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

April 26, 2018

. . .


Worship 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.

. . .



"The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith"

Rev. Gretchen Weis
& the Social Concerns Committee

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) was recently formed to give voice and expand opportunities to people of color in our association of churches. This worship service was designed by BLUU to feature the words and music of people of color. Murray will be one of hundreds of churches throughout the denomination doing this special service. This BLUU worship experience is a part of our ongoing work to honor and expand the inherent worth and dignity, as well as the lived experience of every person.
. . .
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!
. . .
Quick Links

. . .


Us on Facebook 

We are a Welcoming


Click here to view
Our Calendar:

Murray Church Office


 Love Comes Softly Through the
 Hardest Places
  by Rev. Gretchen Weis
I believe that loving other people through the thick and thin of life is among the most difficult things we are called to do. How are we able to stay fully present to one another, when there are simply times when we can drive each other bonkers, no matter how much we love one another? 

I am moved by this beautiful reflection by Buddhist philosopher and poet Mark Nepo. When our path is blocked, he encourages us to back up and see more of the way, especially in our relationships with one another. He writes: 

We are each a mountain for the other to climb, and often our path to love is interrupted by a mishap or a problem or something unexpected that needs attending. We tend to call these unexpected things in life "obstacles." 

Often, the thing in the way comes from another person:  a stubbornness falls
like a tree blocking where we want to go, or a sadness comes like a flash
flood to muddy the road between us, or just as we go to rest in the clearing we
have prepared, we are bitten by something hiding in the underbrush. 

Thus, in daily ways, we have this constant choice:  to see each other as the stubborn, muddy, biting thing that blocks our way, or to back up and take in
the whole person as we would a mountain in its entirety, dizzy when looking
up into its majesty.

When we are blocked in our closeness with one another, Nepo reminds us there is always the opportunity, the choice, to lift our eyes and behold one another completely. When we back up and take in the larger view, we are able to behold and hold both our current discomfort, as well as our love for the other person. Nepo continues, it is within this larger context, where we find the strength to:

...kneel and lift the fallen tree, or cross the flooded path or pluck and toss
the biting thing. We have the chance to keep climbing, so we might cup the
water that runs from each other, so we might quench our thirst as from a
mountain stream, knowing that love like water comes softly through the
hardest places.

If you are finding a relationship path blocked, here is a meditation with which you may consider experimenting. Nepo invites us to center ourselves, and to bring to mind a loved one -- a friend, a partner, or a family member --- and to focus on the one stubborn or muddy or biting thing coming from them right now. As we hold this in our mind's eye, Nepo invites us to acknowledge the present difficulty. And, as we breath deeper in and out, he invites us to widen our heart's view. To back up, if we can, to see the whole of the person, stubbornness and all. As we breathe deeply in and out, we are invited to feel both the current difficulty, as well as the entirety of another's spirit, which allows you to love them. How might you be called to unblock the path and smooth the way between you and another person, so love like water may flow softly again through the hardest of places?


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 29th -- We will begin in the service and then head to classes. We continue our pillar on Self-Worth.
Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, April 29th -- Field Trip to Providence UU church. Please RSVP by Friday, April 27th if you plan to go on the field trip. Last evening for Youth Group for the year: 6 pm -- 7:30 pm
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.
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.




Murray RE
Our children enjoyed coffee hour in the Memorial Garden finding shade under the church bell. This college student's day was just made. Thank you to our rocking Murray Community for all of your love! Lincoln has all their rubber duckie gear to show how your duckie card really hit the mark. And the book...well that brought tears of joy."


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 
Apr. 26:
Murray Hosts Food & Friends Soup Kitchen

  Murray hosts the Food & Friends Soup Kitchen every

  4th Saturday of the month, from 8 am -- 12:30 pm,
  at Centenary Methodist Church, located at 39 North
  Main Street in Attleboro.

Help out once for an hour!

You'll make all the difference!

We need volunteers for all shifts and tasks. Tasks we need help with:
Early (8 am -- 10 am)
  • Set up tables & chairs
  • Make sandwiches
  • Prepare main meal
  • Wash dishes
  • Serve coffee & juice
 Later (10:45 am -- 12:30 pm)
  • Plate meals
  • Serve guests
  • Breakdown tables & chairs
  • Wash dishes
  • Sweep & mop
To sign-up click [HERE].

For more information, please contact Stephanie Paquette at 

or (call or text) 401-603-8386.

Feel free to share this info with anyone who might be interested in helping out!

[back to top]

Apr. 29:

 From Green Sanctuary
 Join us for Trail Clearing THIS Sunday 
 Murray Nature Trail, April 29th
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. 30:

May 2:


Calling All Who Are Interested:
Black Lives 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, color, national origin and ethnicity 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 at 7 pm.

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:                            

The BCD Board invites you to the

Ballou Channing District Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 5th, 9 am -- 12:30 pm

at Murray 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. To register, click [HERE].

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.
May 9:

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!
Jun. 9:                           SAVE THE DATE!!!
Spring Into Summer Fundraising Dinner

Saturday, June 9th 6:30 PM

Murray Church Fellowship Hall

Come join Murray Church as we KICK-OFF the SUMMER with a dinner on Saturday evening, June 9th, 2018. The evening will begin with a social hour and a catered dinner by Morin's Hometown Bar & Grille. Tickets are $25 per person. Beer and wine will also be sold.
Tickets go on sale at coffee hour on Sunday, April 29th, 2018.
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 the following:
          • chairs for tables
          • coffee and end tables
          • kitchen tables and chairs
          • bureaus / dressers
          • lamps
          • pots & pans
          • small appliances
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.

continueLove Comes Softly... (continued)

The work of love calls us on a daily basis to accept one another as we are, each of us perfectly imperfect in our own ways. And, our faith encourages us to back up and see the inherent worth and dignity of one another, to keep looking until we find that shining light, that spark of preciousness beyond all measure, inside some of the most difficult people in our lives. And, we are encouraged to stay at the table of relationship with one another as we behold and hold both the stubbornness, the biting thing, as well as the preciousness of one another. And, as we acknowledge both the difficulty and the gifts, we are called to smooth and help heal the path between ourselves and others, over and over and over again.


We are each of us broken, seeking wholeness through our relationships with one another. Let us be about the never-ending work of patience, acceptance, forgiveness, and the healing power of loving kindness in this lifetime. Because, isn't it here, in our ability to extend grace and graciousness to others, that we model how we also wish to be accepted and loved in this bruised and battered world?


Please plan to join us this Sunday as the church's writing group has planned a worship service around the topic of transformation and change. Various members of the writing circle will share their heartfelt writings to inspire us and challenge us.


In deep, abiding love,

Rev. Gretchen