Murray Unitarian Universalist Church | 505 North Main St | Attleboro, MA 02703
VOLUME 6 * ISSUE 6August 10, 2017
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"Faces of Forgiveness"Richard & Janet Plumb

Who needs it?

What is it really?

Where does it fit in the human experience?

Why is it so important?

How do we get there?

These are the questions Richard and Janet Plumb will explore in their Summer Service on Sunday August 13th, 2017. They will present their perspective of forgiveness through personal experiences, Lessons from The Course in Miracles, Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower and others.

. . .



"What Would Will Rogers Do?"

Len Yutkins

Will Rogers was a wit who knew the secret of how to disagree with people without being disagreeable. In the current political scene, we all could use a reminder on how to disagree with others without meanness.


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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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Don't Forget to Gather a Water Sample this Summer!
Our first service of the new church year will be on Sunday, September 10th. It is our annual ingathering water communion service. As we come together, people are invited to bring a small sample of water, representing how you spent your summer, to add to our shared communal bowl. It doesn't matter where your water sample comes from - from half a world or a state or two away, or from the garden hose in your own back yard!
All water samples are welcomed.
The Turquoise Corduroy Jumper
  by Monica Staaf
When I was in junior high in the early 1970's, all of the girls were required to take home economics, while the boys took shop. The girls learned how to cook and sew while the boys learned how to make cutting boards and lamps. This policy remained unchallenged for decades until a turquoise corduroy jumper incited a rebellion.

In home ec, we learned how to wear aprons and make cinnamon toast.  Flour and eggs littered the kitchen work stations, and we spent more than a few classes plucking fragments of eggshells from batter.

Until then, the extent of my cooking experience consisted of heating up Campbell's soup in a pan or baking candy cane cookies at Christmas with my sister. My mom didn't enjoy cooking or have the patience for it but she cooked dinner every night. Unlike most mothers in our suburb near Cleveland, Mom worked outside the home as a school librarian. The prevailing wisdom was that working mothers spawning a generation of neglected, latchkey kids and emasculated husbands. A mother working outside the home was so unusual that a local weekly newspaper published a feature about her and how my sister, dad, and I helped with the chores. Mom was determined to prove her critics wrong. Like other neighborhood children, we dined on lime Jello with canned pineapple, "pie" made from hamburger, Velveeta cheese, an onion, and tomato paste.

Like Mom, I didn't particularly care for cooking either but had fun in class.  

Once we mastered baking cookies in home ec, we switched to sewing.

My mom's mother, Vanaema ("grandmother" in Estonian), was a gifted seamstress. My mom, sister, and I did not inherit her talent. Vanaema sewed matching clothes for my sister and me. She crocheted groovy ponchos (these were the 1970's!), pullover vests, caps, and multi-colored afghans.  

Our first sewing project in class involving making a cobbler's apron. The pattern had a neck hole so that the wear could pull it over her head like a serape and fasten it at the sides. My teacher convinced us that our project would be an ideal Christmas present for a female relative. Vanaema had plenty of aprons, and I knew that Mom - a history buff and avid reader - wouldn't like it, so I decided to make one for Grandma Staaf. 

I have no idea why I thought that my fun-loving Grandma, a one-time flapper who fled the family farm to move to Kansas City as a teenager, would welcome an apron.  Grandma usually ate frozen food that she heated in the oven in those pre-microwave days. She would thaw frozen raspberries to eat, remove the Saran wrap topping a half can of beer, and smoke cigarettes while she stayed up late to watch Johnny Carson on TV. I did not let these warning signs deter me. I selected a floral pink fabric and turquoise trim at Joann Fabric although I'd never seen Grandma wear either color. 



The front page of our summer newsletters will feature select written work from the Murray Writers' Circle.
Religious Education Registration  
The Religious Education Program is ready for a great new year!  
Please register your child(ren) using the links below. This year we have gone paperless and are using Google Docs.
As we begin a new year, please feel free to call or email me about any thoughts or ideas you may have. Also, If you have any input about last year please contact Kavita at, as feedback is always appreciated! Thank you.
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Summer Blooms
   Aug. 11:
  Volunteers Needed to Help RE Clean Nursery

On Friday, August 11 from 10 am -- 12 pm the RE Program will be cleaning the nursery and sprucing up the RE Wing to get ready for the new year! If you are able to volunteer for an hour or so please contact Kavita at kkvansant@gmail.comThank you! 
Donations Needed for RE
The RE Program is in need of the following for our September Bake Sale:
  • 2 bags of large marshmallows
  • 4 bags of chocolate chips
  • 1 box of Chex cereal or a generic type
  • 2 bags of M&Ms
  • 2 boxes of brownie mix
  • 3 13x9 foil pans
    Thank you for your support!
    Circle of Life...
    Happy 104th Birthday to Lillian Sumner, 
    mother of Murray member David Sumner. 
    We join you in celebration of a phenomenal life!
    Photo by Paul Connors, Sun Chronicle.

     2017 | 
    Summer Services
     Murray Unitarian Universalist Church

     Produced by the Religious Services Committee

     AUG. 13   Faces of Forgiveness | Richard & Janet Plumb Who needs it? What is it really? Where does it fit in the human experience? Why is it so important? How do we get there? These are the questions Richard and Janet Plumb will explore in their Summer Service on Sunday, August 13th, 2017. They will present their perspective of forgiveness through personalexperiences, Lessons from The Course in Miracles, Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower and others.

    AUG. 20   What Would Will Rogers Do? | Len Yutkins

    Will Rogers was a wit who knew the secret of how to disagree with people without being disagreeable. In the current political scene, we all could use a reminder on how to disagree with others without meanness.

     AUG. 27   The Things We Carry | Rev. Gretchen Weis
     I spent my summer break buying a condo and moving about five minutes  from the church. The moving experience can invite us to explore our  relationship with things. What objects do we choose to surround our  lives, and, in my case, what have I carried from place to place? And what  do our things say about us? Come enjoy some humor as I "unpack" just  a few of the personal objects I own and carry along on my journey.

    SEP. 3   Building Interfaith Bridges | Caleigh Grogan

    In such a polarized country it can seem impossible to make progress and produce change in line with our UU principles. I believe interfaith work is one way we can begin to overcome this feeling. There are people of different faiths who share our passion for justice, and building bridges across faith boundaries allows us to harness more energy to use for progressive transformation.

    Aug. 16:
    Need Help with Landscaping
    Many thanks to Greg and Adam who came out last Wednesday to help with more pruning and clearing in the area in front of the church. It was a nice evening to work and we made good progress.
    There's plenty more to do and we plan to continue this effort: 
    Wednesday, August 16th, starting at 5 pm
    We're hoping to spread some mulch over the area we cleared, 

    so along with pruners, loppers, and saws, bring a rake. 


    Bill & Rusty Morrow

    Aug. 17:
    Last Concert of the 2017 Summer Series
    Thursday at 7:30 pm

    CCC Chorale -- Our Tribute
    A concert in honor of lost loves & veterans.


    Adults $25,  Seniors & Students $20,  Children 5--17 are FREE with paid adult, limit 2 children per adult. Murray members & friends $15!

    Tickets available 30 minutes before concert.

    For more information, please call:  508-491-8888, 
    or visit our Facebook page at: 

    Do You Need Boxes?
    As a result of her recent move, Rev. Gretchen has a plethora of boxes -- all shapes and sizes, including wardrobe boxes. So, you need boxes for college or moving, contact Rev. Gretchen immediately at:
    Please don't leave Holiday Fair donations in Fellowship Hall. We have very limited storage, so it's best to hold onto your items until the fair is closer. If you have donations that can't wait, please contact Greg Wehmeyer at to coordinate a time to put the items in one of our storage containers.
    We have a great need for the following items:
                             - Personal Care Items
                                i.e., shampoo, bath & hand soap, lotion, deodorant, etc.
                             - Dental Care Items,
                                i.e., toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, toothpaste
                             - URGENT - Paper & Plastic Grocery Bags

    Thank you for your continued support!

    Murray Church Food Pantry Team 
    Aug. 23:
    HELP NEEDED to Unload Food Delivery Trucks
        We receive 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: 
    Roger Boucher at 508-838-8249, or email  at
    Thank you!
    Image from
    Aug. 26:
    Murray Hosts Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen
    Murray Serves the Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen every 4th Saturday of the month, from 8 am -- 12:30 pm, at Centenary Methodist Church, located at 39 North Main Street in Attleboro.                                         
    Help out once for an hour! You'll make all the difference!

    We need volunteers for all shifts and tasks. Tasks we need help with:

        Early (8 am -- 10 am)
    • Set up tables & chairs
    • Make sandwiches
    • Prepare main meal
    • Wash dishes
    • Serve coffee & juice
        Later (10:45 am -- 12:30 pm)
    • Plate meals
    • Serve guests
    • Breakdown tables &chairs
    • Wash dishes
    • Sweep & mop 
    Feel free to share this info with anyone who might be interested in helping out! 


    Contact Stephanie Paquette at or 

    (call or text) 401-603-8386.

    Image from

      From Green Sanctuary

      Caring for the Earth Is Environmental Justice
    By living more sustainable, we lighten the burden of our lifestyle on Earth's systems. We can improve our environmental footprint one step at a time. Each of our small acts creates a ripple effect. Many small acts together create a wave.                                
    Recycling DO:
    DO recycle aerosol cans IF they are empty.
    Recycling DON'T: 
    DO NOT recycle take-out containers, plates, napkins or donut and pastry boxes.
    Refurbishing Fellowship Hall
    The Property Committee is looking for people to help in developing a plan for refurbishing Fellowship Hall. This will include things such as lighting, entrance ways, windows and floors, and developing a cost estimate and time frame for completing the work. It is the Property Committee's hope that Fellowship Hall can become one of the 'jewels' of Murray Church.
    Please contact Tom Stuart at, or Rob Hasselbaum at, if you are interested in participating with this team.
    Yoga at Murray

    The yoga group will meet intermittently during the summer. If you aren't a regular participant please contact Barbara or Karla to make sure we're meeting on a particular Monday:

    Karla Bassler at
    from July 11th -- August 21st.
    Barbara Clark at, 
    from August 28th -- September 4th.
    Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
    Community Blood Drive

    Fellowship Hall

    505 North Main Street Attleboro, MA 02703

    Thursday, September 7th 2017

    1:00 PM -- 6:00 PM

    To schedule an appointment, visit and 

    enter zip code 02703 or sponsor code: MurrayUUC

    You can also call 1-800-Red-Cross!

    continue...Corduroy Jumper (continued)

    After several weeks at the shared sewing machine, I completed the apron. The neck hole did not resemble the perfect circle that the front of the Singer pattern portrayed.  Instead, the hole was so jagged that it resembled a spiked metal collar that punk musician Sid Vicious would wear in the future.   

    The width of the turquoise trim veered from a fraction of an inch to an inch at random intervals. When I presented it to Grandma, she thanked me while my sister tried not to laugh. The apron would remain unworn, neatly folded in a drawer, until Dad found it when Grandma passed away a decade later. 

    The apron was a trial run. Our main class project - la piece de la resistance - was to make a jumper. Corduroy was in vogue then, so I selected a swatch of it in turquoise.  

    I had trouble with the project from the start. My teacher instructed me to pull out the stitches from the hem because it was uneven. The hem was so pointy that it looked like a Star of David. Each time that I repinned and resewed it, the machine wore down the nap of the corduroy like the ocean eroding a cliff.  

    Sometimes, I would accidentally floor the pedal of the sewing machine and it would take off like a Maserati. The machine would race crazily as the treads sucked bunched up fabric towards the needle that punched up and down like a jackhammer. I yanked at the corduroy to keep it from pulling my fingers under the needle. Only a broken thread would stop the needle unless I had the presence of mind to pull my foot from the pedal. When I rethreaded the bobbin, I was afraid that the machine would start up. It was comparable to plunging a hand into a garbage disposal to pull out a stray spoon, while trying not to worry if the disposal would switch on.

    The hem grew shorter and more uneven. The drawing on the pattern showed a jumper that fell a couple of inches above the knees. By the time that I finished - motivated by the threat of failing the project - the jumper barely grazed the top of my thighs. When I tried it on, Mom wisely decreed that it was too short for me to wear. I was relieved. I wouldn't have to bear the humiliation of wearing the jumper with the uneven hem past a gauntlet of fellow teenagers.

    Mom didn't want to give up on the jumper since Dad and she didn't want to waste the money that they spent on fabric, sewing supplies, and pattern. Mom decreed that my sister, who had the misfortune of being shorter than I was, wear it to elementary school.  My sister balked, but Mom insisted. This was a time when kids wore striped bell bottoms, fringed vests, and maxi dresses to school, so you can only imagine how bad the jumper was. She wore the jumper once to her sixth grade class when an "accidental" spill stained the jumper. Mom couldn't remove the spot, and the jumper was retired.  

    The next fall, I started high school, and my sister started junior high.
    After enduring the trauma of wearing the hideous turquoise jumper to school and seeing how much I'd struggled with home ec, she decided that she wanted to take shop instead of home ec with her friend, who had learned how to cook and sew at a young age. The administration was shocked by what they believed to be an unfeminine request.

    Mom stormed into the school and told the principal that she raised her daughters to be independent and that my sister would study whatever she wanted. The principal and shop teacher sputtered. Both sets of parents backed their daughters, and the school relented. Within several years, boys and girls took both shop and home economics.

    My sister and I still get the giggles when we think about that misshapen turquoise corduroy jumper that I made so many years ago, but we both credit it as a catalyst for her revolt.