Murray Church Notes

August 29, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 5

In this Issue:


Richard Plumb
Early in January of this year I was participating in a political discussion group at our library. We had been meeting every two weeks to discuss a topic of U.S. and world importance. Our group was a mix of Democrats, Independents and Republicans. During the latter part of our session, conflicting opinions arose over our President.  Opinions and emotions were high. Just at that moment one of our members let loose a loud derogatory remark towards the current speaker and walked out of the gathering.  We were all shocked since that individual like the whole group usually respects others’ views. The meeting wound down with everyone a bit on edge over the incident. 

This was a great opportunity for a teaching moment perhaps we all needed. It was a reminder of how easy it is to become emotional when our views, opinions and biases arise.  We often have to be vigilant to stay open minded in order to be good listeners. 

The enlightening result of this experience for me was that, even at my age with hopefully good listening habits, I still find myself invested and rigid in my opinions and positions.  Because of my background and career in sales and management I can quickly flip into old habits and do battle putting up my shield and drawing my sword.  

Reverend Gretchen reminded me of some of the things that contribute to our poor listening habits.  
When listening we have a tendency to be busy in our mind, developing a rebuttal trying to win.
We FORGET there are MANY other backgrounds, cultures and life experiences different from our own.
We need to bring the GIFT of curiosity to the conversation. 
Everyone wants to be heard!

By respecting opposing points of view and really listening I believe you will find there are MANY valid points of view that are well thought out and well supported with facts. This does NOT mean we retreat from our ideals or the need for action on climate change, justice, equality and extending love in the world.  

However, good listening can pay off with new friends with different viewpoints, kinder and more constructive conversations AND a significant increase in knowledge.  We can find common ground on numerous issues and in some cases even change our position entirely. On a larger scale we may commiserate over big issues, discuss solutions that are doable with a broad range of thoughtful people. 

Richard Plumb

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” 



Summer Services 2019

Produced by the Religious Services Committee 
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 - One more week to gather your water samples!
Sept. 8:

Water Communion Ingathering Service

We gather once more to begin a new church year together.  It is good to be together once again!  All are invited to bring water samples, symbols of how we spent our summer, to add to our shared communal bowl.  It doesn’t matter where your water sample comes from – half a world, or a state or two away, or from the kitchen sink or the garden hose in your own back yard.  All water samples are welcome in our ingathering bowl. 

 Thank you!

Religious Education Update

Nursery will open on Sunday, September 15, so our teachers may enjoy the Water Communion Service on Sunday, September 8.  Parents may use the Nursery but must remain with their child.

Sunday, September 8- Multi-gen Water Communion service.
Youth Group:
Sunday, September 8 - Multi-gen Water Communion Service.  We will have Evening Youth Group from 5-7 pm in our newly painted Purple Chat Room.  We will play games, vote on topics to discuss and have pizza! Please dress for messy games!
The Ice Cream Social was so much fun!

Wanted: Flower People

On most Sundays as you enter the sanctuary for our Sunday service, you undoubtedly notice the lovely floral arrangements on the chancel table.  These flowers are usually given in memory of loved ones or to celebrate a special event.  Some people choose to provide flowers for a particular Sunday on an annual basis.  These people are contacted each year to see if they wish to continue this practice.  I am looking for more people to do flowers on such an annual basis.  There are Sundays available in most months.  If you are interested in providing flowers, please contact me for complete details or see me at church.  
                                                                                     --Irene Yutkins 

RE Registration for 2019-2020 is now open!

Here are the links:

Family:  Register HERE

Youth Group (please note both youth and a parent/guardian must fill out the form): Register HERE

Sept. 4:
Murray Gardens Work Session

We have one more Memorial Garden work session scheduled for Wednesday evening, September 4th. Please join us for some end of the summer weeding, pruning, and deadheading.  After that we’ll have a couple sessions in the fall to prepare the garden for winter.  
                                                               Bill and Rusty Morrow

Sept. 5:

Music Rehearsals Resume Next Week

If music is your passion, Thursday night in the Murray Church sanctuary is the place to be!  Weekly choir rehearsals begin on September 5th at 7:30 pm.  Those wishing to join the Murray Church choir for the first time should show up at the beginning of rehearsal or a little before.

Other weekly musical practice sessions beginning September 5th in the sanctuary:
  • Organ practice - 5:00 pm
  • Two piano rehearsal - 6:15 pm
  • Recorder Group - 8:40 pm
Questions?  Contact  Dennis Ferguson.
Sept. 6:

Blood Drive

The Animal Blessing!

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.  Hope to see you there!
  • 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.  Using kosher/halal meat is encouraged, but not required.  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, volleyball, croquette, horse shoes, etc.)
  • Please dress with respect and modesty for our multi-faith friends — crew neck short sleeve tops, polo shirts, bermuda shorts and capri pants are acceptable attire.

 NOTE:  In the case of rain, the picnic will be cancelled.
From the Green Sanctuary

Rustic Bench for Nature Trail

If you or someone you know can make a rustic bench from logs for our Nature Trail, please contact Judy DePue, email:

Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9 am:

Nature Trail Workday on Saturday

Join us if you can. Tasks include clearing some brush, moving wood chips, completing trail signage.

Sunday, Sept. 29 at 11:15 am:

Nature Trail Grand Opening Celebration & Dedication

We welcome everyone to join in the festivities!  There will be a scavenger hunt for our children and we will have an all church potluck. Please bring your own lunch, and if you wish to bring a dish to share, you are invited to do so. To keep with our principles of being a green community, we encourage everyone to bring their own table wear (plates, utensils, glasses, etc.).  Coffee will be served. 

If you have any questions, please email Judy DePue, Sandy Stuart or Kavita.

Save the dates!

Friday, Sept. 20:
Global Climate Strike   

The UUA has joined as a partner with this September 20th event, which is three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, on Sept 23rd #StrikeWithUs.

Locally, go to
  • RI:  10:00 AM RI State House - Front Steps, 82 Smith St. Providence, RI, or
  • MA:  9:00 AM Boston Common, 139 Tremont St. Boston, MA. 
Wednesday, Sept. 25  at 7:00 pm:           

Climate Change Preparedness Week   

Attleboro Public Library, 7 pm.  In honor of  Climate Change Preparedness Week, join Steve Kirk, Coastal Program Manager at the international organization, The Nature Conservancy, for a conversation on ocean conservation.  The discussion will be hosted by Judy DePue.
Sept. 17:

Field Trip to Tower Hill Botanic Garden   

Our Membership and Welcoming Committee is taking advantage of AARP's offer of free admission for AARP members and their guests on Tuesdays in September.  Members will receive one free admission and up to five additional free admissions.  

We will meet at the church to carpool, leaving at 10:00 am. Additional information is available here.

Persons interested in joining the group please contact Barbara Clark no later than Friday, September 13th. If AARP knows how many people to expect, it will make check-in at the site easier. 
Sept. 17:

"Free Trip To Egypt"  

Screening and Q&A at Providence Place Cinemas is Part Of Global “Pledge To Listen” Month: 

Experiment In Kindness Brings Together People Of Different Cultures And Faiths 
An experiment in kindness takes Canadian-Egyptian Entrepreneur of Muslim faith Tarek Mounib on a journey into the depths of human connection. Seeking to build a bridge of mutual understanding and friendship Mounib, reached out to the very people who fear him making them an intriguing offer: an all-expenses paid trip to Egypt. The experience is captured in the powerful and eye-opening new film, Free Trip to Egypt, which brings Americans concerned about Islamic extremism to the Middle East.

Date:  September 17, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Providence Place Cinemas
                 10 Providence Place
                 Providence, RI 02903

Tickets must be purchased in advance at .

The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with ThirdSpace International, which is founded by Wendy Ibrahim, PhD, MA ABS. She has spent 25 years breaking down social and cultural barriers. 
Oct. 6:   

Produce Bag Workshop

Reduce your plastic usage and make your own produce bags to bring to the grocery store!   Already have a set? Make some for us to sell at the Holiday Fair in November!
*      All ages are welcome!  Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
*      Date: October 6 at 11:30 am in Fellowship Hall. (Feel free to bring your lunch).
*      Suggested $5 donation for supplies.
*      So we know have enough supplies, please RSVP to Carla or Kavita.
Nov. 2:

Spiritual Leadership Program

As covenanted communities, congregations are perhaps especially suited to nourish and support Spiritual Leadership.  Consider attending if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be:    
•    less about volunteer chores and more about soulful engagement with your faith;
•    less about the worry of not having enough volunteers, money or time and more about finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present; or
•    less about the business of church and more about the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.
As the New England Region staff designs programming that goes beyond an introduction, we continue to make this introductory workshop available so Spiritual Leadership becomes an embedded congregational practice.

•    $25 per person when you register 1-3 from your congregation
•    $15 per person when you register 4 or more from your congregation


While we know that not all individuals are in a position to pay these fees, since the learning is on behalf of the congregation, we assume that congregations will select and financially support participants who come. However, if these fees are prohibitive even to the congregation, please contact us at We do not want cost to keep anyone away. 

NOTE TO ALL ATTENDEES: Please bring your own bag lunch. Morning refreshments, drinks and afternoon snacks will be provided. 

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 September 3rd.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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