Murray Church Notes

August 22, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 4

In this Issue:

Ready! Get set! Go! 

Kavita Vansant
The Religious Education (RE) Committee and I are ready for a great year!  Planning happens not only for the current year but for the following year as we brainstorm, improve and try out new ideas.  It is an ongoing process.
Two years ago the RE Committee decided to switch from the Tapestry of Faith to the Pillar System as they felt our children were not learning in depth about our faith and other religions.  We also introduced self-care and self-worth.  Plus the children cover our seventh principle and Black Lives Matter.  This year we will also introduce immigration and gun control.

Here is our three year plan:
Pillar System
1. Year 1 (2017-18)- Seven Principles
2. Year 2 (2018-19)- Social Justice and Diversity (including Black Lives Matter)
3. Year 3 (2019-20)- Famous UU’s plus continuing with Black Lives Matter and adding immigration and gun control.
World Religions
1. Year 1 (2017-18)- World Religions Overview
2. Year 2 (2018-19)- Religious teachers
3. Year 3 (2019-20)-  World Festivals
This year our three year pillar plan will be finishing up and the RE Committee will be sending out a survey asking for feedback.  Please feel free to reach out to me beforehand should you wish to discuss ideas or thoughts about our pillar plan.

One of the concerns we tackled was grouping our grades for classes.  The teachers and the RE Committee felt grades 3-7 was too wide a gap, so this year we reconfigured our classes:
Nursery -- babies, preschoolers and toddlers
Grades K-3
Grades 4-7
Youth Group- Grades 8-12 
Our Youth Group has been flourishing under the guidance of Ruth Debrot!  She brings consistency, commitment and caring to our youth and has a wonderful way of engaging them.  Our youth do quite a bit during the year including music jams, service projects, UU’ism, discussions on various topics and fundraising. The goal this year is to have them attend service to participate, listen and discuss sermons. 

The other goal is to have our youth also spend time getting to know our adults and learn about church. This will be accomplished in various ways, such as joining a committee, being involved in discussion groups, attending Adult Education classes and having some our adults lead discussions with them.         

We If you have not had a chance to visit the Purple Chat Room please do so.  You will be surprised to see that it is really purple now!  Plus, the youth wanted a white board in there, which will be going up soon.  They also will have a chance to set up the room the way they want to and make some art work to hang.      

We are so fortunate to have wonderful and caring teachers in RE!  Most of our teachers return, and it is vital to support them.  Thanks to Don Michaels, we now have a Facebook page for our teachers.  This page will be a great way to share ideas, lesson plans, knowledge and find extra support.    

Should you feel a calling or have wonderful insight into achieving our RE goals below, please consider joining the RE Committee or participating in RE in other ways.

Goals for RE Committee and Kavita
1. Offer 3 Adult Ed. Programs for 2019-20 church year
2. Promote events that bridge all ages
3. Integrate Youth Group into worship services and make relationships
4. Finish Year 3 of the design of the pillar system
5. Promote Murray Religious Education through social media.
Have you ever walked into my office and thought: what a mess!  Well, that will be changing! Thanks to Jim Richardi and Tom Stewart, the small room across from the church office is now the new supply and staging room.  All the extra supplies are stored there (and labeled!) plus, there will be a long table in there for projects, class or event preparations.  Many thanks to Amanda Aguiar and Claire Kenney for moving, organizing and labeling the supplies.

Please know that the RE Committee, my Advisory Committee and I are always available to listen should you have ideas, thoughts and/or concerns about RE.  The RE Committee consists of Carol Konvalinka-Connolly (RE Chair), Joan Bennett, Colleen DeGroot, Don Michaels, Donna Palmer, Kate Ricciarelli-Wenson, Carla Rissmeyer, and Ted Weil.  My Advisory Committee consists of Don Michaels and Vanessa Wehmeyer.  Bev Hall has decided to step down from the Advisory Committee. I thank her for her three years of wisdom!  Welcome and thank you to Donna Palmer for joining this committee.

Our RE program is successful and can remain successful if volunteers step forward and be a part of our children’s lives.  We have openings for classroom assistant, plus two vacancies on the RE Committee.  Please consider joining and sharing your ideas and your love for children.

Blessings for a great church year! 

Kavita Vansant
This Sunday, August 25:     

All Church 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

Summer Services 2019

Produced by the Religious Services Committee 
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

This Saturday, August 24:

Murray Music Party

If you sing in the choir, play an instrument, sing in the congregation, or even just listen to everything, please join us for the Murray Summer Music Party at the home of Dennis and Colette Ferguson.

             Date: Saturday, August 24th (Rain date: August 25th)
             Time: 5:00 PM

The hosts will provide turkey barbecue sandwiches (with cole slaw and veggie beans), tomato & cucumber salad, a vegan couscous, and shrimp & vegetables with millet.  You may bring a dish to share, along with your favorite beverage (we will have some wines, beers, and iced tea).  

Please contact Dennis if you plan to attend and let him know what dish you are bringing!

RE Registration for 2019-2020 is now open!

Here are the links:


Youth Group (please note both youth and a parent/guardian must fill out the form): 
Rusty and Bill Morrow celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in a special ceremony surrounded by family at Twin Lakes Village in New Hampshire in August.  Rev. Gretchen officiated.
Some of our youth attend YES: Youth Empowerment and
Spirituality camp at Star Island!

Sept. 4:
Murray Gardens Work Session

The good news is that it rained on Wednesday evening, August 21st, which is great for the plants in all our gardens.  The bad news is that our Memorial Garden work session was rained out.  So we’ll be working there on Sunday after the Blessing of the Animals.  Please join us for some end of the summer weeding, pruning, and deadheading.  We have one more Memorial Garden work session scheduled for Wednesday evening, September 4th.  After that we’ll have a couple sessions in the fall to prepare the garden for winter.  

We have only one more work session planned in the Oval Garden out front on Wednesday evening, August 28th.  With a lot of help, we’ve made a lot of progress on this garden this year.  There are just a few spots left to weed and cover with wood chips and we hope to finish at this session.

                                                               Bill and Rusty Morrow
Starting Sept. 8:    

Have Your Photo Taken Free for the Murray Church Directory   

It's time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall on any of four Sundays in September, following worship. We invite all Murray members and friends -- especially our many newcomers -- to have their photo taken.  There is no charge.  We encourage everyone -- individuals, couples, families and even family pets --  to participate, as we update our directory for the 2019-2020 church year. 

Once again, we are pleased to have the professional photography experience of church member Phil Frink behind the camera lens.

Photo shoot dates: September 8, 15, 22 & 29
Sept. 14:  Save the Date!

Taste of Faith Picnic


Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  12 PM TO 4 PM
Location:  Goddard Memorial State Park
1095 Ives Road East
Greenwich, RI  02818

This event is sponsored by several congregations of varying faiths.  Everyone is welcome, including children of all ages.  More details will be sent out before the event.

Food Pantry Donation Suggestions

It's summer vegetable season!  Do you have surplus zucchini or tomatoes?  Donations of any home grown produce would be most appreciated!  

Personal care items would also be most welcome, including 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, August 27th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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