Murray Church Notes

April 11, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 35

In this Issue:


Let Us Sing the Praises of
Our Clara Barton Guild Ladies

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

I want to single out and honor a special group of women here at Murray Church – the ladies of the Clara Barton Guild.   Perhaps you know them by the rummage sales they host each spring and fall.  But the Clara Barton Guild is so much more than that.  This women’s group meets quarterly and provides a vital social link among a number of our beloved elders who may no longer be able to attend Sunday worship.  

Clara Barton is also a social services group.  Since they began, back in the 1960s, they have always sponsored fundraisers, supporting summer camps for diabetic girls and boys for nearly 70 years.  They also donate to the church Food Pantry, the UU Services Committee, and help out with special needs here at Murray, including curtains for Harmony Hall and coffee pots for coffee hour.  They have also made an annual financial pledge to support the church for as long as anyone can remember.

These dedicated volunteers are busy in Fellowship Hall getting ready for what will be their final rummage sale this Friday and Saturday.  It was with heavy, but realistic hearts that leaders from Clara Barton met with board leadership earlier this year to announce they would no longer be able to host the semi-annual sales.  You see, the vast majority of the Clara Barton members are now in their 70s and 80s, and the physical demands needed to sort through donations and set up for the sale have become more than the group can manage.   

It was time to let the rummage sales, in their current format, go.   Yet, you know that old proverbial saying, how when one door closes, another one opens?  With the Clara Barton rummage sales going away, the idea was born for a year-round thrift shop here at Murray Church.

Members of the board began to research and visit other UU church thrift shops in our area to explore the challenges and possibilities.  The core team is envisioning an on-site store that sells high quality used goods.  Perhaps the store would be open about 3 days a week, offering gently used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories, books, kitchenware and other decorative household items.

We certainly have the space.  Currently, the core planning team is exploring with our Property Committee what it would take to turn what was the Library and the “way back” corner storage room into the thrift shop.  The planning team met with representatives from the Food Pantry to make sure Food Pantry space requirements and client confidentiality needs would continue to be met.  A group of volunteers moved the Library last weekend to Spirit Space, the unused classroom across from the Purple Chat Room.  The Historical office and archives were moved to an office across the hall from the music offices.  Shelving and storage items from the way back storage room were moved into some of the empty rooms up front across from the church offices.

We certainly have a jump on some start-up thrift store inventory.   At the close of this week’s Clara Barton rummage sale this Saturday, the clean up crew will sort through left over items and save any good quality items for a thrift store.  We also have boxes of Almost Antiques, Grandma’s Attic and Grandpa’s Garage items to sort through from the Holiday Fair.  Rather than sit out in the pod for 363 days a year, perhaps some of that inventory might be able to bring in revenue throughout the rest of the year.  And that might just open the door (and the pod) to more room for some fresh, new donations for the Fair.

Would a thrift store have a negative impact on the Holiday Fair income?  The initial thinking is that a thrift store would be additive to the Fair, helping to draw in more shoppers, offering several more rooms of items for sale, especially clothing, which we have never offered at the Fair.  

What we need is you!  Finding enough long-term regular steady-eddy volunteers will be key to success.  There will be a lot of work to be done, week in and week out.  We will need a team of folks to manage the donations as they come in, to sort through boxes and bags, to price and stock quality items, while doing regular “Savers” runs to get some cash for the donations we can’t use.   There will be those who help keep the racks and shelves restocked, as well as volunteer sales staff to take regular shifts to help customers during business hours.  We are pleased that a number of people have come forward to express interest -- even some of the Clara Barton team have said they would like to help staff the store.  

If you are interested in helping out, please let Rev. Gretchen or Jim Richardi, who is spearheading the research and development for a thrift shop, know what interests you.  There will be plenty of volunteer tasks available, from limited one-time commitments to ongoing assignments.  Please stay tuned as things develop.

The rummage sales themselves may be ending, but the Clara Barton Guild will continue as usual, providing essential social networking for an important group of Murray members and friends.  And, Clara Barton will continue to support the church financially, in whatever way they can.  Women of any age are invited to get involved.  Please contact Bev Hall to learn more.

Special thanks to staff and volunteers for pitching in to help out with worship last Sunday while I was sick and contagious with the flu.  I’m back, regrouping and recouping, and look forward to sharing Sunday worship with you.  This Sunday, we explore Jesus’s radical teachings about who was welcome to share a meal at his table.  In welcoming all as equals -- including sinners, tax collectors, and women -- Jesus was challenging the very premise and power politics of Jewish purity laws.  Let us look deeper into the compassion and promise of a truly radical welcoming table, as we remember Jesus on this Palm Sunday. 

In love and faith,

Rev. Gretchen   

"The Radical Table of Equals"
Jesus of Nazareth lived in a world where purity was politics.  Society was structured around a rigid set of purity laws, designed to maintain a separate boundary between what was considered "pure and clean" verses "impure and untouchable."  The purity system ensured social discrimination and injustice.  Think rich vs. poor, men vs. women, those healthy vs. those who were sick.  On this Palm Sunday, let's revisit the Radical Rabbi who dared to invite impure outcasts to share a meal as equals.  Jesus fought for a world where compassion for all trumped the politics of purity.  And Jewish authorities were not amused.
"The Promise of Easter"
Who is to say what Easter is?  W. Edward Harris observes that the darkest times in the human spirit are 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.  Justice, Truth, Beauty, Love, and Courage, will continue to rise up again, and again throughout the ages of human experience.   Alleluia, indeed!

Religious Education for Sunday, April 14

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 our classes to finish up World Religions.  We will learn about Native American faith by hearing the story of Hiawatha and how he brought peace amongst the tribes.  Our children will be planting seeds in soil and possibly going outside, so please dress your child accordingly. 

Youth Group:

Class begins at 10 am!  UU curriculum "Heeding the Call" continues with a lesson on Peace.
Our children worked on a new bulletin board!
April 12 & 13:

Spring Rummage Sale

Come find your not-so-buried treasure!

Friday, April 12 - 8:30 a.m. thru 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 - 8:30 a.m. thru 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 13 - 1 p.m. thru approximately 2:30 p.m.

If you can give us a couple of hours during cleanup, please contact Bev Hall.
This Saturday, April 13:

 Potluck Dinner, 
Movie & Discussion

Save the Date!

"White Man's Burden"
Starring Harry Belafonte & John Travolta
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Location: Unity Room

Imagine an America in the future where black people and white people switch roles ... this is the story in "White Man's Burden." We look forward to a fun potluck, an interesting movie, and a lively post-movie conversation.  Please join us!
April 13

Islamic School of Rhode Island
Community Dinner Potluck

Very Important: Please bring a dish that is not prepared with alcohol or pork.  If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Aguiar.

This Sunday, April 14:
Care Packages for our College Youth

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 14 we will have cards available for signing during coffee hour.
April 21:

Egg Hunt

Gather in the Unity Room on Easter Sunday, April 21 for the Annual Egg Hunt immediately following service. Children up to Kindergarten age will search in the Unity Garden while our children grades 1-6 will be in the backyard area. ALL children must be accompanied by a parent.   Children are encouraged to bring a basket or bag to carry their eggs.  *New this year* - Take your eggs to the prize table located in the Spirit Space room to trade them in for candy and goodies.  Questions/Concerns: Contact either Carol or Kavita. 
April 21

Easter Sunrise Service

Youth Service Project

For AHOPE ( and NuDay Syria (
Objective: Donations to help refugees that came to Rhode Island from war-torn areas of the world and to help them to build a new life.
The Youth Group of Murray church is collecting the following:
-    Soap
-    Shampoo
-    Shower gel
-    Toothpaste
-    Toothbrush
-    Feminine products
-    Deodorant – Women and Men
-    Paper product
-    Detergent
-    Socks
-    Mittens
-    Hats
-    Toilet paper
-    Paper towels
-    Kleenex

If you don’t have any of those items to donate, you can always help by sharing this message. Any help is appreciated in order to make a positive change in our world. Thank you.
                                                                              – The Youth

Camperships Available

Summer will be here before we know it! Are you interested in attending a UU camp or retreat center this summer or fall? Camperships are available to supplement expenses for Murray Church members of any age. Ferry Beach, Star Island and Rowe Camp are some of the places that Murray members have attended in the past. Information on the camps is available on their websites and from our DLRE, Kavita Vansant. Applications are available from Kavita or by clicking here and must be returned by April 30, 2019.
April 22:

Blood Drive

April 24:   

Last Meditation Class

The final "Let’s Meditate Together" class will be "Musical and Moving Meditation"

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. 

Time: 7:15-8:15 pm. Arrive at 7 pm. 
Room: John Murray Room 

RSVP to Sheila Jacobs. 

Please note
that the May 22 class has been cancelled.
April 24:

Green Sanctuary Program

Dr. Phillips is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. His research in climate science focuses on how trees, in forests and cities, respond to environmental change. He also studies natural gas and sustainable energy.
WED., APRIL 24th, 7 PM
74 North Main St, Attleboro MA
Call 508-222-0157 or visit to reserve your seat
April 28:

Clean Up Sunday: This Is Our House!

Sunday, April 28th, the Property Committee will be leading Clean Up Sunday at Murray Church.  On this day, we will have a church-wide effort to clean, paint, organize and repair our spiritual home.  Over the next 2 weeks, the Property Committee will be assigning people to lead the various groups assigned to specific tasks within the church.  If you are interested in helping lead a group, or you have a section of the church that you would like to see worked on, this is your chance to volunteer.   Contact Tom Stuart or just talk to him when you see him.
                                                                                -- Property Committee

Summer Services

Summer services begin June 23 and continue every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. through Labor Day weekend.  Our committee is planning a great line up of presenters and topics. We have a few dates and openings, so if you are interested in presenting during the summer about a favorite subject, passion, UU principle or adventure, please speak with one of the RSC members soon! Ruth Debrot leads our music during the summer to everyone’s delight. We help you with all elements of the service, so you are not on your own.  We even provide an opportunity for you to do a run through. New voices and topics are welcomed.

Your RS Committee:
David Calusdian, Sheila Jacobs, Monica Staaf, Marguerite MacLean, Liz Kenyon, 
Allison MacDonald, Dede MacDonald, and Ruth Debrot
May 3:

UUA Field Trip 

Would you like to visit the UUA in Boston?  On Friday, May 3 at 10 am the UUA will give you a guided tour and what’s happening in our faith.  This field trip is for high schoolers and adults.  You are welcome to travel by train (leave from Attleboro train station) or drive if you wish.  Please RSVP to Kavita by Monday, April 29 if you would like to go.  Please pack a bagged lunch and water.  
May 5

A Pete Seeger 100th Birthday Songfest

With Singer-Songwriter Jim Scott

May 5, 2019 at 1 pm
Foxborough Universalist Church

60 Bird Street, Foxborough, MA 02035
Suggested donation: $15, Kids under 12 free with parents
May 18

Rock 'n Roll 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.  

Do you like Murray Church coffee hour?  
We are looking to expand the coordination team for next year. Please contact Monica Weil to learn more about this opportunity to serve and have more fun at Murray Church!                                                       

Food Pantry Donations Needed!               

  • Bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste

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, April 16th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.

What's going on at Murray? Click the calendar!

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