By Mary Hess, Director of Stewardship
Westminster’s Memorial Garden, with its Columbarium and Memorial Wall, has recently been the focus of dedicated attention by a newly re-vitalized Memorial Garden Committee. Members of the Committee are Pat Hammink, Linda Mell, Elaine Dietrich, Fred Dietrich, and Rene Santiago, and several staff. This past summer they met to identify ways to refresh and beautify the space, and to re-introduce the Memorial Garden to Westminster members. Volunteer gardeners including Betty Heefner, John Logue, and Linda Mell have been hard at work. Located on 12th Street, just outside the sanctuary, the garden is open for quiet reflection and prayer every Sunday morning through the fall, from 8:30 am-12:30 pm and by appointment at other times.
The original mission of the Memorial Garden, established out of the 150th Anniversary Campaign, is to “provide a dignified memorial and interment ministry to Westminster members, in the tradition of the old-fashioned church-yard.” The Garden naturally enhances Westminster’s end of life ministry and provides new opportunities for members to remember or inter their loved ones within the embrace of their church home. The Columbarium has 660 niches, where urns containing cremated remains are interred, the niches are sealed with engraved limestone fronts. The Memorial Wall, also made of limestone, offers an opportunity to memorialize loved ones with the engraving of a name.