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

April 19, 2018


. . .

"Earth Day Service"
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.

. . .



Service Leader
Monica Staaf

We all experience change in our lives. Change - whether it involves aging, learning, nature politics, and more - can be positive, exciting, fun, powerful, frustrating or frightening. How do we cope with it? Join Murray writers, Barbara Clark, Kara Goldrick, Isabel Michaels, Donna Seagrave, and Ted Weil, who will share their perspective and original work about change.

. . .
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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 What in your life is inviting you to say, "yes" right now?
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
Spring is here, the eternal season of "yes." Yes to new growth, yes to longer days and warmer weather, yes to the new life beginning to emerge all around us. Metaphorically speaking, it's the season of yes to new opportunities, new possibilities in our own lives, too.


What in your life might be inviting you, prodding you, enticing and tempting you to say, "yes," right now? Hear these words adapted from Jacob Trapp, from his book Dawn to Dusk Meditations:

The most important word in our language is yes.
It matters what we say yes to.
It matters what we say no to.
Every no gets its value from the yes it also affirms.
To say no to what denies and destroys
Is also to say yes to what affirms, builds, creates.
Experience of the sacred, claims Nathan Söderblom,
Is the everlasting yes of existence.

Many of us are far more comfortable naming and claiming what we say, "no" to, especially when it comes to our religious beliefs. Some among us came to this faith as refugees, fleeing from other religious experiences. In the words of colleague Victoria Weinstein, we come in the door of a UU church "all sweaty and frantic having fled an oppressive religious past."   We collapse in the pews and exclaim, "Phew, that's over. I reject this and this and this and that and that other thing, and the whole scene I just came from." 

But Weinstein reminds us that the religious freedom we celebrate doesn't mean freedom from religion. "Rejecting religious doctrines that offend our spirit is just the beginning, just Part One of the faith journey," she writes. So, yes, it matters what we say, "no" to, but our journey doesn't stop there. What beliefs, what moral values, what sacred experiences might we need to invite in, to say, "yes" to, if we are to move into the second phase of our faith journey?   

Weinstein reminds us:  we grow, we mature, and in the next phase of our faith path, we identify what we can affirm, what we do believe. It's the "yes" part of our responsible search for truth and meaning. She writes, "Part Two is seeking to understand more of those doctrines and our relationship to them so that we can heal, let it go, and move on with a peaceful heart. Only when we explore religious language and ideas that previously upset or wounded us can we eventually develop the freedom either to reclaim them or let them go." 

So, perhaps this faith is asking you to stretch beyond your "no's" as it invites you to dig deeper into however you name and claim the holy, to identify which religious values, beliefs or experiences you might say, "yes" to? In the words of colleague George Kimmich Beach, in his book, If Yes is the Answer, we have to start our religious exploration by asking the right questions, especially the questions that ask difficult, challenging, uncomfortable things of us. Do you have questions like that percolating in the background of your life?  Inviting you into the sacred experience of discomfort? What might happen, what might shift if you claimed some of those uncomfortable, demanding questions out loud and answered, "yes"?      

Or does fear get in the way? What has life taught you so far about the risks and rewards of saying "yes"? Our church subscribes to the monthly small group ministry program titled Soul Matters.  Each month, participants are asked to dive deeper into questions around a provocative theme, through guided exercises and questions. Murray Church has two Soul Matters groups that meet monthly right now, and we will be looking to expand the program next fall. 



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.
Kavita Vansant, our DLRE, will be off this Sunday. Don Michaels will be Acting DRE.


This Sunday, Coffee Hour will be in the Memorial Garden. We ask that all parents supervise their children while outside. Fellowship Hall will be available should you wish to take your children indoors.
Children (Grades K - 8):
Sunday, April 22nd -- We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for Earth Day Spirit Group
Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Friday, April 20th -- UUnited in Taunton from 7 pm -- 9 pm.

Sunday, April 22nd -- Earth Day service. You are invited to enjoy the Earth Day service.

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

Join us THIS 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.


Bring a potluck dish to share.

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].

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 Donna Cooke at for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.
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!
Booster Seats Available
Bertha Young is offering booster seats for the car. They are in great condition! Please email Kavita at if you need one.




Youth Group

  Our Youth Group made yummy cereal bars for the
  Food & Friends Soup Kitchen!





This Sunday's Dedicated Offering:
Wôpanâak Language
Reclamation Project

This Sunday's service is celebrating Earth Day and our Seventh Principle, to support the interdependent web of which we are all a part.  

Our speaker, Dr. Casey Thornbrugh, is a climate scientist and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.He will speak on the impact of climate change on the lives of Native Americans throughout the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast.  

Our Dedicated Offering is in support of the Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project.*This ambitious and historic work is reconstructing the Wopanaak language, which had not been spoken for 150 years.Currently, the language is growing as the research continues, the dictionary is expanding, and the language is being learned by children and adults alike.  

As we know, the words of a culture shape understanding and significantly influence actions.In the case of the Wopanaak and the environment, the Wopanaak words that describe the water, the earth, and the humans that inhabit them, will shape the way this tribe meets environmental challenges going forward.

We welcome your support for this worthy project.

If you choose to contribute by check, please write the check to Murray Church and write Wopanaak Language Project on the memo line. We will combine our contributions into a single check. Thank you for your generosity, as we work to put our faith into action.  

The Murray Social Concerns Committee

*The Wopanaak, also known as the Wampanoag, Mashpee Wampanoag, and Massasoit have been living in present day Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island for 12,000 years.


From the Caring Circle

Caring by Cooking: We Need Frozen Meals

Inviting all cooks to consider making a larger quantity of soup or complete meal and packaging it for Mrs. Murray's freezer. Freezer meals are available for Murray members and friends who find themselves in difficult and challenging life situations and for whom a break from cooking would be a big help. Diabetic-friendly and low sodium meals are especially appreciated at this time. Washable disposable deli and take-out containers make perfect receptacles. Please label your donation with contents, date, your name if you wish, and Caring Circle and put them in the upright freezer in Fellowship Hall. For questions and to have your donation added to our inventory please contact Barbara Clark, 508-222-6164,
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 
Donations Needed:
    • Feminine Care Products
    • Personal Care Items
Thank you for your continued support! 
Murray Church Food Pantry Team 

 From Green Sanctuary
 Join us for Trail Clearing on
 Murray Nature Trail, April 29
Our Murray Nature Trail will be a place for quiet meditation and educational opportunity for all ages. Join us to help develop this new
place for sanctuary. On Sunday, April 29th, following worship, join us for Spring trail clearing. Please bring your own clippers, loppers, garden gloves and rakes. We will also decide best places for placards that will hold inspirational quotes and highlight key natural features along the trail.

Apr. 21:
Work Session This Saturday
There will be a work session this Saturday, April 21st, starting at 9 am. Work will be done to fix up the rental area. Please wear clothing for painting.
Email Tom Stuart at or just show up.
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. 25:

GARN Presents the Netflix Documentary:

Join us on Wednesday, April 25th for our monthly You Are Not Alone Community Resource Drop-In Center for the viewing of the Netflix documentary "Heroin(e)." The Drop-In Center is open from 5:30 pm -- 8:30 pm. The viewing will be held at 6:30 pm. 


If you have any questions please email

Carrie Ballou at, or find us on Facebook at Attleboro Recovery, or call 508-222-1212 ext. 1951 for more information.

Apr. 30:

May 2:


Calling All Who Are Interested:
Black Matter Banner Task Force
Meeting: Wednesday, May 2nd at 7 pm
in the John Murray Room  

As we continue to take a look at issues of race in our community, in our UU denomination, and in ourselves, we will be looking at what we might do to hang a Black Lives Matter banner on our church. The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for May 2nd.

You are welcome to attend.  

The meeting will help us define what information we need to research, and to define the intentional processes we want to create to help educate the congregation and the community and to provide opportunities for discussion and define our decision making.  

If you have any questions, or would simply like to say that you will be attending the meeting, you are welcome to contact Bruce Field, the Murray Social Concerns Committee chairperson at

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.

continue...say, "yes" right now... (continued)

One of the recent monthly Soul Matters exploration packets poses the question, what does it mean to be a people of "yes"? I share some of the thoughts there for you to consider:  Is there something or someone leading you in a new direction?  What new direction or new way of thinking or new way of being might be waiting for you to say, "Yes, I'm ready"? 

Or perhaps there might be some unfinished business, some dream you've set aside in your life that you may finally be ready to pick back up again and move towards completion.  Is there an unmet challenge that just won't let you go? That continues to call to you? To which you might finally be ready to say, "yes"? 

Perhaps there is some unfinished business in a key relationship in your life.  Is there someone who needs to hear you say, "Yes, I forgive you?" Or perhaps there is someone who deserves to hear you say, "Yes, I did it." Or "Yes, I was wrong"? 

Perhaps you are being invited to say, "yes" to an "unfamiliar other" person from another religion, or race, or cultural or socio-economic background from your own? If we are to build the multi-cultural world of love and justice, what discomfort, what painful learnings must some of us say, "yes" to?   

Perhaps life is inviting you to say, "yes" to more fun in your life? More play with those you love? Or perhaps you might be hearing an invitation to treat yourself to a little more extravagance from time to time? 

And, for some of us, perhaps life is calling us to be a little less extravagant, inviting us to say "yes" to healthy moderation in the food we eat, the adult beverages we enjoy, or perhaps in the money we spend.

 In her book, How to Train a Wild Elephant, American Buddhist monk and medical doctor Jan Chozen Bays, invites us into the spiritual exercise of saying, "yes." She suggests we begin by first noticing how often we say "no" to or disagree throughout the day with other people and their requests, with new ideas, or with invitations to participate in activities, especially when we are asked to try new things. How often do we automatically shut down as life invites us into new opportunities, new ways to view something? If we are to learn to let go of our fears, if we are to honor that courageous inner voice of "yes," we first have to become aware of how often we automatically say "no" to whatever life is offering up to us.

So, here is your invitation to begin to pay attention to the "yes's" and "no's" of your day-to-day life.As Jacob Trapp's words remind us:  It matters what we say yes to. It matters what we say no to. As we begin to become more aware of our choices, perhaps we may become ready to say yes to "bring it all on!" Inviting in the whole wonderful wicked hot mess of life, the terrible and precious mix of it all. Never forgetting, that all of it is a great gift in the lives we have each been given, a gift we cannot take for granted.   

For this too -- accepting and celebrating the bitter along with the sweet of life -- is what our faith asks of us.In the words from hymn #6, "Just as long as I have breath, I must answer "Yes," to life; though with pain I made my way, still with hope I meet each day. If they ask what I did well, tell them I said, "Yes," to life... "Yes," to truth... "Yes" to love."   

You are all invited to say "yes" to our special Earth Day Service this Sunday. I am honored to be co-leading this annual service with members of the Green Sanctuary Task Force. And, we have a very special guest speaker, Dr. Casey Thornbrugh, a research scientist with the NE Climate Science Center based in Amherst. Casey is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, who also serves as liaison with native tribes all along the Eastern seaboard and into the Gulf of Mexico, to help them manage how climate change is impacting traditional native hunting and fishing rights.  

In addition, we will name, bless and celebrate Amelia and Samuel Rosinski, children of Michelle and Nick Rosinski, in a special double child dedication ceremony this Sunday. Come be part of this meaningful ritual, as we all say "yes" to the life we share together, here in beloved community. 

Blessings, and a hearty "yes" to all things Murray Church,

Rev. Gretchen