Memorial Garden

Peaceful garden | Eternal life

The St. Paul Memorial Garden is a lush outdoor space of rest, relaxation, and spiritual peace. It graces the northeast corner of the church campus, at Brady and Lombard Streets.

Life and memory unite here. The garden hosts plantings that change with the seasons – along with the buried ashes from members of the St. Paul community who have died. Rooted in this beautiful place is our centering confidence in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Statement of faith

Burial in this garden is a biblically-faithful option for St. Paul members.

Scripture teaches us: Eternal life is a gift of God. Gods acts in Christ to overcome the power of sin and death. The sacred soil of this garden reminds us: We come from dust, and we return to God through the dust of the soil. Whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord.

Community of saints

As Christians, we understand that human life and death are communal in nature. The garden is a living testimony to the continuity of the community of saints. Ashes are buried in a common plot – among the hostas and serviceberry trees.

Our living community surrounds the garden. We continue to worship and work, gather and play, through the daily life of the church. We pay grateful attention to the resting place of saints who have gone before us.

Returned to the soil

Human ashes are often called cremains. In the St. Paul Memorial Garden, cremains are deposited directly into the topsoil in a special committal service. The actual location of an individual burial site is not marked. That underscores our commonality as baptized people, united in Christ. Later, the name of the deceased will be engraved on the granite wall.

Burial in the garden is designed to authentically reflect the St. Paul community of faith. Members on the roster of St. Paul Lutheran Church, at the time of death, may be buried here, and have their names engraved on the memorial wall. Their spouses/partners and dependent children may also be buried in the garden.

Memorial Garden stroll

Take a moment to stroll the curving pathways of the Memorial Garden. People visit the garden daily, stopping for quiet reflection.

The memorial wall is the garden’s centerpiece. The seven granite tablets represent the seven days of creation – when God demonstrated what beauty, order, goodness, and rest truly look like. Names are inscribed on the wall.

The tablets overlook the intimate cross-shaped plaza where people gather for a burial service. Pergolas grace each entrance to the garden. Benches provide seating for meditation, reading, or conversation. Butterflies play among coneflowers and lilies.

Download: Memorial Garden brochure

Memorial Garden: Becky Harper

Malachi 3:1-4

The Coming Messenger 3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.[a] 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters[a] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2:22-40

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;[a] this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[b] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon[c] came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon[d] took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant[e] in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon[f] blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna[g] the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child[h] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. The Return to Nazareth 39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.