Murray Church Notes

June 13, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 44

In this Issue:

Remember to bring a flower to service this Sunday  for Flower Communion!  

FROM OUR MINISTER

Summertime!  A World of Possibilities…. 

Rev. Gretchen Weis
How could we be at the end of the official church year already?  Please plan to join us this Sunday as we celebrate Flower Communion for all ages.  Plan to bring a flower to worship, to symbolize all the gifts you bring to help create beloved community here at Murray Church.    

Our Murray rock n roll band has prepared Beatles music to rock the house on Sunday and send us clapping, singing and dancing our way into summer.   Special thanks to the Religious Services Committee who has another summer of meaningful worship lined up from June 23rd through the Labor Day weekend.  So please plan to continue to gather on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. throughout the summer for worship and fellowship.  The new church year will start back up with our traditional water ingathering service on the Sunday after Labor Day.  

I’ll be headed out next week to attend UU Ministry Days and the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington.  Parts of GA will be live-streamed, and other sessions may be recorded and posted, so please log on to uua.org to get a taste of GA’s worship, programming and business activities.  Next year, GA will be in Providence, providing Murray folks an opportunity to experience all of GA first hand!.

Summer office hours will run from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.  The newsletter will be published every other week, with the next issue planned for June 27th.   I have arranged for pastoral care emergency coverage while I’m out of town.  If you have a pastoral emergency, please contact either Barbara Clark, head of our Caring Circle, or Jeanne in the office, as both of them can reach out to our ministers on call.

My deep gratitude to the many elected leaders and volunteers who helped make this a special year – a banner year here at Murray -- literally and metaphorically speaking.  Special thanks, too, for our wonderful staff.  Let us celebrate all they do to support the work of this church!

Summertime opens up before us, offering a world of possible recreation, relaxation, travel, and other vacation activities.  Consider lazy days, outdoor cook-outs, lingering sunsets, parades, fireworks and cool, starry nights.  Can’t you just feel the sand between your toes?

May you and your loved ones have a safe, happy summer.  May you take time to experience the mystery, wonder and awe of nature.  May you find some time to slow your life down, to rest, relax and be fully present to the everyday blessings of your life.   May you make time to experience whatever it is about this season that feeds your heart and nourishes your spirit!

Much love and gratitude
For this ministry we share,


Rev. Gretchen Weis  
THIS 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!

Bonus: the Murray Musicians will feature the music of the Beatles!
NEXT SUNDAY:
"UUA General Assembly Telecast"
This first of the summer services is hosted by the Religious Services Committee and will be held in the Unity Room, with popcorn and refreshments. 

"Experience the UUA General Assembly right here at Murray Church with a webcast of the 'Service of the Living Tradition' worship service from Spokane, Washington."

   
This Saturday, June 15:

Come March in Providence Pride Parade

LGBTQ rights are human rights!  Join us this 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. 

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!

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.

Summer Services 2019

Produced by the Religious Services Committee 

June 23
Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly telecast from June 20 | Religious Services Committee 
In the Unity Room with popcorn and refreshments
"Experience the UUA General Assembly right here at Murray Church with a webcast of the “Service of the Living Tradition” worship service from in Spokane, Washington.”

June 30
Our Vital Church Organ | Mary Whalen & Claudia Binns
Learn the history and background of Murray’s beautiful organ, moved and installed in a year by a team of Murray-ites! Come enjoy a special duet for piano and organ by Mary and Claudia and several pieces by Dennis, too!
 
 
July 7
Jungle Journey | Monica Staaf
Are you in a rut – spiritual or otherwise?  Monica will share personal tales of swimming with piranhas and exploring caves in remote jungles in Peru and Central America to encourage you to add a dash of adventure to your life -- whether you travel or try -something new at home.  
 
July 14
General Assembly: What’s NEW in the UUA? (A whole lot!)
| Bruce Field
This year’s General Assembly (our annual UU national convention) has a new plan and new goals:  conversation replaces debate, and our UU Principles guide the agenda and the way people interact.  Come hear how old ways, including white supremacy, are being replaced by new opportunities for people of color, and more.  This Sunday service is an invitation to hear about UUA’s new “Brave Space,” and can be an inspiration for us here at Murray. 
 
July 21
Happy Surprises | Donna Seagrave
Happy Surprises are experiences of delight beyond our imagining.  These experiences can come from people in our lives, nature or the cosmos itself. Let us be open to happy surprises, both large and small.

July 28
You U Behind the Wheel | Amy Craig
An exploration of being a UU while in our most powerful position – behind the wheel. How road rage affects the best of us.
 
 
August 4
Anti-Science VS Democracy | Len Yutkins
Democracy depends on a well-educated, well-informed public.  As we enter the 21st century, we find ourselves in a highly technical and scientific environment.  Yet there is a growing distrust of scientists and experts in various fields and that poses a very serious threat to our democratic principles.  How can we change this?  Some ideas will be explored.
 
August 11
Concrete Actions You Can Take Against the Climate Crisis
| Carolyn and Rand Barthel
These days, people are inundated with so much overwhelming information, it can be empowering to be focused and specific in our actions. Come learn what you can do and walk away with a to-do list! Carolyn and Rand Barthel are members of First Universalist Society in Franklin and 350 Massachusetts, a network of volunteer climate activists across the state.
 
August 18
The Evolution of Prayer | Liz Kenyon
Evidence of humans praying dates back to the third century B.C. in the form of a statue of a holy Hindu man holding prayer beads. Over the following centuries, prayer beads have been used by Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Christians. We will touch upon these prayer rituals before focusing on the evolution of prayer in the Christian tradition, including our UU faith.

August 25
Blessing of the Animals | Kavita Vansant
Our pets are part of our family. We love and care for them and in return we receive unconditional love, companionship, comfort and loyalty. Let us acknowledge how our pets uplift our lives, and why we have them. Bring your pet (on a leash/cage, please), a photo of your pet and/or a favorite stuffed animal to be blessed.  The service will be held outside, weather permitting.
 
September 1
The Music Lesson | Ruth Debrot
A musical instrument that lies on the ground makes no sound. It is a musician who must bring “Music” forth. What can Music teach us about our lives? As humans, all of us are musical in some way. The thing is, many people let notes and rhythms get in the way. Join me and explore how Music, on many levels, can be a metaphor for life and living.
 
September 8
Rev. Gretchen Weis Returns to the Pulpit
Water Communion Ingathering Service

Religious Education for Sunday, June 16

Kavita Vansant, our DLRE, is off this Sunday. 
 
Nursery
 
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.    
 
K-7 and Youth Group:
 
This Sunday is our multi-gen Flower Communion.

Have a wonderful summer!  See you in August for our Ice Cream Social!
Camp Murray was filled with fun games and yummy s’mores!

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 contact Kavita or Carol Connolly if you are interested. 
This Saturday, 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. 
This Sunday, 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!
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 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 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. 

Murray Notes Goes to Summer Schedule

The Murray Notes newsletter will be published every two weeks. Summer publication dates are as follows:

June 27
July 11
July 25
August 8
August 22 - Weekly publication resumes.

We welcome content from our members and friends. If you have something that you wish to publish, please forward it to Office Administrator Jeanne Chapman.

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.   

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

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

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.
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 25th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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