Murray Church Notes

June 27, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 45

In this Issue:

So here's what I wanted to tell you today: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work… Remember that you are…still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter.
(Anna Quindlen, 1952 – )
Folks from Murray joined in to march with UUs from 4 other area churches at the Providence Pride Parade on June 15th.

Murray Notes Summer Schedule

The Murray Notes newsletter will be published every two weeks. Remaining summer publication dates are as follows:
  • July 11
  • July 25
  • August 8
  • August 22 - Weekly publication resumes.
We welcome content from our members and friends. If you have a story, a poem, a mediation or something else to share, contact Office Administrator Jeanne Chapman for available dates. 

Summer Services 2019

Produced by the Religious Services Committee 

June 30
Our Vital Church Organ | Mary Whelan & 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 Joan Bennett, and 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

Murray Church Governing Documents Now Online

The Murray Church By-Laws, Policies & Procedures and Organizational Chart have been recently updated and placed online. 

Hard copies can also be obtained at the Murray Church office.

The documents are being reviewed and will likely be updated again before the end of 2019.

Share a Memory     

Time is flying by and I need to finish up my Happy Surprises service for 7/21.  If you have writings, musings, or poems to share, please send them my way by July 1st.  Many thanks!
                                                                       -- Donna Seagrave

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. 

Magazines needed!  

The RE program is in need of magazines for projects.  Please leave them in Kavita’s office. Thank you!

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,
We may also need occasional substitute volunteers during the summer.

Help Needed in the Gardens
New Plants, New Schedule!

Our small but dedicated work crew has made great progress in the Memorial Garden and the Front Garden across from Sanctuary, working late afternoon on Wednesdays and occasionally other times.  The Memorial Garden is well established, and most of the work is garden maintenance, like weeding and pruning, that requires light but regular attention.  In the Front Garden we will finish moving the daylilies and iris, and spreading wood chips this coming Saturday.  We’re now a little behind schedule, and WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

We thought we could skip July 3rd but we’re adding that back into our schedule.  We will work probably every Wednesday from late afternoon into early evening through the end of the summer.  In addition, we’re planning to work Saturday morning on July 6th and 13th from about 8:30 a.m. until noon (or whenever it gets too hot).  Some weeks, the focus will be on the Memorial Garden and some on the Front Garden but we’ll probably be working in both areas every week.  
Above is a picture of new plants to be added in the Front Garden, and there are more to come as the season changes and different varieties of plants that bloom at different times become available.  So there’s a lot of digging and planting to be done.  And other tasks to be done as well, if you’re not into dirt.  The next two Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings are critical.  WE NEED YOUR HELP, so we can get these plants out of the pots and into the ground as quickly as possible.  Please join us.

                                                               Bill and Rusty Morrow
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.   

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.
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

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, July 9th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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