A little over a year ago, a group within our church had the vision of creating an outdoor prayer space, in the vacant area between the Sanctuary and Wesley Hall. This space has been an eyesore for years, and begged for something to be done. What better use than a “Prayer Garden.” As discussions took place and the plan began to emerge, a prayer labyrinth became a part of the plan. The labyrinth has been used by Christians as a way of centering prayer, from at least the 12th century. Our confirmation class had experienced this form of prayer on their annual retreat and found it to be a means of drawing closer to God.
At the same time, others in our congregation were inquiring about a Columbarium. A Columbarium is a wall of niches designed to accommodate cremated remains. Many of the larger churches in our area, and across the nation, have built Columbariums as more and more people have chosen cremations. A survey was conducted which showed overwhelming support for making a Columbarium a part of the Prayer Garden.
The completed garden will offer a meaningful expression of the Christian life. When you enter the garden there will be a fountain, which symbolizes our beginnings of the journey through Baptism. The Labyrinth, with its circular path, reminds us of our walk with God – with its twists and turns bringing us closer to the center who is Christ. The Columbarium joins us to the Communion of Saints of all those who have faithfully lived and died.
At our June meeting, the Administrative Board gave its final approval to move forward with this project. Final drawings are now being finished and we hope to be under construction by September.
In the next few weeks, there will be the opportunity to make a pre-construction purchase of a niche in the Columbarium at a reduced price. Each niche can receive two urns. In addition, there will be a “Memorial Wall,” on which the names of deceased members who are interned elsewhere, can be remembered and honored as a part of this faith community.
This Prayer Garden and Columbarium will, I believe, become a treasured part of our church home – offering a quiet and beautiful place for reflection, prayer, and remembrance.
Watch for further details.