Murray Unitarian Universalist Church | 505 North Main St | Attleboro, MA 02703
August 24, 2017
. . .

"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.

. . .



"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.


. . .
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! 
. . .
Quick Links
Our Website

. . .



Us on


We are a Welcoming Congregation

Click here to viewOur Calendar:

Murray Church Office

Reflections On Aging
  by Judy DePue
  When visiting my mom at her new nursing home setting, I noticed the  birds in the Aviary were quite chatty. They jump around within their  confined space, look for food and water, and they get into squabbles.  Some hang out in pairs and one of them sings a lovely melody. This is  meant to be entertaining for the residents, but I have yet to see any of  them watching the birds. My mom can't see them well. Regardless, I take her there for some privacy. She can also be chatty. Her words seem to form into the cadence of paragraphs, although her words are jumbled following her recent stroke. I still find it enjoyable just listening to this cadence and to the sound of her voice. While the whole paragraph is incoherent, if I listen carefully, I can piece together fragments that give me a window into what she is thinking. She talks about things that have happened to her long ago, memories both good and bad. She spoke about the cemetery where her grave will be and whose grave is nearby. This word jumble didn't seem to demand a response, but when she commented that she is in the nursing home because she was in the way, I corrected her. I said, "That's not true Mom. You're here now because it became too difficult for you to move from the wheelchair to the bed and vice versa." She acknowledged with a nod that she knew this was true. I was thrilled that she had heard me and responded. This tiny exchange is our current form of conversation. She is now 101 years old. I am thirty years younger, but I can no more fathom what it's like to be her age now than I could when she was 70 and I was forty. 

Much of the time my mother sleeps, along with most of the other residents in their recliners in the lounge. As I engage a few of them. I learn that some are my age or younger. They are there for a variety of disabilities, mental and physical. This is sobering. 

In a conversation with attendees at a friend's retirement party recently, topics were all about the transitions at this stage of life: How long can I work? What will I do after retirement? Where will we live? I remarked then that in my experience so far, the answers to these questions evolve. "At 70, I find my considerations are different than they were at 65 or at 60," I said. Now, I have new health concerns to accommodate. I am lucky to still be active, albeit more selectively active. I can no longer multi-task or even hold onto a thought more than 10 seconds! So I have had to pare down what I can accomplish. However, I still intend to make a difference where I can. No longer do I want to move to another state and start a new adventure. Now I would rather live close to the people and places I know.  

On weekdays, my mother attends a day program where the staff initiates games for stimulation. She can't participate, but I appreciate that others call her by her name, there is a routine, and she benefits from the activity all around her. In one of the games, participants were asked about their favorite things-such as favorite memories, sights, and sounds. One woman said her favorite sound was hearing the familiar voices of the people in this program when she arrives each morning. This woman lives in her own apartment, but her disability makes her self-care more difficult. She receives most of her meals, her showers, heath care and companionship from this day program. Clearly, our definition of family also evolves. 

While we like where we live now, my husband Tom and I have considered moving to an over-55 condo or a retirement community at some point. We have looked into a few. The obvious advantages include having someone else be responsible for yard work and cleaning gutters. But equally important to me is having a nearby community when I am no longer able to drive. However, when we have visited these places, we feel we are not ready for this move. Those residents look so much older than we are. Some retirement communities do report their average age is in the eighties. But one we saw recently had an average age in the low seventies. They also looked "old" to us. My goodness. I best look at myself in the mirror! Indeed, I am "old" compared to how I looked and to my outlook at 40. I don't feel "old" now. I guess aging means getting use to this new body and new outlook. However, I shouldn't get too used to this because both body and outlook will keep changing.  

The front page of our summer newsletters will feature select written work from the Murray Writers' Circle.
Don't Forget to Gather a Water Sample!
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!
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.
(Image from
Donations Needed for RE
The RE Program is in need of the following for our upcoming September Bake Sale:
1 bag of large marshmallows

5 bags of chocolate chips

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 box of Chex cereal or a generic type

2 bags of M&Ms or generic brand

2 bags of mini pretzel twists

Thank you for your support!

Beacons of Light

Rev. Gretchen attended Saturday's anti-hate march in Boston, joining in with numerous colleagues and friends from throughout New England.

FAR RIGHT:  Melanie Hitchen & Gregg LaFlamme were among many Murrayites who attended the local Attleboro anti-hate rally.  Photo from Sun Chronicle.

 2017 | 
Summer Services
 Murray Unitarian Universalist Church

 Produced by the Religious Services Committee

 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.

Dear Murray Members and Friends...

I writing to you to express our deep gratitude to be a part of such a loving and supportive community. On Sunday August 13th, Janet and I presented our summer service on "The Faces of Forgiveness." We felt honored to be able present this topic to Murray. 

We did NOT expect this simple summer service to become such a powerful and meaningful moment in our lives. The events in Charlottesville, VA came together in a confluence with our service. First off as stated in Murray Notes "we were blessed to have Liam Burnell attended the service on his walk across the U.S.A. to dramatize and publicize his message, "Take Courage, America." 

Later in the service we heard from the hearts and minds of several of our members during the Joys & Concerns segment of our service. One voice expressed a need for advocating and living out our values. Another had deep empathy for the tragedy at the Charlottesville protest. The third person expressed support for the heroism of those standing up against racism and hate. And the last posed a more difficult question to take to heart. Do we as progressives really listen and hear the "other side" with open minds? There was much to ponder. 

Janet and I hope our sermon on "The Faces of Forgiveness" added to the totality of this service as well as the thoughtful discussions that followed. We felt we were part of something bigger than just a summer service - the loving voices and actions of our religious community.  

We are blessed, 

Richard & Janet Plumb

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

                         - Paper Grocery Bags


Thank you for your continued support!

Murray Church Food Pantry Team 
Sep. 17:
Waking Up White Book Discussion Group
Sunday, September 17 following Worship
11:30 am in the John Murray Room
Debbie Irving
This summer's church read was Waking Up White by Debby Irving, to explore the ideas of dominant culture and white privilege. Our first book discussion group will be held on Sunday, September 17th following worship in the John Murray Room. Please grab a cup of coffee at coffee hour and head to the John Murray Room to begin our exploration of the first 5 chapters, pp. 1-26. Rev. Gretchen will be facilitating our discussion.
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!

To sign up please click [HERE]

Simply type your name and click the box(es) for the time slots you plan to attend. 



Contact Stephanie Paquette at or 

(call or text) 401-603-8386.

Image from
Calling all Writers -- 

Consider joining us in the Writers' Circle

Whether you've been writing for a while, or you have a writer in you that has just started making an appearance, you are welcome! If you are a free-thinking writer, a meticulous writer, a clumsy writer, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer, an intentional writer, a thoughtful writer, a spontaneous writer, you are welcome! Whether you love to share your work or you're a bit shyer and selective about sharing, you are welcome! Please join us for our monthly Writer's Circle, starting on Sunday, September 24th from 11:30 am -- 1:00 pm in Harmony Hall. 

If you are interested and/or you have any questions about our circle, 

please contact Heidi Ferreira 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.
Refurbishing Fellowship Hall
The Property Committee is looking for people to help develop 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 to make sure we're meeting on a particular Monday:

Barbara Clark at, 
from August 28th -- September 4th.
Sep. 7:
Help Save a Life: Donate Blood 

Thursday, September 7th 

at Murray Church!

We are excited to partner again with the Red Cross 

as a blood donation center on 

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 

from 1 pm -- 6 pm in Fellowship Hall


Help save a life by giving the gift of life! You can read about the blood giving process on the Red Cross website: If you are a regular blood donor, please check your eligibility schedule and plan to be with us on that date. If you have not given blood before, please review the details on the Red Cross website and determine if you are eligible. Please tell your other family members, friends and neighbors and invite them as well. We recruit donors in advance and help with scheduling their appointments. 

Our goal for this blood drive is to collect at least 53 donations. 
We would like to exceed this number if possible and establish Murray Church 

as a regular donation site for the surrounding 

There is an urgent need for blood in our area and we hope you are able and willing to give at this our third blood drive in 2017! Please see the Red Cross flyer in the newsletter and follow the instructions on it to go to their website and make your appointment.


For more information, 

please contact Jim Richardi at 

if you need any help or advice with the process. 

Sep. 13:
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
Sep. 16:
  • Everyone welcome, including children of all ages. 
  • Bring a dish that serves 6-8 people, plus a serving utensil. Our Muslim friends request that no pork or alcohol be served, including no use of alcohol in preparing a dish. As a courtesy for those with food concerns, please provide an index card listing all of the ingredients in your dish. 
  • Bring chairs and outdoor picnic blankets. 
  • Bring outdoor games and activities (frisbees, hoola hoops, volley ball, croquette, horse shoes, etc.) 
  • Please dress with respect for our Muslim friends - crew neck short sleeve tops, polo shirts, bermuda shorts and capri pants are acceptable attire.
This event is sponsored by several congregations of varying faiths 

-- hope to see you there!


NOTE: In the case of rain, the event will be cancelled!

Sep. 22:
The Opioid Crisis
A presentation at 

7 pm in the 

Unity Room 

at Murray Church.

Sep. 23:
AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock
Join Us on Saturday, September 23rd
6 pm in the Unity Room at Murray Church
to view the film and participate in panel discussion.

Stay tuned for more information.

From Green Sanctuary

Recycling Tips

Religious education teaches us that we are all part of nature, not separate from it, and that all of it is sacred.
Each of our small acts creates a ripple effect. Many small acts together create a wave.
DO recycle clean and dry plastic containers; they do not require a symbol.

    DO NOT recycle toxic product containers, or containers over 5 gallons in size.
For plastics recycling chart click [HERE]
Murray recycling Do's and Don'ts are stipulated by our recycling contractor. They may not be the same as your city or town.
Sep. 28:

  From Green Sanctuary

Hokule'a:  Malama Honua 
(Caring for Island Earth), 

with voyager Rex Lokeni 

Thursday, September 28th at 6:30 pm 

at Attleboro Public Library, Balfour Room

The Hokule'a is a traditional Polynesian sailing vessel that recently completed a 3-year worldwide voyage to promote caring for our Island Earth in the face of rising seas and other climate change impacts, especially as it relates to indigenous communities. [see also] Our speaker, Rex Lokeni, is Native Samoan and was on the Hokule'a crew. He now lives in Attleboro. 
To register click [HERE].

This event is co-sponsored by Attleboro Area SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice) and Attleboro Area Sustain-Ability Group, which is a community-based offshoot of our Murray Church Green Sanctuary program.

Sep. 30:
Sweet Honey in the Rock Benefit Performance

Sweet Honey In The Rock will be performing a benefit concert in Jordan Hall at The New England Conservatory of Music to support the efforts of the Media Arts Center at Roxbury Community College, which includes programming for civic engagement and social justice. The concert is Saturday, September 30th at 8 pm in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservtory. Tickets start at $100. We want to insure that we can continue to bring civic, social, and artistic ventures to the Media Arts Center a Roxbury Community College. This concert is in conjunction with UU Urban Ministry and Roxbury Community College.

Sweet Honey In The Rock's Mission is to Educate, Entertain and Empower

Sweet Honey In The Rock is a performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains and empowers its audience and community through the dynamic vehicles of a cappella singing and American Sign Language interpretation for the Deaf and hearing impaired. Sweet Honey's audience and community comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures throughout the United States and around the world, and includes people of all ages, economic/education/social backgrounds, political persuasions, religious affiliations, sexual preferences and differing abilities. 

This concert will help us to insure that we can continue to bring civic, social, and artistic ventures to the Media Arts Center a Roxbury Community College.

For tickets please go to:


or call 800-697-3287.