Central’s Memorial Garden is restful a place to inter ashes after cremation. Members and friends of the congregation may make arrangements for placement in advance or at the time of a loved one’s death. The Memorial Garden is located at the entrance of the church and is a reminder of the beauty of God’s creation and a place where members and friends can meditate and remember loved ones. Anyone who enjoys gardening and caring for sacred places is welcome to join. The team works as needed based on their own schedule. This ministry is led by Diana Carter.
Why a Memorial Garden?
From the earliest times, Christians have utilized their churches and churchyards as places of interment at the time of death. This acts as witnesses to our faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life. It is fitting, therefore, that the church provides facilities for Christians to place ashes of loved ones following cremation, as well as a garden of peace and beauty, where persons may meditate upon life’s meaning.
This is especially needful in today’s busy world, where people tend to move from community to community, often having no enduring ties to any one community. What better site, then, for a final resting place than near a church that held meaning during Life? Here at the church we dedicate our children to God in Baptism and have heard the Good News of God’s love for his children. How natural that the Church should be the site for the committal of ashes and the last rites of comfort. Through the Memorial Garden, the Church offers this as another means of proclaiming our faith and serving those in need.
Responding to this need, Central United Methodist of Waterford established such a Garden. The ground was broken in the area outside the sanctuary and near the main entrance of the church, on September 25, 1994. The first ashes were placed in June 1995.
Specific committal procedures are observed. Each person’s ashes will be placed, without a container, or scattered in an area designated by family members under the guidelines of the Memorial Garden Committee. Placements will be made as weather permits, with a short prayer service conducted by a minister of Central Church.
A nameplate with the name of each person placed in the garden is located on the bronze plaque on the wall of the church building. No other burial markers are permitted.
The Memorial Garden Committee maintains a permanent record book of the deceased.
A memorial service is held once a year on All Saints Sunday to honor the memory of the deceased whose ashes were placed during the previous year. Family members are notified so they may attend the service.
Maintaining the Garden
Perpetual maintenance of the Memorial Garden is funded by placement fees, memorial gifts, and bequests. Contributions are always welcome and families may wish to designate the Memorial Garden for memorial contributions. The Memorial Garden Committee is responsible for plantings and maintaining the beauty of the area.
Application/Agreement and Conditions for Placement
You may access the Agreement form and information about Conditions for Placement of Ashes by clicking the appropriate links below, or request one in the church office.
Members of Central United Methodist Church $550; Non-Members $750 Children from infancy to one year $200.
The fee includes:
- Inscription of name on Garden Wall Plaque
- Perpetual Maintenance
- Fees for future placement are accepted and encouraged.
- Checks should be made to Central United Methodist Church.
- Please write “Memorial Garden” in the memo.
If you have questions concerning the Memorial Garden, you may contact the Chairperson, Diana Carter, at 248.309.2490.