'One-of-a-kind' cross stolen from local bishop

SEATTLE -- A local bishop wants the thief who stole a sentimental cross from the back of his car to return it no questions asked.

The pectoral cross was given to Bishop Greg Rickel upon his consecration as a bishop with the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in 2007.

Rickel said he parked his car on Stewart Street and 6th Avenue in Seattle on the night of June 8 to make a site visit and grab a bite to eat with his wife. When they got back to the car, the back driver's side window had been smashed in, he said.

"I knew that the briefcase was gone. That's what they got out of the car," Rickel said.

An iPad, an audio recording of one of Rickel's sermons, and some important paperwork was inside his briefcase. Rickel said he and his wife found the briefcase and his paperwork thrown behind a nearby business. But the other belongings were gone.

Rickel said he didn't realize until later on that his pectoral cross was also inside the briefcase.

"I don't ever put it in the briefcase," he said. "That one day, one evening I have done that."

The cross was worn around Rickel's neck. It's a symbol of the Diocese, which owns it even though he wears it, Rickel said.

Rickel picked Texas-based artist Nancy Denmark to the design the cross. She used impressions from leaves, feathers, shells, and other signs of nature that she found around several churches in Western Washington to make the piece unique, Rickel said. One of Rickel's passions is the environment, he added.

"I have no hope or desire for retribution or prosecution or anything. We would just like to get it back," Rickel said.

A mold of the original cross still exists, so a new one can be made if needed, Rickel said. But it wouldn't be quite like the original, he added.

"It is the one thing that was taken that I would love to get back," Rickel said.

Anyone with information about the missing cross can email Blaire Notrica with the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia at