Murray Church Notes

March 14, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 31

In this Issue:

Why Would UUs Celebrate Lent?
Rev. Gretchen Weis 

In the Christian tradition, Lent is the 40-day season leading up to Easter.  It is observed as a season of sacrifice, a time of moderation or fasting, as people are asked to give something up in contemplation and honor of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus was to give on the cross.  Lent began last week on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, and will continue through Thursday, April 18, the symbolic day commemorating Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, before he was crucified the next day, known as Good Friday.   

How might a UU observe the Lenten season?  Many may no longer feel connected to the deeper Christian meanings and traditions of the Easter season.  Yet, there is an invitation waiting for us in this Lenten season – an invitation to reflection and spiritual deepening of a different sort.

Consider this “UU Lent Photo-A-Day” social media practice, created by young adults in our faith movement.  The UU Lent Calendar includes words for contemplation – each day we are invited to reflect on the word, what it means to us, as well as how we embody the word and enact it in our lives.  We are also invited to take a photo each day that symbolizes that word, and to post our daily photos on social media.    

Please see the UU Lent Calendar for the daily words inviting you into deeper reflection.  We will print extra copies of this #UU Lent Calendar and have them available at the back of the sanctuary for those who would like to participate in this Lenten practice.  And, please consider posting your daily photos on our church Facebook page, as well.

  Read More  

"Life Saving Generosity" 
His kidneys failed.  He was on dialysis.  Ten years ago, this Murray member was a candidate for a kidney transplant, but needed to find a donor.  He reached out to family and friends, including his church family here.  Five people at Murray volunteered to give him one of their kidneys.  One person was a perfect match. Come hear Roger Boucher and Linda Miller share their amazing story of profound, life-saving generosity, rooted in this community of love, hope and friendship.
"The Transcendentalists"   
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller.  These are just a few of our Unitarian faith ancestors who created the transcendentalist movement in the early 1800s. The transcendentalists were not content with the calm rationalism of Unitarianism.  Instead, they longed for a more intense spiritual experience, based on individual subjective intuition.   Come learn more about this movement, which celebrated the power and creative expression of the individual.  Special thanks to the individual who submitted a Question Box worship question asking to know more about this offshoot of Unitarianism.

Religious Education for Sunday, March 17

Nursery is available 9:45-11:00 am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only. 
Grades K-7:
We will begin in the service and then head to classes to learn about Mahatma Gandhi 
(Hinduism).  Gandhi’s philosophy about compassion and kindness will be discussed as we talk about spreading kindness everywhere!  

Youth Group:
Class begins at 10am!  The class will participate a Listening Circle about Murray Church.


RE is in need of small clear plastic containers (no lids needed).
RE is in need of small clear plastic containers (no lids needed).
Grades 3-7 enjoyed making tzedakah (charity) boxes for their Judaism lesson.
Our sign outside now reflects our offering of Sunday School!

Circle of Life

Joann Oberbeck fell on some ice this past week, but fortunately didn’t break anything.  She is recuperating at Life Care Center of Attleboro, at 969 Park Street, Room 115, and would welcome cards, calls and visits.  Long-time Murray member Ginny Kiff is also at Life Care, Room 203, and would also love some phone calls and visits, as well, but callers, note that Ginny is rarely in her room!

Zoey Dorothy Burke was born on International Women's Day, March 8th, making Kim & Mike Burke first-time parents. Mike reports that everyone is doing great.

All information in "Circle of Life" is shared with the permission of the people involved. 

The Giving Tree Campaign is Thriving

In the first three Sundays of our "Giving Tree" campaign, members and friends have pledged more than $14,000 to help reduce our rental income deficit!  That means $11,000 more to go!   We invite all Murray members and friends who have not yet participated to choose a heart from the Giving Tree in the sanctuary.  Please be sure to write "Giving Tree" in the memo section of your check or on the donation envelope if you are giving cash. A huge thank you to those members and friends who are helping us close the gap!

Religious Education Library Opens

Our Religious Education library is now open for anyone to borrow a book (or books)!  We have a wonderful collection of titles for children of all ages including adults. The library is located in Kavita's office (the door is always unlocked).

Please feel free to check a book out.  Write your name and title of the book on the clipboard (hanging on the shelf) and enjoy!  Please return the book after 2 weeks.

If you wish to see the list of books here is the link (plus there is a list on the clipboard also):

Many thanks to Laura Gustafson, Claire Kenney and Patrick Kenney for the hours they spent organizing the library.   Happy Reading!
-- Kavita                                                                   
Tonight! March 14:

Memorial Garden Meeting

Spring’s not sprung, 
the grass’ not riz’ 
But it’s time to start plannin’ 
for when it is.
There will be a Memorial Garden Committee Meeting tonight, Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm in the John Murray Room, a short & sweet meeting to discuss several topics:  
  • Update on new plates for MG plaque in hallway
  • Request from the Membership Committee to host the coffee hour – Possible dates, May 
  • 5, June 2 or June 9
  • Calendars - please bring your calendars so we can pick an initial (Sunday) date to clean up the garden and start the spring pruning  
  • Pick Sundays in April and May to work in garden  
  • Pick summer week nights (e.g., 1st & 3rd Wednesday nights) of June – August to maintain 
  • the garden
Everyone is welcome.  It’s a great way to learn something about gardening and to have a little fun while doing so.  If we start on time we can be done in 30-45 minutes.  

Horticulturally yours,
Russet Morrow

The Way We Were

We see you now - but Membership & Welcoming would like to give everyone a look at a past part of your life - what were you doing then?  Do you have a photo from when you were in the Navy, or from high school, even grade school, or when you're engaged in a favorite hobby, or any favorite photo.  The bulletin board outside of the sanctuary is the place to put your photo.  Put a note with it letting everybody know that it's you or remain anonymous and keep us guessing!

Can't wait to see the way you used to be!  Give your photo to Sandy Stuart or just pin it up on the bulletin board.

Children and youth - We want to see the way you were, too.  Give your photo to Kavita, our R.E. 
Director, and she'll put it up.

Easter Plants

Think Spring!  Easter is April 21.  Let me know if you are interested in putting a spring plant on the chancel table for Easter.  Plant choices are tulips, daffodils, lilies, and hyacinths.  I'll need to order by April 1. Please call me at 508-226-3109 or see me at church.
-- Irene Yutkins                     
March 23:

Minute to Win It Game Night

When: Saturday, March 23
Where: Unity Room
Time: 5-7 pm

Mark your calendar for this fun new churchwide event sponsored by the Religious Education Committee. Starting at 5pm we'll challenge you to some silly and wacky games for prizes. Stay for potluck dinner starting at 6pm.  Family style entrees and sides needed for potluck (paper goods supplied by RE.)  Sign-ups at Coffee Hour on March 17th or contact Kavita.

Murray UU Church Scholarships Available

Limited funds are available from the scholarship funds for this church year. The Scholarship Fund is administered by the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses. It is used to award scholarships to any member in good standing, following one full year of membership, for purposes of attending educational courses or training programs approved by this Board. For example, it could be applied toward registration fees for attending UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.
March 27:   

Monthly  Meditation 

"Let’s Meditate Together" will continue on a monthly basis during  March, April and May on the fourth Wednesday. 

Join us to continue learning and practicing meditation.  If you would benefit from a structured time and place, this may be for you.  Open to all, no previous experience is necessary.  You only need 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 and topics:
  • March 27 – Meditation for Relaxation
  • April 24 – Musical and Moving Meditation
  • May 22 – A potpourri of Meditation 
Time: 7:15-8:15 pm. Arrive at 7 pm. 
Room: John Murray Room 

Please RSVP to Sheila Jacobs.  If you would like to lead some of the meditations, please see Sheila. 
March 27:

Need Volunteers to Host Peace Walkers 

On Wednesday, March 27th, Murray Church will once again welcome a visit from participants in the 18th Walk for A New Spring members and friends of the Nipponzan Myohoyi Buddhist Order from The New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA   As walkers pass through communities en route to Washington, DC, they invite us to open a space to re-frame national security and address international and local crises: systemic poverty and racism, climate instability, oppression of immigrants, lack of health care. For more information about the 2019 Walk for a New Spring, click here. 

We need more helpers to:
•    welcome the walkers when they arrive late Wed afternoon
•    help organize the traditional potluck dinner which takes place from 6-7
•    help with publicity
•    offers of home hospitality, i.e., a bed or floor space 
•    organize breakfast at Murray at 7:30 the next morning
•    send off the walkers on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.
•    walk with the marchers for a 9:15 a.m. visit to Congressman Kennedy's office 

If you would like to play a part, please reach out to Barbara Clark or Mary Whelan as soon as possible.
March 31:

White Fragility Discussion: Part 3


Sunday, March 31
11:30 am - 12:45 pm in the Unity Room

You do not need to read "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" to join in.

Here is a quick-read article (it’s a good one)

We will have lots of time for conversation!

If you would like childcare, please let Kavita know a week or more before the meeting.
March 31:

Humanist Discussion

Join the discussion on Sunday, March 31

at 11:30 am in the church library.  
You do not have to be a Humanist to attend.  
Just bring your ideas and an open mind.

(and a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate)

There is a brief reading assignment.  Please let Len Yutkins know and you will be sent a copy.
April 3:

Attleboro Be Heard

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019 please join us here at Murray Church at 7:00 PM in the Unity Room for Attleboro Be Heard.  Attleboro Be Heard Community Coalition for Education is a group of parents, community members, educators, administrators, and students who are working together to improve access to learning at all levels of Attleboro Public Schools (APS).  We want to connect with parents and community members to identify the issues most important to the community at this time and then work together with administration to make improvements in our district. 

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard about the Attleboro Public Schools (APS).  All are invited – current students in APS, past students, parents and students from other school systems – all are welcomed.  Childcare will be provided by Attleboro Public Schools, and light refreshments will be available.

So come join the conversation. For more information or to register contact Janet Richardi.
April 6:

Spring Fling Wine Tasting Fundraiser

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 half 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.

Food Pantry Donations Needed!            

  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Chips, pretzels, etc.


The Murray Food Pantry thanks you for all your donations and continued support!

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, March 19th.  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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