At the September Session meeting, we had a great discussion about what to do with the church's Memorial Funds. The funds total $19,500. Yes, $19,500!
We talked about the wonderful people who were no longer with us, and the gifts they had given us and our community. We considered ways we could honor our friends and loved ones.
The Memorial Garden
Everyone loves and admires the memorial garden. Jennie Hill Robinson, Ann Somerville, Shirley Newman, and Nancy Crowder used their talents to turn a small piece of lawn into a beautiful sanctuary. The central stone was given in honor of Dot Browning. The benches were given in memory of Fred Sherman, Leroy Crowder, and Joyce Palmer.
Jennie and Ann continue to maintain and nurture the garden. They do this in memory of all our church friends and family who are no longer with us.
Occasionally, you can see flowers left in memory of someone.
Improving the sanctuary
A few years ago, we used memorial funds for a different purpose. They purchased and paid for the installation of a new sound system in the sanctuary. We dedicated the system to the memory of Fred Sherman. What a perfect gift to honor Fred, who faithfully operated the old system for decades.
Improving our physical plant
Memorial funds paid for a replacement door to the Sunday School wing. It was in memory of Cheryl Lewis' father. The funds also turned the men’s room in the East Room into a handicapped bathroom. Cheryl’s dad was in the hardware business, and she thought this was a perfect gift.
A scholarship was been given to the OPC preschool in honor of Eleanor Vasquez and Jean Berkman. These two ladies were the founding members of the preschool.
In our discussion, we realized that we wanted to do more. We wanted to reach out to our community in honor of church members. In keeping with Matthew 25, we decided to move out into the community. Each month we want to memorialize church members with gifts to local organizations or groups.
In September, we voted to give a scholarship to Shady Grove Academy, in downtown Orange. This was in memory of Pat Stewart. Pat loved giving all people a helping hand.
In October, we voted to honor Joyce and Syd Palmer by donating to the Orange Art Center. The donation supports their outreach programs, which include children and handicapped adults.
Let us know what you think. We have many more people to honor. Do you have a suggestion? Come to the Session meeting and pray with us. We would love to talk to you. Please let the Clerk of Session know you will be coming, so you can be on the agenda.
- Diane Haberland