Murray Church Notes

May 23, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 41

In this Issue:

Tonight! May 23:

Annual Meeting Tonight!

There will be an Annual Meeting of all members of
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
in the Unity Room.

Child care will be provided.

To view the 2018-2019 Annual Report, including the proposed budget and slate,
click here


To Go Easy, To Be Filled with Light, and To Shine         

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

It really hit me yesterday, driving down I-95.  And, again, this morning, gazing out at the pond out back.  The leaves aren’t just popping out anymore.  The trees have exploded into their full, fluffy leafy goodness.  Everywhere I look, the world feels lush, fresh, full of verdant abundance.  I guess it’s finally time to put my winter boots away?

Trees.  What magic it is to move through the seasons with them.  From flowering, budding bloom, through the leafy shade they offer in the heat of summer, to the brightly colored falling leaves of autumn, to the stark, bare branches against the winter sky – their transitions lead us through a journey of our own spiritual seasons.  How they companion us.

The beauty that catches my breath this morning reminds me of one of my favorite poems by the late, great poet, Mary Oliver.  I most likely have shared this poem with you before, either in this newsletter column, or from the pulpit, or both.  But my heart aches to share it yet again, as I watch the leaves outside my window stir in a gentle breeze.  It is scripture to me.  Titled, “When I Am Among the Trees,” Oliver writes:
When I am among the trees,
Especially the willows and the honey locust,
Equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
They give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
In which I have goodness, and discernment,
And never hurry through the world
But walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
And call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Hopefully the initial blooming and pollen have passed, and those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies can finally enjoy a walk in the woods.  I invite you to carve out time in the weeks ahead -- to put down the digital devices, head outdoors, and to walk slowly, and bow often, out among the trees.  

It’s a busy time of the year.  The school year is winding down, with proms, and high school and college graduations.  Last week, we celebrated our graduating high school seniors, some of whom will take a gap year, and many others headed off to college.  We are so proud of each and every one of you.  It has been a joy to watch you bloom and blossom right in front of us into the wonderful young adults you have become.  

Our church year is winding down, quickly, as well.  Special thanks to Amy Craig and our fabulous Murray Rock N Roll band for a great spring fundraiser last Saturday night.  Thanks to all involved, Murray raised more than $2,500!

All are invited to attend tonight’s Annual Meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Unity Room, to elect leaders and approve the proposed budget to guide us in the year ahead.  And please plan to attend worship this Sunday, as a guest seminary student shares more about an exciting new summer program created for the churches in our area.  The Building Bridges program will provide a chance for UUs from throughout our region to build friendships with one another in the wonderful camp setting at Star Island, off the coast of New Hampshire.  I plan to be there the full week, July 13 – 20th, and hope others from Murray might join in for either the four-day or full week experience!

As we move through the fullness of spring, into the waiting arms of summer ahead, I invite you to find time to slow the pace of your life down, to pay mindful attention to everything around you, especially to those you love.  May you find those moments that take your breath away, that remind you that:  you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine. 

In love, faith and gratitude,

Rev. Gretchen  

"Building Bridges on Star Island"
McKayla Hoffman will deliver a homily on building bridges between the UU communities in our area. McKayla will discuss an innovative week-long camp experience this July on Star Island (off the coast of NH) where SE Mass UUs will gather to build new relationships with each other so that we can collectively build a stronger, more vibrant UU community in our area.

"Sharing Your Dreams"
This spring, we held a series of Listening Circles to learn what people appreciated most about Murray Church, and what dreams you held for an even better church experience.  Please join us this Sunday as Rev. Gretchen and Janet Richardi, who organized the Listening Circles, share the Listening Circles feedback.

Religious Education for Sunday, May 26

Nursery - This Sunday the nursery is open for parents to use and stay with their child. Nursery parents may also use the John Murray Room which also has toys and the service is piped in.  No child may be left unsupervised. 

We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for board game day and popcorn!  Bring your favorite board games to share.
Youth Group:

We will meet at 10 am in the Purple Chat Room and then drive to Lowe’s to buy paint.  After returning we will start the prep work in the classroom.  Please wear appropriate clothing for painting.

Bridging Service

Bridging service last Sunday was wonderful! Congratulations to our seniors!
This Saturday, May 25:

Food 'n Friends Soup Kitchen
Centenary United Methodist Church, Attleboro

We will be making macaroni and cheese with the usual sides.

We, of course, need helpers for all time shifts between 8 am and 12:15 pm. Volunteers can sign up here. Any amount of time you can help out will be greatly appreciated!
                                                                       -- “Chef” Steph

Food Pantry Closed Memorial Day

The Murray food pantry will be closed on Memorial Day, May 27th, but will be open on Thursday, May 30th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Murray Church in the News

Providence channel 10 WJAR reported on Wednesday evening that Attleboro had the largest decline in opioid deaths in the state this past year.  The people interviewed included our partners with the Greater Attleboro Recovery Network, and Murray Church is mentioned as we host their community resources open house once a month.  Pleased to play our part for those in the community seeking help with addiction, mental health and domestic violence issues.

To view the full video report on the WJAR site, please click here.
June 1:

 Potluck Dinner, 
Movie & Discussion

Save the Date!

"I Am Not Your Negro"
A Documentary Narrated by Samuel Jackson 
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Unity Room

We look forward to a tasty potluck, compelling documentary and thoughtful post-film discussion.  Please plan to join us and invite your friends!  Potluck will begin at 6:00 PM with the film starting at 6:45 PM.
June 2:

Murray Book Group

For our June 2nd meeting, join us in the John Murray Room to share what you have been reading or what you’re thinking about reading during the summer months. We can build our own summer wish lists and create a recommended book list to share with the congregation in the newsletter. If you can’t attend the meeting, but have a book you want to recommend, contact Judy DePue.

Landscape/Gardening Opportunities

Memorial Garden
We made good progress on spring preparation in the Memorial Garden in our Sunday work sessions so far.  During the summer we will work on Wednesdays, late afternoon into early evening.  We plan to work June 5th and 19th, July 10th and 24th, August 7th and 21st, and September 4th.  We do some work and have some good conversations.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.

Front Garden Across from Sanctuary
This will be our third summer working on this area.  Slow and steady?  Or just slow.  We have had a small, dedicated group working on this area the past two summers and with a little more help, we will finish this year.  The first summer, we cleared the overgrown ewes and the unkept brush.  The second summer, we started edging the area, spreading woodchips we got when the electric company cut down a couple trees under the power lines, and moved Savolinen daylilies from the spaces next to the handicapped parking spaces to this area.  We plan to work June 12th and 26th, July 17th and 31st, and August 14th and 28th.  (If you notice these are the alternate Wednesdays to Memorial Garden work, just come each Wednesday and see what we’re doing.)  We will also schedule one time, maybe a Saturday morning, when we will hope for a bigger crew to plant several new plants to finish things up.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.

Recycle Flower Arrangement Containers    

If you got an arrangement from Flowers by the Station for the chancel table and you don't know what to do with the plastic container, Flowers by the Station will recycle it.  You can give me the container and I'll bring it to the florist or you can drop it off at their store at 73 Union Street in Attleboro. 

                                          Irene Yutkins

Murray Rocks!

Special thanks to Amy Craig and the Murray Rock N Roll band, who rocked Fellowship Hall on Saturday Night.  Thanks to all involved, the church raised more than $2,500 for this end of the year spring fling fundraiser!


June 5 & 9:

Membership & Welcoming Committee Outing

The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture is a fun and fascinating collection of 10,000 dolls which tell black history from the African slave trade right up to today.  It is a small museum and all on one level.  Membership & Welcoming invites you to join Murray members in visiting the museum on Wednesday, June 5, leaving Murray parking lot at 12:30 pm for a 1:00 pm tour.  A tour on Sunday, June 9, will leave Murray parking lot at noon for a 12:30 pm tour.  Adult admission is $13; seniors over 62 is $9.  This museum is Social Concern's Dedicated Offering in June.  RSVP to Sandy Stuart.
June 11:

Caregiver Wellness Night

Share a Memory

It’s time to share a memory! On July 21st, I will be conducting one of the summer services with a theme of Happy Surprises. What experience have you had that was an intensely happy surprise, one that brought you delight - an "I didn’t see that coming" or "could not have imagined that happening to me" experience. Sometimes these come from people in our lives, sometimes from nature, or the cosmos itself. Please ponder and consider sharing your writings, poems, musings at the summer service. You can send items to Donna Seagrave.
                                                                       -- Donna Seagrave
July 13 - 16 or 13 - 20:

Building Bridges Summer Camp

Come Join Rev. Gretchen at Star Island -
a UU Summer Camp for All Ages!

A special summer camp program is being offered in July to encourage people from the UU churches in our area to come and share either 4 days or a full week together to build bridges and relationships between our church families.  It’s a summer camp program for all ages on Star Island, a UU camp offshore New Hampshire.  There will be something for everyone:  family time, time to be alone, time to be in nature, time to swim, time for boating, or arts and crafts, time to reflect, time to play, time to learn, time to worship, time to recharge.  

This is a special invitation for anyone, of any age, from one of the 45 area UU churches in southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands and Rhode Island to enjoy summer church camp together.  And Star Island is offering a special discount — 30% off room and board for 3 nights, or 50% off room and board for 7 nights -- to encourage people to come be part of this special area UU experience.  
I’ll be there on Star Island for the week of July 13 - 20, and I invite you to come join me, as well as other ministers and congregants from other area churches!

For more information, and to register for Building Bridges, please visit the site here.

Murray UU Church Scholarships Available

Limited funds are available from the scholarship funds for this church year. The Scholarship Fund is administered by the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses. It is used to award scholarships to any member in good standing, following one full year of membership, for purposes of attending educational courses or training programs approved by this Board. For example, it could be applied toward registration fees for attending Building Bridges church camp or UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.

Volunteer for Coffee Hour

If you like coffee, yummy snacks or just enjoy meeting new people, please consider volunteering for coffee hour. To sign-up, please click here or write your name down on the clipboard at the table where coffee is served.
If you are new or if you need a refresher, step-by-step instructions and friendly hands-on training and/or buddies are all available. Goodies may be bought or baked. 
It's easy! It doesn't require a lot of extra time (show up between 9:15 and 9:30 am to get the coffee going,  and setup/clean up takes about half an hour).  We really need volunteers! Let's keep Murray members and friends caffeinated and in the happy zone.
Questions?  Contact Monica Weil or Barbara Clark.    

Do you like Murray Church coffee hour?  
We are looking to expand the coordination team for next year. Please contact Monica Weil to learn more about this opportunity to serve and have more fun at Murray Church!                                                       

Food Pantry Donations Needed!               

  • Bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste

Newsletter weekly schedule

Please e-mail all newsletter submissions by Tuesday end of day for inclusion in the following Thursday's Murray Notes. The next deadline is Tuesday, May 28th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

What's going on at Murray? Click the calendar!

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