Murray Church Notes

September 13, 2018

Volume 7,  Issue 7

In this Issue:

Now it is Time for Gathering In
 By Reverend Gretchen Weis

We rest on the bridge of autumn, as a new church year begins.  We're seeing the pace here at Murray pick back up, from choir rehearsals to committee meetings, Holiday Fair cookie workshops and preparations for Sunday School, scheduled to start on September 30th.
To paraphrase the words of Patricia Shuttee, summer is fading backward into memory.  Speaking of summer, we want to thank the Religious Services Committee, who organized and offered tremendous summer services from the last weekend in June through Labor Day weekend.  Special thanks to the committee members who worked on the summer services:  David Calusdian, Sheila Jacobs, Monica Staaf, Don Michaels and Marguerite MacLean.  I'd also like to lift up and celebrate all of the wonderful musical talent and support Ruth Debrot provided throughout the summer.  Thanks also to the many Murray members and friends who led a summer worship service, and to the Deacons & Deaconesses (D&Ds) who volunteered their worship set-up and ushering services over the summer.
We are also pleased to announce that Jeanne Chapman has joined us as our new part-time office administrator.  Jeanne brings significant office experience to her new role here at Murray Church.  Please swing by the office Tuesdays through Fridays to say "hi," introduce yourself, and welcome Jeanne on board.  We are thrilled to have her!
I had a wonderful summer, and hope you and your loved ones did as well, despite the heat and humidity.  It feels good to be back in full swing, as we begin our fifth year of shared ministry, together.  Where would we like this year to take us, as a people of faith, dedicated to the work of love and justice? 
What does highest love call YOU to do?  There are many ways to serve needs greater than your own, whether here at Murray Church, or out in our larger community.  As we begin a new church year together, be watching the newsletter for opportunities to get involved.  Perhaps you feel the call to be a Sunday School teacher or a teacher's aid several Sundays a month?  Please talk to Kavita Vansant, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education, as there are many different ways and levels of commitment available to help support the spiritual growth and development of our children, youth and teens.
Perhaps you are musically inclined?  If you love to sing, consider joining the choir.  And, if your musical talents lean more to rock and roll, know that Murray has its own house rock band.  Thanks to Dennis Ferguson, our Music Director, and the many talented members of our choir, there are many ways to get involved and make a musical mark here at Murray.
Maybe you have talents in the kitchen?  The Holiday Fair Cookie Monsters are always looking for folks to join in the fun as they prepare more than 600 dozen cookies, countless pies and holiday breads for the Fair in mid-November.  Come join in the fun on a Tuesday or Saturday morning, or perhaps one of the Cookie Monster workshops being planned for Sunday after church.  Older youth and teens are also encouraged to join in the fun.  Or, there is a Murray team of volunteers who help staff the Food N Friends Soup Kitchen the last Saturday of each month.
It takes 100 or more of us working together to prepare for, set up and staff the Holiday Fair - our largest church fundraiser and fun raiser, which will be held on November 8 and 9th this year.  Volunteering to help out with the Fair is a great way to make new friends.  Talk with Greg Wehmeyer, our Elf-In-Chief, to find out more on how you can be part of the fun.
Or perhaps you feel the call to help with the pastoral care needs of the church, helping out with hospital, nursing home or home visits for those recuperating from a health challenge.  You might wish to bake meals that can be brought to those in need, or help out with rides to doctor appointments.  Our Caring Circle plays an essential role to serve those in our community experiencing temporary needs, or to help some of our beloved elders remain connected to the church, even if they are no longer able to attend worship. 
Then there is the all-important work of welcoming in the stranger.  Would you like to help meet and greet our many newcomers?  Our Membership team would love to add your helping hands and generous heart to the task of welcoming and integrating our newest members and friends deeper into the life of our church community.
Maybe you would like to try the monthly Book Group, or Writer's Circle, or the HUUmanist Discussion Group, or the Yoga Class?  Or you feel the call to work on environmental issues with the Green Sanctuary Task Force?
For the past few years, many at Murray have focused on anti-racism work.  All are invited to join back into the conversation that Social Concerns and the Black Lives Matter Banner team began last spring, to explore hanging a "Black Lives Matter" banner on our outside of our church.  Over the summer, many of you responded to the survey the Social Concerns team circulated, and the church will host another town hall meeting on Sunday, September 23rd in Harmony Hall, immediately following worship, to report on the survey results, and open up continued discussion for questions and concerns.  A congregational meeting will be called this fall for qualified voting members to cast the official vote on hanging a banner.  All are invited to participate in this vital conversation.
You belong here at Murray Church, and these are just a few of the many ways you can find your call and get more deeply involved in your journey of belonging.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to come talk with me, as we find ways for you to make friendship connections and find spiritual deepening opportunities here at Murray.
I hope to see you this Sunday, when we will dedicate twins Rumi and Mahalia Toussaint during a special baby dedication.  We will also take a light-hearted look at "This is Us: the Story of Murray Church."
"Now is the time for gathering in," Patricia Schuttee reminds us.  "We meet with eagerness and delight, needing one another for sharing.  We have joys and sorrows and hopes to share, questions, things we care about and want to help make better.  Things we would like to understand, ideas waiting to be heard.  We gather in gladness, once more the special community we call our church - a community of all ages that sings its songs, tells its thoughts, asks its questions, and searches together with courage and with love."
It is good to be together again.
In love and faith,
Rev. Gretchen
Religious Education for Sunday, September 16

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 (Grades K-7):
We will begin in the service and then head to Fellowship Hall for fun games and cupcake decorating!
Youth Group (Grades 8-12):
We will begin in the service and then head to the Purple Chat Room for games and planning.

Religious Education is in need of lids!
- Plastic lids from Cool Whip containers and/or large yogurt containers.
-Empty spray bottles.
 Please make sure these items are thoroughly cleaned.  The items can be dropped off in Kavita's office.  Thanks!
Organ Recital

The American Guild of Organists' Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter will hold their Evensong Service with Installation of Officers on Sunday, September 16th in the Sanctuary at Murray Church. 

Our very own Dennis Ferguson will be playing an organ recital at the meeting, which begins at 4:00.  If you are interested, there is no admission fee for this recital - please feel free to attend to hear our wonderful organ being played expertly.

Calling All Cookie Monster Volunteers!
Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday Cookie Workshops Have Begun

Each year our Cookie Monster Volunteers make more than 600 dozen cookies to sell at the Holiday Fair in November.  Please take a look at our Cookie Monster Workshops coming up and join in the fun, whenever your schedule allows in the Murray Church kitchen!  All are welcome, including older youth and teens.  No previous experience necessary.


Cookie Monster Kitchen Workshops

  • Tuesday mornings 9:00 am to noon from now through November 6.
  • Saturday mornings 9:00 am to noon from now through November 3.
  • Sunday morning workshops, 11:45 am following worship to early afternoon on September 16 and 23.

Make your Voice Heard!
If you have not completed the Black Lives Matter banner survey, here is the link:

It is a brief, four-question survey, that you can complete in a few minutes.
We will make paper surveys available at our Sunday service, Sept. 16.

BLM Town Hall Meeting September 23


There will be a Town Hall meeting after church on Sunday, September 23 at 11:30 am (ending before 1 pm) to announce the results of the BLM survey and to continue our discussion on the proposal to hang a banner outside the church.


If you have any thoughts or questions, please contact Rev. Gretchen or Bruce Field, Chairperson of the Social Concerns committee.

First Holiday Fair Meeting
Our first official Holiday Fair kick-off organizing meeting will be held this Sunday, September 16, at 11:30 am, immediately following the service in Harmony Hall.  Murray's Holiday Fair is our largest fund raising and fun raising event.  It will be held this year on Friday November 8 and - Saturday, November 9, throughout the church building.  It is a mammoth all-church volunteer effort, and a great way to meet people here at the church, as countless volunteers empty out our classrooms, the Unity Room and Fellowship Hall, and we transform each area into a different sales area for one of the most well-known Holiday Fairs in the region.  


If you are interested in learning more, and finding out the many different ways you can help out during Fair week, please come to the first organizing meeting!  There is plenty to be done all week leading up to and including the Fair - from Fair set up on Sunday, November 4, following worship, to room set up and baking cookies all week long during daytime and evening hours, to staffing various sales rooms during the Fair on Friday and Saturday, to striking the Fair down on Saturday afternoon to be ready for church on Sunday.


Volunteering is open to all.  No experience required.  

Landscaping Volunteers on Wednesday Evenings

Everyone is  invited to come help with landscaping and gardening as the weather begins to cool down.  We will gather at 5pm in front by the Murray Church sign- weather permitting.  No experience necessary!  Come join us as we beautify and maintain our church grounds!


RE Underway this Week- Have you Registered?

Have you registered for the 2018-19 children's programming year? The process takes just a moment to complete. We kick off this week and we need to have everyone's children registered.

Here are the links:
       Child (Nursery-7th grade):
       Youth Group (8-12 grades)

PLEASE, also take the time to read the RE Safety Guidelines and Protocols we use for our children:
Newsletter weekly schedule!

Please email all newsletter submissions by Monday for inclusion in the following Thursday's Murray Notes. Please note in the subject line: FOR NEWSLETTER. This will ensure your entry is not missed. The next deadline is September 17.

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

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