Murray UU Church
Social Concerns

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

 

 


Addressing Hunger Issues

Murray Church Food Pantry
Food n Friends  Soup Kitchen
CROP Walk

 

Green Sanctuary

Environmental Activism
Green Reel
Climate Action Day - 350
Walk for Nuclear Free Future


 

Social Outreach
Social Concerns Committee
Guest at Your Table Program
Cancer Society - Relay for Life
 
Equal Exchange- Fair Trade
Promise the Children
UU Mass Action Network

 


What We Do

Social Concerns is a Social Justice group of Murray UU Church whose mission is to create a better world in which to live. This is accomplished through educational programs, volunteering for community-based programs that improve the local community and to support financially, with our voices, and our actions, the global effort to create a just world. Some of our goals are:

▶ To provide opportunities for members and friends of the congregation to participate in social service projects, including collecting money, donating food and clothing, and    supporting area shelters and youth programs.
▶ Enable members and friends to witness about social issues, including writing letters and visiting elected officials, writing letters to the editor of our local newspaper.
▶ Develop public statements in the name of the committee or where appropriate, in the name of the congregation.
▶ Use the special talents of congregation members to implement change.
▶ Ensure that the congregation building is used to facilitate social change: open building for community groups, allow controversial groups to meet.
▶ Suggest the congregation’s financial resources are used for moral ends: ethical investing of endowment funds; fundraising for community projects.
▶ Strengthen alliances with area organizations such as Resource Center, Project Bread and Council of Churches.

For the latest news regarding Social Concerns,  please refer to the weekly 'Murray Notes' newsleter.   Here are some of our ongoing projects...

 


 

 

Addressing Hunger Issues

Murray Church Food Pantry
 The Murray Church Food Pantry is an all-volunteer run outreach program of Murray Unitarian Universalist Church. This service is provided by the generosity of Murray Church members & friends in the greater Attleboro community.

We are open for grocery bag distribution two days a week on Mondays & Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 AM, weather permitting.  

Our volunteers work to ensure that bags of food are readily available for people to come and pick up.  In addition to distributing bags of food, we provide information to our recipients about about area food resources to assist them in achieving self-sufficiency.

For more information, please visit our Food Pantry Page.

 

Food ‘N Friends Soup Kitchen Visits
The Attleboro Area Council of Churches opened the first Food n Friends Soup Kitchen in 1985. This program has now expanded to 6 kitchens, serving hot and nutritious food to those in need in Attleboro, North Attleboro, Seekonk and Mansfield

Murray Church coordinates the Food n' Friends Soup Kitchen visits on the last Saturday of the month. Help is needed from 8:30am-12:15pm at the Centenary United Methodist Church, (pictured at left), located on the corner of 39 North Main and 15 Sanford Street, across from the Attleboro YMCA.

Please use the entrance located down the ramp at the side of the building. Even if you can come for an hour or two during that time, it would be greatly appreciated. Strong able bodies are especially needed to set up tables -- can you spare 30 minutes?  

To learn how you can help or for more information, please call the Church office at 508-222-0505

 

CROP Hunger Walk
crop-walk.gifCROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. Murray Church sponsors a team for the local Attleboro Walk that takes place every year in October. CROP Hunger Walks help children and families worldwide -- and right here in the U.S. -- to have food for today, while building for a better tomorrow.

Each year some two million CROP Hunger Walkers, volunteers, and sponsors put their hearts and soles in motion, raising over $16 million per year to help end hunger and poverty around the world and in their own communities.

Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of 36 Christian denominations and communions working together to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice among the world's most vulnerable people.

Within the United States, Church World Service assists communities in responding to local hunger and disasters, resettles refugees, promotes fair national and international policies, provides educational resources, and offers opportunities to join a people-to-people network of local and global caring through participation in CROP Hunger Walks,

 


 

 

Green Sanctuary

 Green Sanctuary at Murray UU Church

What is Green Sanctuary?  The Green Sanctuary Program provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action in response to environmental challenges. It provides a structure for congregations to examine their current environmental impacts and move towards more sustainable practices in ways grounded in Unitarian Universalism.  The program has four focus areas: Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, Sustainable Living and Environmental Justice.

Murray Church formed a Green Sanctuary Team, which was recognized by the Executive Board in June 2014.

Our Charter Statement: The Green Sanctuary Team at Murray UU Church is committed to encourage and support our congregation in its ongoing pursuit of environmentally sustainable practices. Our purpose is to minimize our footprint on the earth, in the face of the global climate change. We do this as an expression of living our UU values.

 


 

 

Environmental Activism

The Green Reel - Films for Sustainable Living

Murray Church sponsors the Green Reel Film Series. These thought provoking and informative films explore "the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." A short discussion, led by an expert in the topic follows each film.

These films are suitable for youth in middle school and older. The Social Concerns Committee's goal with these films is to help stimulate thought about what issues we would like to address as a congregation.

All films are shown for free on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. at the Boyden Library by the Foxboro common and are free. A moderated discussion follows each film. For more information, please contact The Green Reel Collaborative.

UPCOMING FILMS

March 5, 2017 - GMO OMG
How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take director Jeremy Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agri-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

March 19, 2017 - Organic We Trust
What exactly is certified organic food? Is it really better for us, or just marketing hype? Is organic the key to transforming our food system? The first half of the film digs deep to investigate what “certified organic” means and the truth behind the labeling and marketing.The second part of the film highlights the variety of ways this philosophy is now changing how we grow and eat our food on a broad scale, well beyond just growing organic.

April 23, 2017 - Force of Nature
David Suzuki, iconic Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster, and activist shares his powerful autobiography of ideas--forged by the major social, scientific, cultural and political events of the past 70 years.He articulates a core, urgent message: we have exhausted the limits of the biosphere and it is imperative that we re-think our relationship with the natural world. Suzuki looks unflinchingly at the strains on our interconnected web of life--and out of our dire present circumstances he offers up a positive blueprint for sustainability and survival.

Download 2017 Movie Schedule Flyer Here

 

Climate Action Day - 350

climate2.jpg

Murray member, Stephanie Paquette baked a cake representing the the dramatic rise in the earth's temperature in relation to the rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Several environmentally concerned Murray members were involved in Climate Action Day activities at the North Attleboro Farmers Market. This event was sponsored locally by Attleboro Area Climate Action - 350, an offshoot of the 350.org campaign that's building an international movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. The mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis-to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. The focus is on the number 350, the most important number in the world—it's what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Our Tavle at the Farmers Market

Murray Church member, Greg Wehmeyer

Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million.

This grassroots movement is working hard to organize all over the planet. This October they organized a 'global work party' all over the world. People put up solar panels, dug community gardens—and sent a strong message to our leaders: 'If we can get to work on solutions to the climate crisis, so can you.'

The theory of change is simple: if an international grassroots movement holds our leaders accountable to the latest climate science, we can start the global transformation we so desperately need.

For more pictures of the event, go to the Attleboro 350 website.

 

New England Peace Pagoda Walkers at Murray Church

Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future

Murray UU Church opens its doors for walkers from the New England Peace Pagoda. The walkers have been invited to stop by Murray Church to rest for the night and have a potluck dinner provided by members of our congregation. Their 2 month walk originates in Burlington, VT, and finishes in New York City in time for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review by the United Nations in May. Peace walkers from three other routes also converge at the U.N. building at that time. Typically, a few members of the church accompany them on their walk through the Attleboro area before bidding them farewell.

 

 


 

Social Outreach

 

Murray Church’s Social Concerns Committee

Murray's Socal Concerns Committee was created as an offshoot of our continued involvement with Social Concerns. Members are needed to build and strengthen upon Murray Church's commitment to social action, locally, regionally and globally. We welcome new members to our committee to discusss and devise ways for us to live out our Unitarian Universalist values What social issues need Murray’s action? Join Social Concerns Commitee to be part of the solution.

Can you commit a few hours to environmental concerns? Should we consider the UUA study/action issue about global warming or children and poverty? How does Welcoming Congregation move forward exploring gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues? Can’t commit to a specific Food ‘n Friends Soup Kitchen date; add your name to the phone bank of volunteers who will be called on when needed.

 

Guest at Your Table - Advancing Human Rights Around the World


2010-11 Guest at Your Table boxIn the fall each year we open our Guest at Your Table program. This is an annual UU tradition of being mindful of our blessings and giving back to others less fortunate.

When we bring home our Guest at Your Table boxes and place them prominently where we regularly gather, our families and friends have the chance to delve into several real struggles for justice and how Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) advances human rights in the US and around the world.

Each box comes with a copy of Stories of Hope, to helps children, youth, and adults learn more about how UUSC works to change our world for the better. The stories introduce human-rights champions like Carolina Lara, a youth leader of a movement in Ecuador that successfully lobbied to have the human right to water included in the country’s new constitution.

Please consider making it part of a mealtime ritual to read through one of the stories and discuss its meaning and how we can help. When we share our blessings with our “guests,” we ensure that UUSC and people like Carolina can continue their important work.

 

American Cancer Society's Relay For Life
"Leading by example fosters a caring and giving spirit in our children" 

Relay for Life The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities Relay for Life Luminary Bagsacross the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At the Relay,  teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.

Murray Church Members and Friends sponsor Team "Rainbow Chasers" in this annual fundraiser. It is a moving experience to see so many people of all ages coming together for a common goal, beating cancer so there can be more birthday celebrations. Participants may walk the course, light a candle of hope for a loved one, take a chance on our lottery drawing or stay for the entire event. Opening Murray's doors and reaching out to the greater community continues to be a very important part of our mission here at Murray.

 

Equal Exchange - Fair Trade & Murray Church

The fair trade program at Murray Church up and running! Each month, we will collect advance orders from congregation members, aggregate those orders, purchase items wholesale from Equal Exchange and then distribute them to congregation members at a savings from retail cost.

You can use the electronic order form [HERE], or pick up a printed order form from the social concerns bulletin board in the office wing, and after you fill it out, put into the envelope labeled for coffee orders located in the social concerns mailbox outside the church office.

We aim to foster awareness and support of fair trade certified foods, which are sustainably and organically grown and harvested, and ethically sourced from around the world. In this endeavor we strive to live UU values including inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.

Our monthly orders will be for non-perishable items, such as coffees, teas, etc. We set up a simplified order form based on the most requested items from past sales. However, if you are interested in an Equal Exchange product that is not currently listed, please let us know and we can include it! In this way, we can grow our program to meet your preferences. You can explore all that is available at http://equalexchange.coop/products.


Murray Church serves Equal Exchange coffee & teas during Coffee Hour. Equal Exchange sells a variety of products, including coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa.

When you purchase products from the Equal Exchange fair trade cooperative, this benefits farmers (pictured at right), Equal Exchange employees (a local company), and you.  

Equal Exchange is a certified Fair Trade association, working directly with coffee growers. By serving Equal Exchange coffee, the Welcoming Committee is aligning our weekly Coffee and Fellowship Hour with our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes.  Equal Exchange coffees are certified Fair Traded, certified organic and certified kosher.

Visit our Equal Exchage page for more information!

 

Promise the Children Inc.

 The Advocacy and Service Commitee supports the Massachusetts UU organization called Promise The Children Inc which was originally founded by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is looking for advocates to help improve the lives of Massachusetts children and those that care for them. Their purpose is to help Unitarian Universalists advocate for and with young people. Promise gives special priority to initiatives that promote the well-being of low-income children and youth.

Promise’s main activities include:

  • Researching policy issues and educating our members about legislative campaigns.
  • Lobbying legislators through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mails and petitions.
  • Leading worships, discussions and trainings at churches.
  • Building relationships with church members, local advocates, education experts, and lawmakers.

Over the last five years, Promise The Children has supported voluntary early education for children who are ages 3 to 5 and living in Massachusetts. Our work along with that of colleague organizations has generated a functioning Massachusetts Department of Early Education that is coordinating public preschool education in our towns. They have also consistently advocated for funding for the Massachusetts Housing Trust Fund. Since the inception of the Trust Fund in 2001, more than $60 million has been committed to assist in the construction or renovation of 4,358 units of housing. Of these, 80% (3,546 units) are affordable for eligible working families.

 

UU MASS Action Network

 

Justice Now!

   UU MASS ACTION NETWORK
                               
 UU SOCIAL ACTION BETTER TOGETHER

UU Mass Action raises UU voices for justice and helps you enhance your social action by connecting UU churches with each other. Check our web site www.uumassaction.org for social action resources. Join our conference calls for support on your social action program. Attend one of our workshops. Join the email list for the weekly e-alerts.
 

For more information about these and other Social Concerns Committee activities and events, contact Bruce Field.
Please call the Church office for contact Information or consult your Church directory.

Important Social Concerns Links

Welcoming Congregation Home Page

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  (for other advocacy and service
opportunities, news and information.

     


 

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