Murray UU Church | 505 North Main St | Attleboro, MA 02703

February 8, 2018

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"Love & Marriage"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

Human marriage partnering is as old as time, and in many cultures, it was common for parents to arrange marriages for their children. The practice of people selecting their own partners based on romantic love is a relatively new concept in the human story. Yet, sadly, one in two marriages fail in today's world. What are the secrets to a happy marriage? On this Sunday closest to Valentine's Day, let's hear from a few Murray couples as they share their love stories.


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"Beat the Winter Cold"

Matt Meyer

Join the Religious 

Services Committee for a 

fun-filled Sunday morning
service conducted by well-known GA drummer and spiritual leader 
Matt Meyer followed by an exciting Beach themed coffee hour! Bet you can feel the heat already!!

. . .
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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Love is Patient, Love is Kind
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
  Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Some see February 14th as a
  wonderful opportunity to express love and appreciation for a romantic partner.
  Still others see it as a holiday fraught with opportunities for missteps - did I
  spend enough money? Did I select the "right" level of gift to match where we
  are in our relationship? Or, uh oh, I forgot to get my partner something. Maybe he or she won't remember it's Valentine's Day...

Valentine's Day can certainly be seen as a consumer frenzy that might just benefit the greeting card and florist industries more than it benefits relationships. And, for those of us who are single, divorced or widowed, Valentine's Day can be that painful yearly reminder that as individuals, we are on the outside looking in at all this fuss over partnered, romantic love.

Yet, even if we didn't have a commercial holiday like Valentine's Day once a year, isn't human love and marriage worth pausing to celebrate? Since the dawn of the human story, people have partnered up the world over -- across different cultural and religious traditions -- typically to procreate, but also to protect and to care for one another throughout shared lives.   

For much of human history, marriage was arranged by parents to optimize and fortify political and financial alliances between families. The idea of the individual choosing a partner based on attraction and romantic love is a relatively newer concept in the human story. An idea that seems to be struggling in modern times, as virtually half of all marriages in the developed world seem to end in divorce these days.  

Let's face it, marriage vows are among the most important, and certainly the most difficult promises we can make to another person. What is covenanted in the glow of romantic love can sometimes be difficult to live into and live up to in the stress of our everyday living, juggling multiple careers, and the cost and time demands of raising a family in today's world.   

How might we support one another in this all-important, and often difficult work of finding, creating and maintaining healthy partnerships and loving, supportive families? And, for those of us who have had to unwind a partnership through painful divorce, myself included, how can we help to support one another as individuals living alone, especially those among us raising children as unmarried or divorced parents? 

Perhaps love of self, and love of another begins with generosity and gratitude. The generosity of patience, the generosity found in accepting each other for the unique human being each is, warts and all. And, the gratitude found when we count the many blessings in front of us instead of focusing on what might not be present in our partner or in our lives.   

While the pulse-pounding excitement of romantic love is, indeed, one of life's most treasured experiences, many of us know first-hand that romantic love can fade over time, and is often replaced by an even deeper expression of human connection.    

One of the most celebrated writings about love comes from scripture. It is Paul's letter to the newly formed, fledgling Christian community in ancient Corinth, which was struggling under the weight of competing personalities, and nasty internal disputes. When Paul wrote this letter in the first century, published later as part of the New Testament as First Corinthians, he was knocking some heads together and calling people back into right relationship with one another. 


Coughs, Colds and the Flu:  
Do You Need
 to Stay Home and Rest?

There sure seems to be a lot of the crud going around right now. From a bad stomach virus making the rounds, to fever, chills, congestion and bad coughs, so many of you have been under the weather lately. And this current bout of flu around the country is considered highly contagious and very dangerous. If you find yourself running a high fever over the course of several days, I encourage you to get to an emergency room or urgent care center immediately to be seen by a doctor. Please don't take chances. 

Tis the season to double down and take good care of ourselves. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of liquids, get plenty of sleep. Everyone, please wash your hands frequently. If you are sick, please cover all coughs. And, if you are feeling tired and run down, if you are running a fever, or if you have been diagnosed recently with a virus that could be contagious, please do all of us a huge favor, and stay home and rest.   

We all want you to get better as soon as possible. If you are home sick and need some help with meals or a ride to the doctors, please call the church office at 508-222-0505 or contact Caring Circle Chair Barbara Clark at so we can activate the Helping Hands Network.  

Be smart. Be well. And feel better soon!

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):
Saturday, February 10th -- Fun and Film! From 2 pm -- 5 pm in the Unity Room. Come enjoy games and the movie, Sing! Bring snacks to share with your friends!

Sunday, February 11th -- We will begin in the service and then head to our classes to continue our learning of World Religions. Today we will learn about Buddhism.

Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Saturday, February 10th -- Fun and Film! From 2 pm -- 5 pm in the Unity Room. Come enjoy games and the movie, Sing! Bring snacks to share with your friends!

Sunday, February 11th -- A Place of Wholeness UU curriculum with Sheila Jacobs and Monica Staaf. Class will be from 10 am -- 11 am.

RE at Murray
Our children (and teachers) learned how to meditate!

Our middle and high schoolers had a class in journaling! 


The monthly nursery parents playgroup was fun! 

Celebrate Love
Valentine interactive bulletin board in the RE Wing! Come pick a heart and complete the sentence Love Is... and hang it up. Let's celebrate love!

2018 Murray Members & Friends Directory

To get your copy of 

the most recent updated Murray Directory,
please click 

Please email any changes, updates or corrections to 

LaChelle at

(REV. 2/18)
Feb. 10:   THIS SATURDAY!!!
RE Fun & Film
Saturday, February 10th from 2 pm - 5 pm
in the Unity Room, featuring:
In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario's attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists' find that their lives will never be the same.


This will be a fun afternoon for families and friends! We will begin at 2 pm with active games in Fellowship Hall. Then we will transform the Unity Room into a movie theater. We want everyone to be comfy and cozy so bring blankets, pillows or sleeping bags! 


We are also encouraging everyone to bring friends. The more the merrier! If you could provide a snack to share and a donation for our Food Pantry, it would be greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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 at or call/text 401-441-8999,

or Barbara Clark at

Food Pantry Donations Needed
          • Paper Bags
          • Plastic Bags
          • Reusable Bags
Thank you for your continued support!                 
Murray Church Food Pantry Team 

Feb. 11:


 Waking Up White Book Discussion Group
  Sunday, February 11th following Worship

  11:45 am in the John Murray Room


  Our next book discussion group about white privilege will be held
  on Sunday, February 11th following worship in the John Murray
  Room. Please grab a cup of coffee at coffee hour and head to the
  John Murray Room to begin our exploration of pp. 206 - 241. 


  In January, we showed the short film "White Privilege 101:
  Getting into the Conversation." If you would like to see this

   excellent film, click 
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Feb. 13:
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, February 13th at noon.

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

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Feb 14:
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.
  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 at 508-838-8249, or email  at
Thank you!
Image from
 From Green Sanctuary
 Here's What Our Green Sanctuary

 Program is Doing

This past week we hosted a Watch Party for a live national event organized by and other groups. People from Murray and the community attended to learn about strategies to promote fossil free solutions to climate change and environmental justice. Social justice groups across the country are joining together on fossil free initiatives, as pollution and extreme weather impacts marginal communities hardest. We were pleased to learn that three quarters of these Watch Parties in Massachusetts were held at UU churches.  

During Coffee Hour last Sunday, we offered a non-binding petition to encourage the Massachusetts legislature to move clean energy bills along, including Senate bill S1876, which targets 50% clean energy by 2030. Thirty-two people signed. Thank you! Supporting information about the bills and legislative call-ins can be found at, a large coalition that believes our state and region can power forward with clean, affordable, reliable energy and a thriving economy. 

 Also, we want to celebrate the installation of LED lights in the Unity Room, thanks to our Property Committee. Other rooms will be upgraded soon, on the way to using LEDs throughout the church. Please check out our bulletin board near Fellowship Hall to see the many things we're doing to Green our Spiritual Home.

Feb. 18:
Beat the Winter Cold...
Matt Meyer

Come join The Religious Services Committee
for a fun-filled Sunday morning service conducted by well
known General Assembly drummer and spiritual leader

Matt Meyer followed by an exciting Beach themed coffee hour! Bet you can feel the heat already!! 
We look forward to seeing you there!!!

The Religious Services Committee

Feb. 25 & Mar. 7:
New Member Orientation Class!

Are you interested in joining Murray Church? Come learn more about Unitarian Universalism, about Murray Church, and about the benefits of belonging to this faith community. 

Part 1 of our new member orientation classes will be held on Sunday, February 25th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the John Murray Room following worship. A light lunch will be provided.  


Part 2 will be held on Wednesday, March 7th at 7:00 pm in the John Murray Room. 

Please let Rev. Gretchen or LaChelle know if you are interested in participating and joining, 713-508-222-0505 or

Childcare can be arranged by contacting Kavita Vansant at by no later than February 18th.

This is a welcoming and affirming congregation, with membership open to all!
Feb. 26:
Central Congregational Church &

Murray UU Church Blood Drive

Monday, February 26th, 2018

in Fellowship Hall at Murray Church

1 pm -- 6 pm

To schedule an appointment please call 1-800-RED-CROSS

or visit:  

and enter sponsor code:  MurrayUUC


Help save a life by giving the gift of life! You can read about the blood giving process on the Red Cross website: If you are a regular blood donor, please check your eligibility schedule and plan to be with us on that date. If you have not given blood before, please review the details on the Red Cross website and determine if you are eligible. Please tell your other family members, friends and neighbors and invite them as well. We recruit donors in advance and help with scheduling their appointments. 

For more information, 
please contact Jim Richardi at 

if you need any help or advice with the process. 

Lost & Found

Are you missing your glasses? Did you put down your water bottle and can't seem to remember where? Did you drop a glove somewhere? Did you lose your watch?

Please check the church office or the basket in the hallway where the choir robes are for a collection of lost & found items.

Feb. 24:
Next Food 'n' Friends

Soup Kitchen

Murray hosts the next Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen 

on Saturday, February 24th, 2018 from 8 am -- 12:30 pm.
Mar. 4: 
Sunday Book Group
THE SUNDAY BOOK GROUP meets the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 am 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 consensus, of reasonable length, and library accessible.
On Sunday, March 4th, we will discuss, Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios, by Holly FitzGerald.

The author and her husband, Fitz -- married less than two years
-- set out on a yearlong honeymoon adventure of a lifetime, backpacking around the world. Five months into the trip their plane crash lands in Peru at a penal colony walled in by jungle, and their blissfully romantic journey turns into a terrifying nonstop labyrinth of escape and survival. It becomes the ultimate survival story; a wild raft ride--the wildest--down a South American river in the thick of the Amazon Basin.


NOTE: The author is a friend of Monica Staaf and she lives in South Dartmouth, MA. Her memoir has won top reviews by NY Times Book Review, and by other reviewers and readers. She wrote this after retirement from her career. There's hope for the latent storytellers among us!
Love is Patient... 

These familiar verses are often read during wedding ceremonies, to celebrate romantic love - which is eros in Greek. Yet Paul was using the Greek word agape when he wrote these passages, referring to love as an expression of compassion, or loving kindness.    

I invite you to enjoy this excerpt from First Corinthians, Chapter 13. Because, perhaps the most powerful of long-lasting human connections involves the gifts of both eros and agape in our living and in our loving? 


If I speak in the tongues

of mortals and of angels,

but do not have love,

I am a noisy gong

or a clanging cymbal.


And if I have prophetic powers,

and understand all mysteries

and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith,

so as to remove mountains,

but do not have love,

I am nothing.


Love is patient; love is kind;

love is not envious or boastful

nor arrogant nor rude.

Love does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

love does not rejoice in wrongdoing,

but rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.


Love never ends.

And now faith, hope,

and love abide,

these three;

and the greatest of these

is love.


As Valentine's Day nears, I invite everyone to remember that all of us, no matter what our relationship status, are worthy of and deserving of love. Each of us yearns for and needs love, acceptance and compassionate kindness, whether found in a partnership, or within a circle of family and friends, or both.   

Please join us this Sunday, as we lift up and celebrate the power of partnership in human relations. We will share stories from a relatively newly-wed couple who are in the process of building a family together, as well as a longer-term married couple, and a couple who was able to find love and happiness together after having both lived through the failure and painful end of earlier marriages. May it be a rich, meaningful time together!    

In love and faith,
Rev. Gretchen

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.