A Burial Option at UMCNL

The columbarium was given to the church as a gift by Dr. Nancy B. and Mr. L. V. Cutforth in 2010.  This beautiful resting place provides 72 niches (12 per side) ~ 3 rows across and 4 rows down on each side.  Each niche holds up to two urns of cremains.  The two urns are inclusive in the cost of each niche.

Who is eligible for inurnment?

Niches may only be purchased by members of the United Methodist Church of New Lenox for their own use or for burial of their family members, or may be purchased by a non-member for burial of a member of the United Methodist Church of New Lenox.

How much does it cost?

Niches are $1,600.

How does it work?

Payment must be made in full before the Columbarium Certificate of Purchase is issued.  Cremains cannot be sealed into the niche, nor the front of the niche engraved until thisColumbarium Certificate of Purchase is paid for in full.  (All owners of niches shall be subject to the Rules and Regulations as they now exist and as they may be amended by the United Methodist Church of New Lenox in the future.  Any questions which arise concerning the Columbarium not covered in the Columbarium Certificate of Purchase and/or the Rules and Regulations shall be determined solely by the Columbarium Committee.  (A copy of theColumbarium Rules and Regulations may be obtained in the church office.)

What if my plans change?

If a purchaser’s plans change, they may sell their niche back to the church for 75% of the purchase price.  Niches cannot be transferred or sold to another party without the aurhorization of the United Methodist Church of New Lenox.

The United Methodist Church accepts cremation

How is this consistent with resurrection of the body?  Our Articles of Religion affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ in very strong language:

     “Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature”  (Article III).

While the Articles of Religion say nothing about the Last Judgment or the resurrection of believers (though the Scriptures and the Creeds both affirm this!), the Confession of Faith speaks of it in these words:

     “We believe all men stand under the righteous judgment of Jesus Christ, both now and in the last day.  We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the righteous to life eternal and the wicked to enless condemnation” (Article XII).

Our doctrinal statements, then, affirm the bodily ressurrection of Jesus, indeed the resurrection of the same body that entered the tomb.  But for believers, many of whose bodies over the past two thousand years may have entirely decomposed, if they were not burned, lost at sea, or otherwise destroyed, our statements speak simply of the resurrection of  “the dead.”  This is consistent not only with biology, but also with the teaching of Paul in I Corinthians 15.  There, Paul insists that resurrection is real, necessary, and more than a matter of revivifying dead bodies or remains.  Instead, he speaks of a spiritual body that is raised of which our perishable, corruptible bodies are at most but the seed (see especially verses 35-49).

For all of these reasons, United Methodists do not insist upon burial as the only appropriate means of committing our earthly remains to God, and so are generally open to cremation as a viable alternative.  In some places burial or entombment is simply not an option, either because of costs involved or because of a lack of cemetery space.  Ultimately, this is a decision that will be in the context of the individuals, families, and cultural norms involved.                                         

~ The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards (Director of Worship Resources, General Board of Discipleship)

The options offered by cremation

When a loved one passes, often there may be a state of anxiety created if “Final Plans” were not made by the deceased.  The options afforded by cremation may address many of these factors.

Typically, when there is a death, there may be a very short time line to make final arrangements, notify family members and friends and secure a final resting place.

Cremation can offer an expanded time line where arrangements can be delayed and better plans made.  Formal funeral services can be scheduled with greater flexibility if family members do not reside locally or other conflicts exist.  Services can be conducted with either physical remains or the ashes of the deceased.

The Columbarium at the United Methodist Church of New Lenox is easily accessible, yet provides a dignified, beautifully maintained location where security has been planned.  The proximity to the Church affords family members a sense of closeness to their loved one.

Long term planning has provided for the memorial to be expanded when the need requires.  Contributions can be made in a loved one’s name for beautification of the area.

Personal Counceling can be arranged with the Pastors and/or members of the Columbarium Committee on request.

Columbarium Niches Supported By Purchases

The purchase price of the columbarium niches will be distributed in the following manner:

  •  40% of the proceeds from the sale of the niche will be placed into a perpetual Maintenance Fund to cover repairs to the Columbarium and the patio area around the Columbarium.
  •  60% of the proceeds from the sale of the niche will be placed into a Capital Improvement Fund to provide for an additional Columbarium (if needed), and repairs and improvements to the landscaping of the island area surrounding the Columbarium.

Location of Niche Being Purchased

Location of the niche being purchased is on a first come, first served basis.  If the area of your first choice is unavailable, please think of an alternate placement you may also be happy with.  There are six sides to the Columbarium.  The section Headings are:  Gift from Dr. Nancy B. and Mr. L.V. Cutforth (facing north toward the campground area), Joy (facing the northwest, toward a wooded area), Peace (facing southwest toward the southwest entrance of the property), United Methodist Church of New Lenox (facing south toward the parking area), Hope (facing south east toward the southeast entrance of the property), and Love (facing northeast toward the entrance to the church building).

Engraving the Niche Front

All engraving is to be done by Novielli Memorials to keep the fonts uniform in nature on the Monument.  They can be reached at (815) 744-2822 or Fax at (815) 744-7458.  They are located at 1214 Plainfield Road, Joliet, IL 60435.  They will come to the church and do the engraving on site.  Engraving notification is the respondibility of the Columbarium Certificate of Purchase holder or the family of said party.  Payment for engraving is to be made directly to Novielli Memorials.   We request that engraving be arranged as soon as possible after inurnment of the cremains.

The price of engraving is a flat rate of $425 and includes:  First Name; Last Name; and abbreviated month, date and year of birth and passing.


Two cremation urns are included with the purchase of a niche.  The urns are fabricated from bronze sheet metal (212 cu. in. capacity).  They include the cardboard mailer and the plastic bag to be used to retain the ashes for placement in the urn.  The urn is placed in the cardboard mailer for shipment of the urn to and from the crematory.

If a person desires a different type of urn, the cost of the replacement urn they desire will be purchased atht ehfamily of the deceased’s expense and it must not be any larger than 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2 ” x 7 “.

To Purchase a Niche

To purchase your niche, please come to the church office and fill out the paperwork and make your payment.  Upon full payment, you will receive your Columbarium Certificate of Purchase, which will be presented to you in a handy folder for easy identification for your family members.  (It is recommended to give a copy of this cerificate to your executor and keep a copy with your will.)

For more information please look at our information packet and the rules & regulations.