Murray Church Notes

September 26, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 9

In this Issue:


A Special Thanks to our Green Sanctuary Team!

Rev. Gretchen Weis

This Sunday, we will gather out in the church’s backyard following worship to celebrate and dedicate the completion of a small nature trail built by members of the Green Sanctuary team.  It will be a multi-generational celebration with coffee hour and potluck snacks. Members of the Green Sanctuary team will lead guided tours of the new trail and a scavenger hunt will be offered!  Please plan to join in the fun and bring a dish to share.  
The completion of our new nature trail is just one of many projects the Green Sanctuary has been working on over the past few years, as the church works to reduce its overall carbon footprint and promote sustainable activities under the UUA Green Sanctuary certification process.

The UUA Green Sanctuary program offers a unique opportunity for deep congregational growth and transformation through a commitment to make every aspect of congregational life as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible. This comprehensive program educates congregations about their environmental impact as institutions and individuals.  Action plans seek to increase building sustainability, improve congregational practices, and create relationships within the wider community.  Approximately 25% of all UU congregations have achieved Green Sanctuary accreditation, plus 70 more, including Murray Church, are currently working towards accreditation.  

Murray’s Green Sanctuary team was formed in June 2015, under the leadership of Social Concerns member Judy DePue.  The team’s mission is to promote and support the pursuit of environmentally sustainable practices in our congregation and the community. Our purpose is to minimize our footprint on the earth in the face of global climate change. We do this as an expression of living our UU values. 

To become a UUA Green Sanctuary candidate, the Murray Green Sanctuary team had to conduct assessments and prepare 11 project proposals to submit to the UUA in four focus areas:  worship, religious education, sustainable living and environmental justice.  Murray’s Green Sanctuary team worked closely with a number of other church committees -- including Religious Education, Property, Social Concerns, the Deacons & Deaconesses (D&Ds) and the Religious Services Committee -- to identify not 11, but 12 projects here.  After much deliberation and needs assessment, Murray’s 12 projects were identified as:

Environmental Justice projects:
  • Community Outreach toward a green coalition
  • Interfaith partnerships
Religious Education
  • Integrate children in Food Pantry role
  • Integrate 7th principle into RE
  • Enhance lifespan RE to address climate change and climate justice
Worship projects
  • Modify Joys and Concerns—using pebbles instead of candles
  • Create nature trail
  • Worship services on social/environmental justice topics
Sustainable Living projects
  • Expand recycling
  • LED lighting upgrade
  • Weather stripping installation
  • Thermostat upgrade

The Green Sanctuary team rolled their plan out to the congregation in June 2016 (remember our tree in the Unity Room with leaf endorsements to hang in favor of different project ideas?).  The team submitted Murray’s Green Sanctuary proposal to the UUA in June, and Murray became a candidate in September 2016.

For the past several years, the team has worked diligently to accomplish the environmental projects it set out to get done.  Here is a list of some of the Green Sanctuary team actions to date:
  • Murray switched from using messy, petroleum-based wax candles to using pebbles for joys and concerns every Sunday morning for the past few years.
  • Carla Rissmeyer of the Religious Education committee conducted numerous fun activities to teach the 7th principle to our children.
  • The church hosted several activities to help our young people, as well as church members, become more aware of the Food Pantry’s role in helping to address food insecurity – from youth group bake sales, to food pantry tours, to adult programs about poverty.
  • We’ve hosted numerous movie nights, speakers, bulletin boards and newsletter articles to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage discussion within and beyond our church walls.
  • The UUA understands it takes time to build relationships toward community partnerships.  We continue to build rich relationships through our Multi-Faith Friends Taste of Faith group, as well our new Black Doll Museum/Road to Diversity and Understanding partnerships.  
  • Green Sanctuary has developed community outreach with local Attleboro Public Library programs and will be hosting an upcoming legislative town hall meeting here at Murray Church with state elected officials next month.
  • Our sustainable living projects are mostly complete with LED lighting now installed throughout most of the church.  Other energy improvement projects included weather-stripping and installing programmable thermostats.  Recycling here is an ongoing habit, and includes participation by the Holiday Fair in early November each year.
What’s next?  It’s not too late to get involved with Green Sanctuary! As the climate crisis continues to escalate, members of Murray will continue to add their voices to the global groundswell calling on public officials everywhere to do something, now.  On October 29th, at 7 pm, Green Sanctuary will host an Energy and Environment Legislative Town Hall meeting at Murray, with State Rep. Jim Hawkins and State Senators Paul Feeney and Becca Rausch. The Town Hall will be co-sponsored with UU Mass Action, the Coalition for Social Justice, and Attleboro Land Trust. 

The Green Sanctuary team has been working diligently now for several years.  How much longer until we receive our Green Sanctuary accreditation from the UUA?  It can typically take up to 3 to 4 years for a church to achieve its Green Sanctuary certification. The process involves a written evaluation of each project, once they are completed.   The Green Sanctuary team expects to complete their project evaluation paperwork this Winter/Spring and submit it to the UUA for review in Spring.  This will be at about 3 years for us.  

As we enjoy a nice fall afternoon together out back this Sunday celebrating the nature path, let’s also celebrate the ongoing commitment and hard work of our Green Sanctuary team. I invite you to take a moment to thank some of the wonderful Murray folks who have been involved in this effort over the past few years, including team chair Judy DePue, Roy Belcher, Barbara Clark, Charlie Adler, Russ Negus, Ben Lauser, Bertha Young, Don Michaels, Diane West and Sue Kline.  And thanks to the church staff and different committee members who helped Green Sanctuary define and implement some of the many projects on the Murray list.  We appreciate all you have done and will continue to do to lead us in this vital, all-important initiative!

We hope to see you in church this Sunday when we will explore the virtues of getting lost, wandering off the beaten path, and opening ourselves up to the personal discovery our wanderings can bring.  

Bright blessings, 
Rev. Gretchen 
"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!  
"You Are Beloved"
It was almost 250 years ago that John Murray first preached the messages of Universal love and forgiveness on American shores at Thomas Potter’s little chapel in Good Luck, New Jersey.  At a time when our world is so divided by politics, fear and hate, let’s dive a little deeper into the messages of love and hope that Universalism brings.     

Religious Education for Sunday, September 29

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 the Unity Room to learn more about our back yard and nature.  

Please dress your child for the outdoors and, if you wish, please spray tick repellent on your child. Our children will be outside the whole morning, plus after church for the potluck. 

Youth Group:
You will start in the service and stay in there until after the sermon.  Afterwards you will head to the Purple Chat Room for the discussion.  

Starting tonight, Sept. 26:              

Richards Memorial Library Book Sale

This book sale is the North Attleboro library's primary fund raiser, and is in a new location this year: 
Allen Avenue School
290 Allen Avenue, North Attleboro
        Thursday, September 26,  6 PM to 8 PM (members only; join at door)
        Friday, September 27,   2 PM to 8 PM
        Saturday, September 28,   9 AM to 2 PM

Among all the books, videos and games, there will be a ton of good children’s books!
Starts tonight: 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 Memorial Moving Wall Steering Committee.
This Saturday, Sept. 28:    

Food N' Friends Soup Kitchen Needs Volunteers     

Murray hosts the Food 'n' Friends Soup Kitchen on Saturday, September 28th from 8 am - 12:15 pm at the Centenary United Methodist Church on the corner of North Main Street and Sanford Street in Attleboro Center.

We need volunteers for set-up, food-prep, cooking, and cleaning throughout the morning.  Please contact Stephanie Paquette or call the church office to sign up!
From the Green Sanctuary     


This Sunday, September 29th, immediately following worship  

Murray’s Nature Trail Grand Opening Celebration

May this place of peace ad beauty help nurture our spirits”                             -- Rev. Gretchen

This 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.

A Week of Climate Change Action

These videos reflect key messages from the UN Climate Summit and this week of climate change action:
Several of us participated in the Global Climate Strike in Providence on Friday, September 20.
This Sunday, Sept. 29:    

Have Your Photo Taken Free for the Murray Church Directory   

Just one more opportunity!
It's time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall this Sunday, 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.

Last photo shoot date: September 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, -- Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
  • SATURDAYS --  Sept. 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".  Thanks for the help!
Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses       Chopped walnuts, pecans        Waxed paper  
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).

We have 7 so far and are counting on you for more!  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!

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 at or Kavita.
Oct. 7:

Clara Barton Guild Luncheon Meeting   

The next meeting of the Clara Barton Guild will be held on Monday, October 7, at 11:45 a.m. in the John Murray Room.  All interested women are welcome to join us for food and fellowship.  Bring your sandwich or salad.  Beverages and dessert are provided by our hostess group.  Please contact Bev Hall if you have any questions about joining us.  
Oct. 12:    


Join Membership & Welcoming in celebrating Octoberfest ....
Saturday, October 12, 6:00 p.m.
Morin’s Restaurant, Attleboro

$16 plus tax per adult; $10 for kids ages 5 - 9.  This includes a family-style meal of sauerkraut, potato pancakes, German sausages, pot roast and pork loin, plus beverage.

RSVP - preferably in German - to Sandy Stuart.  There will be a sign-up sheet at Coffee Hour.

Oct. 14  9:00 am - Noon  

Apple Pie Making Day 

Bring your peelers, paring knives, rolling pins and -- most important -- your joyful spirit.  Join in a morning of companionship, have a cup of coffee, and as always, a sample of Mrs. Murray Pie! Contact Laurie Lawes to sign up.

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.
Oct. 27:    

Land Trust Walk   

Join your Murray friends after church for a picnic and exploration of Attleboro Land Trust’s Richardson Preserve (577B Wilmarth St. Attleboro).
  •    All ages activity (children must be accompanied by an adult) 
  •    October 27th, right after church (bring your lunch)
  •    Rain date: TBD in the Spring
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

The food pantry would greatly appreciate the donation of canned tomato products, such as diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Donations of 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 October 1st.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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