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JOURNEY JOURNAL... Sarasota, Florida


Parishioners at the Longboat Island Chapel on Longboat Key have been blessed with the presence of a natural sanctum inside the boundaries of their outdoor property.  Abutted by parking lots on three sides, this island jewel is shrouded in green hues of variant bushes and towering trees.  Shadowed by blankets of overhanging branches, it is a haven of foliated calm.  

The lovely and lush “Friendship Garden” is known familiarly as the Jim Marsh Garden, to honor a man who had been a pastor of the Christian-based, interfaith church for many years.

 Brick pathways take  disciples of Mother  Nature to different vantage points for  contemplative  meditation and  spiritual renewal.  Along the way there are occasional 
 bricks bearing names.  

Upon reaching the east periphery of this sequestered sanctuary, sheltered from the commotion of life, one inadvertently comes upon emblems of death.  Memorial stones in assorted sizes and shapes dot the ground in this section of the garden.  


The cremation tract here is of relatively recent origin.  Over the course of time prior to its inception, people had placed these sorts of tribute rocks in various locations within the entire scope of the oasis.  But one or two years ago, the idea of a designated area for this purpose was conceived and implemented.  All of the pieces that had been randomly located in other parts of the garden were moved to this spot.


Though the grounds here are not approved for burial of cremated remains, the sprinkling, or spreading, of them is permissible.  Or folks may choose to have only the garden stone in this memorial section as a marker simply to recognize the decedent.

Stones for this purpose can be ordered through the church office, or people can obtain them on their own for an additional fee.  

Anyone is welcome to take advantage of this commemorative opportunity, regardless of whether or not the individual is a member of the church community.  

Cremation gardens have increasingly become a feature of church properties. When roaming around any town, occasionally you may find hidden treasures if you stray from the beaten path to seek the solace of communion with birds, bees, and trees. 
sho fia

sho fia

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