Murray Church Notes

October 3, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 10

In this Issue:


To Forgive, and to Be Forgiven 

Rev. Gretchen Weis

In the week ahead, many of our Jewish friends and neighbors will be observing Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement -- one of the holiest days of Judaism.  Yom Kippur, and the days leading up to this day of fasting and prayer, are a time of deep reflection.  People are asked to take stock of the year just past, noting times when they sinned against God as well as their fellow human beings.  The faithful are asked to repent, to amend their ways, as they pray for forgiveness.  It is a time, also, to extend forgiveness to those who have harmed them as well.

To forgive and to be forgiven are powerful human practices associated with a number of different faith traditions, including our own Universalism.  The ability to forgive others, as we seek to be forgiven for our own transgressions, is essential to sustain healthy, right relationship.  Marina Cantacuzino puts it this way:  Forgiveness is not a single magnanimous gesture in response to an isolated offence; it is part of a continuum of human engagements in healing broken relationships.

A Fetzer Institute study on the power of forgiveness, observes:  Forgiveness is a conscious, willful choice to turn away from the pain, hurt, resentment, and wish for revenge that arises from a betrayal, offense, injustice or deep hurt.  Forgiveness involves a willingness to see the transgression and transgressor in a larger context, and to replace negative feelings with compassion and tolerance.  Forgiveness offers the possibility for change, for redemption, for restoration – for hope and even love to blossom from pain and suffering.

Consider this season of atonement as an invitation to look back at your own life over the past year. Did you intentionally or unintentionally harm your relationship with whatever you hold to be sacred? Did you intentionally or unintentionally harm your relationship with another person? What transgressions do you need to take responsibility for?  Are you willing and able to pray for forgiveness?  Are you willing and able to apologize, either in writing or in person, and ask for forgiveness?  Are you willing to amend your behavior so you will not harm again?  At the same time, were there those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt you?  And, are you willing and able to offer them forgiveness?

In the words of Robert Enright:  Forgiveness is not a quick fix.  We can’t give someone a forgiveness pill and then they smile and hug each other.  Forgiveness is an ongoing process that calls us to be responsible, accountable for our behavior, and to seek forgiveness, as we hope others are willing to forgive us our shortcomings, human frailties and failures.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed:  We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Researcher Fred Luskin suggests we start by forgiving small things.  “Practicing forgiveness,” he writes, “allows us to develop forgiveness muscles in the same way that going to the gym develops physical muscles.”  Psychologists also suggest that we consider starting with ourselves. Everybody makes mistakes, yet we often beat ourselves up the most over our own shortcomings. Do you need to practice a little bit of forgiveness starting with yourself first, before you tackle other transgressions and transgressors?

Why forgive? Robin Casarjian advises us:  Rather than a favor we do for someone else, forgiveness is first and foremost, a favor we do for ourselves.  The core power of forgiveness is that it returns to us the power to be happy.

Each of us is perfectly imperfect.  We have all been transgressors and we have all been transgress-ees.  As you reflect on the hurts of the past year, please know that you are welcome to come talk with me, if needed, to help you through the process of reflection, atonement, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Please plan to join us this Sunday, as we explore our Universalist heritage that proclaims that each of us is beloved -- held by a love beyond all imagining – a love so strong it would never let a single one of us go.  Universal salvation also promises that there is no hell, no eternal damnation – that, in the end, all of us are forgiven and redeemed, despite our many frailties and shortcomings.  

With love and blessings, 
Rev. Gretchen 


Rev. Gretchen will be undergoing surgery on Thursday, October 10th and anticipates a recuperation period of two to three weeks. If you have a pastoral emergency during that period, please contact  Caring Circle Chair Barbara Clark or Jeanne Chapman at the Murray office.  
"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.     

"A World in One Piece/Peace"
Please join us next week to hear guest speaker Allison Hess, UUA International Engagement Associate at the United Nations.  Allison will  share with us the many initiatives our UU organizations are involved with to further the work of world peace.  The Unitarian Universalist Sixth Principle calls us to come together to work for a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. This United Nations Sunday service will delve into what it means to work towards peace locally and as part of an international body like the United Nations. How can people of faith answer the call to defend human dignity and rights?
Religious Education for Sunday, October 6

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 for Spirit Group. Self-Care begins with our focus on the benefits of yoga, which our children will practice.
Youth Group:
Murray church historic walk with Rachel Killion begins at 9 am at Morin’s restaurant. Parents: please drop off your youth at Morin’s at 9 am, and everyone will return to church between 11:00 and 11:30 am.  The teachers waiting at Morin’s are Ruth Debrot and Rachel Killion,  so please look for them. Breakfast brunch is $15 per youth.
This Sunday, 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.

This Sunday, Oct.  6, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm  

Black Lives Matter Discussion Series

Please feel free to join us in Harmony Hall for the first in a series of after Sunday service conversations on issues related to Black Lives Matter.  The suggested topic is to talk about issues raised in the best-selling book Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates.  If you have read the book, read an article or have heard an interview with Mr. Coates, or aren’t familiar with his ideas, please feel free to join the conversation. 

Meeting This Sunday, Oct. 6 at 8:45 AM
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.

Come to the Holiday Fair!

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!

Moment for All Ages

Moment For All Ages recognized the importance of trees.
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 (508-222-9324) if you have any questions about joining us.  

Calling All Cookie Monsters!            

The Bake Shop Team is busy 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, -- Oct. 13, 20 & 27
  • TUESDAYS, 9:00 am to 12 noon, -- Oct. 8, 15, 22 & 29
  • SATURDAYS --  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       Confectioners sugar        Waxed paper  
Canned pumpkin       Chopped dates
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.

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 
Murray Nature Trail Grand Opening Celebration:

A Great Day!            

Enjoy the trail anytime: The trailhead is right behind the church; look for the pink flagging to find it.  You will see walking sticks nearby, if you’d like to use one. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk the trail. Enjoy the placards along your way to learn more about our woods. Do breathe in the quiet and peacefulness. We hope the peace and beauty of this trail helps nurture your spirits.

Thanks to Charlie Adler for his creativity with the placard content! Also thanks to Roy Belcher for digging the placard post-holes, along with Barbara Clark, Russ Negus, Carla Rissmeyer, Tom Lamonte and Judy DePue for extensive clipping, sawing, raking, and for pulling up the ubiquitous invasive buckthorns plants.
Some cautions along our trail: Please be aware of a yellow jacket nest near the trail. There are caution signs ahead of the nest, and the trail goes wide around it. Avoid carrying food or beverages, as they are attracted to sugar. Fortunately, the yellow jackets should be gone with the first hard frost. Also be aware of poison ivy and ticks in the underbrush. Thus, the best policy is to stay on the trail. You may know Southeastern Massachusetts is at high risk for EEE carrying mosquitos. Murray Church property does not have any wetlands or standing water where mosquitos are more common. Attleboro was sprayed for EEE in August. Still, the best mosquito protection is to where long sleeves and pants and use insect repellant with DEET when outdoors.  Yet with these few precautions, you can enjoy the outdoors and all it offers to nurture our spirits. 
Our opening of the nature trail and picnic was fun! 
Children enjoyed using a microscope to see plants close up. 
Nature trail being enjoyed by our children.
Oct. 19:

Climate Protection Workshop

"How to Talk About Climate Change
So People will Engage"

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019                         Time: 9 am – 3 pm
 Location: All Saints' Episcopal Church, 121 N. Main Street, Attleboro, MA 

This workshop is for people from faith communities and secular groups who are working to maintain a healthy environment for future generations. You will be provided with specific, practical tools developed by social scientists and tested by hundreds of colleagues in the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). With them, you can shape communication and dialogue for increasing the chances for positive and productive engagement and avoiding or navigating many common pitfalls that arise when Americans talk about climate change.

The workshop is also designed to support networking among groups, and for sharing ideas for next steps. This workshop envisions an ongoing process of learning and practice supported by active co-participants.

For more information and to register, click here.

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. 26: Save the Date!     

Murray Church Halloween Carnival

Bring your ghosts, goblins, superheroes, pirates, and fairy princesses to the Halloween Carnival

Saturday, October 26th, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
in Fellowship Hall

Light refreshments will be provided, but donations of small prizes or candy for the carnival games are appreciated.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Please bring a donation for the Food Pantry & Friends!

Interested in volunteering?
Contact Kavita or Kate.
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
RSVP or questions to Carla or Kavita.
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 hearty soups.

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 8th.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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

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