Murray Church Notes

May 9, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 39

In this Issue:


A Life of Depth   

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

There is a difference between a life of width and a life of depth.  So the Quaker poet, singer, songwriter Carrie Newcomer reminds us in her poem, “Because There is Not Enough Time.”  

It was the poem title that first caught my eye.  There have been many of us in the congregation this past year, myself included, who have lost a beloved family member or friend.  Death can be that most painful reminder of all that life is short, that we are called to live it to the fullest.  Or, in Newcomer’s imagery, to live life to the deepest levels.  She writes:
I used to think
That because life is short
I should do more be more
Squeeze more
Into each and every day.
I’d walk around with a stick ruler
With increasing numbers
As the measure of fullness.

But lately
I’ve sensed a different response
To a lack of time.
Felt in my bones
The singular worth
Of each passing moment.

Perhaps the goal is not to spend this day
Power skiing atop an ocean of multi-tasking.
Maybe the idea is to swim slower
Dive deeper
And really look around.

There is a difference between
A life of width
And a life of depth.
Now is a glorious time of the year to slow down, to dive deeper and to really look around -- to experience the singular worth of each passing moment.  The weather lately has been truly glorious.  Nature all around us is bursting forth, refreshed, re-energized.   Yes, there’s that pesky pollen everywhere.   But even an allergy and asthma sufferer like me believes, in the end, that pollen is a small price to pay for the magnificent pageant of seasonal renewal unfolding everywhere around us.  

I invite you to carve out some intentional time this week to slow down and savor.  What if we put down our digital devices, turned off the TV, walked away from the video game and spent some time enjoying the beauty of the earth?  If your allergies allow it, consider taking a walk through the woods on any of the hiking trails winding through Attleboro Land Trust preserve spaces.  Listen to and observe the birds and other critters out and about in nature.  Or dig your hands deep into the earth to garden, or enjoy flowers blooming in parks and other public spaces.  Or perhaps spend some time outdoors under the stars in your own backyard on a clear, crisp evening. 

We are finite beings.  Is there ever enough time?  None of us knows how many glorious springs we get to savor, or to share with our beloveds.   As the world renews itself in the annual greening of the season, let us be shaken out of our busyness, let us slow down, and pay more mindful attention to everything around us.  Let us live lives of greater depth.

May you find yourself immersed in the beauty of this season!  Consider these words from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who writes:

Touching the Earth, I let go of my idea that I am this body and my life span is limited. I see that this body, made up of the four elements, is not really me and I am not limited by this body. I am part of a stream of life of spiritual and blood ancestors that for thousands of years has been flowing into the present and flows on for thousands of years into the future. I am one with my ancestors; I am one with all people and all species, whether they are peaceful and fearless, or suffering and afraid. At this very moment I am present everywhere on this planet. I am also present in the past and in the future. I have gone beyond the idea I am a body that is separated in space and time from all other forms of life.
I encourage you to join us this Sunday, as we honor the women (and men) who have nurtured and loved us into being who we are today.  And, as we lift up and honor the difficult and most sacred job of parenting, on this Mother’s Day, let us encourage self care for the loving care givers in our lives.

Also, please plan to attend our Rock ‘N Roll Spring Fling fundraiser on Saturday night, May 18th, featuring our wonderful Murray house band raising the roof in Fellowship Hall.  Fundraising tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children, and $25 at the door.  When our Murray rock ‘n rollers play, it is always a great time!  We are most grateful to the musicians for their help with this final fundraising event of the church year.

In love and faith,

Rev. Gretchen  

"Care for the Care Givers"
It’s Mother’s Day, a time to pause and celebrate those women (and men) who nurtured, parented and loved us into being who we are.  And, for all the caregivers among us, whether parents, or those caring for someone in need, we encourage care for the caregivers – essential self-care that refreshes and recharges you, so you may continue to care and nurture those you love.
"Our Bridging Ceremony: Changes"
It’s that time of year when we pause to celebrate those high school seniors who will be graduating this spring, and to celebrate those junior high school students who will be bridging up into the high school youth group. The service will be co-lead by Kavita Vansant, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Ruth Debrot, youth group leader, and some of our teens.

Religious Education for Sunday, May 12

Nursery is available 9:45 -11:00 am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only. 
Grades K-7:
Children will begin in the service and then head to classes.

Youth Group:

Class begins at 10! We will continue with our UU curriculum and then set up for the 
Bake Sale, which will be held during coffee hour.

Newsletter Volunteer Needed

Our Office Admin Jeanne Chapman will be on vacation the week of May 26th., and the Murray Office is looking for a volunteer to put together and publish the May 30th issue of the Murray Notes e-Newsletter.  If you have experience using Mailchimp online software and would like to help us with this one issue, please contact Jeanne immediately.
This Sunday, May 12:

Youth Group Bake Sale 

A Fundraiser for Purple Chat Room Painting

The youth group will be having a bake sale on May 12 during coffee hour. The bake sale will help fund the restoration of the Purple Chat Room to its original color. The painting will be done with the help of Adam Zysk in May. Items include Chocolate-Dipped Oreos and Chocolate-Tipped Pretzels. Each package will be priced at: $1.00 suggested donation. Thank you for your support for the youth at Murray Church.
Our Youth Group prepares for this Sunday's Bake Sale to raise funds for painting the 
Purple Chat Room.
This Sunday, May 12:

Dedicated Offering for UUSC

Founded on the principle that migrants should be able to flee to safety*, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is dedicated to assisting the most vulnerable among us, by partnering with the most effective local grassroots organizations that are based where problems exist. (*The UUSC started by helping people flee from Nazi persecution.)

Today, UUSC addresses the most pressing problems of our time, from disaster relief to Central American migrant justice, to advancing human rights for the most marginalized in society.

UUSC works differently, focusing on local solutions to local problems, in support of the inherent worth and dignity of all people (putting our UU Principles into action).

The effectiveness of UUSC partnerships is impressive, and the organization continues to expand its work across the nation and around the globe.  The self-sustaining villages and schools in Haiti are but one example of the effectiveness of the work of UUSC.  

At our church service this Sunday, we will collect our Dedicated Offering for UUSC.
You are welcome to contribute, with check or cash.  If you choose to write a check, please write Murray Church on the address line and UUSC on the memo line.  
We will send a single check from Murray Church.  Thank you!  

                                     -- The Murray Social Concerns Committee
May 14:

Men's Lunch Bunch     

Inviting all Murray men to join us for lunch on 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, May 14th at noon.  Look for us in the back room of Morin's. If you don't see us -- just ask!
May 18:
The Murray House Band rocks out on May 18th for our Spring Fling Fundraiser - You won't want to miss it!
May 23:

Annual Meeting - Save the Date!

There will be an Annual Meeting of all members of
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.,
in the Unity Room.

A notice of this meeting and a list of nominees for office are being sent to all members as directed by the By-Laws of Murray Unitarian Universalist Church.

To vote at the annual meeting, members must have signed the membership book on or before 4/8/19 and have made a recorded financial contribution to the church during the fifteen months preceding the meeting.

Landscape/Gardening Opportunities

Memorial Garden
We made good progress on spring preparation in the Memorial Garden in our Sunday work sessions so far.  On Sunday, May 5th, weather permitting, we will continue spring maintenance.  We will be trimming and pruning, so bring gloves and pruners, as we do some weeding and a little more raking.  During the summer we will work on Wednesdays, late afternoon into early evening.  We plan to work June 5th and 19th, July 10th and 24th, August 7th and 21st, and September 4th.  We do some work and have some good conversations.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.

Front Garden Across from Sanctuary
This will be our third summer working on this area.  Slow and steady?  Or just slow.  We have had a small, dedicated group working on this area the past two summers and with a little more help, we will finish this year.  The first summer, we cleared the overgrown ewes and the unkept brush.  The second summer, we started edging the area, spreading woodchips we got when the electric company cut down a couple trees under the power lines, and moved Savolinen daylilies from the spaces next to the handicapped parking spaces to this area.  We plan to work June 12th and 26th, July 17th and 31st, and August 14th and 28th.  (If you notice these are the alternate Wednesdays to Memorial Garden work, just come each Wednesday and see what we’re doing.)  We will also schedule one time, maybe a Saturday morning, when we will hope for a bigger crew to plant several new plants to finish things up.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.
Our younger children added to our peace flag display.
May 11:

A Musical Invitation from Murray Members & Friends

Fred Lungo and Ruth Debrot (Notorius Jones) would like to invite their friends and faith family for some good music and/or a jam session. Also playing will be Clay Brown and the Butchtones.
City Oasis

50 Pleasant Street (Rt. 123)
Norton, MA

7:30 - 11 pm (Jam from 11-12)

$5 at the door

June 1:

 Potluck Dinner, 
Movie & Discussion

Save the Date!

"I Am Not Your Negro"
A Documentary Narrated by Samuel Jackson 
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Unity Room

We look forward to a fun potluck, an interesting movie, and a lively post-movie conversation.  Please join us!
June 2:

Murray Book Group

For our June 2nd meeting, join us in the John Murray Room to share what you have been reading or what you’re thinking about reading during the summer months. We can build our own summer wish lists and create a recommended book list to share with the congregation in the newsletter. If you can’t attend the meeting, but have a book you want to recommend, contact Judy DePue.
July 13 - 16 or 13 - 20:

Building Bridges Summer Camp

Come Join Rev. Gretchen at Star Island - a UU Summer Camp for All Ages!

A special summer camp program is being offered in July to encourage people from the UU churches in our area to come and share either 4 days or a full week together to build bridges and relationships between our church families.  It’s a summer camp program for all ages on Star Island, a UU camp offshore New Hampshire.  There will be something for everyone:  family time, time to be alone, time to be in nature, time to swim, time for boating, or arts and crafts, time to reflect, time to play, time to learn, time to worship, time to recharge.  

This is a special invitation for anyone, of any age, from one of the 45 area UU churches in southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands and Rhode Island to enjoy summer church camp together.  And Star Island is offering a special discount — 30% off room and board for 3 nights, or 50% off room and board for 7 nights -- to encourage people to come be part of this special area UU experience.  
I’ll be there on Star Island for the week of July 13 - 20, and I invite you to come join me, as well as other ministers and congregants from other area churches!

For more information, and to register for Building Bridges, please visit the site 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 Building Bridges church camp or UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.

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, May 14th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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