Memorial Ministry

Mission and Purpose

The Memorial Committee (MC) is defined as “a program committee within the church charged to solicit, monitor, and use in support of the church’s mission statement memorial and honor gifts given to the church.”

The Memorial Committee (1) acts as the church’s resource for these gifts, (2) provides sensitive advice for grieving family members at the time of a professing or baptized member’s or another individual’s death regarding designation for that memorial gift, and (3) recommends to the church specific uses for all undesignated memorial and/or honor gifts. The Memorial Committee is charged not to retain gifts for long periods but to use them with respect and dignity in a timely fashion.

The Memorial Committee’s policies and procedures are designed to complement the current mission of the church: “to become growing followers of Jesus Christ and to reach out to others in unconditional love because God first loved us.” The Memorial Committee does not have a separate mission statement.

The Memorial Committee functions and operates at the discretion of the Church Council (Alexander, Cropsey, & Reist; p. 199, no. 5; 2012).

Click here for a complete statement of policies and procedures (December 8, 2013) that will include the following: (1) establishing leadership and membership, (2) accumulating capital, (3) donating physical objects, (4) maintaining open communication, (5) facilitating special projects, and (6) seeking review and approval. Appendix A lists committee leadership duties and responsibilities.

2015 Committee Goals

  1. Continue the 2015 Trinity United Methodist Church scholarship ministry.
  2. Repeat the All Saints’ Day event on Sunday, November 1, 2015.
  3. Continue to develop/implement a Memorial Committee public relations and instructional campaign (memorial & honor gifts) using the following communication channels: Chimes, Peace/Trinity website, brochure/s, announcements, internal mission campaigns with the Missions’ Committee, personal letters to families and area funeral homes, etc.
  4. Complete to date and display permanently in the Trinity UMC Library the church’s official Book of Remembrance.
  5. Develop with Peace UMC one fundraising event with Trinity’s profits designated for the scholarship account or other worthy project as designated by the Memorial Committee.


2015 Committee Leadership and Members

Paul Murphey (Chair)             Kathy Richardson (Treasurer)   Shirley Goplin (Recording Secretary)

Anita Alexander          Jerry Bower (ex-officio)          Pastor Bill Busch (standing member)

Fran Cooper                 Helen Nelson                          Russ Shannon (ex-officio)

Melissa Sprecher

The Trinity United Methodist Church Memorial Committee is charged to recognize annually member saints who have passed during the past year and to consecrate/dedicate memorial and honor gifts. The All Saints’ Day year is defined as the “first Sunday in November from calendar year to calendar year.” A complete archive of saints and gifts dating from 1952 to present is recorded and on display in the church library within the official church Book of Remembrance, which is maintained an updated on a yearly basis by the Memorial Committee. The following provides a brief history of All Saints’ Day:

What do People do? 

All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many areas of the United States, including where there are large Roman Catholic populations. In New Orleans, for example, people gather in local cemeteries and decorate the graves with flowers. The descendants of the French Canadian settlers around St. Martinsville, Louisiana, observe this day in the traditional French manner by laying wreaths and bouquets on even the most obscure graves and, as darkness falls, by lighting candles in anticipation of All Souls’ Day on November 2.

In the United Methodist Church, All Saints’ Day is observed on the first Sunday in November to remember deceased members of the local church congregation. A candle is lit as each person’s name is called out, followed by a prayer offered for each soul.  Many Latin American communities in the United States hold celebrations around November 1 and 2, linking All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). These celebrations are part of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de los Muertos.

Public life 

All Saints’ Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States.


According to some sources, the idea for All Saints’ Day goes back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early June) in honor of all martyrs and saints. Other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE but no specific month or date is recorded. Pope Gregory IV made All Saints’ Day an authorized holiday in 837 CE. It is speculated that the chosen date for the event, November 1, may have been an attempt to supplant the pagan Festival of the Dead (also known as Samhain or the feast of Saman, lord of death). All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated globally, is closely tied with All Souls’ Day, which was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny in 993 CE and quickly spread among Christians. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are also closely linked with Halloween, which is a shortened name for “All Hallows’ Even.”


Symbols commonly associated with All Saints’ Day are as follows:

  • A sheaf of wheat
  • Rayed Manus Dei (hand of God)
  • The crown
  • Symbols (including images) of individual saints

The liturgical color is white on All Saints’ Day. Click here for a selection of pictures (Photographer Marilyn Creasey) from the latest All Saints’ Day service as well as a historical archive of the All Saints’ Day liturgy, member saints, and memorial and honor gifts.

Proverbs 18:15 states the following: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” The Trinity United Methodist Church Memorial Committee is charged with the administration of the annual Trinity Scholarship.

Since 2004, Trinity has awarded 11 higher education scholarships for a total of $3,750. Applications are accepted annually from December 1 through March 31 and are available to Trinity professing or baptized members or regular attendees. The scholarship ministry addresses the financial needs of a high school senior or returning adult student beginning, continuing, or completing higher education and/or training. In addition, an applicant may apply within the “continuing education” category, which means anyone of any age may apply for a scholarship to pay for the registration fee for a workshop, seminar, basic education testing, etc.

The Trinity scholarship is funded, in part, in memory of Ralph & Helen Monteith, Nancy Edwards, Roger Jewell, and Hilda Heidenreich. Click Here to download a complete application package for the current scholarship year as well as a historical archive of previous scholarship recipients.

The Trinity Memorial Committee is charged with the maintenance and updating of the church’s official “wish list.” The Memorial Committee seeks capital (memorial and honor gifts) in order to complete items from the list. Where needed, the Memorial Committee communicates with the Trinity Trustees and Trinity Finance Committee before items are completed. Click here to download the latest version of this “wish list,” as well as instructions to add, delete, or fund an item.