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

April 12, 2018


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"Celebrating Religious Freedom"

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

It was 450 years ago when the Unitarian faith was declared a legitimate religion in Eastern Europe, thanks to the ground-breaking Edict of Torda. Let's take a look back at a pivotal moment in our faith history to celebrate this all-important milestone when religious freedom was declared the law of the land. It's also our annual Celebration Sunday when we announce the financial pledge results for our Stewardship Campaign for the 2018-2019 church year ahead.

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"Earth Day Sunday"

Rev. Gretchen Weis

Special guest, Dr. Casey Thornbrugh is a climate scientist based at the NE Climate Science Center in
Amherst. He is also a member of the Mashpee 

Wampanoag tribe, and serves as liaison for environmental impact issues with all Native American tribes along the Eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast.

He brings a first hand 

perspective on how climate change is impacting native peoples' water, hunting, fishing and other environmental access rights. Come join us to learn more as we celebrate Earth Day Sunday.

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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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Spring Housecleaning of the Soul
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
It's easier to see from a distance. From across the pond where I live, I can see the tops of the trees starting to take on some color. The budding has begun. In the Unity Garden outside my office window, the crocus is in full bloom while a few brave daffodils, hyacinths, and jonquils have opened flowers to the sun this week. (I've included a few photos.) The weather forecasts some 70-degree days ahead. And the Clara Barton rummage sale set up is in full swing in Fellowship Hall, as doors open to the public tomorrow and Saturday. Surely these are all signs that spring has arrived?


My heart warms to the longer days and the warming sun, as I share this wonderful poem by my colleague and friend, Dick Gilbert, a retired minister and leading thinker in the religious humanist movement. In his poem, titled "Spring Housecleaning of the Soul," he writes:


Julian Husley wrote: "it is of the greatest importance that humanity should
now and then take out its beliefs for spring cleaning."


Not a bad idea.


May I purge myself of coldness of spirit that warm spring breezes may
thaw my soul.


May the debris of wrongs unforgiven be gathered and discarded so I can
start anew.


May slowness of spirit frozen by the cold be quickened to every fresh possibility.


May the song that has lingered too long in my lungs be released by
twittering choruses.


May the grime of mistakes made be rinsed from my mind with the springtime
waters of self-forgiveness.


May the dust of the exhausting journey be wiped from the furniture of my life
so that it gleams again.


May my beliefs be taken out for a spring housecleaning of the spirit.


Let us shake the cold stiffness of the winter season from our bones as we turn our faces and our spirits to the warmth of a new season, full of promise, growth and new possibilities! May we find ourselves open to whatever new life, new opportunities are about to emerge in this season of renewal. May we be open to whatever transformations might be poised to emerge from deep within ourselves as well.

Come join us this Sunday as we celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, the first time religious freedom, the freedom of conscience and religious toleration were made the law of the land, in any nation. The Edict of Torda was declared by King John Sigismund of Transylvania in 1568. King John was a Unitarian, and under his leadership, Unitarianism was formally recognized as a religion for the first time, considered one of the officials religions of Transylvania, alongside Roman Catholicism, Calvinism and Lutheranism. These developments came at a time when Unitarians were being burned at the stake as heretics throughout the rest of Europe. I look forward to sharing some of our essential history with you this Sunday, as we celebrate the roots of the religious freedom we enjoy today!


Bright blessings,

Rev. Gretchen

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 15th -- We will begin in the service and then head to classes. We will continue our pillar on Self-Worth.
Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, April 15th -- We will meet in the Purple Chat Room and then head to the kitchen to bake for the soup kitchen. Class starts at 10 am.

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 and must be returned by May 31st, 2018. For an application, please click [HERE].
Cardboard Egg Cartons Needed!

RE is in need of cardboard egg cartons for an Earth Day project. Please drop them off in Kavita's office. Thank you!




Apr. 13 & 14:

Friday, April 13th & Saturday, April 14th
In Fellowship Hall, from 9 am -- 1 pm.
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]

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 
      • All flavors
      • 32 oz. or larger


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

 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. 21:
Dinner & Movie Presents:
"Merchants of Doubt"

Join us on Saturday, April 21st at 5:30 pm

in the Unity Room for a screening of

Merchants of Doubt.

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin.

Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver- tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities - yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.

Apr. 25:

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 5:                          Save the Date!
The BCD Board invites you to the Ballou Channing District Annual Meeting and Gathering on Saturday, May 5th, 9 am -- 12:30 pm, at Murray Unitarian Universalist Church in Attleboro, MA.

Come worship, deliberate, learn and network with your fellow UUs. Featured speaker Nadiya Brock of Essential Partners, will lead a workshop on te challenge and art of having diffult conversations. Continental breakfast and abundant snacks provided. See the BCD website at for the Call to Meeting and other information.

May 6:                       Dedicated Offering Update
YES, we raised $1840 in our March Dedicated Offering. We met the challenge - so our donation will be doubled by the Julie and Brad Bradburd Fund. What's next?

On May 6th, we will hold our BLUU Sunday Service, in which we will speak the words and sing the music of African Americans, and Black UUs in particular. Through this service, we will support the perspectives, the voices, and the leadership of Black women and men in our denomination. We hope to transform past practices into new commitments to be inclusive, just, and racially diverse. We hope to become even more true to our UU Principles.


Thank you!
The Murray Social Concerns Committee
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.