Storytelling in Stewardship: Foot of the Cross Courtyard

November 02, 2018

Every Friday during our Stewardship season, we will be telling the story of one area of ministry of the church. This week we're highlighting the Foot of the Cross Courtyard in an interview with Corry Doty. 

What is the FOTCC?
For 13 years, the Foot of the Cross Courtyard has been the final resting place for many Calvarymembers and friends. Located just outside the prayer room, near the chapel, music room and sanctuary, it is nestled at the base of the towering cross for which it is named and which marks Calvary’s ministry on our busy corner.
So it’s like a cemetery?
Yes. Within the courtyard are two burial options: a Columbarium structure that contains niches for placement of individual cremated human remains – cremains, and a Common Urn, beneath stone grotto, for the comingling of cremains.  In addition, the Wall of Remembrance displays the engraved names of loved ones who “rest elsewhere” – such as Ft. Logan or a family cemetery plot.  When we see their names we remember their love and service.
I’ve seen people sitting there with a cup of coffee. 
Great. The Courtyard welcomes everyone for meditation, reflection, a visit with a friend, as well as a quiet retreat for the bereaved.
It’s always beautiful! How do you keep it that way?
There are 16 dedicated people on the Columbarium Committee. Nearly everyone works in the Courtyard for 2 weeks in the summer, giving special help before committal services, plus spring and fall clean up. Volunteer labor maintains the beauty of the FOTCC.
Has there been a lot of interest?
Yes.  Here are the current numbers:
32 are at rest in the Columbarium. 66 people, still alive, have contracts to be interred in a niche.  58 niches have been sold – 40 as doubles (2 people) and 18 for one person.
Five people have been interred in the Common Urn and five more have pre-need contracts for their eventual interment in the Common Urn.
On the Wall of Remembrance, 61 inscriptions are for those who have passed away. The names of 13 others – still alive – have been engraved next to the name of a loved one. When they pass away, their years of birth and death will be added.
If someone is interested, how do they make arrangements?
Most people just tell me they would like to talk to me about the Courtyard. At the time of a death, the family often first tells a pastor they are interested in the F0TCC. I meet with family members to show them the Columbarium, explain options, complete paperwork and receive their payment. For those with pre-need contracts, as soon as we learn of a death, we are in touch with the family.
How much do the options in the FOTCC cost?
$1,500.00 for the first or only interment in a Columbarium niche
$1,000.00 for the second interment in a Columbarium niche
Total $2,500.00 for two people in a niche
$185.00 for an interment in the Common Urn
$225.00 for a memorial inscription on the Wall of Remembrance
What do you do with that money?
The proceeds from sales are deposited in the Columbarium Fund, as are donations from Memorial Gifts or from people appreciative of the care their family received.  From that fund, we pay routine expenses, major work such as pergola restoration, and purchases like urns and faceplates. We prepare an annual financial report – just ask for a copy.
The Columbarium Committee and Fund are operationally and financially independent from Calvary’s Operating Fund and ministry structure. Cemeteries are long-term businesses, and recruiting people to serve 2 or 4 year terms, along with the likely church budget fluctuations, are not in the best interests of this serious business. The Foot of the Cross Courtyard was built with donations and proceeds from the sale of the first niches – no money from Calvary’s Operating Fund then, or now.
Why, then, are Calvary’s Stewardship and Operating Budget important to you and the Foot of the Cross Courtyard?
Calvary, the CHURCH, owns the property of the FOTCC and granted the Columbarium the use of that space. The COUNCIL approved our contract, and recently approved a revised contract.  More than 100 Calvary members or friends are currently interred, or have paid in advance for their interment.
Church and Columbarium are partners. Calvary’s strength in staff, volunteers, ministries, attendance – all with a strong financial base – provides the infrastructure that ensures the future of our church, and of the Columbarium.
Calvary has other ministries, programs and opportunities that, like the FOTCC, do not take funds from the Calvary Operating Budget. But we do all receive space within the church and basic services – cleaning, water, lights, restrooms, the occasional photocopy. 
Generous financial support from every one of us – members, attenders, newbies, oldies – is essential for what we want Calvary to be: a vibrant community of friends who support each other and enjoy each other’s company, meet the needs of others, and share the love of Christ far and wide!  Or use your own definition!!

 The Bottom Line: Please join Phil and me in making your pledge to support out Operating Budget your highest, most significant giving priority. 

Corry Doty and her husband Phil have been part of Calvary for 50 years, raising their daughters Sarah and Anne here. Corry has served Calvary continuously since about 1980, conducting  13  stewardship campaigns, plus working on capital and other special campaigns. Moderator 1999 - Resource Management since 2002 - scores of committees. Corry and Mason Brown launched the concept of a columbarium in 2003 and she has led the Columbarium Committee ever since.