Murray Church Notes

September 27, 2018

Volume 7,  Issue 9

In this Issue:

Please Take Good Care of Yourselves

I encourage you to take good care of yourselves as the media circus gets launched in Washington, DC, today.  I’m talking about the Senate hearings where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women accusing him of sexual assault, will be testifying. 

For any of you – male or female -- who have also experienced unwanted sexualized aggression or assault, I invite you to consider turning off the televised hearings.  And, if you choose to watch, I caution you to self-care.  If you find yourself re-traumatized by the proceedings, I invite you to stop watching the hearings.  I can assure you, I have no stomach to watch this circus today, as my blood is still boiling from the Anita Hill hearings of 27 years ago.  

Brett Kavanaugh, like any other accused in our system of justice, deserves to be considered innocent until proven guilty.  Yet none of this feels like due process.   Am I wrong to believe that if the goal was to uncover truth and administer justice in the best interest of the American people, there would have been an investigation called by now to look into the truth of not only Dr. Ford’s accusations, but some of the additional accusations that have arisen over the past few weeks?

No, this feels like a televised bipartisan circus train wreck to me -- designed to try to ram a nominee through the approvals process without taking the necessary time to investigate the truth of any of the allegations against the candidate. 

In trying to rise above the current bipartisan fray, I have to wonder, is today’s televised circus truly in the best interest of the American people and our cherished system of justice?  I fear not, and my heart breaks. 

I would like to see a highly qualified candidate fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  But I want that person to be of sound mind, stout heart, and good moral fiber.  And, yes, truth be told, I would lean more in favor of either a moderate to liberal candidate, not a conservative like Kavanaugh.  I believe we the people benefit best when there is a balance between differing viewpoints represented among the justices.

None of us knows what insults, what heartbreak, what drama and trauma today’s hearings will bring, and what outcome might result. I will catch up with a summary of today’s events during the evening news.  It feels like the best way to take good care of myself, today.  And, I encourage you all to take good care of yourselves, today, and in the ensuing days as well.   And, for anyone who needs to talk, my door is always open.  Please call or come by.

All are invited to join us this Sunday, as we celebrate our Universalist heritage.  It was on September 30th, 248 years ago, that our church’s namesake, John Murray, first preached the message of universal salvation on America’s shores.  This year, let’s take a closer look at his wife, Judith Sargent Murray.  As one of America’s first published feminists, she was outspoken and significantly ahead of her times for 1790.

Also, thanks this Sunday to our Program Council committee, who has organized a special coffee hour in Fellowship Hall following worship, complete with a mime and an animal balloonist.  It promises to be good fun for all ages.  See you in church!

In love and faith,

Rev. Gretchen

“John Murray’s Wife Judith:  A Feminist Firebrand”

It’s John Murray Sunday.  For it was on September 30, 1770 that John Murray first brought the message of universal salvation – that there is no hell or eternal damnation – to America.  As we pause to celebrate the man for whom our church is named, let’s turn some attention to his wife, Judith Sargent Murray.  Like most women of her time, she was shut out of a formal education.  Yet she became a self-taught playwright, poet, and an essayist.  As one of America’s first feminists, she advocated that women were also capable of intellectual accomplishment and should have the right to achieve economic independence.  May we lift up and celebrate how outspoken and ahead of her times she was for 1790.
"Honoring Indigenous Peoples"


On a weekend where the nation officially recognizes a 15th century explorer, we honor the continent's indigenous peoples. Loren Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum, will deliver the homily. Located in Exeter, RI, the mission of the Tomaquag Museum is to educate the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding indigenous history, culture, arts and Mother Earth, and connect to native issues of today.

Religious Education for Sunday, September 30

The RE program will be sending small care packages to our young adults who are 
attending college. This is to remind them that we here at Murray Church are thinking of them and that we 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.  

Religious Education is in need of:
  • Plastic lids from Cool Whip containers and/or large yogurt containers.
  • Empty spray bottles. s K-7
  • Please make sure these items are thoroughly cleaned.  The items can be dropped off in  Kavita's office
Thank you!  

Grades K-7:

We will begin in the service and then head to classes.  This is first day of Religious Education classes and we will be learning about UU’ism and Social Justice.

Youth Group:
We will begin at 10am in the Purple Chat Room to begin our morning with games and finish planning the year.

Religious Education Resource Kits  

As our needs grow, the RE Committee and Kavita are providing resource kits for anyone who wishes to borrow them. Our topics for the kits are Grief and New Baby.  We encourage anyone to borrow them from Kavita's office.
Please sign out for the kit and return within 2 weeks so someone else may be able to use it. As the interest grows we will expand our kits to include other topics. If you have any ideas or would like to put a kit together please contact Kavita at  

Oct. 14:
Congregational Meeting Called 

To vote on hanging a Black Lives Matter Banner

A special congregational meeting has been called in the Unity Room following worship on Sunday, October 14th, to hold an official vote on hanging a Black Lives Matter banner outside the church building.  All are invited to attend.  

Only qualified members will be allowed to cast votes.  A qualified voting member is anyone who has signed the church membership book at least 45 days prior to voting, and who has made a financial contribution of record to the church in the past 15 months.  Note that our bylaws do not say that someone has to pledge to be a qualified voting member, but has to give some donation of record. No amount is specified.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please contact Bruce Field, Chair of Social Concerns, or Rev. Gretchen.

Sept. 29:
Outdoor Work Date Cancelled

Due to a lack of volunteers, the outdoor work date originally scheduled for this Saturday, September 29th has been cancelled.  

If you have questions, please contact Tom Stuart at or at 508-965-2983.



Special Guest Speaker
Umer Akbar

President & Co-Founder of AHOPE

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 10 a.m.

during Shabbat morning services
Congregation Agudas Achim
901 N. Main St, Attleboro, MA

You are invited to join Shabbat morning services, which will feature a presentation from Dr. Umer Akbar, President and Co-Founder of AHOPE, a local organization that facilitates the resettlement of refugees, who are some of the most vulnerable members of society.

As part of their social action outreach, AHOPE is pleased to have Umer visit their community to discuss these important issues. Learn more about how you can help in this endeavor!
Guest are invited to stay for Oneg (lunch) to continue the discussion.

Oct. 1
Clara Barton Luncheon Meeting

Our next meeting is Monday, October 1, at 11:45 a.m. in the John Murray Room.  All interested women are welcome to join us for food and fellowship.  Bring your sandwich or salad.  Beverages and dessert are provided.  We will  be checking in after the summer and planning for our Rummage Sale.

Oct. 12 & 13:
Clara Barton Fall Rummage Sale

The Clara Barton Guild needs your gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, books and working household items for our Fall Rummage Sale to be held on Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13, both days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Please bring your items to Fellowship Hall starting October 1, labeled for Clara Barton.  If you need help bringing items to church, please contact Bev Hall (508-222-9324).  Please note:  We appreciate receiving your items by Wednesday, October 10, so we have time to sort and display.  Proceeds from the Rummage Sale help support Murray Church and other charitable organizations.  

Oct. 7:
Sunday Book Group 

THE SUNDAY BOOK GROUP meets the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 in the John Murray Room. All are welcome. Please feel free to bring a bagged lunch. The Mission of the Book Group is for open-minded people to select, read, and discuss interesting books that broaden our minds and challenge how we perceive the world. Books are chosen by the group, of reasonable length, and library accessible.

For our October 7th meeting, the group will discuss any of the books we read over the summer, books we recommend, and books we want to read. We’ll then make our book group selection for our next meeting.

Oct. 8:
Grab Your Peelers!

Bring your paring knives and best rolling pins,
the APPLE PIE WORKSHOP is OCTOBER 8th.  We will meet at 9 AM in Fellowship Hall to prepare 70 pies for the Holiday Fair.  We will bake several just for quality control!! Please call Laurie Lawes to volunteer at 508-243-3011 or email  Blessings!

Oct. 14, 21 & 28:
Free Photo Shoot For Church Directory

It’s time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall  in October.  We invite all Murray members and friends — especially our many newcomers — to have your photo taken.  There is no charge to have your photo taken for our church directory.  We encourage everyone — individuals, couples, families and even family pets to participate, as we update our directory for the 2018-2019 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: October 14, 21 and 28

Oct. 20
Halloween Carnival

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Cookies, cookies, cookies!!

The Holiday Fair Bakeshop is in full swing. Many thanks to all who have donated ingredients. It is helping to offset our costs. If you picked up a donation card, please bring your items to the kitchen by 9/23. We continue to need many pounds of butter and anise flavoring, and confectioners sugar. Workshops are Tuesday and Saturday morning and Sunday after services. See you in the kitchen!


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.


Donations Needed!

  • Bathroom tissue
  • Feminine care products
  • Personal care items: soap, shampoos, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc.

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 UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy at for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.
Newsletter weekly schedule!

Please email all newsletter submissions by Tuesday end of day  for inclusion in the following Thursday's Murray Notes. The next deadline is October 2.

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