Wednesday, December 11, 2013
MEMORIAL GARDEN AND COLUMBARIUM
In 1990, the Board of Trustees of Centenary United Methodist Church commissioned a committee to study the possible construction of a Columbarium on Church grounds. After intensive study and consultation with many members, in March, 1992, the Board of Trustees recommended to the Administrative Board (predecessor of the Church Council) of the Church that a Columbarium be constructed on the West side of the Church sanctuary, to the South of Fifth Street.
The Columbarium stands as a reminder to us that those who went before us are not forgotten and have found peace and rest with God. It is the hope of the Board of Trustees and the Church Council that this valued addition to our Church grounds will inspire reverence for this life and hope for the life to come.
The Rules and Regulations contained in this document are meant as a guide or road map for Church members and their families as well as other interested persons. It is impossible to answer every possible question about inurnment or internment in the Centenary Columbarium. Therefore, a Standing Committee of the Church, titled the "Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium Committee," appointed by the Board of Trustees as a sub-committee of the Board and shall report to the Board of Trustees, will have responsibility for making ongoing decisions regarding the use of the facilities.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
1. Definitions: As used herein, the following terms are defined as follows:
A. "Columbarium" is that portion of the Church grounds which includes the Columbarium niches and immediately surrounding areas. Suggestion: Rename “The Columbarium” to be “The Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium.”
B. "Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium Committee" is a committee of five individuals who are Church members. This committee shall be appointed by and shall report directly to the Board of Trustees.
C. "Columbarium Niche" is a niche in which cremated human remains are placed.
D "Cremains" are cremated human remains.
E. "Eligible persons" are those persons who may purchase and be inurned in a Columbarium Niche. Eligible persons include:
(I) Members of Centenary Church, their immediate family members and the siblings of Members who are also owners of niches;
(II) Ordained members of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and others as proposed by the Senior Minister and approved by the Board of Trustees.
F. "Immediate family members" of Members of Centenary Church include parents, spouses, and children, whether natural, adopted, foster or step.
2. Books and Records: The Director of Operations shall be the Custodian of all Books and Records of the Columbarium, including all Certificates of Purchase of Columbarium Niches. Such records shall include, but shall not be limited to, a chart or diagram designating by number each niche. The Director of Operations shall keep a record of all income and expenses associated with the construction and maintenance of the Columbarium, which Books and Records shall be open and available for inspection by Members of Centenary Church and Eligible persons upon reasonable notice.
3. Sale of Niches the Director of Operations shall receive applications for the purchase of Columbarium niches on a first come - first served basis. Applications shall be completed in writing on a form approved by the Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium Committee. It shall be the duty of the Director of Operations, in consultation with the Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium Committee, to determine that applications for purchase are in proper order and that applicants are Eligible persons.
Applicants, if they desire, may request to purchase specific niches either individually or in groups. If purchase of niches in groups is requested, each applicant must fill out and execute a separate application.
Only Eligible persons may apply for the right to purchase a niche or to be inurned in a niche.
4. Transfer of Niches: The right to inurnment is personal to and retained only by the person(s) designated on the Certificate of Purchase. No sale or other transfer of Certificates of Purchase of niches may occur by will, intestate succession, gift or otherwise, except upon approval by the Board of Trustees of the Church. The Church has no obligation to approve a transfer. The Church has no obligation to repurchase niches, although the Director of Operations will endeavor to resell niches to Eligible persons upon written request and upon approval by the Board of Trustees.
The rights granted under the Certificate of Purchase shall lapse upon the happening of one or more of the following events:
A. Cessation of operation of the Columbarium (in which event the purchase price shall be refunded by the Church, exclusive of interest, costs or other penalty) to the owner of the Certificate.
B. Inurnment or interment of the owner of the Certificate elsewhere.
C. Withdrawal of the owner from membership of Centenary Church (in those instances where Certificate owners applied on the basis that they are members of the Church).
Upon lapse of the rights granted by the Certificate of Purchase, the Church shall be entitled to resell such rights, except for cessation of operation of the Columbarium (as noted in paragraph 4. (a) above), the Church shall have no obligation to refund any monies expended by the owner of the Certificate.
5. Prices for Niches: The Centenary Memorial Garden and Columbarium Committee shall advise the Board of Trustees of the Church as to an appropriate price for burial niches and fees for related services, which prices and fees shall be determined by the Board of Trustees from time to time. The Director of Operations shall maintain a list of available niches and the current prices of niches and fees for related services. Those applicants needing financial assistance to purchase a niche may apply to the Senior Minister for help in defraying the cost of such purchase.
Any owner of a single niche who wishes to upgrade to a double niche shall pay the difference between (a) the then current price for a double niche, and (b) the price initially paid by the owner for the single niche.
6. Additional Fees: In addition to the price for the purchase of a niche, owners of such certificates shall be responsible for, and shall pay all additional charges, related to inscription of niche covers.
7. Modification and decoration of niches: Modification and decoration of niches or any other area of the Columbarium are specifically and expressly prohibited. Niche covers shall be inscribed in a uniform manner approved by the Board of Trustees. Inscriptions shall be limited to the name of the deceased, together with the month, day and year of birth and of death. There shall be no flowers or other decorations placed near or affixed to the niches.
8. Containment of Cremains: Because of the design of the Columbarium and the individual niches, a maximum of two persons' cremains may be inurned in a niche. All cremains deposited in a niche shall be enclosed in a container approved by the Board of Trustees, which container shall be capable of withstanding the elements and which shall be suitable for removal and transportation in the event such removal and transportation becomes advisable or necessary.
9. Performance of Services of Inurnment: Only the ordained Ministers of Centenary United Methodist Church or an ordained minister approved by the Senior Minister of Centenary United Methodist Church shall be authorized to place the cremains of any person in a niche.
10. Right to Remove Cremains and Niche Covers: The Church retains the absolute right, in its discretion, to remove containers of cremains, niches and niche covers and to relocate all or any part of the Columbarium (including niches) as it may deem necessary or advisable
11. Opening of Niches: Except as provided in paragraph 10 above, a niche may be opened only by written request of a proper person, upon a showing of good cause, as authorized by the Board of Trustees, and only upon the payment to the Church of all expenses associated with such opening. All such openings shall be documented upon the records maintained for the Columbarium by the Director of Operations.
12. Applicability of Rules and Regulations: All holders of certificates as well as all other persons with direct interest in the Columbarium shall be subject to these Rules and Regulations and any amendments thereto.
13. Release: All holders of certificates, on behalf of themselves, their heirs, successors and assigns, release the Church from any and all liabilities arising as a result of unauthorized removal of cremains or vandalism of niches and/or their contents.
14. Amendments: Amendments to these Rules and Regulations may be made only upon approval of a majority vote of the Church Council as recommended by the Board of Trustees at a regular or special meeting of such Church Council.