Interest in a memorial garden at FCC found expression about a decade ago. It was undertaken as a self-supporting project, and fundraising got underway. We selected a "circle of life" theme to accentuate the concept of life eternal for Christians, mindful that there would be no circle of life – only a straight line with a beginning and a final ending – without the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, we do not remain in the garden, but enjoy life everlasting with Him. It seemed fitting that our modest and delightful new garden be named Circle of Life Memorial Garden
The garden was dedicated in June, 2004. While delighting in its beauty and serenity, the committee felt something was missing. A cross, we decided, would be the ideal symbol for not only death within our church family, but also the death of Jesus Christ, representing the promise of new life. The committee went back to work, establishing a special memorial fund drive to offset the costs involved, knowing that a fitting symbol would be expensive.
Local artist Cara O'Brien of Whitehall, Michigan was commissioned to develop drawings of the project, and she did produce some striking designs. Between continued fundraising and a significant donation by the family of Lois Kempf Reber as a memorial to their mother, the project finally became a reality.
As Cara set to work on the six-foot mold for our selected design, the committee doubled its fundraising efforts to have our beautiful memorial cross cast, installed, and lighted. We achieved our goal of fall, 2007 for completion of the project on the very last day of the autumn season, December 20. The heartwarming dedication service on that crisp evening appropriately included the interment of Dwight Austin, one of the original committee members, who had passed away earlier in the year.