"How, Then Shall We Live?"
Rev. Gretchen Weis
Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live, knowing I will die? What is my gift to the family of the Earth? These four questions invite us into shaping the deeper meaning and purpose of our lives. Together, we will explore these four questions
that inspired me in a book by minister and therapist Wayne Muller, as we consider how these questions might open
us to greater transformation and wholeness.
. . .
"Celebrating Fathers and Flowers"
Rev. Gretchen Weis
It is the last Sunday of the official church year - a time to honor fathers and grandfathers, as well as, celebrate Flower Communion. Everyone is invited to bring a flower to add to the community-wide bouquet up front -- your
flower symbolizes the many gifts you bring to our beloved faith community. During communion, each person will
be invited forward to take a different flower from the bouquet to symbolize the many gifts you receive here at Murray Church. This year's service will feature the music of the Grateful Dead, courtesy of our Murray Church rock and roll band!
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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We are a Welcoming
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Murray Church Office
FROM OUR MINISTER
Love is Love:
March for Gay Rights
in Providence Saturday Night June 16th!
by Rev. Gretchen Weis
A man walked into a bakery in Colorado, and asked for a custom made cake. He wanted a cake decorated like an open Bible, with an image of two men holding hands and a large red "X" placed over them, plus a verse from the book of Leviticus 18:22, "Homosexuality is a detestable sin." The bakery refused to take his order. Two more bakeries also turned him down.
OK, I'm no legal expert, but Monday's ruling feels as clear as mud to me, and dangerous in failing to rule definitively on the larger discrimination vs. religious freedom question. While the Supremes chose to split hairs on the head of a legal technicality pin, I fear that there are some haters who have interpreted Monday's Supreme Court ruling as official permission for business owners everywhere to discriminate against anyone based on personal religious values.
The man filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, claiming he had been discriminated against because of his religious beliefs. The Commission ruled that the bakeries had the right to refuse his business. The Supreme Court of Colorado declined to hear an appeal.
Two other men walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. Charlie Craig and David Mullins planned to be lawfully married in Massachusetts, one of the few states where gay marriage was legal at the time. They then planned to return to Colorado to host a reception and celebrate their marriage with family and friends. They needed a wedding cake. Bakery owner, Jack Phillips, refused to take their order, as his religious beliefs would not allow him to provide wedding cake for same sex couples.
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in their favor, because refusing to provide a wedding cake because of opposition to same sex marriage was tantamount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which was against Colorado state law.
The Commission ruling -- against the bakery -- was upheld by state courts, on appeal. Flash forward several years later, and the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission finally landed in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Court watchers eagerly awaited what they hoped would be a landmark ruling at the intersection of anti-discrimination laws, free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
Unfortunately, Monday's ruling by the Supreme Court did not address the anti-discrimination/religious freedom issue. Instead, the Court reversed the decision made by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against Masterpiece Cakeshop on a technicality of process. The Court ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not remained "religiously neutral" in their decision-making. The Supreme Court noted the Civil Right Commission's inconsistency and "religious hostility on the part of the State itself," when they ruled that some bakeries had the legal right to refuse service to the religious man who wanted the Leviticus "Homosexuality is a detestable sin" Bible quote put on a cake, yet the Masterpiece bakery did not have the legal right to refuse to provide a same-sex wedding cake based on the personal religious beliefs of the bakery owner.
The Justices, in their ruling, made it clear that this ruling in favor of Masterpiece was not a ruling on the broader issue of anti-discrimination law and the free exercise of religion. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market." Both Justices Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg pointed out that there remains the protection of same-sex couples and gay rights, which can be enforced through anti-discrimination laws at the state level.
With a Sad, but Grateful Heart
It is with a sad, but, full and grateful heart that we announce that LaChelle Barton, our Office Administrator of the past three years, has decided to move back to Michigan this summer to be closer to her son, Nelson. She plans to pursue a graduate degree there in archiving and digital content management.
If you have any question, please don't hesitate to talk with either Rev. Gretchen or Jim Richardi. Let's all join in celebrating a most wonderful, dedicated staff person as we wish her well for the next chapter of her life!
LaChelle will finish out the church year with us, and she will begin packing and moving in July. Her last official day here will be Friday, June 29th. All are welcome to swing by the office over the next month for hugs and well-wishing.
LaChelle, please know how much you are loved and how much you will be missed! The congregation will formally recognize and thank LaChelle at our last Sunday service of the official church year on June 17th. And all are invited to come on by the office on LaChelle's last day at around noon for an informal pizza party farewell send off!
We are so grateful for the many wonderful things LaChelle brought to her work here at Murray, from her joyful spirit meeting and greeting people to her dedicated work ethic to her creative artful touch to the many things that help connect us as community -- the weekly newsletter, our Order of Service, our Stewardship packet materials and our Annual Report, to name just a few.
In the meantime, Rev. Gretchen and Jim Richardi, Board Chair, will be talking with selective members of the congregation to see if we can arrange temporary fill-in office and newsletter help from July 1st through August 15th. The church will begin its formal search for a new office administrator in August, in the hopes that we will have someone in place before the new church year begins in September.
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, June 10th -- Camp Murray! We will begin at 10am in the Unity Room. Then we will head outside for an hour of backyard fun and games and s'mores! Please dress your child for the outdoors which includes sun block and bug spray.
This is the last day of RE. Have a great summer!
See you in August for nursery cleaning and the Ice Cream Social!
Youth Group (Grades 9 - 12):
Sunday, June 10th -- Class will start at 10 am. Last class with Monica Staaf and Sheila Jacobs. A Place of Wholeness. Topic will be Covenantal Faith.
This is the last day for RE. Have a great summer!
See you in August for nursery cleaning and the Ice Cream Social!
Recognition of Teachers & Volunteers
Our RE volunteers enjoyed a delicious Thank You breakfast cooked by Frank Blackbird and Ricky
Larson. Plus they listened to lovely piano music played by Isabel and Maddie (lower left).
Our RE teachers were recognized were all their wonderful work and dedication to our children!
Saturday, June 9th, 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall
Join us in Fellowship Hall as we KICK-OFF the SUMMER with a dinner on Saturday evening, June 9th, 2018. The evening begins with a social hour followed by a catered dinner from Morin's Hometown Bar & Grille. Invite family and friends; all proceeds support Murray Church!
Tickets $25 per person
On sale through June 3rd at Coffee Hour
- Inquire about vegetarian options and child care
- Beer and wine will be available for a small donation
- Try your luck at winning a raffle prize!
Support the Rainbow Chasers!
Relay for Life at Norton High School
THIS Friday, June 8th & Saturday, 9th.
If you are interested, please contact Laurie Lawes
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-243-3011.
We thank you kindly in advance.
Image from Relay for Life of Greater Attleboro site.
Looking for some family and adult fun?
You're invited to the Opening Celebration of the
Deborah and Roger Richardson
Saturday, June 9th, 2018, 10 am -- 3 pm.
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There will be something there for everyone: gardeners, history-buffs, nature and music lovers; as well as, nature scavenger hunts, geocaching and games for kids. Our latest addition is the bluegrass band, Neponset River Ramblers.
Charlie Adler, Roy Belcher and others have been working for several years on behalf of the Attleboro Land Trust to purchase and restore these beautiful woodlands, wetlands, and fields for preservation and public enjoyment.
New Member Orientation Classes --THIS Sunday
in Harmony Hall
Are you interested in joining Murray Church?
Come learn more about Unitarian Universalism, about
Murray Church, and about the benefits of belonging to
this faith community.
Our next class will be held this Sunday, June 10th, in
Harmony Hall at following worship in Harmony Hall.
Please let Rev. Gretchen or LaChelle know if you are
interested in participating and joining, 508-222-0505 or
This is a welcoming and affirming congregation,
with membership open to all!
| Jun. 10:
Come Join the Conversation during Coffee Hour!
We Want to Hear from You!
Want to discuss the proposed Black Lives Matter banner, but were not able to come to the town hall meeting? Or, perhaps you'd feel more comfortable expressing your thoughts and concerns in a small group setting.
Then plan to join us in the Woodland Room this Sunday June 10th, during coffee hour, to ask questions and share your thoughts in a quiet, smaller group setting in the Woodland Room.
We want to hear from you. Come join the conversation.
Let us be brave, together.
Save Your Shoes!
Murray is collecting new and gently used shoes to be re-sold and recycled. Working in conjunction with Funds2Orgs, Murray will be paid by the pound for the shoes we collect. Shoes must be clean and dry and without obvious tears or large scuffs. The official drive will begin in September, but starting Sunday, June 10th, you'll see boxes to place your shoes along with more detailed information about what types of shoes we are accepting. Start cleaning your closets!
"God Save the QUEENS" at Greenwich Odeum Theater
Providence Gay Men's Chorus (PGMC) has gotten rave reviews from our Murray members. Membership & Welcoming is carpooling at 3:00 pm from Murray Church down to the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich, RI on Sunday, June 10th.
You'll buy your own $25 ticket by going to the PGMC website www.provgmc.org, for the June 10th performance of "God Save the Queens."
RSVP to Sandy Stuart at email@example.com. This has been called a "positive" and "uplifting" musical event, something we can all certainly use!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.
A Summer Service Preview...
Barbara Clark will be doing a lay-led service July 1st titled "Saving Our Democracy." Because signatures are due June 19th on a Massachusetts initiative petition related to the service, she will have petitions available at coffee hour for signing this Sunday, June 3rd.
The goal of People Govern Not Money is an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to overturn Citizens United v. FEC.
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.
Murray Food Pantry
- Feminine Care Products
- Personal Care Items
- Spring & Summer Clothing: gently used and clean
Thank you for your continued support!
Murray Church Food Pantry Team
Circle of Life...
Things are hopping at the Toussaint household as Kai gets used to his new brother and sister! Greetings from Jessica and Katia as they share some 2-month-old photos of twins Mahalia and Rumi.
We are sorry to announce that Dave Sumner's mother, Lillian, passed away
earlier this week from natural causes. She was 105. No memorial service is
planned, per her request. Cards and phone calls welcome.
Murray Men's Lunch Bunch
Inviting all Murray men to join us for lunch, 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 12th at noon.
Look for us in the back room of Morin's, if you don't see us -- just ask!
WE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP
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:
Jun. 13: From Green Sanctuary
To register for event click [HERE].
Presented by the Attleboro Area Sustain-Ability Group.
Save the Date!
Saturday Night, June 16th Providence Pride Parade
Come join in the fun of the 43rd Illuminated Night Pride Parade in Providence on Saturday evening, June 16th. The parade steps off at 8:15 pm, but we will need to gather and meet up with folks from other area UU Churches in parade formation usually around 7:00 pm. Those interested in having dinner together first may meet up at Morin's around 5:00 pm before we head to Providence. If you are interested in carpooling, plan to meet at the Murray parking lot by no later than 6:15 pm. All are encouraged to wear UU related T-shirts or gear and consider Mardi-Gras beads or other fun items that glow in the dark! We typically have 25 or more folks come from Murray and all ages are welcome! For more information, please see Rev. Gretchen.
Photo from Boston Globe.
From Green Sanctuary
Calling Writers for the Summer Service
on July 2nd...
Writers are needed to contribute work for July 2nd Summer Service themed: "Walk on the Wild Side: Sharing Stories from Nature." Do you have a personal story from your experiences in nature? Perhaps you were up close and personal with wildlife-either in the wilds of your back yard or in a forest, or on the water elsewhere. Perhaps you have found a magical muse from the sunshine, the rain, or from the wilder forces of weather. Or, perhaps you are passionate about protecting nature from indifference or outright destruction and this has moved you to speaking out in poetry or prose. The "wild side" can take many forms as inspiration.
The Green Sanctuary team is hosting the July 22nd, summer service, "Walk on the Wild Side: sharing stories from nature." We invite anyone to share their stories as part of this service. It can be a poem or short story, to be read during the homily part of the service (about 5 minutes, reading aloud). Favorite readings from other authors are also welcome for other parts of the service. Please let Judy DePue know if you would like to be part of this service. Email Judy at email@example.com.
Love is Love... (continued)
It didn't take very long for some haters to come out of the woodwork. For instance, one conservative South Dakota lawmaker posted the Supreme Court's ruling on Facebook, celebrating the decision as "a win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion." His further postings boasted that now, business owners finally had the freedom to chose who they serve without government interference. In fact, the Republican lawmaker claimed on social media, this means that if a business owner wanted to turn away people of color, they now had that choice.
What the ???!@@##%!!! Uh, NO!!!! Fortunately, the South Dakota lawmaker's comments unleashed a huge storm of outrage from his constituents and state Rep. Michael Clark removed his social media posting later in the day. However, he was also quoted in the media as saying that business owners with strongly-held beliefs should be able to turn customers away. "People shouldn't be able to use their minority status to bully a business," Clark claimed. A second storm of protests rose up following the newspaper coverage. Finally Clark apologized to the press in a formal written statement: "I am apologizing for some of my Facebook comments. I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race."
So, here we are, nearly 50 years after the Stonewall riots, known as the "gay uprising" in Greenwich Village in New York in June 1969 gave birth to the gay rights movement. Nearly 50 years later, and while the Masterpiece baker shouldn't have refused to serve the gay couple because Colorado law clearly states that no one can discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the baker got the legal ruling against him reversed on a technicality. And some of the haters feel renewed energy around this ruling, believing that it is now OK to discriminate against some people based on personal religious beliefs.
Ours is a faith that has stood long and loud and proud supporting the rights of LGBT people everywhere. We were among the first faiths to ordain openly LGBT clergy. And UUs were an important part of the fight, state by state, to win the ultimate right for gay marriage throughout all 50 states.
We cannot allow the haters to misinterpret this recent Supreme Court ruling and spread the story that LGBT discrimination - or discrimination of any kind -- is now OK if you cloak it in religious terms. Please plan to join me next Saturday night, June 16th, in downtown Providence, as we march with countless other UUs from the area, as well as people of other faiths, in the 43rd annual Gay Pride parade. All are invited to eat an early dinner at Morin's at 5:00 pm, and we will meet up in the Murray Church parking lot to car pool to Providence by 6:15 pm. We will then meet up with other UUs lining up in parade formation by no later than 7:30 pm as the evening parade steps off at 8:00 pm.
We are a religion that proudly proclaims: Love is Love! Discrimination of any kind, whether gender, age, race, ethnic heritage or sexual orientation is not OK, either by the laws of human kind or the higher laws of ultimate Love. Please plan to come and add your voice to this vital and timely march of support. And, please consider making it a family affair.
May all people have their cake, and eat it too! Only love can, and ultimately, will conquer hate. Let us then, be about the business of upholding love, mutual respect and inclusion as a way of life for all people, as the real American way!
I look forward to seeing you in church this Sunday, where we will dive into the works of minister Wayne Muller, who poses the universal religious and ethical question we all face: "Knowing that we will die, how then, shall we live?" We will welcome some new members into the church this Sunday as well.
In love and faith,
Smeared all over my face,
And with the cake icing
of ultimate love and equality