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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is a columbarium?

    A columbarium is a structure which houses the ashes or cremains of individuals who have died. The ashes are stored in small cubicles/compartments called niches.

  • How long has First Church been thinking about adding a columbarium?

    The construction of a columbarium was proposed in both our Phase I Building Project (remodel of the sanctuary) and our Phase II Building Project (remodel of the restrooms, pantry, and custodial room). The first of those building projects occurred six years ago. When funds did not provide for all the recommended improvements, it was decided to remove the columbarium from each of those building projects.

  • Why is a columbarium important in the ministry of First United Methodist Church?

    The columbarium expands our ministry to families from birth to death and beyond. We can provide a final resting place as well as an inspiring and prayerful place to remember those who have gone to heaven before us. We can celebrate the witness of their faith as well as the amazing love of Jesus working in and through their life.

  • How many niches/compartments will be in the Peace Garden Columbarium?

    There will be anywhere from 144 to 168 niches/compartments in the Peace Garden Columbarium. The size will be determined in part by the success of the fund-raising for the columbarium. 

  • Where will the columbarium be located?

    The columbarium will be located in the courtyard just west of the Coffee Room. The area is accessible 24 hours a day every day of the year. This accessibility will provide an opportunity for family and friends to gather for a time of reflection and prayer. The columbarium will be enclosed with three partial walls and four iron gates. Eventually, there will also be an open roof, lighting, benches, an altar, and doors between the Coffee Room and the Courtyard where the columbarium is located.

  • Will the columbarium be secured?

    There will be walls and gates enclosing the columbarium. Although the gates will not be locked, the Peace Garden will be a defined space. The Columbarium Team has discussed ultimately including a security camera in the Peace Garden.

  • Will the columbarium be a worshipful place?

    The Peace Garden Columbarium will be a worship-full setting in which we can experience God’s peace and the love of Jesus. There will eventually be benches and an altar to focus our heart, mind, and soul on Jesus.

  • How will the perpetual maintenance of the columbarium be funded?

    The purchase of each niche will include the cost of the niche/compartment plus a donation to fund the perpetual care of the columbarium. The Columbarium Team has set an ultimate goal for the Peace Garden Perpetual Care Fund of $100,000. The perpetual care funds will be invested in the Nebraska Methodist Foundation.

  • How much does an individual niche (compartment) cost?

    The following is a breakdown of the cost for each individual niche.

    Total cost of an 8” X 8” niche is $3,500

    ($500 for the niche plus a $3,000 donation for perpetual care)

    Total cost of a 12” X 12” niche is $4,000

    ($500 for the niche plus a $3,500 donation for perpetual care)

  • When will the first phase of construction on the Peace Garden Columbarium begin?

    When adequate funds have been received for the purchase and installation of the basic columbarium unit, an order will be processed with Eickhof Columbaria in Minnesota. The Columbarium Team is hopeful an order can be made in February, 2020 with installation completed by early summer.

  • What is the cost of the Peace Garden Columbarium?

    Phase I

    The columbarium structure by itself will cost approximately $80,000. We currently have funds on hand in the amount of $33,500.  


    Phase II

    The additional cost of the Peace Garden (roof, lights, gates, doors into the Coffee Room, etc.) will be an additional $80,000 to $90,000.

  • How will funds be secured for Phase I and Phase II for the Peace Garden Columbarium?

    The sale of niches will provide some of the seed money for the construction projects. In addition, we are inviting the people of First Church to made donations/commitments to cover the construction costs of the columbarium. 

  • May I spread my gift to the columbarium over the next year?

    A Peace Garden Columbarium Commitment Card will be available for those who desire to give their gift over a longer period of time. The Columbarium Team recognizes that some may need more time to free the funds to give the size of gift they would like to give to support the Peace Garden Columbarium Project. Commitment Cards have been mailed to your home and are available in the church office.

  • Who serves on the Columbarium Team?

    The Columbarium Team presently includes 6 members of our church family. There will be other members added to the team as additional help and specialized skills are needed.