Oregon Memorial Association's 2021 Annual Meeting: Celebrating Life from Beginning to End will take place virtually on Saturday, September 18 from 2pm to 4pm. Join us for a celebration show featuring music and spoken history as we celebrate OMA's successes and accomplishments over the last six decades. Guest speaker author Elizabeth Fournier of Cornerstone Funeral Services will present "Coming Full Circle to Saving the Planet - One Person at a Time" and discuss why green and natural burials are on the rise. Learn more about these sustainable, and often less expensive, burial options.
PLUS...the winner of our Raffle to Support OMA will be announced during the event. Purchase your chance to win by visiting www.omaoregon.org/raffle. A $5 raffle ticket could put you on your way to an overnight trip to the coast plus dinner-for-two at Rouge River Steakhouse, donated by Chinook Winds Casino Resort, an Enterprise of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.
Oregon Memorial Association is excited to announce that Elizabeth Fournier, author and natural burial expert, of Cornerstone Funeral Services will be our guest speaker at our 60th Annual Meeting on September 18 at 2pm! Elizabeth’s presentation will highlight the history of green burials and discuss why natural burials are on the rise.
“We have found that various sorts of natural burial options are increasingly popular due to a collective, heightened consciousness. People aren't interested so much in how they will be remembered, but rather how they can continue to give back. Even in death. Green burials are obviously kinder to the environment and a more natural way to go. This method of disposition provides a habitat for native plants, wildlife and birds to live and flourish.”
Join us as we celebrate OMA’s successes and accomplishments over the past six decades!
Oregon is one step closer to allowing people to turn their bodies into soil after they die. Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2574 on June 15, 2021. The bill will legalize what is known as natural organic reduction, or what some refer to as human composting. It also clarifies rules surrounding alkaline hydrolysis, known as aqua cremation. The law goes into effect July 1, 2022. OMA thanks its members for contacting their state legislators about this bill.
Human composting has begun in Washington and has just been approved in Colorado as well as Oregon. Rep. Pam Marsh, from District 5 in Southern Jackson County, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Brian Clem, said she initially decided to sponsor the bill because constituents in her area are interested in alternative after-death options. Marsh said the state plans to have its rules in place for natural organic reduction facilities by 2022.
Cornerstone Funeral Services in Boring is an OMA contracting mortuary offering simple body disposition packages with transparent pricing for the greater Portland Area. Owner, Elizabeth Fournier, author of “The Green Burial Guidebook,” has already found a business opportunity in natural organic reduction. Her funeral service, which specializes in “green” and eco-friendly after-death services, has given clients the option of natural organic reduction since it was legalized in Washington in 2020.
Fournier takes the bodies to Herland Forest, in Wahkiacus, Washington. It’s a natural burial cemetery about 100 miles east of Portland that offers natural organic reduction. Walt Patrick is the senior steward at Herland Forest, Washington. The cemetery is currently performing some of the first “human composting” burials in the country.
Supporters say HB 2574 could also bring new businesses to the state. Recompose, one of the pioneering human composting companies in Washington, said it plans to open a location in Oregon within the next few years. Recompose said Oregon has a cremation rate of 74.3% and hopes that the option of natural organic reduction would help the state lower the number of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions that enter the atmosphere as a result of cremation. The company said natural organic reduction uses one-eighth the energy of cremation.
In 2020, Fournier witnessed her first natural organic reduction and said it was an eye-opening experience. She said seeing the process for herself also made her more comfortable in talking to her clients about that option. It is expected to be a little more expensive than traditional cremation, but far more environmentally sustainable. Fournier hopes having the option of natural organic reduction readily available in Oregon will be a desirable option for many people.
“This is Oregon! People love their parks, people love their trails, people love their nature, people love their composting and that idea that somebody can become a tree… I think that’s really thrilling for people to know that their remains can absolutely help the environment,” Fournier said.
Partial credit to KOIN news for this 6-15-21 article
FEMA is offering COVID-19 Funeral Assistance to those who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19. Call 844-684-6333 to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.
This link can help answer your questions about obtaining federal relief for burial expenses for anyone who has died of COVID-19. https://www.fema.gov/.../economic/funeral-assistance/faq
We are sorry to announce that, while River View Cemetery Funeral Home reorganizes their operations, our Portland partner of many years will discontinue honoring the discount package it has offered to OMA members. River View will accept Personal Instruction Forms (PIFs) from members until December 31, 2020 and has also offered a 10% discount to members who pre-pay for services by December 31, 2020.
We sent an email communicating this information to impacted OMA members. You can view the communication here. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Cornerstone Funeral Services & Cremation will continue to serve our members and offers discounted packages. OMA's Provider Committee is currently working on updating our list of providers in the Portland-area and beyond and plans to have this information available to members by the end of 2020.
OMA hosted our 59th Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 12. Thanks to our guest speaker, Asher Wallis, our sponsors, and all who attended the event. We hosted the meeting entirely online for the first-time ever. Click the image below to link to the recording of the meeting. The first part of the meeting includes a welcome as well as Asher speaking on the topic of Courage for Today, Preparing for Tomorrow. The business portion of the Annual Meeting begins at approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes into the recording. Or, view our 2020 Annual Report for updates shared during the meeting.
OMA Trustees & Friends contribute articles for the News page.