Murray Church Notes

October 11, 2018

Volume 7,  Issue 11

In this Issue:

FROM THE MINISTER
Sharing My Sad News With You 
Rev. Gretchen Weis

Beloveds, it is with a heavy heart that I share with you that my father died late Saturday night, October 6th.   He was 91.  He had been in home hospice for the past six months in Milwaukee, with my mother by his side.  Dementia had been ravaging not only his mind and memory, but also his body.  He was ready to let go.  It was a peaceful, pain free ending, in his own home, his own bed, surrounded by those who loved him most.  I am so grateful I was there to help ease his passage, as my mother and brother and I also loved and supported one another in the first few days of our shared grief once he was gone. 

A memorial service is planned in Milwaukee on Saturday, October 20th, and will be officiated by a minister who has known my family since she and I were elementary school aged, in Sunday school together.  I am grateful to this church and to the leadership and staff who have supported me in being able to head to Milwaukee, as needed, to be with my family during this difficult time, including over the Labor Day holiday and this past weekend.  I will head out again late next week to honor and celebrate the life of my Dad, Raymond George Weis.  I plan to be back at church by Thursday, October 25th and will share the pulpit with Kavita on Sunday, October 28th, as we celebrate the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali.

The Rev. Charles Ortman, who most recently served as interim minister of First Unitarian in Providence, has graciously agreed to fill the pulpit here on Sunday, October 21st.   He will be preaching, “To Welcome the Stranger.”  I know you will enjoy hearing from Charlie, and the important work he is doing related to the immigrant community in our area.

I need you all to know that I am doing fine.  I am experiencing the “both/and” of loss – feeling both deep sorrow, as well as profound gratitude for the gift of such a wonderful, loving parent in my life for so many years.  I want to lift up that relationships with parents can often be complex, and that not everyone is in relationship with their father, or has a good relationship with one or both parents.  And, I want to acknowledge that sometimes, not every family member is on the same page and has difficulty working together when death comes, and the family must manage arrangements and the other legal issues required. 

I am grateful beyond all measure that my family relationships are open, loving and supportive.  I rest in the gratitude of mutually loving trust, as my brother and I help my mother walk through the decisions that need to be made this week and next, and in the weeks and months ahead, together.   Knowing that my brother is “on the ground” with my mother in Milwaukee helps free me to be fully present to you, and to all things Murray Church -- especially as we head towards an important Congregational Meeting in the sanctuary, immediately following worship this Sunday, to vote whether the congregation chooses to hang a “Black Lives Matter: Join the Conversation” banner outside our church.

Please plan to join us this Sunday to vote on this all-important social justice decision.  We wish to hear from and honor all voices as we exercise the democratic process in our shared life together.  All are invited to attend, but only qualified voting members will be allowed to vote. Please note that to be a qualified voting member, you must have signed the church membership book longer than the past 45 days and have made a donation of record to the church in the past 15 months.

Our worship experience this Sunday will be an especially meaningful one.  Many people are unaware that Referendum 3 on the Massachusetts state ballot for November 6th involves voting whether to continue to allow transgendered persons to remain on the list of those who are legally protected against discrimination.  If the “no” vote wins, it will become legal to discriminate against transgendered people in Massachusetts. We cannot allow this to happen.  Transgendered rights are human rights.

Two transgendered members of our congregation will share their personal stories with us on Sunday.  We will also hear from Vernon Domingo, the parent of a transgendered child, and a member of the UU church in Bridgewater, who will share his family’s story and help us make sense of Referendum 3.  

This Sunday promises to be powerful witness on so many levels.  I hope to see you there.

In love, faith and gratitude,

Rev. Gretchen
NEXT SUNDAY:
"Transgendered Rights are Human Rights"


Massachusetts has Referendum 3 on the ballot this November, asking if transgendered people should remain on the list of those legally protected from discrimination.  If the "no vote" passes, it would then become legal to discriminate against transgendered persons in public.  We cannot allow this to happen to members of our family, our friends, our neighbors and co-workers.  Come hear more about this odious proposed referendum, as transgendered members of our congregation share their stories with us.

NEXT SUNDAY:
"To Welcome a Stranger"


Rev. Charles Ortman, former interim minister of the First Unitarian Church in Providence, RI will be our guest minister.
 

Religious Education for Sunday, October 11

Nursery is available 9:45-11am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only.

Care Packages Card Signing!  This Sunday will be your last chance to sign cards for our young adults who are in college: Stephanie Belt, Jordan Calusdian, Cormac Kenney, Evan Laferriere, Kenny Laferriere, Jessica MacDonald, Lincoln Millard, Arlyss Milne, Cameron Samuel, and Sarah Zysk.

During coffee hour tables will be set up with the cards so please come by and send a greeting to our hardworking students! 
 
Religious Education is in need of:
  • 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
Thank you!  
 
Schedule

Grades K-8:

We will begin in the service and then head to our classes to continue learning about Social Justice.

Youth Group:
You are invited to join the service about our transgender friends.

Religious Education Resource Kits  

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 kkvansant@gmail.com.  

 

 

Murray Church youth learned all about spiritual drumming on October 7th. Many thanks to guest Dave Curry!

Oct. 14:
Congregational Meeting Called 

To vote on hanging a Black Lives Matter Banner


A special congregational meeting has been called in the Sanctuary 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.

Please note Child care will be available from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM.

 

In August, the Black Lives Matter banner committee emailed a survey to give the congregation an opportunity to express their anonymous thoughts on the proposal to hang a banner.  The survey asked for views on benefits and challenges of hanging a banner, as well as how a person might vote (for, against, or undecided).  The survey ended with an open-ended question on further thoughts.  At the Sunday Services on September 9 and 16, we handed out paper ballots to those who had not responded online.

We received 100 responses.  84 voted “yes,” 8 voted “no,” and 8 responded “undecided.”  Across yes, no, and undecided respondents, the views on benefits and challenges were often similar.  Living our values was seen as a benefit, and possible vandalism was seen as a possible challenge.  You can read the results in greater detail at: http://www.murrayuuchurch.org/pdfs/BLM_Survey_Results.pdf .

The survey was an opinion poll.  The decision to hang the banner, or not, will come at our Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 14, immediately following the service in the Unity Room.  All are invited to attend, but only voting members of Murray Church are eligible to cast a vote.  (a voting member must have signed the membership book on or before August 30, 2018, and must have made a recorded monetary contribution to Murray Church in the 15 months prior to the Congregational Meeting).  The decision will be made by a majority vote of members in attendance.  

Thank you for your participation in the survey and the meetings over the past few months.  We welcome your attendance at the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 14.    The Black Lives Matter Banner Committee

 

Oct. 12 & 13:
Clara Barton Fall Rummage Sale

The Clara Barton  Rummage Sale opens its doors at this Friday 9 am. Hidden treasure awaits you in the form of used clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, books and working household items and more!  The sale runs both Friday and Saturday  from 9 am to 1 pm.  Proceeds from the Rummage Sale help support Murray Church and other charitable organizations.  

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. 14:

Putting the Memorial Garden to Bed for the Winter

This coming Sunday, after the Congregational Meeting about the Black lives Matter flag, join us in the Memorial Garden to prepare the garden for winter.  We’ll do some light weeding, pruning, and clean up.
Oct. 21:

Continuing Work in the Front of the Church

After church on Sunday the 21st  of October, we will continue the task of relocating the Savolainen daylilies.  We will be transplanting the daylilies, iris, hopefully, moving wood chips, and finishing the edging.  Please bring shovels, etc. and wheelbarrows.  We know the Pats will be playing but with enough hands we might be done by halftime.  We’ll bring an outdoor radio to listen to the game while we work.

About the daylilies:  (note that Bill has been giving out some misinformation). Unto Savolainen was born in Finland, immigrated to the US, settled in the Attleboro area, married Ina Heisten from Norwood, and joined Murray Church.  As a well-known gardener, in the 1980s he developed new daylily cultivars, cumulatively known as Savolainen daylilies.  Many of the church’s daylilies were donated from his own garden and they were planted in the area next to the walkway in front of the Murray Room BEFORE the area that is now handicapped parking was paved.  Over the years these planting areas have become overgrown.  Since we have now cleared the scrub bushes and amended the garden soil in the oval shaped garden area across the parking lot from the Sanctuary, we will be transplanting the Savolainen cultivars into this restored area.

Hope to see you there,
Bill and Rusty Morrow

Oct. 20
Halloween Carnival

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
All little ghosts and goblins invited!

Shoe Drive Ends October 21st

We will continue to collect gently worn shoes through October 21st!  Please drop off your clean, dry, donations in the box at the front entrance to the church. (It's under the welcome table.)

Cookie Monsters

 

Murray cookie making is in full swing, with Cookie Monsters (from left) Peddy Dias, her cousin Jayden and Tom Stuart.   You can join the Cookie Monsters Tuesday and Saturday, 9 am to noon and Sunday, after church on October 14th, 21st and 28th.  Please note: there will be no cookie workshop on Saturday, October 13th.

Voter Registration Deadline is October 17th

Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day!

If you wish to have a say in the direction your country, state and town are taking, please vote. 

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, voters of Massachusetts have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice and decide on statewide ballot questions that can change state law. Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. statewide on Election Day. Early voting is available for this election beginning October 22, 2018 and ending November 2, 2018. If you are unable to go to the polls or vote early, absentee ballots are easily available before the election.

If you have not yet registered to vote or need to re-register because you moved, we have enclosed a form for you to fill out and mail back, or, if you have a Massachusetts driver’s license or ID, you can register to vote online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. State law requires that you must register by October 17, 2018 to have your name appear on the voting list. You can also check your voter registration status on the website as well.

A mail-in  voter registration form can be obtained here  Mailed forms must be addressed to your city or town Registrar and must be postmarked by October 17th.  The forms can also be hand-delivered to the registrar's office by that date.
Oct. 17:

Greater Attleboro Opioid Symposium


October 17, 2018  11:00 AM

Fuller Hospital
200 May Street, Attleboro, MA

This event is open to providers, families and individuals impacted by addiction

This is a public forum to discuss a new bill pertaining to the Opioid Crisis.  We will be addressing the possible effects of this legislation and how to better address the needs of the Greater Attleboro Community.

RSVP at Carrie.Ballou@uhsinc.com  no later than October 12th.
Oct. 27

Octoberfest

It's October again - and time for Octoberfest!  So dust off your lederhosen and join the fun.

Membership & Welcoming invite all Murray members and friends to a hearty German meal at Morin's Restaurant in Attleboro on Saturday, October 27, at 6:00 p.m.  There's open seating and a family-style meal of potato pancakes, red cabbage, bratwurst, German pot roast, and weinersnitzel.  $15.50 per person - $8 for children.  RSVP -- um Antwort wird gebeten -- or, let me know you're coming!   Sandy Stuart at ms.stuart@hotmail.com   
Oct. 28:

Humanist Discussion Group


ALLELUIA 
Do you believe in “resurrection”?  I do!   The Humanist Discussion Group is being resurrected starting this October.  On Sunday October 28 at 11:30 am in the library.  Come and enjoy the “rapture” of discussing topics and issues from/with a humanist perspective, among a “communion” friends.  The first meeting will organizational.  We will choose a regular monthly meeting time and place, as well as first discussion topic for the first regular meeting in November.  For example, if truth isn’t truth, what is it?  Perhaps a “transubstantiation”?

If interested, contact Len Yutkins at 508-226-3109 or at retireesx2@yahoo.com.  
Nov. 9 & 10:

Holiday Fair 2018

The Holiday Fair is our church’s biggest fundraiser, and it’s only a month away! Here are some of the ways that you can help make the fair a success.
 
Donate
We need your donations of gently used books, household items, sports equipment, 
tools, small working electronics, and almost antiques. We can also use donations of twelve-packs of soda or water for our Gourmet Room. Water and colas (diet and 
regular) are popular choices, but we will gladly accept whatever soda you find on sale.
 
Our crafters are looking for unwanted T-shirts in good enough condition (no rips or 
stains) to make into T-shirt bags. We can always use extra reusable shopping bags for books and other heavy items.
 
As always, our annual raffle will include a variety of special items and gift baskets, but we need your help! The raffle organizers are looking for donations of new or very gently used items to be raffled off. Please let Kate Ricciarelli-Wenson know if you have anything you would like to donate by sending an email to Kate at kricciarelli@gmail.com.
 
The church has limited storage space before the fair, so we ask that you keep your 
items “in storage” at your home as long as possible. We can start accepting all of your donations in the days leading up to the fair (11/4 through 11/8). Please drop them off in Fellowship Hall. If you need to drop-off your items before that time, contact the church office to arrange a time to access the storage container. We currently have a decent amount of free space in the second container.
 
Volunteer
Our Personnel Coordinator, Janet Richardi (janetrichardi@comcast.net), will be looking for volunteers over the next few weeks. Working at the fair is a lot of fun and a great way to get to know each other. If you have any questions about the volunteer opportunities that are available, please contact Janet or Greg (wehmeyer.greg@gmail.com).
 
We can use as much help as possible setting up for the fair immediately following the service on November 4th. There will be pizza!
 
Create
One of our talented chefs will be making an appearance at coffee hour in the near future asking for volunteers to prepare delicious entrees and soups for sale in the Gourmet Room. If you like to cook, this is a great way to help out.
 
Do you make handmade gift items that you’d be willing to donate? We're in need of many creative hands to help make the Gift Room a success! Please consider putting your talents to work and donate some of your creations to the Gift Room. Contact Stephanie Paquette (smpaquette@gmail.com) if you are interested in contributing.

Dec2:
Sunday Book Group 

SUNDAY BOOK GROUP MEETS NEXT ON DECEMBER 2ND.  We will not meet on November 4th, due to the Holiday Fair set up.

For our December 2nd meeting, we’ll discuss Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. 

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick. One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Donations Needed! 

For the food pantry:
  • Bathroom tissue
  • Soup (all flavors & varieties)
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 16.

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