We hope you can attend our annual June public forum, this year focusing on green burial. Join us for a mock graveside service and green burial; learn more about current options and regulations around green burial; share stories and ideas.
The meeting was lively and highly informative with 16 people present. We had two presenters: Dan Kantar from Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota’s first certified hybrid green cemetery, and Anne Archbold from Prairie Oaks Eco Memorial Garden, Minnesota’s first completely green cemetery.
It was helpful to hear detailed information about natural burial, what is required, who is requesting it, what are the costs, why people are planning ahead, and how such a burial can help bring closure. Both presenters were most helpful in answering detailed questions about the process.
We also heard about Bradshaw Center in Stillwater, which offers alkaline hydrolysis (flameless cremation), from MTN member, Dawne Anderson, who visited the facility during last month’s MTN field trip.
People went away enlivened and informed, wishing to spread the word about these options, and looking forward to December’s meeting, the third and final MTN meeting on green burials this fall.
This has been a busy week for the Minnesota Threshold Network!
Last Friday through Sunday was the national conference of the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance. The headline speaker was Caitlin Dougherty, pictured below, of “Ask a Mortician” You Tube fame. Her website Order of the Good Death has garnered lots of views and her whimsical yet down-to-earth presentations can be a gateway for people seeking information and alternatives to the commercialized funeral industry.
The FCA conference sponsored a field trip to Prairie Oaks Memorial Eco Gardens, a natural cemetery where we saw a grave from the previous week.
One exciting aspect of the conference was to experience the close bonds that are forming between the local chapter of FCA and MTN. We share a lot of the same goals, and it was inspiring to be around so many people committed to bringing choices to the American public. For more information about the local chapter, go to the new Minnesota FCA website
On Tuesday, MTN held our annual public forum, featuring for the first time, a national leader. Elizabeth Knox, President of the National Home Funeral Alliance, spoke about the healing power of caring for our own at death, honoring the dead by disturbing their body as little as possible, and the ways that death care nourishes our spirit, our culture, and our Earth. Almost 90 people attended the presentation at Macalester Plymouth United Church in St. Paul.
Thursday evening MTN member Anne Murphy of A Thousand Hands organized the showing of the award-winning documentary movie A Will for the Woods at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul. Some of the 45 attendees stayed afterwards to participate in discussion groups about the film and natural burial.
Finally, this week MTN was contacted by members in Rochester and Bemidji who would like to form local Threshold Networks. Anyone who is interested in helping launch these outstate organizations is welcome. Just send an email to MTN or attend the MTN meeting in Rochester at the People’s Co-op on Monday, August 25 at 7:00 pm. For information contact Char Tarashanti at 507-289-0720.
Meanwhile, no meetings are planned in the Twin Cities for the summer. We will resume regular monthly meetings in September. A Will for the Woods will be shown at a fall meeting. Meeting dates and locations to follow.