How will GNJ manage cemeteries connected to closed churches going forward?
A: The proposed legislation calls for the creation of the GNJ Cemetery Association which will have overall responsibility for the cemeteries currently under the care of the Conference and any additional cemeteries acquired by the Conference in the future.
In addition, CFA will conduct a study of all churches with cemeteries to assess the physical and financial condition. Also, the newly formed association will work to incorporate other United Methodist cemeteries to be a part of the Association to assure that we are being good stewards and protect GNJ from inheriting cemeteries with no perpetual care funds.
Why does GNJ need to create a separate legal entity to care for these cemeteries?
A: The proposed legislation calls for the creation of a Cemetery Association. This management model, as a separate incorporated association, is effectively used by other religious organizations. Also, given the significant legal and ethical liability associated with these cemeteries, the formation of a separate association will provide additional protection for the Conference.
How will cemeteries under the association be funded?
A: Presently there are funds within the trustees to fund cemeteries under GNJ care. The new association will create a plan for funding cemeteries that includes existing perpetual care funds, selling cemeteries (GNJ recently sold a cemetery to another cemetery association) and giving cemeteries to historic groups that care for cemeteries (this occurred just recently). The new association will be charged with creating a budget and funding plan that will be included in future reports to the Annual Conference.