Monday, March 28, 2011

Oxford University Methodists to build columbarium

    I just read a copy of the Oxford University Methodist Church's newsletter online and saw that they were building a columbarium. Church member Johnny Morgan has donated three acres of land, and the proceeds from the sale of the land will be used to build the columbarium either in the existing church or as an additional building.
    The Holly Springs Presbyterian Church built a columbarium some years ago, and since then cremation has become a common option for members of that church. Prior to its building, I simply can't recall anyone being cremated. As a practical matter, traditional cemeteries really aren't a very good use of land and are expensive to maintain.
    Here's the article as it appeared in the newsletter:
    In December, OUUMC member Johnny Morgan donated a three-acre lot of land in the Woodland Hills subdivision to the church. The proceeds from the sale of this land will be used to construct a columbarium in an appropriate area, either within or outside the church building. The Administrative Council voted in January to accept his donation and begin the process of planning a columbarium.
    “The columbarium was something that was on the radar for the church’s future,” Johnny said. “It will be a place where people can sit in remembrance of loved ones or friends. I wanted to help with that.”
    A columbarium is a consecrated area reserved for the cremated remains of members of the congregation and their families. The columbarium will offer a resting place for our loved ones who have been faithful members of the church, and will provide a quiet area for prayers and remembrances of those who have passed away.
    OUUMC has a committee in place to plan for the building of columbarium. Parham Williams chairs the committee, which includes Bill Baker, Futures Team representative; John King, Trustees Chair; Warren Black, pastor; and Johnny Morgan. John Morgan, chair of the Administrative Council, will serve on the committee in an ex-officio capacity, and Ron Hipp, Mary Sharp Rayner, and Bob Rosson will serve as advisors.
    Once this team has enough information about constructing a columbarium, the members will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Council as to the planning and construction. This team will work closely with the Trustees during the planning and building phase and will help the Trustees create the policies and procedures for use of the columbarium.
    The church is grateful to Johnny for his generous gift.

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