Murray Church Notes

January 10, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 22

In this Issue:

Life in the Tank
Rev. Gretchen Weis

We love to swim in familiar waters.  Even when life opens us up to a larger pool of possibilities, many of us still opt to swim in our own comfortable territory.  Consider this parable adapted from Buddhist philosopher and poet Mark Nepo, who shares:
It was a curious thing.  My friend Robert had filled the bathtub and put the fish in the tub, so he could clean their tank.  After he had scrubbed the film from the small walls of their make-believe deep, he went to retrieve the fish.

He was astonished to find that, though they had the entire tub to swim in, they were huddled in a small area the size of their tank.  There was nothing containing them, nothing holding them back.  Why wouldn’t the fish dart around freely?  Why did they remain within the artificial confines of a space they knew, instead of exploring newer, larger unfamiliar territory?  And how do human beings behave the same way?
     Read More  

"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?      
"I Am Light - And I WILL Shine" 
In this special service hosted by the Music Committee, we recognize the power of the collective voices of women and their allies and shining a light on the changes they have created and continue to create. We want to hear our voices raised together in song, as we celebrate some of the music that has empowered us and helps to heal us.
We lit candles of love and hope for the New Year on last Sunday. People were encouraged to light candles of hope for themselves, or for loved ones, or for the church, the greater Attleboro community, or for the problems of the larger world. May this New Year bring a fresh start and new possibilities to our hopeful hearts!
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 this Saturday night.  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! 
Religious Education for Sunday, January 13

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 our classes. The lesson will be about fairness and equality as we cover Black Lives Matter.
Youth Group:
We will begin in the service and then head to the Purple Chat Room to continue discussions on Black Lives Matter.

Town Hall Meeting on Child Safety

This Sunday 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 proposed guidelines.

If you have any questions please contact RE Chair Carol Connolly or Kavita. 

Circle of Life

Lucas Ezra Lauser joined the world on December 21st, making Anya an official big sister and Laura and Ben second-time parents.  We send our love and blessings to the family as Lucas gets settled in.
Thanks to Carol Connolly and our children for the lovely winter display!

December Dedicated Offering

$1,044 raised for  the International  Rescue Committee (IRC)

This generous donation will help the IRC address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and other work of the Committee. The IRC is among the best organizations in delivering emergency aid, medical care, and clean water.  In Yemen, it is effectively addressing the cholera outbreak that threatens the lives of millions of people.

Thank you for your generosity.  Our collective effort is certainly supporting the worth and dignity of our neighbors near and far. 

                                            --The Murray Social Concerns Committee

Jan. 20:

Mid-Year Congregational Meeting 

Sunday, Jan. 20th Following Worship

There will be a mid-year informational meeting for all members of Murray Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday, January 20, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. in FELLOWSHIP HALL. A light lunch and childcare will be provided.

Topics to be discussed:
-    Mid-year financial report as of Dec. 31st and potential outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year including deficit management 
-    Proposed by-law changes that are under consideration and may be voted on at another special meeting prior to the annual meeting in May.
Monday, Jan. 21:

Special MLK Service

Volunteers needed!
Murray Church is hosting the Interfaith Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service this year on Monday, January 21 at 2:00 p.m.  Please plan to attend.

We will have a reception in the Unity Room at about 3:00 p.m.  We expect about 50 people to attend.  The M.L.K. Memorial Committee is supplying some of the food for this service.  

If you have a favorite cookie, brownie, or cake that you'd like to include, that would be most welcome.  If you're bringing a treat, please let Sandy Stuart know.  If you can't attend the service on Monday, but would like to contribute, you can bring something to Murray on Sunday, January 20th.  Label it "For the M.L.K. service" and put your name on it so we can thank you for your help.

This is a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome visitors and extend warm hospitality to our community both during and after the M.L.K. Service. 

For more information about this year's Martin Luther King observances, please click here.

Starts Jan 23:

Let’s Meditate Together

Join Sheila Jacobs for a four week series to learn and practice a variety of meditation practices.  If you would benefit from a structured time and place, this may be for you.  It is said that we develop habits by what we consistently do and practice.  No experience necessary - only a willingness to learn with an open mind. Sheila Jacobs is a long time Murray Member and is a certified Health and Wellness Specialist. 

Dates: Wednesdays, January 23 and 30; February 6 and 13.
Time: 7:15-8:15 pm
Room: John Murray Room (Unity Room on February 13)

RSVP by Saturday, January 19 to register or receive information: Sheila Jacobs.  If childcare needed, contact Kavita by January 19.

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 or write your name down on the clipboard at the table where coffee is served.
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 between 9:15 and 9:30 am to get the coffee going,  and setup/clean up takes about 1/2 an hour).  We really need volunteers! Let's keep Murray members and friends caffeinated and in the happy zone.
Questions?  Contact Monica Weil or Barbara Clark.
                                                                 -- Monica Weil

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 2:
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 

From Green Sanctuary:

Dinner and Movie Night  
Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 6:00 pm, Unity Room

As more urgent scientific reports are coming out on climate change and as our political process often seems stymied, what can we to do? 

How can we remain hopeful in the face of such a scarey future? 

What can we do when so much seems out of our control? 

We’ll have a potluck meal together (vegetarian dishes encouraged!), watch a movie, and discuss all of these questions. 

We have answers. Join Us.

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 or need a book, please see Judy DePue on Sunday morning for pickup and payment.
                                                        ~ Judy DePue

Has Anyone Seen the Black Kitchen Cart?

The church’s rolling black kitchen cart seems to be missing in action, last seen perhaps as long ago as the Holiday Fair.  Does anyone have any ideas or clues?  Please tell the cart we miss it and want it to come back home to the Murray kitchen soon!

Donations Needed! 

Items needed:
  • Feminine care products
  • Personal care items (deodorant, shampoo soap, etc)
  • Ketchup
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 15th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.
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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