Murray Church Notes

September 19, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 8

In this Issue:


A Thrift Shop Update

Rev. Gretchen Weis

Where are we on the Murray thrift shop?  We’re glad you asked!  We would like to get the store up and running as quickly as we can sometime this fall, but there are a lot of moving parts right now.  Here’s a quick update.

Creating a Business Plan
A team of start-up volunteers met throughout August and early September to create a business plan for the thrift shop.  Special thanks to Bertha Young, who led the team to identify challenges, risks and financial opportunities for hosting a thrift shop here at Murray.  The business plan was presented to the board last week.  Based on the careful analysis, the board made the “go” decision to move ahead and create the thrift shop. 

Building Out the Space to House the Thrift Shop
After visiting and studying the layouts of other area UU thrift stores, a team of volunteers identified the best place to locate our future thrift shop here at Murray – by combining what used to be our former library and the way, way back storage room in the RE wing, next to the Food Pantry.  

Special thanks to Jim Richardi and Tom Stuart, our Property Chair, who interviewed contractors and got some competitive bids to open up the two rooms into one large space, as well as to improve access issues with an entry door that would accommodate a wheelchair.

Last week, the board approved the money to move forward on the construction work.  The permitting process has begun.  The church chose to work with a contractor who gave us a more competitive bid if Murray volunteers would help assist with some of the work.  Please contact Jim or Tom if you can help with wall demolition and other work when the permits are in place.  Once started, the construction work is expected to go quickly.

Hold Off on Donations for Now – We’re Jammed Full!
Please hold off on any more thrift store donations for now until we can sort through what we already have.  The rooms across from the church office are filled to the brim with clothing, household items and other donated goods.  Until we get the thrift shop space built out, and can move some of our display racks and sales shelving into the new store area, we do not have the room to sort through all of the donations currently stacking up.  

As the build-out nears completion, we’ll need a large number of volunteers to help sort through and evaluate the quality of the donations, as we select and price the items we’ll want to sell in the thrift shop.  If, after all the sorting, it turns out we may need additional donations of specific categories of things, we’ll put out the word.  Special thanks to Kathy Kahn, a long-standing Clara Barton Rummage Sale set-up volunteer, who will help lead a team for ongoing donation sorting, pricing and restocking the store.  If you are interested in helping out with this side of the business, please let me know.  And, please, no more donations for right now. 

Setting Up Shop
Once the build out is complete, there will be opportunities to help get the store set up in its new space.  We are blessed to have Diane Jones and Joan Gustaff, who just retired from the wholesale clothing industry, to help lead the store merchandizing and set up activities.  If you are interested in helping out, please let Diane or Joan know.

Staffing the Store
Would you like to be part of the friendly thrift shop staff?   Initially, we plan to open to the general public on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., as well as from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, following church, for Murray members and friends.  We will be looking for volunteers to assist customers and ring up sales.  A number of Clara Barton rummage sale veterans have expressed interesting in helping to staff the new shop, and we’re looking for more helpers.  If you are interested in serving as volunteer staff, please let Jim Richardi know.

Plenty of Opportunities for You to Get Involved
Special thanks to all who jumped in so far to help out with initial planning and construction start-up.  We’ll need many other volunteer hands and hearts to help get the store set up and ready for a soft opening.  After a little bit of experience, and the opportunity to tweak any of our processes and procedures, as needed, we’ll be ready to announce a “grand opening” to the general public.  

Murray will need a regular team of volunteers to run the thrift shop on an ongoing basis. From sorting through and managing ongoing donations to restocking thrift store shelves, to waiting on customers and ringing up sales, it’s estimated that we’ll need a regular team of volunteers whose combined hours would total an estimated 30 to 40 hours a week.  You can get involved for a one-time or limited volunteer commitment, or sign up for a regular shift to lend a helping hand.  Volunteering is a great way for newcomers to get involved and meet new friends.  Teen volunteer Maddie Galvin, who served on the business plan team, will be inviting other Murray youth group teens to help out.

Be Watching the Newsletter for More Announcements
Please be watching the newsletter and listening to Sunday morning announcements for more updates and volunteer opportunities as they develop.  We’re off to an enthusiastic start, and hope to move the thrift shop forward from a dream to an ongoing reality as quickly as we can!


I invite you to join us this Sunday, as we explore the concept of happiness, and see what some of the happiest places on earth – known as Blue Zones -- have to teach us. 

In love and faith, 
Rev. Gretchen  
"The Pursuit of Happiness"
America’s Declaration of Independence declares the pursuit of happiness as one of our inalienable rights. Yet, recent research has found that Americans are not among the happiest people on earth.  Researchers for National Geographic traveled around the globe, exploring a number of different peoples and cultures, identifying “Blue Zones” -- areas where people report living lives of deep satisfaction and joy.  What secrets do these Blue Zones have to teach us about happiness?   
"Get Lost!  (And Open Yourself to Discovery)"
Most of us stick to familiar routines – we travel the shortest route from Point A to Point B to make good time. How often are we willing to get lost?  To travel off the beaten path and dawdle for a while in the unfamiliar? Getting lost, stepping out of our comfort zones, can open us to new discoveries.  The Bible talks about time spent in the wilderness as transforming experience.  Henry David Thoreau encourages people to get lost in the woods.  He writes, “Not till we are completely lost, or turned around…do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.  …Not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves….” This Sunday, we celebrate the dedication of our Green Sanctuary nature trail in the back woods of our church.   May this place of peace and beauty help nurture our spirits!  
Religious Education for Sunday, September 22

Nursery will begin at 9:45 am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only.

We will begin in the service and then head to our classes.  We will begin learning about UU’s that made an impact and changed how we live today. This Sunday we will be introduced to Susan B. Anthony. 
Youth Group:
We will begin in the service and then head to the Purple Chat Room to begin discussion about today’s sermon.  Then we will proceed to the sanctuary to listen to Rev. Gretchen’s sermon and continue with discussion. 

RE Registration for 2019-2020 is Still Open!

There are several more of you we need to hear from.  Register your children, youth and teens today!

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. 22 & 29:    

Have Your Photo Taken Free for the Murray Church Directory   

Just two more opportunities!
It's time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall on any Sunday 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 22 & 29

Calling All Cookie Monsters!            

The Bake Shop Team has begun mixing, scooping and freezing cookie dough for the Holiday Fair! 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. 29, Oct. 13, 20 & 27
  • TUESDAYS, 9:00 am to 12 noon, -- Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
  • SATURDAYS --  Sept. 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, date them and label 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

Holiday Fair Notes   

This year's fair will take place on Friday, November 8th from 11 am to 7 pm and  Saturday, November 9th from 9 am to 3 pm…and we need volunteers!  Maybe you love to work in the Bake Shop, or possibly the Book Room is your thing, or what about the Gourmet Room? Whatever it is, you can sign up for 2 hours or 2 days, or anything in between, the choice is yours.  
Look for Janet Richardi, the Fair Volunteer Coordinator, in coffee hour to let her know your availability and preferences. 
The next Holiday Fair meeting will be on Sunday, October 6th at 8:45 AM in Fellowship Hall. We are looking for leaders-in-training in the Kitchen, for the Murray Craft table, and for the Fair itself.  Greatness awaits! 
This year we are asking for donations of full-sized (6-ft.) bookshelves, ideally sturdy ones.  And once again, donations of specific baking supplies will help lower costs for the Bake Shop.  See Donna Seagrave or Laurie Lawes at coffee hour for details.

Holiday Fair: Gramma's Attic News!   

Gramma's Attic is planning an upgrade for displaying all of our donations, and we need your help! The plan is to purchase wooden crates with the built-in handles to replace some of our wire shelving. The crate size is 18"long x 12"wide x 9"deep. Crates can be found at local craft stores, Lowe's, Home Depot and online for $10 - $12 each (less if you use coupons).You can purchase them and drop them off in the kitchen or connect with Jessica Brien, Gramma's Attic Room Coordinator. She will be doing a collection of money/gift cards at a coffee hour in the near future. Stay tuned for the date. Envision the upgraded display space - with your help we can make it so!
From the Green Sanctuary


Wednesday, Sept. 25:

Conversation on Ocean Conservation 

At 7:00 pm 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. Judy DePue will be moderating.

Sunday, 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, Sandy Stuart  or Kavita.
Sept. 26-30:

The Moving Wall  

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tribute Comes to Highland Park
The City of Attleboro proudly presents The Moving Wall, a half-scaled, traveling replica of the original Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC. 

A dedication ceremony will take place at 6:00 pm on each night, and Congressman Joe Kennedy will be the guest speaker on Monday, September 30th.

This event is free and open to the public.  For additional information, visit:  For the complete itinerary, click here.

The Moving Wall exhibit is hosted by the Attleboro Veterans Department and the Vietnam Memoiral Moving Wall Steering Committee.

Please note: Rev. Gretchen Weis will be giving the Benediction on Saturday, September 28th and Jeanne Chapman's chorus, Harmony Heritage, will be singing the National Anthem on Sunday, September 29th. 

Taste of Faith Picnic Photos

Our multi-faith picnic in Goddard Memorial State Park last Sunday was fun for all ages!

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 
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 RSVP to Carla or Kavita.

Shopping Online?  
You Can Help Murray Church with 

As we head into the busiest time of year for online shopping, you can benefit Murray Church by using  

To sign up, go to the login page here.

Select Murray UU Church as your charity, and Amazon will donate a half percent of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Murray Church.
If anyone would like to carpool to the Spiritual Leadership Conference from Murray Church, please contact Kavita.
Saturday, 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

Donations of personal care items would be most welcome, including deodorant, toothpaste, and feminine care products.

Thank you from the Murray Food Pantry team.

Save the date!

UUA General Assembly will convene June 24-28, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island
We are looking for a robust MUUC presence, and there will be many volunteer opportunites for those who wish to get involved.  If you would like to be part of the Murray GA2020 Task Force, please contact Jeanne Chapman at 508-222-0505 or

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 24th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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