in Roanoke Virginia

  2. Liz Field, SCNA

    What a delightful story of creativity, love of community and service! Martha, congrats to you and to your co-workers on these outstanding works of art! A new side of you I have not known! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Gayle Case

    They are beautiful! Sr. Martha, you are the best! ❤️

  4. Linda Soltis, SCN

    I love the Valentine wreaths–such creativity. You not only help beautify Nazareth with your creations, but you also make people happy.

  5. Janice Downs

    Martha, I love these! The door to my apartment is usually pitifully dull and/or empty of decoration, but Sister Luke faithfully and lovingly puts something beautiful on it. Isn’t that wonderful ? Thanks again, Sister Luke.

  6. Jenny Hicks

    Great job! The wreathes are beautiful!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

Empowering Women and Girls

Empowering Women and Girls

When one female is educated, it transforms an entire community.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are investing in the professional training of teachers and the education of young children to help change communities in Botswana.

Leadership for Change

Leadership for Change

The Indian Nursing Council conducted the Leadership for Change program in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses. The program’s main aim was to strengthen and cultivate leadership skills and influence change to improve education and practice.