The Keene Unitarian Universalist Church and AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region will hold its annual dedication of the Starr Memorial Garden, formerly known as the AIDS Cobblestone Memorial Garden, on Sunday, September 19. The ceremony will be held after the morning service at 11:30am in the Garden, located by following the path that leads behind the church sanctuary at 69 Washington Street, Keene, NH.
Creation of the path that leads from the street to the Garden was made possible through the generosity of S.U.R Construction in July 2010 while working on Washington Street. This long-time goal would have not been realized without their cooperation and a special plaque will be mounted acknowledging their contribution.
As a welcoming congregation, the UU Church aligned itself naturally with AIDS Services. The combined missions of both organizations serve a common intention to be open and affirming while exhibiting kindness, compassion and love to all who seek solace. Relocation of the Garden in 2007 announced the development of a collaborative partnership to create a contemplative sacred space. The name was changed to the Starr Memorial Garden to reflect agency/church collaboration, honoring Unitarian minister Deane Starr who died from AIDS on November 6, 1996. His son, Paul, died from AIDS in 1992.
The AIDS Cobblestone Memorial Garden was originally dedicated by ASMR on the corner of Spruce and Carroll Streets in September 2000. The Garden was created as a way to remember the lives of individuals who have died from AIDS, and the medical and spiritual caregivers who worked to make a difference in their lives. A total of 45 persons were commemorated between 2000 and 2003, when the cobblestones were removed for safety reasons. The Garden resurfaced in 2007 at its new location.
Cobblestones may be purchased for placement on September 19. The suggested donation is $50 but sliding scale is available upon request. Inscription is 3 lines and 36 characters including spaces. Email email@example.com with engraving text by September 7.
The Keene Unitarian Universalist Church is a welcoming congregation that has served the Keene community since 1824. 603-352-1719, www.keeneuuchurch.org
AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region celebrates 20 years of serving people living with HIV/AIDS in Cheshire County, southern Sullivan County and western Hillsborough County. 603-357-6855, www.asmronline.org Funded, in part, by the City of Keene and the Monadnock United Way.