Murray Church Notes

September 5, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 6

In this Issue:


Enter, Rejoice and Come In!

Rev. Gretchen Weis
A new church year begins this Sunday with our traditional water ingathering service.  Remember to bring a water sample to represent your summer.  It doesn’t matter if your water comes from half a world away, or from your own garden hose or kitchen sink.   All will be invited to come forward to pour their water into our communal bowl of love and inclusion.  

So, come, come, whoever you are, as we gather again to celebrate this community of hope and loving kindness -- this shared community rooted in the search for truth and meaning, grounded in the primacy of ethical values and right relationship, and dedicated to making the world a better, more loving and just place for all.

I'm Having Surgery

This summer, I was diagnosed at Brigham and Women’s with a hiatal hernia.  That means my stomach has torn through my diaphragm and is now up into my chest cavity.  The doctors believe this is the probable cause of my shortness of breath issues.  With my stomach up where it doesn’t belong, my lungs haven’t been able to fully expand and contract.

I have been told it is a relatively simple surgery, and that I should be hospitalized for about two days.  One of my college roommates will be coming to stay with me during that first week, while I’m home recouping.  The doctors claim that most people are able to head back to work sometime in the second or third week after the surgery.

I was originally scheduled for surgery next week, on September 12th.  However, Brigham and Women’s has pushed my surgery back to Thursday, October 10th.  I expect to be out of the pulpit for the following two Sundays.  The Religious Services Committee has already planned an exciting service featuring the UUA liaison to the United Nations on October 13th, and Rev. Jim Robinson, the part-time minister at Foxboro, has agreed to preach at Murray on October 20th.  I hope to be back leading worship by October 27th.

Please know that I am not in pain and doing just fine, while I wait for my surgery date.  I look forward to getting this surgery done (as much as any of us can look forward to having a medical procedure), as I hope it will help resolve the shortness of breath mystery, as well as help with my reflux and the coughing it causes.  Oh, yes, and the doctor said I can expect to lose some weight with this surgery…..

Murray is a healthy, stable church, with a long tradition of strong lay leadership and fabulous staff.  The single most important thing any of you can do to help support me while I’m out a few weeks in October, is to continue to do what you do best – taking care of the work of this church -- from making cookies, to teaching Sunday School, or preparing the new space for the thrift shop, greeting newcomers, hosting coffee hour, managing the church finances, singing in the choir, and so much more…

I will be available by phone, while I’m home, and will make arrangements for another minister colleague to be available for pastoral care emergencies during my short recuperation.

I hope to see you this Sunday, as we gather to refresh and recharge our spirits for the year ahead!  And, please consider inviting your friends, family and neighbors to join you and give Murray Church a try.

In love and faith, 
Rev. Gretchen 
"Water Communion Ingathering"
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. 

"Humility: A Call to Our Better Selves"
Humility.  It is one of the seven virtues -- an invitation to connect with our best, highest selves. Humility reminds us we don’t know all the answers.  We are invited into lifelong learning, encouraged to open ourselves up to other points of view. Humility asks us to transcend the self-centered focus of our consumer-based culture, as we come to value our lives as interdependent parts of something much larger than ourselves.  
Religious Education for Sunday, September 8

Please note:  Nursery will open on Sunday, September 15, so our teachers may enjoy the Water Communion Service this 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!

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

This Thursday, Sept. 5:

Music Rehearsals Resume This 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, DMA
This Friday, Sept. 6:

Blood Drive

This Sunday, Sept. 8:

Fundraising Committee Welcomes Volunteers

The Fundraising Committee extends a warm welcome to anyone else interested in participating. We will be meeting the 2nd Sunday of each month, following service in the Woodland Room. Our next meeting will be Sunday, September 8, and conversation will continue regarding plans for a Silent Services Auction in February and a Pancake Bunny Brunch in April.  Prefer to focus on a single event? Contact Irene Yutkins about the auction or Carol Connolly about the pancake breakfast. 
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
Starting Sept. 10:

Calling All Cookie Monsters!            

The Bake Shop Team will start mixing, scooping and freezing cookie dough for the Holiday Fair on September 10th! We hope you can help by donating ingredients and coming to workshops. 600 dozen cookies, 200 mini-breads and 100 pies will take many helpers to accomplish! Expert instruction and fun are provided!. For questions,please contact Donna Seagrave,

Cookie Workshop Dates:
  • SUNDAYS WITH TOM STUART, after church services, -- Sept. 15 & 29, Oct. 13, 20 & 27
  • TUESDAYS, 9:00 am to 12 noon, -- Sept. 10, 17 & 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
  • SATURDAYS --  Sept.14, 21 & 28; Oct. 5, 12, 19 & 26
Ingredient Donations: All the donated items help reduce our costs. Please drop off your items in the kitchen, dated them and lable them "Bake Shop". We need most of these items by 9/24.Thanks for the help!
Plain M&M’s      Hershey’s hugs and kisses        Chopped walnuts,pecans
Smooth peanut butter        Vanilla- no imitation please
Waxed paper      Anise flavoring     Unsalted butter      Oatmeal

FREEZER CLEANOUT NEEDED! We will need the upright freezer in Fellowship Hall to be cleaned out so that we can store our frozen cookies for the fair. Please claim your items by 9/10.

Try this Local Refugee/Immigrant Business:

From time to time, we like to encourage church members to support local immigrant businesses.  This month, we encourage you to try Central Ave Bakery.
"Bringing you a taste of Portugal"

"Your stop for the freshest Portuguese pastries, cakes, breads and groceries in New England"*

Central Ave Bakery
679 Central Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02861
Like them on Facebook  

Please contact Amanda Aguiar with any questions.

Photo from Facebook Page      *Quote from Central Ave Bakery website.

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 call me at (508) 226-3109 for complete details or see me at church.  
                                                                                     --Irene Yutkins 
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!

Please contact Amanda Aguiar with any questions.
  • 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, croquet, 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.

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

immediately following worship. Festivities will include guided walks, scavenger hunt for kids, and a community potluck lunch in our church backyard.

Save the dates!

Friday, Sept. 20:
Global Climate Strike   

The UUA has joined as a partner with this Sept. 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 Common139 Tremont St. Boston, MA.

Join Murray group for Providence strike! Let Judy DePue or Barbara Clark know if you’re going, so we can meet up and/or carpool.

Wednesday, Sept. 25  at 7:00 pm:           

Climate Change Preparedness Week   

At the Attleboro Public Library
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. 

Please contact Amanda Aguiar with any questions.

Sept. 29:

Celebration of the Trail Opening!  

On Sunday, September 29, after service, we will celebrate the opening of our church nature trail!  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 at, Sandy Stuart or Kavita.
Sept 28 & 29:

UU Retreat for Women   

Womensphere, a Unitarian Universalist women's group in southeastern New England, invites ALL women to the 2019 Fall Retreat "Circle of Women - Circle of Friends" at Senexet House in Woodstock, CT, on Saturday Sept. 28th - Sunday, Sept. 29th. Come, explore ritual in our lives and honor Gaia and our world. Join singing, dancing, crafts, games, meditation, and sharing.  For more details, email
Oct. 6:   

Produce Bag Workshop   

Reduce your plastic usage and make four of 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 contact Carla or Kavita.
If anyone would like to carpool to the Spiritual Leadership Conference from Murray Church, please contact Kavita at
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 10th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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