Murray UU Church
About Us And Our Church

505 North Main St, Attleboro, MA 02703
 Phone: 508-222-0505
Email: 
office@murrayuuchurch.org   map/directions 


 


 

About Our Church

 

Our History

 

Famous Unitarian Universalists

 

Our Affirmation of Faith

 

Principles and Purposes

 

Our Mission Statement

 

What Do UU's Believe

 

Annual Meeting

 

The Living Tradition We Share

 History of the Flaming Chalice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 About Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
Murray Church FrontMurray Unitarian Universalist Church is a progressive community of over two hundred and fifty members and friends. As members of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Ballou Channing District, we are part of a liberal religious denomination that stresses individual belief and reasoning. Instead of promoting a specific creed or dogma, we encourage members to develop a personal relationship with the Sacred. Members of Murray Church are devoted to individual freedom, reason, and tolerance. We are rich in diversity with members of all ages and life-styles. The Murray community includes agnostics, atheists, humanists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, Pagans, and Buddhists. Some members prefer to set theological matters aside and concern themselves with philosophical, social, and ethical questions. We welcome all who seek an environment of mutual tolerance and friendship and a free faith in a free society.

As a self-governing democratic organization, members, who have an equal voice in all decision making, elect officers, governors, boards, committee members and approve budgets at our Annual Meeting in May. Day to day operations are handled by the Board of Governors, which consists of the Moderator and seven governors. The Board of Deacons and Deaconesses assist the Minister in advancing the spiritual interest of the church. The Board of Trustees manages and disburses the trust funds of the church.

Other committees include the Religious Services Committee, the Religious Education Committee, the Property Management Committee, the Finance Committee, the Holiday Fair Committee, the Welcoming Committee, the Advocacy & Service Committee, the Caring Committee, the Music Committee, the Board of Auditors, the Committee on Ministry, the Memorial Gifts Committee and the Memorial Garden Committee. Please see Church Government below for a more complete list of all boards, committees and their functions.

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The History of Our Church

It was Spring of 1875...

In 1875 the Rev. J.D. Pierce from the First Universalist Church of North Attleboro began preaching at Union Hall for a growing number of Universalist in East Attleboro. The North Attleboro church was "full" so Rev. Pierce and other visiting ministers would Murray Unitarian Church, AttleboroItravel to preach to those on the east side of town. After Rev. Pierce's service on May 16, 1875, a committee of five was created to look into holding regular services over the summer. 

This group consisted of many recognizable names from Attleboro's history: Charles E. Hayward, A.W. Sturdy, H.N. Richardson, George A. Adams, and W.A. Beatty. On Saturday, May 22, 1875 a second meeting was held at Union Hall to begin raising funds for a minister. The campaign was successful, raising nearly all of the money needed to secure a clergyman.

In the June 19, 1875 minutes it was recorded that the Universalist church would be called Murray Universalist Parish. On June 28th Murray Universalist Society elected officers: S.P. Lathrop - Moderator; W.H. Wade - Clerk; H.N. Richardson - Treasurer; and C.E. Hayward, A.W. Sturdy, George Holmes, L.M. Stanley, and N.B. Lamb - Parish Committee members. Fifty three members signed the original Constitution and Bylaws of Murray Universalist Parish.

In addition, member Edwin J. Horton began construction of a building that would dedicate its second story for Murray's chapel. This building still stands on 40 North Main Street; you might recognize it as Eastern Supply Company. The new building was dedicated on December 16, 1875. This would be home of Murray Parish for almost 10 years. As the parish grew, so did its need for a larger structure Land was purchased at the juncture of Main and County Streets at the center of town in 1881. Ground was broken in October, 1884 and the cornerstone laid in December, 1884. This red sandstone cornerstone was later moved to the new church site at 505 North Main Street and is incorporated into the campanile. 

The Queen Anne style church was designed by architects Gould & Angell of Providence and built by local builder William H. Goff. Although the church was completed in 1885, the official dedication ceremony did not take place until May 13, 1887 when all bills were paid in full. An addition was added in 1907 to the south side. However, by the 1950s Murray once again began tooutgrow its deteriorating building.

In 1954 Murray Church voted to leave its home on South Main Street and purchased a lot the following year just one mile north at 505 North Main Street. Hopes for a "New England" style church were dashed due to the expense, but with the hope that the land and building would be paid for before the parish moved in to its new building. The more modern and less costly plans were designed by architects Washburn, Luther and Associates and built by Dimeo Construction Company. Ground was broken on March 24, 1957 and the building was completed and ready for service by December the same year. In 1967 the school rooms were added at the back side of the building to accommodate the growing church school.

The old structure was torn down in February 1958 and is now the site of Mullaney Twins Memorial Parking Lot across from Morin's Diner. Several details from South Main were salvaged and carried to the new church. The three stained glass windows and hanging lighting fixtures in the sanctuary once adorned the old church and the bell from its tower is now the centerpiece of the Memorial Garden.

memorial garden bellAlthough there are innumerable events in the history of Murray Church there are several that are noteworthy. In 1926 fire at Pilgrim Unitarian Church caused the congregation to close their doors. Dwindling numbers forced them to disband, but several members joined Murray and brought funds that contributed to the building of 505 North Main. Our campanile is dedicated in memory of their generosity. In 1962, Murray voted to join the newly formed Unitarian Universalist Association. Also merging with Murray was theCamanile Dedication congregation of the Community Church of North Attleboro in 1980. The early roots of Murray stem from the overflow of Universalist of North Attleboro spreading out to the east. The church sign is dedicated in honor of them.

In May of 2015, Murray celebrated its 140th "birthday" as a church and installed our 19th called minister. As we look forward to a successful and fulfilling future, let us not forget the historic events that built Murray into the place many call home.

Rachel Killion
April 29, 2015

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Our Mission Statement
We are an active congregation who come together in fellowship to maintain an environment that promotes spiritual growth for  individuals and families and affirms diversity of belief. We reach out in a caring way within our church and beyond with a commitment to build a more loving community.

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Our Affirmation of Faith
Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law. This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace,
to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

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 Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association , covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

The Unitarian Universalist Association shall devote its resources to and exercise its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions, and implement its principles.

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The living tradition we share draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life

Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love

Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

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What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?
We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.

We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.

We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.

We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.

We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.

We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice - and no idea, ideal, or philosophy is superior to a single human life.

We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural product of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.

We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.

We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism - so that people might govern themselves.

We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.

-David O. Rankin; Used with permission of the Unitarian Universalist Association

 

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Murrray Church Annual Meeting
Murray Church's Bylaws state:

"To be entitled to vote at any congregational meeting of the Church, a person must be at least sixteen years of age, have been a member for at least forty-five days, and have made a recorded financial contribution to the Church during the fifteen months preceding the meeting."

At Murray Church's Annual Meeting in May, we vote on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, elect new officers, governors, trustees, and members of standing boards and committees.

If you are interested in voting at the Annual Meeting and are not yet a member of Murray Church, you may want to consider signing the Membership Book during February or early March in order to meet the 45 day membership requirement.

To make a "a recorded financial contribution," at least one of your financial gifts to Murray Church should be made by check or cash and be placed in an envelope with your name(s) written on it. There must be a note on the envelope or inside the envelope explaining what the funds are for.  If paying by check, there should be a clear note on the "memo" line. All financial gifts to Murray Church are greatly appreciated; but we are unable to record gifts given by members who place loose cash in the offering plate each week since we are unable to determine the origin or purpose of those contributions.

 

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