Murray Church Notes

August 8, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 3

In this Issue:

FROM OUR MINISTER

Do Something!  
Do Something!
Do Something!

Rev. Gretchen Weis
Like so many other Americans, I am heartsick at the back-to-back gun violence last weekend that left 31 innocent people murdered in Texas and Ohio.  Heart sick, numb, grieving.  And too angry to organize a vigil this time.  I am too angry to accept any of this as the “new normal” in America, to accept the ever growing body count ever since the ban on assault weapons expired in 2004.

I am too angry at politicians who live in the hip pocket of the National Rifle Association.  Too angry at those public officials who give lip service to “thoughts and prayers” in the face of the ongoing senseless slaughter, while they do nothing to help keep automatic assault weapons out of the hands of those who hate and are seeking to harm others.

The irony is not lost that the same government that requires all of us to wear seat belts, and requires little ones to ride in special car seats for safety and protection – this same government is doing nothing to help protect us from mass shootings in schools, in churches, mosques and synagogues, at shopping malls, in offices, at a music concert, a local outdoor food festival, a movie theater, or a local Walmart hosting a big back to school sale. 

Yes, these mass murders, carried out by mostly young white men, often involve mental health issues.  They often involve hate-filled white supremacy rants on social media, and target shooting people of color or Jewish or of Muslim backgrounds.  The ongoing glorification of violence in our culture, especially in our entertainment, may also be a factor.  But gun control legislation is the single most important action to help keep weapons of war out of the hands of those who seek to do harm.

We are blessed to live in a state that has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and, not coincidentally, we also have among the lowest incidents of death through gun violence in the U.S.  Despite our tougher gun laws, I don’t hear people in the streets of Boston or Gloucester or Dedham rising up to protest that their Second Amendment right – the right to bear arms – has been taken away from the people of Massachusetts.  But, I don’t kid myself.  Despite the tougher gun regulations here, anyone in Massachusetts can currently access and amass assault weapons found on the Internet.  No one is stopping them.

Here’s where I find hope:  As the governor of Ohio stood up to address the crowd at a vigil to honor the recent dead in Dayton this past week, the crowd began to chant “Do something! Do something! Do something!”  These weren’t radical reformers.  This wasn’t an anti-NRA demonstration.  These were average Americans who have had enough of the carnage.  Average Americans – mothers, fathers, teachers, store clerks, bankers, IT professionals, retirees and more – who are finding their voice, calling on their elected officials to do something – anything – to protect them from ongoing mass murder in public places.

Do something!  Do something!  Do something!  Perhaps we have those courageous high school kids from Parkland, Florida, to thank – those survivors from the mass shooting last year in their high school.   These heartbroken, angry young people – most of them too young to vote – modeled for the rest of us how to stand up publicly to state and nationally elected officials and hold them accountable, demanding changes in gun laws.  As a result, a Republican governor and Republican-led statehouse enacted stricter gun control laws in Florida last year, even when the pundits predicted it would never come to pass.  

Do something!  Do something!  Do something!   In the wake of this week’s chanting, the Republican governor of Ohio yesterday proposed stricter gun control laws in that state. Today, mayors from more than 200 American cities sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on the Senate to return from summer recess and vote to enact two House-passed bills expanding background checks for gun sales.

Do something!  Do something!  Do something!  It would appear that the average American has maybe, finally, had enough of not only mass shootings in public places, but of politicians who do nothing week after week, month after month, year after year as the senseless death toll of innocent men, women and children adds up.  Let us add our voices to the growing cry of average, every day Americans.  I draw hope from these words from poet Adrienne Rich, who writes:
My heart is moved by all I cannot save:  
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
Who, age after age,
Perversely, with no extraordinary
Power, reconstitute the world.
And these words from Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Let us reconstitute the world – change the narrative once and for all to help end mass shootings in America.  I have reached out to area interfaith leaders about organizing a town hall meeting with our nationally elected officials.  Several seem interested in participating.  Stay tuned.

Let us add our voices to the chant, holding our elected officials accountable, demanding that they finally do something to put sensible control legislation in place nationwide.  Better, universal background checks is only a start.  And it is long overdue.

In love, faith, heartbreak and sacred, mobilizing anger,

Rev. Gretchen


Circle of Life

It is with deep sorrow that we announce that long-time church member Joan Macauley died on Monday, August 5th.  She was 96 years old.

Joan will be missed for her keen intelligence, sparkling personality and quick wit, especially by her many friends in the Clara Barton Guild.

The family will not be holding a public memorial service.  For those interested in expressing condolences, the family encourages people to sign the online guest book on the Dyer Lake Funeral Home website.

Donations may also be made in memory of Joan to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904.

Summer Services 2019

Produced by the Religious Services Committee 
 
August 11
Concrete Actions You Can Take Against the Climate Crisis
| Carolyn and Rand Barthel
These days, people are inundated with so much overwhelming information, it can be empowering to be focused and specific in our actions. Come learn what you can do and walk away with a to-do list! Carolyn and Rand Barthel are members of First Universalist Society in Franklin and 350 Massachusetts, a network of volunteer climate activists across the state.
 
August 18
The Evolution of Prayer | Liz Kenyon
Evidence of humans praying dates back to the third century B.C. in the form of a statue of a holy Hindu man holding prayer beads. Over the following centuries, prayer beads have been used by Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Christians. We will touch upon these prayer rituals before focusing on the evolution of prayer in the Christian tradition, including our UU faith.

August 25
Blessing of the Animals | Kavita Vansant
Our pets are part of our family. We love and care for them and in return we receive unconditional love, companionship, comfort and loyalty. Let us acknowledge how our pets uplift our lives, and why we have them. Bring your pet (on a leash/cage, please), a photo of your pet and/or a favorite stuffed animal to be blessed.  The service will be held outside, weather permitting.
 
September 1
The Music Lesson | Ruth Debrot
A musical instrument that lies on the ground makes no sound. It is a musician who must bring “Music” forth. What can Music teach us about our lives? As humans, all of us are musical in some way. The thing is, many people let notes and rhythms get in the way. Join me and explore how Music, on many levels, can be a metaphor for life and living.
 
September 8
Rev. Gretchen Weis Returns to the Pulpit
Water Communion Ingathering Service

RE Registration for 2019-2020 is now open!


Here are the links:

Family: 
https://forms.gle/jBsBwgyRqHdYJfmx8

Youth Group (please note both youth and a parent/guardian must fill out the form):
https://forms.gle/ZwPLiB1RuL6fPU3Y8 
August 10:

Guided Walk:  Getting to Know Your Watershed 

Sponsored by:  Attleboro Land Trust     

Date: Saturday, August 10 (Rain date: August 11) 

Time:  9:00 - 10:30 am
Location:  Larson Woodland, corner of Watson Avenue and Riverbank Road (across from Willett School),  Attleboro 
                        
Chances are that a drop of rain falling in Attleboro will eventually find its way to the Ten Mile River, which runs through the center of the city, then flows into the Seekonk River, which eventually flows into Narragansett Bay. Ben Cote, of Friends of the Ten Mile, will host this introduction to the river.  He will explain the importance of the river and its watershed to past, present, and future generations, as well as to the plants and animals that thrive in its habitat.  For more information, visit the Attleboro Land Trust website at attleborolandtrust.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/attleborolandtrust.  

A Special Thank You      

On Sunday, July 14th, Christine Terreault participated in the Annual Arc Strong 5K Run, Walk & Roll, held in Taunton, MA.  Walking all the way, Christine was able to finish in 1 hour and 32 minutes.  She worked hard to prepare for the 5K and wishes to thank all of the Murray members and friends who supported her in this fundraising effort!

Christine at the finish line
August 13:

Murray Men's Lunch Bunch

Inviting all Murray men to join us for lunch on the second Tuesday of each month at Morin's Diner in downtown Attleboro. This is a very informal gathering for conversation and fellowship. No reservation required, just come as you are. 

If you need a ride, please contact Rob Hasselbaum a few days in advance, and transportation will be arranged.

The next luncheon is on Tuesday August 13th at noon.  Look for us in the back room of Morin's, if you don't see us -- just ask!

August 24:

Murray Music Party


If you sing in the choir, play an instrument, sing in the congregation, or even just listen to everything, please join us for the Murray Summer Music Party at the home of Dennis and Colette Ferguson, 41 Prospect Street, Franklin, MA.

             Date: Saturday, August 24th (Rain date: August 25th)
             Time: 5:00 PM


The hosts will provide barbecue sandwiches (with cole slaw and veggie beans along with a salad.  You may bring a dish to share, along with your favorite beverage (we will have some wines, beers, and iced tea).  

 
Please contact Dennis at if you plan to attend and let him know what dish you are bringing!
August 25: Save the Date!    

All Church Ice Cream Social         

Come have ice cream, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring a friend and have some fun!
 
We will provide ice cream, and you provide the toppings.
 

Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019
Time:  4:30-5:30 pm
Where:  Backyard of Murray Church
Starting Sept. 8:    

Have Your Photo Taken Free for the Murray Church Directory   

It's time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall on any of four Sundays in September, following worship. We invite all Murray members and friends -- especially our many newcomers -- to have their photo taken.  There is no charge.  We encourage everyone -- individuals, couples, families and even family pets --  to participate, as we update our directory for the 2019-2020 church year. 

Once again, we are pleased to have the professional photography experience of church member Phil Frink behind the camera lens.


Photo shoot dates: September 8, 15, 22 & 29
Sept. 14:  Save the Date!

Taste of Faith Picnic

FAREWELL TO SUMMER
TASTE OF FAITH PICNIC

Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  12 PM TO 4 PM
Location:  Goddard Memorial State Park
1095 Ives Road East
Greenwich, RI  02818

This event is sponsored by several congregations of varying faiths.  Everyone is welcome, including children of all ages.  More details will be sent out before the event.

What the Murray Gardens Need

Extra hoses needed.  Before we spend more money on hoses (money that could go toward bulbs to add to the Oval Garden), we thought we’d ask if anyone has a couple of extra garden hoses they no longer want?  We need about 160’ to go from the faucet to the 2nd half of the new Oval Garden.  Please don’t drop off hoses that have leaking splits, but we sure could use ones that need minimal or no repair.  

More help needed on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7ish, we’ll be in the Oval Garden and/or the Memorial Garden.  

Oval Garden:  Needs wet newspapers to prevent weeds from growing though the mulch on top (mulch is from the pile at the back of the church).  The garden also needs deadheading of new plants and frequent watering.

Memorial Garden:  Needs work!  We’ve ignored it while working out front.  Needs 
deadheading, pruning, weeding ASAP!

                                                              Thanks,
                                                               Bill and Rusty Morrow

Needed: Assistants for our Religious Education Program

If you can give an hour a month to assist in the Sunday School classrooms from September to June our children will appreciate it.  You will have a wonderful time getting to know our amazing children and make a difference in their lives. All the support will be provided: a Lead Teacher, lessons and supplies. You just need to come have fun! 

Please contact Kavita or Carol Connolly if you are interested. 

From the Murray Church Food Pantry:  
Volunteer Opportunity Available

Would YOU like to be next in line to fill this satisfying role? To learn what volunteering entails, please contact Barbara Clark. 

We may also need occasional substitute volunteers during the summer.

Food Pantry Donation Suggestions

It's summer vegetable season!  Do you have surplus zucchini?  Donations of any home grown produce would be most appreciated!  

Personal care items would also be most welcome, including deodorant, toothpaste, and feminine care products.


Thank you from the Murray Food Pantry team.

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, August 20th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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