End-of-Life Ministry

A field surrounded by a few trees, with a wide-open sky above.
Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary

Image courtesy of Rev. Bill Gupton.

Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church has a special end-of-life ministry.

Part of that ministry has been the creation of Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, under the leadership of our Senior Minister, Rev. Bill Gupton.

Heritage Acres is the first and only dedicated natural burial ground in the Cincinnati area. It exists to provide a “green burial” alternative for the Tri-State while offering compassionate care to individuals and families as they grieve and process the transitions of life and death. Heritage Acres also offers educational and recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature. You can learn more at the Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary website.

As part of our Heritage Church end-of-life ministry, we also:

~ Assist members of our church family with pre-planning and making advance arrangements for their own deaths, and those of their loved ones.

~ Provide information about alternative end-of-life resources such as home funerals, natural burials, and support services.

~ Provide companionship, in love and compassion, to members of our church family as they journey toward death’s doorstep.

~ Assist members of our church family as they deal with the logistics and arrangements involved in the death of a loved one.

~ Assist survivors in the logistics and arrangements involved at the time of the death of a member of our church family.

~ Provide pastoral resources at the time of death, immediately following the death, and in the days after the death.

~ Provide a loving, caring, and individually appropriate memorial service for members of our church family or their loved ones.

~ Support and provide resources and direct care for those who wish to care for a deceased loved one at home, wish to create a home funeral for a loved one, or desire a home funeral for themselves.

~ Provide sacred space, resources, pastoral support and direct care for those who wish to have a home funeral at the church.

  • Gretchen Norman-Elliston Memorial Service

    Gretchen Norman-Elliston Memorial Service

    Heritage Church member Gretchen Norman-Elliston, who passed away under hospice care at SEM Haven in Milford, will be honored with a memorial service on Sunday afternoon, December 17, at 2:00 p.m. in the Heritage sanctuary.

    The Caring Circle would appreciate volunteers who can be of help at the memorial service. Please contact Joann Meyer at:

    Those who are interested in sharing memories of Gretchen Norman-Elliston are invited to leave a video tribute. You can do so at the Gretchen Norman-Elliston Tribute Page.

If you have questions about the church’s end-of-life ministry programs, please contact our Senior Minister.