From Mother Pippa 5.28.2024

Your Vestry met on May 21, and we have a question for you: when considering a burial site at St. Mary’s, do you prefer an indoor columbarium, an outdoor columbarium or a memorial garden? All three would be a place to inter cremated remains. We called several local churches to learn from their experiences.

An indoor columbarium is generally a rectangular structure with locking niches for urns. An advantage of an indoor columbarium is that you don’t need to worry about weather – either for the material of the columbarium or for the convenience of the people visiting.

An outdoor columbarium is made of heavier, and thus more expensive, material. It needs to keep its contents dry throughout all four seasons of Wisconsin weather. Being outside, people can visit at any time and do not need a key to access it. St. John Chrysostom has an outdoor columbarium and they recommend having the front of each niche be accessible by key.

A memorial garden is a place where cremains can be placed into the ground. There can be markers above each space, or a plaque that collects all the names and dates of those interred in the ground. Both the memorial garden and the outdoor columbarium have the advantage of our beautiful outdoors. The Vestry considered the area on the northside of the church as a possible spot for a memorial garden or outdoor columbarium. While it would be lovely to have them near the river, we thought DNR might prefer more distance, and that visitors would appreciate easy parking.

We will hold conversations this summer, but I would really love your feedback in terms of which you prefer.

The bathroom construction continues – the walls are painted (thanks to John) and next is the hanging of the sink and adding the tank onto the toilet. Once that bathroom is complete, we will move on to what was the women’s bathroom for new paint, toilet, sink and properly anchored grab bars. Thanks to Deacon Ryan and Kurt for their work on this project. We hope to be finished before Strawberry Fest.

Don’t forget to sign up for Strawberry Fest!

Prayers and Blessings,
Mother Pippa

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