Columbarium & Memorial Garden

What is a Columbarium?

Each unit of the columbarium is a group of 25 compartments or “niches” designed to hold cremated remains (cremains) of deceased loved ones. Each round niche is 8″ in diameter and 16″ deep and has the capacity to hold up to two containers measuring 4 ½ inches tall, 6 ½ inches wide & 7 ¾ inches long. Niches are covered with a granite plate which may be engraved.

What is a memorial garden?

A memorial garden is a garden in which cremains are scattered and worked into the soil of a natural and landscaped space as a part of an inurnment service.

When is the project happening?

The memorial garden is available. All four Units of the columbarium are now complete.


The many activities and users of the church facilities were considered, and a distinctive design was created for a columbarium/memorial garden on the east lawn of the church under the beautiful large cross. The leaves and grapes on the fence are similar to those on the communion rail in the sanctuary symbolizing the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Other Facts about the Columbarium and Memorial Garden:
  • More than 50% of the population is choosing cremation. This has increased the demand for a columbarium in cemeteries as well as inspired many congregations to plan to build a columbarium on their own site.
  • It provides comfort to a family to have the final resting place of a deceased loved one within the church grounds.
  • It affirms our faith that those who die in the Christian faith join with the saints in light as well as the current worshipping faith community.
  • It is a visible sign that the church cares for its members from birth and baptism through death and the promises of eternal life.
  • It is theologically sound and environmentally friendly.
Project Financing

Funding for the columbarium/memorial garden is provided through the pre-sale of niches, memorial gifts, and any other donations specified for this project. The columbarium is self-supporting and not included in the Bethel general budget. There is a governing board (Columbarium Team) with bylaws and policies, to regulate, guide and communicate needs.

Who is eligible?

Bethel members, their families, former members of the congregation, Bethel staff, and others approved by the Columbarium Team are eligible for inurnment in the columbarium or memorial garden.

What is the cost?

$1,800: Double niche
$1,200: Single niche
$600: Memorial Garden

Each niche is 8″ in diameter and 16″deep and has the capacity to hold up to two urns

What are the next steps if I am interested?

Contact a member of the Columbarium Team or inquire for further direction at the church office (507-288-6430). 

The Team

Need More Information?

Contact Ardell Olson, Chair, at or

Linda Bakken, Secretary, at or 507-288-8602