Murray UU Church | 505 North Main St | Attleboro, MA 02703
January 12, 2017
. . .

"Thanksgiving... Moment by Moment"
Werner John

Join us for a musical exploration of the American holiday and what it can teach us about life. Selections will include a European ensemble of the 1620s, live Native American flutes, and Werner John's new composition,
"A Thanksgiving Suite"
for Native flute and drum, harpsichord and cello. 

Werner John is an independent musician
and recording artist specializing in wood flutes. He currently lives
in Vermont.

. . .



"Whose Are We?"

Rev. Gretchen Weis
When we ask the question, "Who am I?" it can often lead to a deeper question: "Whose am I?" Our personal identity is defined by relationship. Who needs you? Who loves you and whom do you love? To whom are you accountable? Whose lives are altered by your choices? Quaker teacher Douglas Steer reminds us that our lives are transformed by the bonds we create and keep with others. In our faith, those bonds are defined by covenant: the promises we make to one another to create relationships built on mutual respect, trust and caring. In a world growing more rude and cruel each day, it is no small thing to pledge to treat one another with kindness.

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If you missed a service, or simply would like to listen to a particular sermon again, our sermons are now available on our website and are downloadable as MP3 files. Use our website link below and click on the sermon link at the top of the page and either listen or download the sermon of your choice. You can also access current and back issues of Murray Notes. Just click on the Church News link. Thanks to Bill Jones for working on these projects!
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Murray Church Office


When the Weather Outside is Frightful


  When a winter storm moves in, should we cancel
  Sunday morning services? Or open up as usual? In the
  wake of last weekend's snow, a few folks raised
  questions about how that decision gets made and
  communicated, as it impacts staff as well as the many
  volunteers who come to church on a Sunday morning
  whether to help set up for worship, teach Sunday

  School classes, make coffee, or come to play music or sing in the choir. These are important questions, because the safety of staff and volunteers is the number one consideration used to decide whether to cancel services or open as usual. 

Here is how our inclement weather process works at Murray Church: The president of the board and the minister confer by phone on both Saturday evening as well as bright and early on Sunday morning to make the final call, together. We rely on area television weather reports and forecasts. In addition, I also subscribe to the government's National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) weather forecasting service. As a result, I receive weather advisories, warnings and travel advisories in real time - the same information the TV and radio stations subscribe to for their weather news forecasts. (My teaching pastor taught me about using NOAA when I was a minister intern.)  

We pay careful attention to the current and forecasted travel advisories, noting whether ice or flooding are expected on the roads - anything that might compromise driving safety. We often consult with others, from the property chair, to make sure the church parking lot would be plowed, shoveled and salted in time, to the DRE to understand what special children's programming activities might be impacted.  

If general driving conditions are expected to be hazardous on Sunday morning, we decide to cancel services. There is a protocol in place that the president, the minister, or the office administrator uses to contact several area media outlets. Our cancellation announcement is added to the list of cancellations reported on Sunday morning news, scrolling at the bottom of the TV screen.  

If the roads are expected to be plowed, and clear for traffic by about 9:00 am Sunday morning, we may choose to open up as usual. However, even if the church is open, safety should always be your number one consideration in deciding whether it is safe for you to drive in for Sunday morning volunteer duties. We fully understand that everyone's situation is different. Not everyone lives on or near the main roads that get plowed first. If you feel it is not safe to drive, please, please don't attempt to come in. We also fully understand not everyone has the equipment or the capabilities to shovel their driveways out in time to make it to church.  
Nursery is available from 9:45 am -- 11 am. The nursery is located in the Religious Education Wing and is the first room on the left.
Children and Youth Group:
Sunday, January 15th - Children & Youth are encouraged to attend the multi-gen Music service.  
RE Events:
Drive-In Movie Night on Saturday, February 4th,
starting at 6:30 pm in Harmony Hall.

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Care Packages for Our College Students

 The RE program is planning to send small care
 packages to our young adults who are
 attending college, to remind them that we here
 at Murray Church are thinking of them and
 miss and support them in their pursuits. Our
 goal is to send the packages twice a year, in
 the late fall and late spring, before final exams. 

If you have a college student who would welcome a care package, please email Kavita at with your student's name and a recent photo, and the name of the student's college or university.
Thank you!
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Feb. 4:
Drive-In Movie Night!
The Religious Education Committee will be holding their annual Drive-In Movie Night on Saturday, February 4, starting at 6:30 pm in Harmony Hall.

The movie to be shown will be
Rated PG (108 min.)
Movie Description:

From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.


This will be a fun evening for families and friends. We will transform Harmony Hall into a drive-in. Every family will have their own "car" area to enjoy the movie. We want everyone to be comfy and cozy so come in PJ's, and bring blankets or sleeping bags! 


We are also encouraging everyone to bring friends. The more the merrier! If you could provide a snack to share and a donation for our Food Pantry, it would be greatly appreciated. 

We are looking forward to seeing you there!
The Giving Tree

The gifts from the Giving Tree were distributed to refugee families.
Jan. 21:
Join Us for the Women's March

Getting Ready for the Big March -- All who are planning to march in the Women's March on January 21st, whether you'll be marching in 

Washington DC, Providence or Boston, are invited to meet this Sunday, January 15th at 11:30 am in the Woodland Room. We will share information, discuss expectations and concerns, make plans to meet up at the different march locations, and prepare signs.

Please contact: 

Barbara Clark at 508-222-6164, or

know if you plan to attend or wish you could (for a handout count). 

On Being Vigilant with Building Perimeter Safety
An Important Reminder...
Safety and security on our church property is the responsibility of all regular members, friends and space renters. Our building perimeter has many doors that get used very frequently. These doors must be closed and locked securely each time we leave for the day or the night after our visit is completed.
Before leaving please check the door knob from the outside and make sure the lock is set. On most if not all of our doors, you can tell if the lock is set properly on the inside when you see the center lock insert facing horizontally. If the center insert is facing vertically then the lock is not set. Our main front (sanctuary entrance) door requires a key to lock it on one side and the other side has two frame latches that must be set. 

Please check the door handle and the door latches to make sure they are properly locked. Your vigilance when exiting the building (don't assume that "someone else" will check it and make sure it is locked) will help to keep those remaining in the building safer and also protect the building after all authorized and expected users have left for the day or night. Your cooperation and help with this is much needed and greatly appreciated!                         

Thank you!

Executive Board and the Property Committee

Jan. 22:
January Dedicated Offering:
Mercy Corps is guided by our first principle of UUism:  the worth and dignity of each individual. Like our UU Service Committee, it works with those receiving the aid, in each phase - from planning, to delivery, to evaluation. 

An important reason that we chose Mercy Corps is that they are one of the few organizations providing aid in war-torn Syria (the conditions are so dangerous for physicians, reporters, and aid workers that many have left Syria, to save their own lives). Considering the great need in Syria, we feel that Mercy Corps is a good choice to help the people of this land.

You can be sure that Mercy Corps will provide experienced, efficient, effective aid (and you can learn more about their work at

We thank you for the many ways in which you put your faith into action, including with our Dedicated Offering.

Thank you! 

~ The Social Concerns Committee

Volunteer for Coffee Hour!
  We need volunteers to sign up and  host coffee hour after services each Sunday. Hosts are needed for the following dates:
 January 29th, February, March & April

Step-by-step instructions and a friendly hands-on training and/or buddies are all available. Goodies may be bought or baked. Let's keep Murray Church members and friends caffeinated and in the happy zone after the Sunday service.
Questions? Contact
Sheila Jacobs at or 
Barbara Clark at
Thank you for your kind consideration.
To the Murray UU Church Food Pantry Staff

Thank you for the countless hours and efforts you give 

to the community to run your food pantry. God bless.

~ From a Food Pantry Client


  • Especially feminine hygeine products!
  • Bath tissue
  • Shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, lotion, etc.
  • Adult diapers - all sizes 
All donations are greatly appreciated, but, our clients are particularly grateful for the personal care items.
Thank you for your continued support!
Bill, Bruce, Sue & Barbara

Murray Church Food Pantry Team

Jan. 25:
HELP NEEDED to Unload Food Delivery Trucks

We receive food twice a month, and we need help receiving the delivery.

Food pick-up times are the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month. The trucks need to be unloaded 

requiring some lifting. If anybody can be available on those days for about 2 hours, 10:45 am -- 12:30 pm, we could use your help.

This is one way Murray reaches out and is visible in the community, but it takes many volunteers to receive and distribute the food. If there are any strong bodies available at the mentioned times who would like a light workout, please contact:  Roger Boucher at 508-838-8249, or email at
Thank you!
Hello, From the Deacons & Deaconesses!

The D&D's are looking to expand the usher list for special occasions and memorial services. The expanded usher list will be used for interfaith services, memorial services, and larger holiday services. You are always welcome, but certainly not required to sign up for regular Sundays every month or attend the monthly D&D meetings. 


If you have ushered before and would like to help, have any interest in being an usher in the future, or have any questions about ushering, please contact Heidi Ferreira at


Thank you very much!

Jan. 28:

Murray Hosts Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen

Murray Hosts the Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen every 4th Saturday of the Month, from 8 am -- 12:30 pm, at Centenary Methodist Church, located at 39 North Main Street in Attleboro.
Help out once for an hour! You'll make all the difference!
Some of the tasks we need help with:
      • Cutting up salad veggies
      • Setting tables
      • Preparing main dish
      • Serving guests
      • Washing dishes
For more information, contact Stephanie Paquette at or (call or text) 401-603-8386.
Jan. 28:
Dinner and a Movie Discussion Night 
Let's get together, share a potluck supper, watch an interesting film and discuss it together on Saturday evening, January 28th in the Unity Room. Potluck set up and serving begins at 5:30 pm and we will begin the movie around 6:30 pm, with a lively discussion to follow until 9:00 pm. Childcare will be provided if 3 or more children are registered. Please RSVP with LaChelle in the office, 508-222-0505 or 

The movie:  a British film called PRIDE and is rated R. It's set in the summer of 1984 and much of blue-collar Great Britain is on strike. For one tiny Welsh village of coal miners, the strike brings unexpected visitors - a group of London-based activists who decide to begin raising money to support the miners' families and come to make the donation in person. This heart-warming comedy about the relationship between two groups who are worlds apart, is based on a true story. The true story ending will absolutely amaze.        

 The more the merrier!  Potluck dinner assignments are alphabetic. If your last name begins with ________, please bring:

  A-C - dessert

D-G - a side dish, salad

 H-L - chips & dip, popcorn, cheese & crackers, hummus, snacks

M-R - meat or vegetarian main dish

 S-Z - beverages:  water, soda, lemonade, juice, beer or wine

See you at the movies!

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Jan. 29:
Come Enjoy Brunch with Your Murray Friends

       WHEN:   Sunday, January 29th, 2017 at Noon

    WHERE:    Morin's located at 16 S. Main St., Attleboro, MA 02703

        COST:    Based on menu prices.

Everyone will order individually from the menu. Plan to join the fun! The Membership Committee will have a sign-up sheet during coffee hour.

Seeking Recruits for the Murray Super Bowl 

Soup Sale!

The next soup sale will be on February 5th. We are recruiting your best receipes for soups & chili. So, if you have a favorite that you would like to contribute to the sale, please contact
Laurie Lawes at
Murray's 2nd Annual 
As winter comes in, think spring and the Murray Church 2nd Annual Treasure & Talent Auction. SAVE THE DATE:  April 29th, 2017. The auction will again feature a silent auction, a dinner buffet, and a live auction. Think about what you can donate. We will need items for the 2 auctions. More information will follow January.
Irene Yutkins
Auction Chair

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Feb 5:   
Sunday Book Group
On Sunday, February 5th, 
we will discuss: 
The Faith Club:

A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew-

Three Women Search for Understanding

by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, 

& Priscilla Warner

  After September 11th, these three mothers
  got together to write a children's picture book
  to highlight the connections between their
  religions. After just a few meetings, however,
  it became clear that the women themselves
  needed an honest and open environment where they could admit -- and discuss -- their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about one another. They wrestle with issues of anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims, and preconceptions of Christians at a time when fundamentalists dominate the public face of Christianity. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, they grew close enough to discover and explore what united them. The Faith Club is a memoir of spiritual reflections in three voices that will make readers feel as if they are eavesdropping on the authors' private conversations.
THE SUNDAY BOOK GROUP typically meets the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 am in the John Murray Room. All are welcome. Please feel free to bring a bagged lunch. The Mission of the Book Group is for people to select, read, and discuss interesting books that broaden our minds and challenge how we perceive the world. Books are chosen by consensus, of reasonable length, and library accessibility.
Feb. 11:
Next Leadership Development Workshop
Our next Leadership Development Workshop will be held on Saturday, February 11th from 8:30 am to noon in the John Murray Room. Rev. Gretchen will be using the Harvest the Power curriculum. All are welcome. No experience needed. If you attended a workshop last year, this class material will be new for you. Please RSVP with LaChelle to sign up for the class at 508-222-0505 or Childcare can be provided if 3 or more children register.
Feb. 20:
Help Save a Life: Donate Blood on Monday, February 20th, 2017 at Murray Church!

We are excited to partner with the Red Cross and be a blood donation center on Monday, February 20th, 2017 from 1:00 pm -- 6:00 pm in Fellowship Hall. This is an opportunity to help save a life by giving the gift of life! You can read about the blood giving process on the Red Cross website: If you are a regular blood donor, please check your eligibility schedule and plan to be with us on that date. If you have not given blood before, please review the details on the Red Cross website and determine if you are eligible.

We will need to recruit donors in advance and help with scheduling their appointments. Our goal for this blood drive is to collect at least 30-35 donations. We would like to exceed this number if possible and establish Murray Church as a regular donation site for the surrounding community. There is an urgent need for blood in our area and we hope you are able and willing to give at this our first blood drive in 2017! More details will follow in the newsletter over the next few weeks and appointment sign-ups will be done during coffee hours (look for our sign-up table).

Please contact Jim Richardi at or the church  office to schedule your appointment. We will also send out reminders for your appointment. Thank you!

continue...the Weather...  
No volunteer assignment on a Sunday morning is more important than any one person's health and personal safety. If not enough Religious Education teachers are able to make it in, no worries. From arts and crafts projects to games, Kavita, our director of lifespan religious education, prides herself with having Plans B, C, D up her sleeve, to keep our children, youth and teens actively engaged. If several of our D&Ds aren't able to attend, we can always tap former D&Ds in the room to help out with worship set up and ushering. If some of our musicians aren't able to get here, the music team is an amazingly talented and resourceful group of folks who could probably come up with their own Plans B, C, D as needed. And I feel fairly certain we can always find someone here who can get the coffee pots going in the kitchen, if the coffee hour volunteer can't make it in.

Over the past three winters I've been here, we cancelled one Sunday morning worship service and one Saturday evening RE children's activity, in the interest of weather-related safety.

Based on useful feedback following this past weekend, here is where I think our current storm-related process could use some improvement: While we have a clear communication protocol if we decide to cancel, and are able to get the word out using the local media's reporting systems, we don't do a good job of communicating when we decide to open up as usual. I can appreciate that people are tuning in on Sunday mornings trying to figure out if church is open or closed. Currently, the only way to know that we plan to open is by the absence of information - no closure announcement.

I think that we can do better, especially since the church has two Facebook pages - an overall church page and a page dedicated to our RE program. In the event of questionable weather, we will continue to use local media to get the word out about cancellations. And, it makes good sense going forward to post on our Facebook pages both when church is cancelled, AND when church is expected to open up as usual for Sunday Services. That way, people with access to Facebook can get their "is the church open or closed" questions answered more quickly with greater clarity. If the church decides to hold services as usual, it will be up to each of you to make the decision to drive in, or not, depending on your personal safety situation.

I welcome any additional questions or comments you may have about this issue, or about any of the many policies and procedures we have in place here at Murray Church. Your elected officials are committed to open, transparent governance. Our policies and procedures are living processes, always open to ongoing evaluation and improvements.

We are thrilled to be back at full staff this week, with Kavita back from her trip to India and LaChelle back from the flu! I am grateful for the many contributions they make day in and day out -- as well as those from Dennis and Richard -- to keep our church's ministries, activities and physical environment running as smoothly as possible. The next time you see one of our wonderful staffers on the job, I invite you to consider saying "thank you" for all they do.

Hope to see you in church this Sunday, our annual music service, when guest flutist Werner John will share his knowledge, love and spiritual connection to the Native American flute.

In love and faith

(No matter what the weather),
Rev. Gretchen 

If the weather outside is frightful, the minister and board president will confer to determine if worship services must be cancelled by 6:30 am on a Sunday morning. WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV5, FOX25 and WPRI-12, FOX Providence will air any Sunday Service cancellations during the morning news.

Websites for cancellations:,,
Cancellations will also be posted on our Facebook page: 
Be sure to "Like" us to see updates in your news feed.