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

VOLUME 6 * ISSUE 32
February 22, 2018

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THIS SUNDAY


"Daring to Dream"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

There are an estimated 800,000 young adults who were brought illegally to America as infants or young children who are identified as Dreamers - covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that is set to expire. Who are these young people, who have grown up here, been educated here, who work or go to college, and pay taxes, and have never known another home country except America?  Let's hear from a few of these Dreamers who grew up in our area, as they share their stories and help to put a face on this all-important immigration issue.

 

. . .

 

NEXT SUNDAY

"What, Me Worry?"

Rev. Mark Caggiano

Rev. Caggiano will address topics of anxiety including personal, social and generational.


. . .
 
SERMONS AVAILABLE
ON OUR WEBSITE!
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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Murray Church Office
508-222-0505
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FROM OUR MINISTERtopone

 
 Let the Children Lead Us
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis


  The teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are leading the conversation forward about gun control for automatic weapons. After a former student opened fire in their school last week, killing 17 people, this group of amazing young people has been
sharing their stories, speaking their difficult, painful truth to power.

Their stories are grounded in the moral authority of their first hand experiences. Unlike past mass shooting events, where it has seemed easy for elected officials to say a few words of condolence, possibly visit the site of the massacre, and to then simply ignore requests for change, it has been virtually impossible for elected officials to say "no," to hearing out this group of children. Or to ignore questions from a teacher who shielded and saved 64 children in her classroom alone. 

A group of Parkland students and their parents, along with parents who lost children at Columbine, Colorado, and at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, met with the President yesterday.   

At the same time, busloads of other Parkland students and their parents, teachers and religious leaders traveled seven hours to the state capital and confronted elected leaders in Tallahassee. They didn't have appointments. Their state legislators had voted to refuse discussion about banning automatic weapons and the proposed legislation was defeated days before. Some officials refused to meet with the Parkland students. Others invited them to crowd into their offices and listened. The students were polite, but firm, as they interrupted a state committee meeting. The committee chair granted them permission to speak, so their stories could be witnessed. One student asked legislators, "What logical reason is there for anyone to have an assault rifle? Why would you vote a ban down?" 

And, last evening, there was a moderated televised town hall meeting broadcast on CNN, held in Sunrise, Florida, attended by Parkland students, teachers, parents and their elected national officials, including both U.S. Senators from Florida and the Congressman who represents Parkland. The Broward County Sheriff and a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association were also available to answer questions.  

This town hall meeting was powerful, participatory democracy at work. "We the People" were holding elected officials accountable in the aftermath of last week's school shooting. People demanded to know what their elected officials were willing to do to stop school shootings from ever happening again. People expressed shock and anger that elected officials did nothing to improve gun control laws in the wake of the Columbine school shooting, now nearly 20 years ago. And that still nothing was done in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, 5 years ago. People stood and cheered that the Parkland community was committed to taking the fight to state and nationally elected officials, that the time has finally come to do something about gun control.   
 

Despite their painful stories, their frustration, and their anger, none of those who rose to ask questions wished to take away the Second Amendment -- the right to bear arms. Rather, they questioned officials about taking away access to assault weapons -- weapons of war, as they called them -- and about banning those products such as bump stocks that can turn a simple rifle into an automatic weapon. They questioned officials about what they were going to do going forward be able to stop someone like the Parkland shooter -- a highly disturbed teen-ager with a record of more than 20 visits from law enforcement and social service agencies, as well as red flag postings threatening violence on social media -- how to stop someone like that from ever being able to access and purchase an assault weapon, like he did, legally.  


 

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 barbjclark@gmail.com so we can activate the Helping Hands Network.  

Be smart. Be well. And feel better soon!

 

reRELIGIOUS EDUCATION

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
       
THIS WEEK
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, February 25th -- We will begin in the service and then head to our classes to continue our learning of World Religions. Today we will learn about Hinduism.

 

Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, February 25th -- There will be no morning Youth Group. You are encouraged to be in the service. We will meet for Evening Youth Group from 6 pm -- 7:30 pm. Bring a game!

 

History of UU Classes

In March, Adult RE is presenting a four part lecture/discussion session of the History of Unitarian Universalism in the United States with an emphasis on how beliefs have changed.

 
3/15 - Session    I   Universalism to 1961

3/22 - Session   II   Unitarianism to 1961

3/29 - Session  III   UU from 1961 to present

  4/5 - Session IV    UU, what lies ahead?

 
Each session will be about one hour in length and will be a lecture followed by discussion.  Each session is independent of each other. There is no sign up! Sessions will begin on Thursday, March 15th. All sessions will be on Thursday evenings at 7 pm in Harmony Hall. 


Questions? Just ask Len Yutkins, call 508-226-3109.

 

Finding inner love...
Our Youth Group baked brownies for the Soup Kitchen and enjoyed our "beat the winter blues" tropical theme during coffee hour!

 

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!

 

featuresFEATURES

Feb. 25:
     This Sunday's Dedicated Offering:
 
This Sunday, February 25, our Dedicated Offering will be collected for United We Dream, an immigrant youth-led organization that helped win the law known as DACA. The group is impresssively effective in:
  • Securing citizenship and legal protections for immigrants. Its current focus is on the passage of a new Dream Act.
  • Defending against deportations
  • Assisting immigrants in protecting their individual rights, including LGBTQ rights
  • Promoting and protecting educational opportunities.
While its leaders are immigrant youth, United We Dream works for the betterment of all immigrants and our society as a whole. It is committed to being multi-ethnic, non-violent, democratic, and free from discrimination. 

We welcome your contribution on Sunday morning. If you choose to contribute by check, please write the check to Murray Church and write United We Dream on the memo line.  
 

Thank you for your support of this important organization, as we work to put our UU values into action.

The Murray Church Social Concerns Committee

 

2018 Murray Members & Friends Directory

To get your copy of 

the most recent updated Murray Directory, please click [HERE]. 
 

Please email any changes, updates or corrections to LaChelle at office@murrayuuchurch.org.
(REV. 2/12/18)

 

Easter Plants
Think Spring! Easter is April 1st. If you are interested in putting a spring plant on the chancel table for Easter, please see Irene Yutkins. Plant choices are tulips, daffodils, lilies and hyacinths. Order have to be placed by March 19th. Please call Irene Yutkins at 508 226-3109 or see her at church.


 

Volunteer for Coffee Hour...

f 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.


Questions? 

Contact Monica Weil at monicaweil@gmail.com or call/text 401-441-8999

or Barbara Clark at barbjclark@gmail.com.

 

 

Food Pantry Donations Needed
          • Paper Bags
          • Personal Care Items
          • Feminine Care Products
          • Bathroom Tissue
                            

Thank you for your continued support!
Murray Church Food Pantry Team 

 

Feb. 24:
Murray Hosts Food & Friends Soup Kitchen 

  Murray hosts the Food & Friends Soup Kitchen every 4th Saturday of the month, from 8 am -- 12:30 pm, at Centenary Methodist Church, located at 39 North Main Street in Attleboro.


Help out once for an hour!

You'll make all the difference!

                     

                    
We need volunteers for all shifts and tasks. Tasks we need help with:
Early (8 am -- 10 am)
  • Set up tables & chairs
  • Make sandwiches
  • Prepare main meal
  • Wash dishes
  • Serve coffee & juice
 Later (10:45 am -- 12:30 pm)
  • Plate meals
  • Serve guests
  • Breakdown tables & chairs
  • Wash dishes
  • Sweep & mop
To sign-up, click [HERE].
                                                     
                                                  
For more information, please contact Stephanie Paquette at smpaquette@gmail.com or (call or text) 401-603-8386.


Feel free to share this info with anyone who might be interested in helping out!

 

Feb. 24:
Movie Night featuring:
"Spotlight"
Saturday, February 24th at 7 pm 
in Harmony Hall

Bring snacks and join us for a movie and in-depth discussion afterwards. We will be viewing SPOTLIGHT:                                     

"A gripping true story about the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered a scandal that rocked one of the world's oldest and most trusted institutions. Delving into allegations of child abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese, a tenacious team of Boston Globe reporters exposes a decades-long cover-up that reaches the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment."

                         
Can institutions become too powerful? Can they be challenged?
Does this show we need an independent Press?

 

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 office@murrayuuchurch.org.

 

Childcare can be arranged by contacting Kavita Vansant at 

kkvansant@gmail.com 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: www.redcrossblood.org 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: http://www.redcrossblood.org/. 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 jimrichardi@comcast.net 

if you need any help or advice with the process. 

 

Feb 28:

WE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP 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, lease  contact: Roger Boucher at 508-838-8249, or email  at cedarzin@comcast.net
                          
Thank you!
Image from johnlund.com

 

Mar. 4:
Cleaning Out Storage
As part of refurbishing Fellowship Hall, the Property Committee will be reviewing items that are stored in the hall and the area behind the hall.  

 

On Sunday, March 4th, the storage area will be cleared out for review what is there. If there are items that you are concerned about, either come to the area after the service, or contact Tom Stuart.

 

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!

 

Mar. 11:

 

 Waking Up White Book Discussion Group
  Sunday, March 11th following Worship 11:45 am in the
  John Murray Room
                            

  Our next book discussion group about white privilege will be held on Sunday, March 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 finish reading the final section, pp. 245 - 253  and come prepared to brainstorm ideas of how we take our  learnings beyond the church walls to help serve as meaningful advocates in anti-racist justice work in our community.
  

In January, we showed the short film "White Privilege 101: Getting
 into the Conversation." If you would like to see this 
excellent film, click 
[HERE].
[back to top]

 

continueLet the Children Lead Us  (continued)


Students, parents and teachers asked elected officials about creating better, more effective background checks, and about raising the legal age to purchase guns to 21. They questioned their elected officials about how much money each receives from the NRA and if the official was willing to give that money back. Several officials at the state and national level balked at that. Yet the officials gave important answers we all need to hear, about the complexity of the current system. And that so many loopholes exist that would make some currently proposed legislation ineffective within 24 hours of it being passed, as gun manufacturers would make one small change to the weapons and the assault rifles would become legal once more.   

It was important to hear from the officials that changes in gun control legislation has to include both state and national action if loopholes are going to be closed for more effective background checks, and if blocking access to weapons of war were to become truly effective. 

And it was important to be reminded that the current attention span of our nation has grown shorter, and that this particular legislative battle is going to take a concerted effort that will have to stretch considerably past America's short attention span, if it is to be effective. 

The exchange with officials was at times painful, poignant and important. Our nation needs to have more of these conversations, coast to coast. I give high marks to those elected officials and others, including the lady from the NRA, who had the courage to show up and be part of this tough, compelling question and answer session, even if the views some officials expressed were not popular with this crowd, reeling from the aftermath of this school shooting.  

Last night's town hall broadcast was powerful, essential television. If you did not see the town hall meeting, I encourage you to view it [HERE]  

As I watched media reports of the families who visited with the President, the teens who spoke up in Tallahassee, and the televised town hall meeting, I couldn't help but notice that the students, parents and teachers from Parkland were predominantly white. They were fully comfortable with their role, their right to speak the hard truths of their experience with their elected officials. It was clear they expected their elected officials to stop, and to pay attention to them, to become engaged with them in the gun control conversation.   

I couldn't help but wonder, if last week's school shooting had impacted predominantly students and families of color, would we be having this national conversation right now? Would legislators have stopped and invited young people of color and their parents into the White House, into a state legislative committee meeting, or would CNN have organized a town hall meeting for nationwide broadcast? Why, for instance, were there no televised town hall meetings organized in the wake of so many police shootings of black men, the majority of them unarmed? 

The lives of all people are precious beyond measure. The children of Parkland, their parents and their teachers are right. It is finally time for American students, parents, and communities everywhere to speak out, to hold elected officials accountable to finally take action, and to do all we can to put an end to school shootings. If this is a national conversation sparked by voices of white privilege, of the experiences of dominant culture, then let these voices of white, middle to upper middle class Americans initiate conversations that impact all. And let us invite in voices from the margins that typically have a hard time gaining media exposure. This is a conversation that needs all voices to be heard. Because this is about the safety of all our beautiful children. 

I have to believe there is a middle way if we put our best minds and our committed hearts into action on behalf of school children everywhere -- a way to honor the intent of the Second Amendment while keeping weapons of war off the streets, and especially out of the hands of dangerous, disturbed people. 

This will be a long, protracted fight. I believe it begins in our own backyard. Perhaps it is time for us to engage with our state and national elected officials, to find out how much NRA money each receives, and if they are willing to give that money back so they are no longer beholden to the strongest lobby on the planet. There are opportunities for us to engage in participatory democracy, to contact state officials about pending legislation up on Beacon Hill, and to be a voice to convene our own town hall meetings with our national elected officials. 

I hope to see you in church this Sunday, where we will explore another difficult topic dominating our national landscape. I have invited a young man who is a registered DACA Dreamer to share his story with us, as we look at the more than 800,000 young people who were brought into this country illegally as children. Can it be possible to find a path to legal citizenship for these young adults who have been raised and educated here, and who identify as Americans? 

In love, faith, hope and compassion,

Rev. Gretchen

 

frosty-bough.jpgSNOW CANCELLATION INFORMATION

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:

CBSBoston.com, WHDH.com, WCVB.com
Cancellations will also be posted on our website and Facebook page: 
Be sure to "Like" us to see updates in your news feed.