ABOUT THE MEMORIAL GARDEN
The Memorial Garden provides space for the interment of cremated remains (cremains) of persons affiliated with Lutherhill Ministries. The Memorial Garden consists of approximately 2.5 acres of surveyed land around the Carby Chapel. Ashes may be scattered or buried within this surveyed landscaped area and adjacent woodland area of the Memorial Garden. Specific Interment locations are not reserved, nor are markers placed at the actual site of Interment. The landscaped area in front of the Carby Chapel has inlaid memorial bricks to honor the deceased persons interred within the Memorial Garden as well as others who may be buried elsewhere.
Fees for the right of Interment include Interment, memorial brick inscription, and perpetual care of the Memorial Garden. Funds received by the Memorial Garden will be utilized as necessary to pay for upkeep of grounds and general maintenance.
COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Many historic churches in rural Texas have a cemetery just beyond the church walls, behind the altar. This intentional placement creates a union, a bridge, between faithful followers of Jesus that are living and dead. We call this union the Communion of Saints, made possible through baptism. The living saints gathered around the communion table inside the church are connected with the departed saints just beyond the church walls.
In a similar way, the communion table of the Carby Chapel connects us with those laid to rest in the Memorial Garden just beyond the chapel walls. This symbolic placement is a tangible reminder that we are connected through baptism with the whole Communion of Saints.
In July of 2021, Salem Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas approached Lutherhill with a new possibility. As they prepared to sell their property, they sought a way to faithfully move the cremated remains of persons laid to rest in their Memorial Prayer Garden. Around the same time, another donor inquired about the possibility of establishing a Memorial Garden at Lutherhill in La Grange. After investigation and thoughtful discernment, Lutherhill Board of Directors and Staff decided to pursue this new ministry venture.
The creation of the memorial garden was made possible by a generous donation from Barbara and Rev. Charles Kindsvatter in honor of Daphna and Richard White. Special thanks to Marcos Vega of Vega Landscaping for his landscape design and execution. Salem Lutheran Church also contributed seven stained glass panels that had hung in their worship area. These stained glass panels are mounted in metal frames throughout the Memorial Garden.
On June 3, 2023, a service was held to dedicate Lutherhill’s Memorial Garden to the glory of God. At this time, soil from the Memorial Prayer Garden of Salem, Houston was ceremoniously transferred to this new resting place.
Rest eternal grant your people, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.
– Funeral Liturgy, Evangelical Lutheran Worship
FOR EVERY GENERATION
As we considered this new ministry opportunity, we wondered how it might impact young campers who come to experience the joy of camp. After conversation and consideration, we came to the conclusion that honoring death is part of life. The Memorial Garden will create holy space to talk with campers about baptismal promise, death, resurrection and eternal life. And it will create a holy space for the recently deceased to be commended to God, as they hear for the final time, the invitation to ‘Go in Peace & Serve the Lord.’