Murray Church Notes

January 3, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 21

In this Issue:

To Make Music in the Heart 
Rev. Gretchen Weis

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture of one of our young beloveds captures the wonder and magic of this year’s Christmas Eve candlelight service.  We had a full house.  It was wonderful to see so many long-time church members, friends, and extended family members in town to celebrate the holidays with you, as well as many new faces joining in our shared celebration.  

The music was pure magic!  Special thanks to Dr. Dennis Ferguson, our Music Director, the Murray choir -- many of whom did double duty both singing and playing instruments -- several other musicians from the congregation, as well as several returning college students and our guest harpist.  Thank you all for your dedication and hard work to create such a beautiful, meaningful evening together.

Special thanks as well to our Deacons and Deaconnesses, who invest significant time and effort to get ready for the Christmas Eve service, from preparing the small white candles with their individual drip catchers, to setting up chairs in the back for extra attendance, to planning which lights to turn off, in which order, as we dim the sanctuary for the passing of our flame from person to person, before we sing “Silent Night” together.  The D&Ds also set up our fire safety precautions with water and fire extinguishers placed strategically around the sanctuary.  Fortunately, we have never had to use these emergency measures, and hope we never will.

I also want to thank Kavita Vansant, our Director of Lifespan Faith Development, who helped co-lead the service.  Gratitude also to the MacDonald family for leading us in our chalice lighting, while Arlyss and Kethry Milne took turns sharing the story of Jesus’ birth from the Book of Luke.  And how people raised their voices to sing familiar carols, as we celebrated the symbolic rebirth of hope, faith, and love to help light our way against the dark coldness of the world.     

And let's remember to thank Richard Cannon, our contract Sexton for his help in setting up our spectacular Christmas tree and other Sanctuary and Unity Room decorations. And the many children whose artwork graced the covers of our Orders of Service throughout December.

The Christmas season 2018 is now ended, and a New Year has begun.  Yet, now is the time for the true work of Christmas to begin, and to continue throughout the coming year. Hear these words adapted from Howard Thurman, as he challenges us:    
Read More  

"Lighting Candles of Hope"
The New Year represents a time for fresh starts and new possibilities.  As we gather to welcome in 2019, let us share our brightest hopes for the coming year, hopes for ourselves, hopes for those we love, hopes for our nation, and hopes for the needs of the larger world.  We will come forward to light candles of new possibility on our shared altar of love, service and hope.

"Stop Spinning Your Wheels"
We resolve to make better choices, healthier changes in the year ahead. Yet how often, despite our best intentions, do we find ourselves spinning our wheels, unable to follow through on the changes we hope for, the better choices that might make a positive difference in our lives? What gets in our way?  Where might we find the courage and motivation to get up and truly get going?  To tackle the unfinished business of our lives?      
Religious Education for Sunday, January 6

Nursery is available 9:45 -11 am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only.
We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for our pillar on Self-Care.  To start the New Year off right we will learn about yoga!  Please have your child wear comfortable clothing.
Youth Group:
Class begins at 10 am!  We will continue with our UU Curriculum Heeding the Call.  The lesson is "The Call For Courage." 
Jan. 6: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Stay and Play Playgroup

Calling all families for playgroup!  Join us in the Nursery and K-2 classroom after coffee for playtime and conversation.  Games and a craft will be provided in the K-2 room while younger children may play in the nursery. At least one parent must remain with children.  We look forward to seeing everyone.  Questions? Call Carol at 508-380-1025.
Jan. 8:

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, January 8 at noon.  Look for us in the back room of Morin's, if you don't see us -- just ask!
Jan. 12, 5-7 pm:

Potluck and Game Night!

The Religious Education Committee is hosting an all church Potluck and Game Night in the Unity Room!  Bring a dish and a fun game to share with everyone!  Together, as a community, we will eat, laugh and play!

Contact Kavita if you plan to attend. Come have fun! 

Town Hall Meeting on Child Safety

Sunday, January 13 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm in Harmony Hall
The Religious Education Committee will discuss our new proposed Safety Guidelines.  We encourage everyone to attend and understand the new guidelines for keeping our children safe. 

Childcare will be offered.

Please click here to read the new guidelines.

If you have any questions please email RE Chair Carol Connolly or Kavita.
Jan. 20:

Mid-Year Congregational Meeting 
Sunday, Jan. 20th Following Worship

All are invited to attend an informational congregational meeting after church on Sunday, January 20th in Fellowship Hall.  It’s a chance to hear updates and ask questions about church operations, including how we’re doing financially, and to learn more about some proposed bylaw amendments that will be up for a vote at our annual meeting in May.  A light lunch and child care will be provided.

Wanted: Flower People

On most Sundays, as you enter the sanctuary for our Sunday service, you undoubtedly notice the lovely floral arrangements on the altar.  These flowers are usually given in memory of loved ones or to celebrate a special event.  Some people choose to provide flowers for a particular Sunday on an annual basis.  These people are contacted each year to see if they wish to continue this practice.  I am looking for more people to do flowers on such an annual basis.  There are Sundays available in most months. In fact, right now I have openings in January, February and March.  If you are interested in providing flowers, please call me at (508) 226-3109 for complete details or see me at church.  

                                                              -- Irene Yutkins 

Feb 3: 
Murray Church-Wide Read

As part of our Black Lives Matter conversations, please join us as we read together, White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo.  Now #5 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list for paperbacks, this book asserts that the first step in dismantling systemic racism is to acknowledge our role in it. The book explores how our behaviors, sometimes unwittingly function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively. (156 pages)

On February 3rd, Rev. Gretchen will lead a service drawing from concepts in this book. Following that service, there will be a discussion in the John Murray Room.  You are welcome to join the discussion whether you have read the book or not.

If you ordered a book, please see Judy DePue on Sunday morning for pickup and payment.
                                                        ~ Judy DePue

Crockpots in the Kitchen

These crockpots may have been left in the kitchen following the Holiday Fair.  If one of these is yours, please drop by the church office Tuesday through Friday during normal business hours or after Sunday service to claim it.

Office Space for Rent

Our church has office space for rent (four rooms in the office wing) that are ideal for a small non-profit or human services organization or educational based business. 

The total space for these four rooms is approximately 983 square feet. We really need the rental revenue.  We can use all the help we can get in finding suitable renters. Please mention it while you are networking with family and friends and listen/look for opportunities to promote this available space wherever and whenever possible.

Ask interested parties to contact the church office as soon as possible and myself or Bertha Young will get back to them as soon as possible. 

Thank you, 
                              ~ Jim Richardi, Executive Board President                                     

Lost & Found

A lost and found display has been created in one section of the coat rack in the hall beside the sanctuary. Above are some of the items.  Items can be claimed before or immediately following Sunday Service, or by dropping by the Murray Church office during business hours, Tuesday - Thursday, 8:30 AM - 3 PM or Friday, 8:30 AM - Noon.

Many thanks to Barbara Clark for making everything easy to find!

Donations Needed! 

Items needed:
  • Feminine care products
  • Personal care items (deodorant, shampoo soap, etc)
  • Bathroom tissue
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, January 8th.
If the weather outside is frightful, the minister and board president will confer to determine if worship services must be cancelled by 6:30 am on a Sunday morning. WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV5, FOX25 and WPRI-12, FOX Providence will air any Sunday Service cancellations during the morning news.

Websites for cancellations:,,
Cancellations will also be posted on our website and Facebook page: 
Be sure to "Like" us to see updates in your news feed. 

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

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