Murray Church Notes

May 30, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 42

In this Issue:


Listening Circles  

Janet Richardi

"Studies of organizational excellence have shown that the art and science of asking powerful positive questions is much more important than looking for the gaps, weaknesses and limitations in a system." -- Anne Radford

Some of you might remember, at least those of you who were part of Murray in 2008 – 2009, during those two years we did many Appreciative Inquiry Workshops – Creating the Murray Future: Imagining the Possibilities. You might also remember that those workshops resulted in a vision for the future that included a By-Laws change to establish the Social Action Committee; we also developed better media coverage resulting in a much improved, very professional web page; and many had concerns about ensuring strong institutional fiscal stability and planning for when Markman would leave. We also recognized the pressing need to value the contributions of staff, both verbally and financially, resulting in use of UUA guidelines to compensate all of our staff. You get the picture or hopefully you remember – those workshops resulted in building on the wonderful things that were already happening at Murray and adding new hopes and ideas to them.

This past winter Murray Church offered six opportunities for members and friends to celebrate the rich history of Murray – what brought you here, what do you value most about Murray, and what are your wishes and dreams for the year 2025? Once again Murray, in an effort to look at how we want to grow, how to best build on what is working great, and our vision for the future, etc., decided to hold a few workshops – Listening Circles – throughout February and into March 2019. We asked attendees to help us take a look, once again, at Murray’s assets, capabilities, resources, and strengths that are just sitting there waiting to be affirmed, stretched, encouraged by the loving, giving members and friends of this awesome faith community.  

With a team of workshop facilitators – Bertha Young, Donna Palmer, Shelly Freddo, Ted Weil, Rick Millard, Jim Richardi, Maddie Galvin and me – we developed a model, a schedule, and offered Listening Circles in an effort to look at where we see ourselves in 2022 or maybe even 2025, our 150th Anniversary.  Each workshop lasted 90 minutes and had approximately eight (8) participants, totaling approximately 60 attendees. We also held one session, co-led by Maddie Galvin, one Sunday morning with our youth. We received some great feedback at the Listening Circle sessions and it is time to communicate that information with all of you.

On Sunday June 2nd, Rev. Gretchen and I will share the results and the plans for next steps – What will make the ideas and dreams come alive and how do we deliver on them, how do we commit to move forward and move on those that can happen now and continue to move those that are more complicated, more detailed, forward.  Come find out.

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." -- Peter Drucker

"They were nothing more than people by themselves… together, all together, they were the instruments of change." -- Keri Hulme

So come listen and find out what we can do together to make change.

Janet Richardi

"Sharing Your Dreams"
This spring, we held a series of Listening Circles to learn what people appreciated most about Murray Church, and what dreams you held for an even better church experience.  Please join us this Sunday as Rev. Gretchen and Janet Richardi, who organized the Listening Circles, share the Listening Circles feedback.

"Stonewall: 50 Years Later"
It was 50 years ago this month.  A riot started at the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village in the wee hours of June 28, 1969 and continued for two days. The gay community in New York City rose up and fought back against the late night routine police raids rounding up and arresting gay men to charge them with with the crime of homosexuality.  The Stonewall riots are honored as the birth of the gay rights movement.  Pride Parades are celebrated around the world in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots.  Given the current political climate, LGBTQ rights continue to be under fire.  Now more than ever, it’s important for us to speak up, speak out and march at Providence Pride on Saturday night, June 15th. 

Religious Education for Sunday, June 2

Nursery – This Sunday the nursery is open for parents to use and stay with their child. Nursery parents may also use the John Murray Room which also has toys and the service is piped in.  No child may be left unsupervised. 

We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room to learn about our 7th principle.
Youth Group:
This Saturday, June 1 we will meet from 9-11am to begin painting the Purple Chat room.  Breakfast will be served.  Please wear appropriate clothing for painting.

On Sunday, we will begin in the service and then head to the Purple Chat Room to begin painting. Please wear appropriate clothing for painting.


Updated Annual Report

To view the corrected 2018-2019 Annual Report, including the budget and slate, click here.
This Saturday, 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 tasty potluck, compelling documentary and thoughtful post-film discussion.  Please plan to join us and invite your friends!  Potluck will begin at 6:00 PM with the film starting at 6:45 PM.
This Sunday, 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.
This Sunday, June 2:

Interfaith Breaking Fast

Please join our Muslim friends as we celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan by breaking fast with them.
When:                Sunday, June 2nd
Arrival Time:     Between 7:30pm and 7:45pm
Breaking Fast:  Around 8:10pm
Location:           Islamic School of Rhode Island
                           840 Providence Street
                           West Warwick, RI  02893
Please note that the food is sponsored so there is nothing that you need to bring.
Please contact Amanda Aguiar if you have any questions.
June 3:

Clara Barton Guild Lunch Out

The Clara Barton Guild will have their annual luncheon out at the Horse & Carriage Restaurant on Monday, June 3 at 12 noon.  The restaurant is located at the junction of Routes 1A and 115 in Norfolk - just north of Wrentham.  People may go directly to the restaurant or meet at Murray Church parking lot at 11:15 am to carpool.  Any interested women are welcome to join us for our last meeting of the season.  Please contact Bev Hall with any questions.  

Have fun and learn new things at Murray Church with the RSC

The Religious Services Committee (RSC) is looking for two or three Murray members or friends  to join our team for 2019-2020. 

What do we do and when? We plan and help produce the Sunday services when Reverend Gretchen is not in the pulpit. An RSC service is held about once a month along with the weekly summer services.  We take turns so you get to co-lead about twice a year. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:15 p.m. for an hour. Our next meeting is June 4, so please join us for a test run and see if this a good fit for you.  Come to the John Murray Room. We take July off and then meet for dinner in August to refresh for the fall.

We are a lively team with experienced members who would be happy to talk with you about this terrific committee. It’s a great way to learn new things, share your ideas and be of service at church.  You do not need previous experience!  We are happy to mentor and work with you. If you are a young adult, newer or seasoned at MUUC, please consider joining us. If you have previously been on the RSC,  we would welcome your return. 

Other members include: Monica Staaf, Liz Kenyon, Marguerite MacLean, Allison MacDonald, Ruth Debrot (music lead) and Reverend Gretchen. Please contact David Calusdian or Sheila Jacobs at coffee hour for more info.   

Landscape/Gardening Opportunities

Memorial Garden
We made good progress on spring preparation in the Memorial Garden in our Sunday work sessions so far.  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.
June 5 & 9:

Membership & Welcoming Committee Outing

The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture is a fun and fascinating collection of 10,000 dolls which tell black history from the African slave trade right up to today.  It is a small museum and all on one level.  Membership & Welcoming invites you to join Murray members in visiting the museum on Wednesday, June 5, leaving Murray parking lot at 12:30 pm for a 1:00 pm tour.  A tour on Sunday, June 9, will leave Murray parking lot at noon for a 12:30 pm tour.  Adult admission is $13; seniors over 62 is $9.  This museum is Social Concern's Dedicated Offering in June.  RSVP to Sandy Stuart. 
June 11:

Caregiver Wellness Night

June 15:

The Non-Compliants 10th Anniversary Concert

Come see Murray's own Tom Stuart and Adam Zysk perform with The Non-Compliants at 7 pm on Saturday, June 15th at The Guild, 461 Main Street, Pawtucket. There is no entrance fee. The Guild is a tap room with over a dozen microbrews. Food trucks will be on site. 
June 19-22

Looking for 2 more voting delegates for GA live streaming

The UUA’s annual denominational meeting, called General Assembly, will be held Wednesday, June 19th through Sunday, June 23rd in Spokane, Washington.  GA now live streams the business meetings during the week, known as plenum sessions, which means that people can “attend” and vote online.  

Murray Church has 4 voting delegate spots designated to vote on the business issues that come up at the UUA annual General Assembly.  Two of those delegate spots are assigned to members of our congregation who will be in Spokane.  But we have two more delegate spots open and available for anyone who wishes to watch the GA business meetings online, and vote on behalf of Murray.

Please keep in mind that the plenum sessions typically run during daytime hours Wed - Saturday, so those who work full time might find it difficult to log on and follow the action during the work week.  But if you have the time and are interested in being an online delegate for Murray, please contact Rev. Gretchen immediately or call the office at 508-222-0505 so we can get you registered!

Seeking Lost Earring

Have you found this earring? If you have, please leave it for Barbara Clark in the Church Office. Thank you!
June 26:

From Green Sanctuary

Share a Memory

It’s time to share a memory! On July 21st, I will be conducting one of the summer services with a theme of Happy Surprises. What experience have you had that was an intensely happy surprise, one that brought you delight - an "I didn’t see that coming" or "could not have imagined that happening to me" experience. Sometimes these come from people in our lives, sometimes from nature, or the cosmos itself. Please ponder and consider sharing your writings, poems, musings at the summer service. You can send items to Donna Seagrave..
                                                                       -- Donna Seagrave
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!  

From the Murray Church Food Pantry:  
Volunteer Opportunity Available

We will soon be losing a valued community volunteer who will be moving. Would YOU like to be next in line to fill this satisfying role? To learn what volunteering entails, please contact Barbara Clark or Bill Jones.

Food Pantry Donation Suggestions

Personal care items would be most welcome, including soap, shampoo,
deodorant, toothpaste, and feminine care products.

Thank you from the Murray Food Pantry team.

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, June 4th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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