Memorial Garden & Columbarium
On All-Saints Sunday 2017, St. John’s dedicated the Memorial Garden and Columbarium as a new ministry. The congregation shared this celebration in a beautiful service. It was fitting to have this dedication on All-Saints Day as a way of honoring those who have gone on before us. We currently hold a 6:30 sunrise service on Easter as a further celebration of this ministry.
As of spring 2020 twenty-nine of the seventy-two niches have been sold representing forty-nine people. The Garden continues to be a place for meditation and prayer. It serves as a reminder of the brevity of life and the promise of life eternal. Several members have purchased pavers in memory of loved ones.
The committee has offered its experience and guidance to sister congregations interested in building a columbarium. Any questions can be answered by members of the committee listed below.
While links to application blanks for niches and pavers, as well as guidelines, can be found on this website below, they can also be found at the Information Desk in the narthex of the church.
The Memorial Garden – Through the Valley of the Shadow
As our family gathered to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we asked our three adult children and spouses to join us on the patio of our home for a conversation. After some small talk, we took the opportunity to update them on our financial planning. They asked typical questions and shared their ideas.
We then turned to our preplanning for end-of-life decisions. They were aware of the Memorial Garden work that we had been involved in, but this conversation focused on our personal plans. We asked them to walk outside to the Garden when they were at worship in the morning. We wanted them to see the paver with their names on it. We told them that to us it represented their roots in the St. John’s family of Christ – their faith journey in Sunday School, Confirmation, Youth Group, music groups, etc.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want…..
He guides me in paths of Righteousness for his name’s sake
We asked them to see the niche that we had purchased for our resting place. We shared that this was a gift to them…. to have these important decisions and arrangements made. We assured them that we plan on being around for several years….but that only God is all-knowing and that we were prepared.
Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
We fear no evil, for you are with us.
We thought that this conversation would be difficult, but it wasn’t. It felt good. Our children were interested in learning about the columbarium and cremation. We are grateful that the Memorial Garden with Columbarium has offered our family a loving path through the transition from life to eternal life.
Surely goodness and love will follow all the days of our lives,
And we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
(from Ps. 23)
Mark and Karen Aamot
Need more information?
We’d love to hear from you and answer any additional questions you have.