Murray Church Notes

June 6, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 43

In this Issue:

FROM OUR MINISTER

Stonewall Riots 50 Years Later: The Struggle for LGBTQ Rights Continues

Rev. Gretchen Weis
It’s been 50 years now, since the birth of the modern gay rights movement.  Since a group of gay men at the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village in New York City refused to be rounded up by the police in the early morning hours, and hauled downtown, booked and either jailed or fined for being a homosexual.  The riots lasted for two days and nights in June 1969 and finally put an end to the police harassment round up practices.  

As a result of the Stonewall Riots, gay pride celebrations are held each June around the world.   A lot has changed since then, certainly here in the U.S.  Same sex marriage is the law of the land.  It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation, at least in employment laws.  Openly LGBTQ politicians have been elected to local, state and national leadership positions.  Closer to home, an openly gay mayor served this community recently for more than 14 years.  This community also sent an openly gay congressional representative to Congress for years.  Murray Church has been a welcoming and affirming congregation since the UUA introduced the Welcoming Congregation certification process in the 1980s.    

But, just as we found with the civil rights movement, just because there are now anti-discrimination laws on the books doesn’t mean that active discrimination and hate have come to an end.  In fact, the voices of intolerance and hate are growing ever bolder, and more vocal in our current political climate.  

At a time when an all-out war on women's reproductive rights is being waged, and when people of color are seeing voting rights thwarted, is it any surprise we are seeing encroachments on LGBTQ rights, too?  Discrimination against the LGBTQ community is creeping back into American life, one issue at a time.  The Supreme Court sided with the baker in Colorado who refused on religious grounds to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple.  Methodist clergy are forbidden to perform same sex marriages, and if a Methodist minister is openly gay, he or she will be defrocked. 

Here in the blue state of Massachusetts, we had a referendum on the ballot this past fall to remove transgender people from the list of those protected from discrimination.  Fortunately, the proposal was soundly defeated.  Last week, a proposal was unveiled at the national level to remove transgender people from nondiscrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act.  If passed, this would make it legal to deny health care coverage to transgender people??!!!??!!  What the heck.  

And, right in our own back yard, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, tweeted this a few days ago: “A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”

Yes, there’s been some progress since those Stonewall riots of 50 years ago.  And we all have a long way to go to build that inclusive, welcoming and affirming beloved community of which we dream.

LGBTQ rights are human rights.  Please plan to join us this Sunday morning as we celebrate the birth of the LGBTQ rights movement.  And, please plan to join us next Saturday night, June 15th to march in the Providence Pride Parade.  First Unitarian Church of Providence has reserved a marching spot in the parade.  All area UUs are invited to combine and march under one “Side with Love” banner.  People are encouraged to wear a Side with Love or Standing on the Side of Love T-shirt.  There is still time to order your T-shirt on the UUA Bookstore website.  
 
Parade participants are encouraged to meet up in the Murray Church parking lot to carpool down to Providence Pride next Saturday night.  For those who want to eat dinner beforehand, we typically gather in the church parking lot at 5pm and head over to Morin’s for a quick bite.  For those who would like to skip dinner but carpool to the parade, meet at Murray between 6:00 to 6:15 pm.  Once in Providence, we typically park in the state capitol parking lot and walk to the parade line-up area along Dorrance until we find where the UUs are gathering.  

As the voices of intolerance rise, this year’s Pride is more important than ever.  Let’s drown out Bishop Tobin’s bully pulpit of religious hate with our voices of religious inclusion, love and justice!

Amen and may it be so,


Rev. Gretchen Weis  
THIS SUNDAY:
"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. 
 
 
NEXT SUNDAY:
"Flower Communion"
It’s the last official Sunday of the church year — a time when we celebrate Flower Communion. It’s also Father’s Day, a time to honor the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and other men who love and nurture the children in their lives. Everyone of all ages is invited to bring a flower to add to the community-wide bouquet we build together at the front of the sanctuary. Your individual flower symbolizes the many gifts you bring to our shared life together here at Murray Church. After we bless our gathered bouquet, everyone is invited forward to take a different flower home with them, to symbolize the many gifts you receive here.  Flower Communion is a service for all ages!
   

Circle of Life

It is with deep sorrow we announce that Mark Tucker, 34, the son of Debbie and Rob Machado, died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 11th.  There will be a celebration of Mark’s life here at Murray Church on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. followed by a reception in the Unity Room.  All are invited to attend.

Religious Education for Sunday, June 9

Nursery is available 9:45-11:00 am. Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only.
 
Schedule:
K-7:

 
We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for Camp Murray, a fun-filled Murray tradition where we play games outside, make s’mores around a fire pit and sing songs! Please dress your child for the outdoors.  It is recommended that you put sunblock and tick repellent on your child.
 
Youth Group:
 
We will begin in the service and then head to the Woodland Room for class.  Class will be shortened so that our Youth may finish up painting the Purple Chat Room.
Our youth are painting the Purple Chat Room purple again!

Needed: Assistants for our Religious Education Program

If you can give an hour a month to assist in the classrooms from September to June our children will appreciate it.  You will have a wonderful time getting to know our amazing children and make a difference in their lives. All the support will be provided: a Lead Teacher, lessons and supplies.  You just need to come have fun! 

Please email Kavita or Carol Connolly if you are interested. 
This Sunday, June 9:

Dedicated Offering for National Black Doll Museum

This month, we are collecting our Dedicated Offering for our friends at the National Black Doll Museum in Mansfield. You may have attended one of their monthly movies at the Orpheum in Foxboro or one of their conversations at the museum.  They are doing ground-breaking work, pioneering better racial awareness and alliances in our area.  Our contribution will be a great expansion of our commitment to Black Lives Matter and the lives of all people in our region.  

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 'Dedicated Offering' on the memo line. We will send a single check from Murray Church.  Thank you!  

                                     -- The Murray Social Concerns Committee
This Sunday, June 9:

Membership & Welcoming Committee Outing to National Black Doll Museum

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 a tour on Sunday, June 9. We 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.  
This Sunday June 9:

Prolatio Singers at Murray Church


Prolatio Singers
 conducted by Dennis E. Ferguson present 
 

A Spring Concert
 
featuring a collection of the Child ballads and other folk tunes
with descriptions of the music

 
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
505 North Main Street
Attleboro, MA
 

Sunday, June 9, 2019
4:00 pm

Donations for Thrift Shop:
Please Wait a Bit

Your generous support of donations to the Murray Church Thrift shop is greatly appreciated, but overwhelming.  As we are not yet ready to open, we ask all of our donors to please postpone dropping off any more items until we put out the word that we are ready to receive.  When the thrift shop is finally ready, we know that it will be a truly grand opening, thanks to your support!

Who's Who?       

The Way We Were photo board was a fun way to socialize and to see members in a new light.  Thanks so much for joining in.  Now it's time to identify ourselves and end the suspense.  There are post-its on a shelf to the left of the photo board.  Post your name on your photo, so we can finally learn "Who's Who"!
From Green Sanctuary    

Eat smart this summer, for your health, your wallet and for our planet! 

See the Green Sanctuary bulletin board in the foyer by Fellowship Hall for tips on reducing food waste, eating less meat, shopping seasonally, and supporting your local farms. See also cookbook recommendations from your local library.

Updated Annual Report

To view the corrected 2018-2019 Annual Report, including the budget and slate, click here.

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 for an hour in the John Murray Room on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:15 pm.  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.   
 

Barbara Clark, Roy Belcher, Bertha Young, Carla Rissmeyer, Andrea Dion-Purdy, and Teddy making progress in the Front Garden on June 5th.

 


Bill Morrow and Andrea Dion-Purdy weed the oval garden on Tuesday, June 4th. 

Landscape/Gardening Opportunities

Memorial Garden
Our spring preparation work in the Memorial Garden has been very productive.  For the summer we will work on Wednesdays from late afternoon into early evening.  We plan to work June 19th, and as needed July 10th and 24th, August 7th and 21st, and September 4th.  We do some work and have some good conversations. We will be trimming, pruning, and weeding, so bring gloves, pruners, and buckets for clippings. 

Front Garden Across from Sanctuary
This is 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.  We brought in 5 pick up truck loads of compost and now have earth worms throughout the garden, where we previously had none. We’ve also aerated the grass out front, cleaned out weeds and over-seeded with new grass.  This spring we moved daffodils from the beds in the handicap parking area to the front garden and spread out Bearded irises donated last fall by Jeanne Chapman, the Siberian irises we already had in other areas to their planned spots.  

Next tasks are to finish spreading the woodchips and reposition the Savolainen daylilies to their planned spaces.  We plan to work this Sunday, June 9th, after the service, then Wednesday June 12th, Monday June 17th, and Wednesdays June 26th, July 17th and 31st, and August 14th and 28th in the late afternoon from about 5:00 to 7:30.  (If you notice these are the alternate Wednesdays to Memorial Garden work just come each Wednesday and see what we’re doing.)  We have received grants from the Memorial Gifts and Flower funds to purchase plants for this area as well as some church members volunteering specific plants from their own gardens.  We can use all the help we can get.  Bring your own tools or use ours. 
Breakfast for our wonderful RE volunteers. Many thanks to Frank Blackbird 
and Ricky Larson for the delicious breakfast!
June 11:

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, June 11th at noon.  Look for us in the back room of Morin's. If you don't see us -- just ask!
June 15:

Come March in Providence Pride Parade

LGBTQ rights are human rights!  Join us next Saturday night, June 15th to march in the Providence Pride Parade.  First Unitarian Church of Providence has reserved a marching spot.  All area UUs are invited to combine and march under one “Side with Love” banner. People are encouraged to wear their "Side with Love" or "Standing on the Side of Love" T-shirts.  There is still time to order your T-shirt from the UUA Bookstore, if you hurry.

Parade participants are encouraged to meet up in the Murray Church parking lot to carpool down to Providence.  For those who want to eat dinner beforehand, we typically gather in the church parking lot at 4:45 pm to 5pm and head over to Morin’s for a quick bite.  For those who would like to skip dinner but carpool to the parade, meet at Murray between 6:00 to 6:15 pm. Once in Providence, we typically park in the state capitol parking lot and walk to the parade line-up area along Dorrance until we find where the UUs are gathering. 

Hope to see you there!
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 16:

Honoring Our Fathers            

Father's Day is June 16th, our last regular service. If you would like to spotlight your father or any male who has given you kind paternal care, bring a photo into Coffee Hour on the 16th.  We'll display them on a table at Coffee Hour.  

Thanks for the love and care from all the men in our lives!
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 at minister@murrayuuchurch.org, or call the office at 508-222-0505 so we can get you registered!

Summer Reading Recommendations

Are you interested in ideas for your summer reading? Murray people have read the following books and suggest them for others’ consideration. All these books are library accessible.
 
We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter. Biographical Fiction.  2018. 403 pages. Recommended by Judy DePue. Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive--and to reunite-- We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. A New York Times Bestseller, this book is about Murray Church members, Eddy Courts and his wife Caroline (both interred in our Memorial Garden), and written by their granddaughter Georgia Hunter.
 
Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich, by Norman Ohler. Non-fiction. 2017, 292 pages. Recommended by Tovah Snyder. A fast-paced narrative that discovers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany's all-consuming reliance on drugs--namely crystal-meth, which they developed--to power their war effort. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.
  
W. E. B. Du Bois: a Biography, by David Levering Lewis. Biography 2009. 893 pages. Recommended by Armand Provencal. Du Bois--the premier architect of the civil rights movement in America--was a towering and controversial personality, a fiercely proud individual blessed with the language of the poet and the impatience of the agitator. Lewis chronicles Du Bois's long and storied career, detailing the momentous contributions to our national character that still echo today. Originally 2 volumes, now in one edition, "W.E.B. Du Bois" was winner of the 1994 and 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
 
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. Historical Fiction. 2016. 462 pages. Recommended by Judy DePue, after a recommendation by Rev. Gretchen Weis. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he endures life in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold. Beautifully written and a mega bestseller.
 
The Delight of Being Ordinary: a Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama, by Roland Merullo. Fiction.  2017. 367 pages. 2017.  Recommended by Judy DePue. Meeting during a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope and the Dalai Lama embark on an unsanctioned, undercover vacation through the Italian countryside to rediscover the everyday joys of life. It is a novel that makes us laugh as well as think about the demands of ordinary life, spiritual life, and the identities by which we all define ourselves.
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!  
August 25: Save the Date!

RE Ice Cream Social

Come have ice cream, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring a friend and have some fun!
 
We will provide ice cream and you provide the toppings.
 

Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019
Time:  4:30-5:30 pm
Where:  Backyard of 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 11th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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505 North Main Street Attleboro, MA 02703
508-222-0505