Murray UU Church | 505 North Main St | Attleboro, MA 02703
November 9, 2017
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"Pilgrim's Progress"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

We talk about our lives as spiritual journeys, but what, exactly do we mean by that?  Some faiths provide a clear, set path of beliefs, that steer towards a specific spiritual goal. Our faith encourages us to wonder, as we wander. We are invited to be our own trailblazers. The way forward may be neither straightforward nor clear. So, where are you in your setting out, your wondering, your wandering, and how does your path lead back home?

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"The Power of Thanksliving"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

Join us for our traditional Thanksgiving service, where we explore the power of living in gratitude - Thanksliving - as we acknowledge the abundance and many blessings of our lives. Our traditional cornbread and cider communion will be served for this all-important multi-generational family service.

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If you missed a service, or simply would like to listen to a particular sermon again, our sermons are now available on our website and are downloadable as MP3 files. Use our website link below and click on the sermon link at the top of the page and either listen or download the sermon of your choice. You can also access current and back issues of Murray Notes. Just click on the Church News link. Thanks to Bill Jones for working on these projects! 
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Naming Our Sorrow at a Time of Joy and Cookies
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
  It has been yet another week in our nation marred by gun violence, this  time in a small rural church in Texas. Our hearts ache for those who lost  family and friends in this senseless shooting by a disturbed young man  with a history of violence. We are angered that his case was allowed to  slip through the cracks, that the Air Force failed to report him to the FBI,  so his access to guns might have been prevented.  

In the wake of this tragedy, we must continue to hold our elected officials accountable to prevent disturbed, violent people from gaining access to weapons. And we must work to shut down access to conversion kits on the Internet that turn single fire weapons into automatic weapons.  Clearly, whatever legal systems we have in place don't seem to be working to prevent these senseless tragedies. As we name our sorrow and concerns, let us not cower in fear, but remain grounded in our common sense safety practices, and continue to serve as active voices for peace, for love, for justice and inclusion in this hurting world. 

In the midst of our concerns, this has also been a week of hustle, bustle, and the smell of baking cookies as we get ready for our annual Holiday Fair this weekend! It is a joy to walk the halls and see so many volunteers giving of their time and talents as we prepare for one of our biggest fun raisers and fundraisers of the year. The Holiday Fair is a true labor of love. Huge thanks to Greg Wehmeyer and Patrick Kenney as our elves-in-chief, and to the army of helper elves who make the Holiday Fair the huge success it is, year after year. 

It's time to invite our family, friends and neighbors to the Fair. For our newcomers, you have to experience the Fair to believe it. People come from far and wide to shop our Fair - especially for those legendary cookies and pies, which freeze quite nicely, by the way! Some of you may have this Friday, Veteran's Day, off from work, so please plan to come shop, or to help staff the Fair on either Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm or on Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 It's not too late to jump in and help out. Please contact our Fair Staffing Coordinator Janet Richardi at if you have a few hours and can take a shift on either Friday or Saturday. Teens and older youth are also welcome to pitch in and help. We can also use as many hands on deck as possible on Saturday after 3:00 pm to pack up and put away our Fair items as we get our sanctuary and classrooms ready for Sunday morning worship and Sunday School. As I recall, pizza and some adult beverages are often provided at the end of Fair Clean-Up.

Please plan to join in the fun this weekend at Murray Church! I hope to see you at the Fair, as well as at worship on Sunday, where we will explore what it means in our faith to be on a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage of personal exploration and deepening.

Love, peace and cookies,
Rev. Gretchen 
November 12th Deadline to Donate!

The youth group is organizing a collection of

  hygiene products to be handed out to area  homeless persons. Americans Helping  Others Prosper or AHOPE, and the refugees  that they serve, volunteer at the Cathedral  Square soup kitchen in Providence, and  hand out kits containing travel-size hygiene  items, including shampoo, conditioner, soap,  body lotion, feminine pads, toothpaste, hand  cream and lip balm. They also need clothing  such as socks, mittens, scarves and hats.
  Please consider donating some of the above  items. The deadline for getting the items  has been extended to Sunday, November 12th. Look for collection boxes near Kavita's office, in the Unity Room and in the back of the Sanctuary. The youth group will assemble the items into kits to be given to AHOPE. On behalf of the youth group, thank you for helping us with this community service project.
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 - 8):
Sunday, November 
-- We will begin in the service and then head to our classes to continue learning about UUism.
Youth (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, November 12th -- We will gather in the Purple Chat Room at 10 am to continue our UU curriculum A Place of Wholeness. At 11 am the youth who signed up for the field trip to the Quincy Church will be leaving.
Investigating the Invaders
Thanks to Carla Rissmeyer for teaching our children about invasive species in our church backyard. 
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].

This year we will not have a separate adult and children's snack table; we will all be enjoying the same goodies, and have eliminated the juice to simplify our gathering. 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 at 9 am to get the coffee going and setup, clean up takes about 1/2 an hour) and we really need volunteers! Let's keep Murray members and friends caffeinated and in the happy zone after the Sunday service.
Contact Monica Weil, Sheila Jacobs or Barbara Clark

The 2017 Holiday Fair
Friday, November 10th,
11 am -- 7 pm

Saturday, November 11th,
9 am -- 3 pm

The Holiday Fair is one of our church's biggest fundraisers, 

and it starts tomorrow!

Come to shop, stay to help out! See you at the Fair!
  We are a Generous Congregation
   In September, we came together and gave $806.87 to the Southern

   Poverty Law Center in our Dedicated Offering. Our generosity will help   this organization continue its courageous work to expose hate groups,   take legal action to protect equal rights, spread the Teaching Tolerance curriculum to young people, and support law enforcement as they attempt to protect the public from hate and bigotry.

Our generosity in our monthly Dedicated Offering is a living example 

of our dedication to our UU Principles.

Thank you. 
The Murray Social Concerns Committee
Our Seven Principles are a guide - not a dogma or doctrine - for us as we live our chosen faith of Unitarian Universalism.  

 1st Principle:  The inherent worth and dignity of every person;


2nd Principle:  Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;


 3rd Principle:  Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in                           our congregations;


  4th Principle:  A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;


 5th Principle:  The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our                           congregations and in society at large;


 6th Principle:  The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;


 7th Principle:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are                            a part.

We are in dire need of paper bags! 
Please solicit your local grocer for additional bags.

Thank you for your continued support!

Murray Church Food Pantry Team 

Hate Has No Home Here
Have you noticed the "Hate Has No Home Here" signs we've posted around some of our main entrances this past week? Would you like one for your yard? We have a limited supply available at the church office for a $5 donation. 

The Hate Has No Home project began with a group of neighbors from North Park, a Chicago neighborhood characterized by its diversity of age, race, nationality and ethnicity. The phrase "Hate has No Home Here" was declared by a third grader in the neighborhood, and local teachers and other adults helped turn it into a poster, and the project was launched. 

This sign is not associated with any political party or affiliation. This neighborhood movement was created around a simple idea: "Hate, unchecked, can make neighbors feel fearful and unwelcome in their own communities. It's easy to hate people we don't know. Posters and yard signs are just the beginning. What starts as powerful, positive messaging continues in dialogue, relationship-building and community action. When neighbors of different races, religions and nationalities move past indifference to investment in one another, we knock out the underpinnings of racism and intolerance and make possible a better future for our communities." 

The Hate Has No Home Here project encourages communities to combat hateful messages and behavior in their neighborhoods. The posters, while only a beginning, make a statement about the kind of community, the kind of people we are, and the more inclusive community we are working to become. 

Please let LaChelle know if you would like to post one of these signs in your yard. We have 6 signs available now, and more can be ordered.
Please Keep Those Shaw's Saver Stamps Coming!
We're now halfway into the 

3rd Stamp Saver and currently have 

earned 15 pieces of bakeware! 

No Soup Kitchen in November

Murray will NOT be hosting the Soup Kitchen in November. This is because so many Murray folks are spread thin from working the Holiday Fair.

Our next date for the Soup Kitchen will be Saturday, December 30th. Yes, this is the 5th Saturday in that month, but, Murray swapped with another group who had a scheduling conflict. Come January, we will be back on our usual schedule of the 4th Saturday. 

Nov. 12:
Waking Up White Book Discussion Group

 Sunday, November 12th following Worship

 11:30 am in Harmony Hall
 We are discussing Waking Up White by Debby Irving, to explore   the ideas of dominant culture and white privilege. Our next book   discussion group will be held on Sunday, November 12th following   worship in Harmony Hall. Please grab a cup of coffee at coffee   hour and head to Harmony Hall to begin our exploration of the next   section, pp. 63 - 91. 
Nov. 14:
Murray Men's Lunch Bunch

Inviting all Murray men to join us for lunch, 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 call Rob Hasselbaum at 774-282-0818, a few days in advance, and transportation will be arranged.

The next luncheon is on Tuesday, November 14th at noon.

Look for us in the back room of Morin's, if you don't see us -- just ask!

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Nov. 18:
Murray Playgroup

Murray Playgroup will be meeting on a monthly basis starting on Saturday, November 18th at 10 am. All parents of toddlers are invited! Bring your little ones (up to age 5 years) to the Murray Church Nursery for playtime, conversation with other parents, and closing circle time. Older siblings are welcome to attend for a craft and games in the adjoining classroom. This is a great opportunity to make connections with other parents and help your children develop their own friendships. If you can't make the November meeting, mark your calendar for next month's playgroup on December 16th, 2017. For more information contact Carol Connolly.

Nov. 19:  Please Note Date Change for November
Sunday Book Group
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 consensus, of reasonable length, and library accessible.
On Sunday, November 19th, we will discuss, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of--From publisher description. 

Note that the movie version is now available, with Oprah Winfrey. So you can choose to read the book or see the movie. Both book and movie are available at area libraries.

Nov. 19:
Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative Invites You

Please Join Us for the

 Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

 on Sunday November 19th, 2017

at 4 PM at the Second Congregational Church

located at 50 Park Street in Attleboro, MA 02703

This year's service will focus on honoring area faith members and community leaders' commitment to feeding those in need, including the Murray Church Food Pantry. 
Nov. 22:

to Unload Food Delivery Trucks

    The Food Pantry receives food twice a month, and we  need help receiving the delivery. Food pick-up times  are the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month. The  trucks need to be unloaded requiring some lifting.                           
  This is one way Murray reaches out and is visible in  the community, but it takes many volunteers to   receive and distribute the food. If there are any  strong bodies available on those days who would  like a light workout, please contact: Roger Boucher.
Thank you!
Image from
Nov. 26:
Calling All Writers -- 

Consider Joining Us in the Writers' Circle

Whether you've been writing for a while, or you have a writer in you that has just started making an appearance, you are welcome! If you are a free-thinking writer, a meticulous writer, a clumsy writer, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer, an intentional writer, a thoughtful writer, a spontaneous writer, you are welcome! Whether you love to share your work or you're a bit shyer and selective about sharing, you are welcome! Please join us for our monthly Writer's Circle on Sunday, November 26th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. One of our regular writers will be doing the prompts for our circle. If you are interested and/or you have any questions about our circle, please contact Heidi Ferreira.
Planning and practicing for the Music Committee's service in January is getting under way. If you play an instrument and/or sing and would like to get involved in presenting some reggae music at the January 14th, 2018 Music Service, please join us. We plan to rehearse on Sundays after church, with the possibility of additional practices on Tuesday evenings. If you can commit to performing at the service and to most of the practices, please contact Melanie Hitchen - or reach out to her with any questions you may have.
Dec. 4:
It's time to think about ordering poinsettias for Christmas.

The poinsettias will be on the chancel table for December 17th and Christmas Eve services. The colors are red, white, pink, marble, and jingle bells (red with white splotches). The final order date is December 4th. Please see Irene Yutkins at church. The price of each poinsettia is $18.

Dec. 3:
You are invited to a book crawl on December 3rd! It's similar to a pub crawl, but we travel from book store to book store. On December 3rd, we'll start at The Unlikely Story and have a light snack. From there, we'll head over to The Shire Book Shop, a used book store located at 305 Union Street in Franklin, MA. After we find our treasures, we'll have a late lunch/early dinner at one of the local restaurants. It's a nice break from the holiday bustle. If you are interested in coming along, please e-mail Heidi Ferreira. If you are able and willing to be one of the drivers, let me know that as well.  We hope to see you!
Dec. 8:
Central Congregational Church of Attleboro Falls

& Murray Unitarian Universalist Church

Blood Drive
Friday, December 8th, 2017

1 pm -- 6 pm

at Murray Church Fellowship Hall

505 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA 

To schedule an appointment please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit and enter sponsor code: MurrayUUC


Streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.

Dec. 9:
You're Invited... to the 2017 Holiday Pops!

 Membership & Welcoming invites you to an evening of dinner and music in a gorgeous church setting on Saturday, December 9th. 

 We'll meet at the Murray UU parking lot, then carpool to

 Chelo's Restaurant located at 490 Clinton Street in  Woonsocket, Rhode Island, for an early dinner at 5 pm.

 Then we'll go to St. Ann's Arts & Cultural Center located at 84 Cumberland Street in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, for a holiday concert with he Ocean State Orchestra  beginning at 7 pm. 

If you're able to join Membership & Welcoming on December 9th for dinner and the Holiday Pops Concert, please RSVP to Peggy Dixon or Sandy Stuart so they can let Chelo's Restaurant know how many people to plan for. We'll meet in the Murray Church parking lot at 4 pm so that we can carpool to Woonsocket

Tickets are $20; children under 12 years are free.  

Visit the Ocean State Orchestra site to buy your ticket by clicking [HERE]. St. Ann's has been called the "Sistine Chapel of America" by Yankee Magazine. What a beautiful space to enjoy an evening out together!

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