As part of Trinity United Methodist Church's desire to serve the church community throughout all phases of life, a Prayer Garden Task Force has been created to consider plans for a prayer garden with a columbarium. An area in the northeast corner of our lot has been chosen as the most appropriate location.
Historically, churches laid their loved ones to rest in burial grounds adjoining the church - to be watched over and remembered. As country churches disappeared and towns grew into large urban areas making land more expensive, large detached cemeteries ands memorial parks became the norm. Now as cremation becomes more prevalent (nearly 50% nationwide) and as we are becoming more environmentally conscious about stewardship of our land, interment at the church site is becoming common again. In this way, the remains of the deceased can be kept at the church which played such an important role in their lives.
What is a Columbarium? It is a term derived from the Latin word columba, or dove, a symbol of God's spirit and peace. It is a wall or similar structure lined with compartments or niches for urns containing the cremated remains of deceased persons. It is often located in a prayer garden designed to permit quiet visitation and remembrance. Cremation is widely recognized as a theologically valid process for the deceased and is essentially a hastening of the natural process that occurs following death. This ancient practice has relevance today since the option of burial in cemeteries surrounding churches is less readily available. Cremation and interment in a columbarium makes it possible to continue the tradition of granting a place for God's children to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever".
Funding for a columbarium would be provided through the sale of niches and memorial bricks, donations and memorial gifts. Construction will not begin until enough niches have been sold or contributions received to cover the cost of construction. The columbarium will be self-supporting and self-sustaining including on-going maintenance costs.
THIS SURVEY IS BEING UNDERTAKEN TO DETERMINE THE LEVEL OF INTEREST AMONG THE CONGREGATION FOR SUCH A FACILITY AT TRINITY.