What is a “green burial”? Earth-friendly burials are designed to cooperate with the natural process of decomposition and to have a minimum impact on the environment. Typically they feature:

  • No formaldehyde-based toxic embalming chemicals
  • No metal or hardwood caskets. Only biodegradable containers, made of sustainable material such as pine, or biodegradable shrouds
  • No concrete grave liners or vaults.  (Minnesota state law does not require burial vaults, but most cemeteries do.)
  • No or a natural headstone/memorial
En route to shroud burial.

En route to shroud burial.

Learn more about green burials at our November 11 meeting with the owner of Prairie Oaks Eco Memorial Garden in Inver Grove Heights and the manager of Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota’s first certified green hybrid cemetery.

November 11, 7-9pm at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. Minneapolis. 612-927-0894. Free and open to all.

Caring for Our Own flier

Death Over Dinner

Death Over Dinner logo

Come join us as we circle around the table for a hearty meal and conversation around a topic that we like to keep under the table, death.  Tonight will be different, as we listen to each other and share in our collective and individual wisdom about death. 

Death Over Dinner is a way to spark an open-ended conversations about death, from one’s personal experiences and spiritual views about a topic that can be a conversational taboo, to ways friends and families can plan for end-of-life care and advance directives when they or their loved ones die.” Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post

This event is open to the public.  Invite your friends and neighbors!

Thursday, November 6th, 6:30-9pm
Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church
1895 Laurel, Saint Paul MN 55104
Potluck Dinner (please bring something to share)

Please RSVP to Anne Murphy at annievmurph @ gmail.com or 651-964-9128



GreenCremation Stillwater facility.

GreenCremation Stillwater facility.

You are invited to a Minnesota Threshold Network tour of the new flameless or “green” cremation facility on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 11:00am at 2800 Curve Crest Blvd, Stillwater, MN, 55082. Free and open to all.

Also known as alkaline hydrolysis, flameless cremation uses a chemical process to reduce a body to its basic elements in a similar time and for the same cost as flame cremation. Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services has the first commercial unit in the country.

For more information, watch Kare 11’s 2012 story about the facility, read the Star Tribune article, or visit the GreenCremation website.

Alkaline hydrolysis chamber

Alkaline hydrolysis chamber

Mark your calendars for upcoming MTN 2014-2015 monthly meetings, all on Tuesdays:

October – 14 –  Movie night:  A Will for the Woods
November 11 – Green Burials: the principles and the practicalities — with managers of local green cemeteries
December 9 – Story night – personal experiences with natural burials? A mortician’s experiences? plus Carolyn Laine’s PowerPoint presentation
January 13 – Death and Cookies – an open discussion about death
February 10 – Movie night: This Dewdrop World, connecting a personal death to planetary loss.
March 10 – Preparing for death, advance directives, The Conversation(s), advance funeral planning
April 14 – Looking at Caregiver Loss after an anticipated death
May 12 – Story night: recent home vigils – Practicalities, challenges, benefits, and affects on the grieving process
June annual forum TBA

We hope to see you there.



The Minnesota Threshold Network will host a public screening of A Will for the Woods on Tuesday, October 14. In this green-burial-focused documentary, musician, folk dancer, and psychiatrist Clark Wang prepares for his own green burial, determined that his final resting place will benefit the earth. His passionate wish for a legacy of green burials inspires a profoundly affecting and optimistic portrait of people finding meaning in death. Determined that his last act will not harm the environment and may even help protect it, Clark discovers the movement to further sustainable funerals that conserve natural areas.

Enabling Clark’s wish is green burial pioneer Joe Sehee, who aims to realize this concept’s vast potential by helping define its goals and standards and endeavoring to open the world’s largest conservation burial ground. Moved by Clark’s persistence and relying on Joe’s guidance, local cemetarian Dyanne Matzkevich, though avowedly “not a greenie,” establishes the first natural burial ground in North Carolina. Together she and Clark endeavor to protect the tract of forest adjacent to her conventional cemetery, developing a close bond.Winner of numerous awards!

See http://www.awillforthewoods.com/about-our-doc/

Please join us!

Tuesday October 14th
Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church
1895 Laurel Avenue/Saint Paul/Mn/55104
*Suggested donation: $5. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

6:30 Arrival and Introductions
7-8:30 A Will for the Woods
8:30-9:30 Optional group discussion

MTN’s September meeting will be an open planning session. Hear ideas the core team has generated for 2014-2015 meetings and gatherings and add your own ideas.
Tuesday, September 16, 7:00 p.m., at Nancy and Becky’s, 21 E. Rustic Lodge Ave, Minneapolis. Hope to see you there.

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