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

March 29, 2018

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"The Promise of Easter"

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

Who is to say what Easter is? And why we celebrate and sing a joyful Alleluia?  Come join us as we explore the Easter promise that some things will never die. 

W. Edward Harris observes that the darkest times in the human spirit are always succeeded by the renewal of life. Just as there is loneliness, abandonment, brutality, cruelty, hate and fear, so, too are there values and principles that cannot be killed and buried. Justice, Truth, Beauty, Love, and Courage, will continue to rise up again, and again, throughout the ages providing hope to illuminate the human experience. Alleluia! 

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"Ants in the Pants of Faith"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

Doubt is an essential part of exploring and living our beliefs. In the words of Frederick Buechner:  "...if you don't have any doubts, you are either kidding yourself, or asleep. Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving." Let's take a closer look at sacred skepticism and the importance of lifelong questioning as part of our faith journey to define our most important beliefs. 

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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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 We Make Ready to be Surprised by Spring
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
Winter really hammered us in March. As we head into Easter Sunday, and the beginning of April, dare we hope to leave the snow and cold behind? I know, this is New England, and another late season snowfall might yet creep up on us. Don't put the shovels, the scrapers away just yet, right? 

We're in that awkward in-between season, where it is not quite spring, yet it is no longer true winter, either. I am reminded of this poem by Richard Gilbert, a leading religious humanist in our faith movement. The poem is titled, "Spring Won't Take 'No' for an Answer." He writes,


We move in miracle this spring and Easter day.
 Life is straining to change brown to green,
 To warm the air we breathe,
To fill our nostrils with fresh fragrance.

We, the skeptical ones, know it is never so simple.
Green comes slowly, painfully, painstakingly, in its time.
Great northern winds can cut us to the bone
Even as we prepare the house of our spirit for spring.
Nonetheless, we make ready to be surprised by spring,
Lying restless within us, despite chill of body and soul.

Winter has reminded us that life must end in death,
That there are times of barrenness and loss
Which cannot be denied, only endured.
Yet we know the winter, as the spring, is not forever.
Always there is change - the changing of the seasons -
The changing seasons of the self.

Always there is the patience of the grass,
The cautious courage of the flowers,
The undaunted human spirit, ready for what may come
Spring won't take "no" for an answer.
Neither should we.


It is the season of resurrection, the promise of fresh growth, and life born anew. Even as our parking lot piles of plowed snow continue to melt, all around the church gardens, we see the cautious courage of flowers pushing up from the soil. We've even seen a few crocus blooms.  And, in the words of Gilbert, "We sing praises to the brave persistence of the earth." 

Please plan to join us this Sunday as we celebrate Easter, and commemorate through story and song the power of one person to change the world through his courageous, all-inclusive, healing love. There will be an Easter Egg hunt following worship. Parents, don't forget to bring cell phones or cameras to take photos!


Come, may our winter weary hearts make ready to be surprised by spring.


In love and faith,
Rev. Gretchen
Get Your Pledge Forms Turned In!
Please get your pledge forms filled out and turned back as quickly as possible. We need all forms back no later than next Sunday, April 8th, so we can announce our pledge totals on Celebration Sunday, April 15th, and the board can begin to create the budget for the 2018 -- 2019 church year. If you still need a pledge form, they are available in the church office, or at the back of the sanctuary on Sunday. You may return your pledge form to the special stair-step shaped box at the back of the sanctuary, or in the offering plate, or to the church office. If you have any questions, or need help, please contact Greg Wehmeyer, Stewardship Chair, at 508-216-3580 or email him at:

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, April 1st -- We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for Easter Spirit Group. We will have stories and crafts to celebrate Easter.
Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, April 1st -- We will begin in the service and then head to class for Philosopher's Club. Topic will be current events so please come with an article of interest to you.
Easter Egg Hunt
After the Easter Sunday service (April 1st), during Coffee Hour, we will have the Easter Egg Hunt! Nursery and Kindergarten children will hunt in the Unity Garden, while First through Sixth grade will have the Egg Hunt in the back yard of the church. All children please meet in the Unity Room to begin the hunt. Please bring your own basket or bag for collecting the eggs. Due to the wet and muddy conditions in our yard it is recommended that children wear boots.
Parents of Nursery and Kindergarten children

       must accompany their child outside.

                     Thank you!
P.S. -  Don't forget to bring your camera!
Mar. 29 & Apr. 5:
History of UU Classes
Thursday Nights at 6:30 pm - PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE
 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.
March 29 - Session  III   UU from 1961 to present

    April 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 6:30 pm in Harmony Hall.


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

Thank you to all the generous bunnies 

for donating candy and goodies for the Egg Hunt!

RE Care Packages

The RE program is planning to send small care packages to our young adults who are attending college, to remind them that we here at Murray Church are thinking of them and miss and support them in their pursuits. Our goal is to send the packages twice a year, in the late fall and late spring, before final exams.

On Sunday, April 8th we will have cards available during coffee hour for signing.

March of Our Lives



Several Murray members and friends traveled to the Rhode Island State Capitol in Providence on March 24th to participate in the March for Our Lives rally for more sensible gun control regulations. Other Murray folks attended the march held in Boston.
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Circle of Life


Congratulations are in order to the Toussaint family as they welcome the arrival of twins! The babies arrived on March 22nd, one day before their big brother Kai's birthday and the  wedding anniversary of Jessica and Katia. "We cannot wait to introduce you to Mahalia Ana-Rose Toussaint and Rumi Jae Toussaint." Both babies are home and doing wonderfully. 

Mahalia is baby A (left) and Rumi is Baby B (right).

Mar. 29 & 30:
Peace Walkers at Murray Today!
Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nations distorted morality.


  Join us tonight for a potluck dinner and informal discussion in 
Fellowship Hall at 5:30 pm.
  The Peace Walkers are from the New England Peace Pagoda   in Leverett, MA. As part of their annual walk for peace, Murray Church is one of their stops for fellowship while enroute to their final destination -- Washington D.C. 

There will also be a send-off breakfast at 7:30 am on Friday morning, March 30th, at the home of Mary Whelan & Dick Bonin. Please feel free to come.

Mar. 30:
Pop-Up Night Out
The Welcoming Committee invites you to join us for a Pop-Up Night Out at Sake Steakhouse on Friday, March 30th, at 6:30 pm. No reservations required. Children are welcome.
Sake Steakhouse is located at 

280 School Street in Mansfield at Mansfield Crossing.

Mar. 31:

Work Session This Saturday

There will be a work session on Saturday, March 31st, starting at 1 pm. Work will be done to fix up the rental area. Please wear clothing for painting. 
Email Tom Stuart at, or just show up.
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.
Contact Monica Weil at or call/text 401-441-8999

or Barbara Clark at

Murray Food Pantry 
Donations Needed
  • Condiments
  • Plastic Bags
  • Personal Care Items

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

Apr. 1:

Easter Sunrise Service
April 1st, 6:30 am, Newell Shelter, Capron Park Zoo

Morning collection will support the Chaplaincy Program at Sturdy Memorial Hospital.

All are welcome.

Attleboro Area Interfaith Collective -- 508-222-2933

 From Green Sanctuary

 Inspiration in Nature: Looking for Quotes

Our Green Sanctuary program is building a nature trail in the woodland behind Murray Church. The main goal is to offer a peaceful place in nature for meditation and spiritual renewal for all ages. As our lives have often become more separated from the natural world, we may need to nurture this connection and source of spiritual peace more than ever. The plan is to post some inspirational quotes on placards along the trail and near a bench that is also planned for the area.


Here's how you can help. Submit a quote that depicts inspiration you find in nature. We especially encourage quotes from UU thinkers (e.g. Emerson, Thoreau) or from our 7th Principal. Consider also quotes that would be meaningful to children. Perhaps quotes that bring in the senses (touch, sound, sight) would add extra interest. We plan to post three quotes along the trail. Please submit your suggestions to Judy DePue, email:, before April 15th.

Apr. 2:
Clara Barton Guild April Luncheon Meeting

The Clara Barton Guild will meet on Monday, April 2nd, at 11:45 am in the John Murray Room. We will enjoy lunch and fellowship and make plans for our upcoming Rummage Sale.  Bring your own salad or sandwich. Beverages and desserts will be provided by our hostesses. All women of the church are welcome to attend. 


Contact Bev Hall at 508-222-9324 
if you would like to join us.


Apr. 2:
Donations for Clara Barton Guild Spring Rummage Sale

The Spring Rummage Sale will be held on Friday, April 13th, and Saturday, April 14th, from 

9 am to 1 pm in Fellowship Hall. We need donations of usable clothing, shoes, jewelry, housewares, linens, books, toys - anything that you don't use any more. You may leave your items in Fellowship Hall starting on Monday, April 2nd. If you have any questions or need help getting your donations to church, please call Bev Hall at 508-222-9324.

Apr. 4:

Candlelight Vigil for Opioid Overdose Deaths to Raise Awareness of this Current Crisis
Sponsored by Norton Opioid Prevention Education (NOPE) and the Bristol Norfolk Medical Reserve Corps.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Yelle School Cafeteria

64 West Main Street, Norton MA 02766

If you have a loved one or friend you would like to have acknowledged, please forward their names to Norton BOH Office 508-285-0263, or email:  
All names will be read during the vigil. Battery operated candles provided.
Apr. 5:

THURSDAY, APRIL 5th at 6:00 PM

Woodman Center

Proceeds to benefit AHOPE.

Tickets at or at the door.

Suggested donation:

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

$25 for supporters

$15 for adults, $10 college students

17 and under free; all refugees free

Sponsored by Moses Brown School and Providence Friends Meeting.

 Moses Brown School
 250 Lloyd Avenue, Providence, RI 02906
Apr. 10:
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, April 10th at noon.

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

Apr. 11:

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, please contact:
Roger Boucher at 508-838-8249, or email at
Thank you!
Apr. 30:

May 6:    
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, May 6th, we will discuss, 


Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the
Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these modes of awareness, the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural, to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature.
Looking for Furniture Donations
Our friends at AHOPE (Americans Helping Others ProsPEr) have been resettling a number of new families into our area and are in need of more furniture - living room couches, chairs, coffee and end tables, kitchen tables and chairs, bed frames and dressers, etc. These new families include quite a number from Puerto Rico -- people whose homes have been totally destroyed or for whom electricity has not yet been restored.


The good news is that AHOPE will come to you to pick up any furniture you have to donate.

Please contact Mayss Bajbouj at 508-496-7733 to schedule a furniture pick-up.


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.