The Memory Garden
Although the inspiration for creating a Memory Garden at Branchport United Methodist Church was discussed for several years, it finally became a reality Sunday, June 24, 2012, as the garden was prepared by members of the congregation as a gift to departing pastor, Barb Gifford.
The garden was conceived and planted as a reminder of the many people who have been instrumental in preserving and putting forward the missions of the church to serve local community and area needs throughout its long history. “Many dedicated and faithful servants have walked through these doors and left their foot and handprints on the vision people have whenever they think of The United Methodist Church as the body of Christ within the community.
Many of them have never been immortalized by plaques or visual references, their death,” Rev. Barb said at an Administrative Council meeting a few years ago. “I would love to see a garden that greets each person coming to our church with a reminder of God’s great power to work through those vessels of love and service and to renew and make all things beautiful in Jesus’ name.” “Many weddings, baptisms and funerals have been held at the church and a spot such as the Memory Garden will be a reminder that there were people before us and will be people after us, God willing, who will continue to use their faith, talents, gifts, and graces to offer this House of the Lord as an instrument for holy living, faithful teaching, and selfless serving of others throughout the world. “
The Memory Garden has now materialized and begun to fulfill its purpose. The garden displays stepping stones leading to a bench among the flowers and plantings, with smaller stones representing events or markers of life within the church’s walls.
It is our prayer that many will take time to sit, for rest or reflection, and be thankful for those who’ve left their mark on the church’s legacy and to meditate on the goodness, the power, and the grace of The Lord God who creates and re-creates everything in its season. It is a place of quiet repose available to all who pass by.
May God bless our Memory Garden!