First UMC Gonzales

Long Range Planning

After reviewing bids and options, the Long Range Planning committee and Columbarium team have agreed on an upgraded landscape design for the Columbarium area.The chosen project fits within our current available funding, and can be expanded in phases as future fundraising allows.Green Escapes Nursery of Prairieville has been awarded the project.  A stone-style paver patio area with a crushed stone walkway will be installed by February, weather permitting.  A 6-foot cross has already been installed on the Sanctuary wall as a focal point.  Blank memorial bricks will be placed around the patio area and existing Columbarium unit base for future fundraising.The memorial bricks will be sold for engraving in the not too distant future.  Announcements will be made when this program starts for the memorializing of family and loved ones.   
Mike Hayes, Long Range Planning Chair

Columbarium Update
The first columbarium has been erected at the southeast corner of the sanctuary between the back wall and the parking lot. If you have noticed the plans for the memorial gardens in the narthex, the columbarium that is now in place is the unit in the center of the garden. The units on each side will be erected in the future. As you can see, the structure has 24 crypts on each side for a total of 48. We sold 18 crypts @ $1000 each to fund the installation of the first columbarium as well as the architectural fees for producing the plans and drawings of the memorial garden. Moving forward, the focus of the columbarium committee will be to raise the necessary funds for completion of the memorial gardens.

The projected cost of the memorial garden is $35 to $40,000 depending on the amenities we select for construction. The main cost variance depends on the type and amount of stone we select to pave the garden.

In talking with other churches that have funded projects similar to ours, we know that there is a desire by many people to place a memorial plaque in the garden in remembrance of themselves or a loved one. The architect has selected two places within the gardens to mount bronze plaques and he will be producing a conceptual drawing to show the placement. The areas for locating plaques will be on the back wall of the church on each side of the cross and on the inside of the brick walls at the entrances. Between the sale of memorial plaques and the remaining columbarium crypts, we hope to raise enough funds to complete the project.