Planning the Church’s Meditation & Memorial Garden

Planning the Church’s Meditation & Memorial Garden

The Sunday Service at the University Gathering on June 9, 2019, will be presented by all of the members of the Meditation & Memorial Garden Committee, including Rev. Mary Frances. They will share information about their research over the past year as well as the status of planning.

The Piedmont UU Board of Trustees approved an ad hoc committee last spring, charged with exploring the development of a Meditation & Memorial garden for the church in an area directly behind the patio. The committee visited other gardens, notably ones at UNC Charlotte and Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. They held frequent meetings over many months and interviewed several prospective providers before selecting Unitarian Universalist Laurel Holtzapple as the designer. More recently they spent several sessions working on policies for the garden, referring to sample policies developed for other gardens, especially ones at UU churches. Elaine Slaton has led this part of the committee’s work.

Landscape architect Laurel Holtzapple will join us for an Open House after the June 9th service at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary to share the design she has developed in collaboration with the committee. She will invite questions, comments and suggestions at that time. As part of their work this winter, the committee interviewed all of our teams (Worship, Care, Meditation, etc.) and others, seeking their thoughts, suggestions, and hopes for a garden. Laurel received a written report of those interviews to aid in her planning.

The garden will not be a columbarium, but there will be an area for the interment of ashes. When the design for the garden is completed, the committee will seek competitive bids for its construction. At that point, the plan and budget will be brought to the board for approval and then will go to the entire congregation for a vote at a Congregational Meeting.

The Board of Trustees will not be asked to fund the garden. Doug Wall and the committee members will conduct a fundraising campaign, inviting members to donate to the garden in a variety of ways (e.g., inscribed benches, inscribed bricks for the garden path in memory or in honor of a loved one).

At the June 9th service, members will receive a copy of the recently completed garden brochure, prepared by Gail Smith-Arrants and Deb Davelka with input from everyone on the committee.

Committee members include Gail Smith-Arrants, Jeff Blum, Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Anne Laukaitis, Michele Murphy, Elaine Slaton, Pauline Tulson and Doug Wall.