Murray Church Notes

October 4, 2018

Volume 7,  Issue 10

In this Issue:

FROM THE MINISTER
One Day, It Will Be Otherwise 

Like many of you, I, too, have grown tired of these gray skies and rainy days.  My spirit hungers for some crisp, sunny days, the gold standard of the fall season.  

Yet, I am invited into deeper appreciation for what is here, now, right in front of me.  I am called to gratitude that we have the blessing of rain, while so many other people in the world suffer from drought, or are still reeling from the aftermath of flooding from hurricanes or tsunamis. 

What else might today’s gray skies call me to appreciate?  Consider this:  all my life, I have enjoyed the extraordinary gift of safe drinking water – as much as I want, whenever I want it -- at the simple turn of a faucet.   I suspect that is true for most of you, too.  How often do we take this extraordinary life-sustaining daily luxury for granted?   Let us remember that more than 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.   For them, it is otherwise.
   
I need to be reminded to be fully present to the abundance, the sweetness, the goodness in my life that is right here, right now, in front of me.  Because one day, it will be otherwise.

May these words from poet Jane Kenyon serve as a wake-up call for all of us in one of her most famous poems, Otherwise.  Her words invite us to pause and sing praises for the simple goodness of life that is here, now.  Let her words remind us not take a single day, a single drop of life’s gifts, for granted.  She writes:

 
I got out of bed on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise.
I ate cereal, sweet milk,
ripe, flawless peach.
It might have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
 
All morning I did the work I love.
At noon I lay down with my mate.
It might have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver candlesticks.
It might have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed in a room
with paintings on the walls,
and planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Sometimes it takes that reminder of the limits of this life to call us back into a more full appreciation for what is in that half full glass in front of us here, now.  

The days between birth and death are ultimately short in that cosmic measure of time.  Each of our lives is marked by experiences of abundance and scarcity, joy and sorrow, health and illness, sunny days and rainy gray skies.  Let us remember to be grateful for all the gifts of life and of love here, and now.  For so many others, it is otherwise.  And, one day, for each of us, it will be otherwise, as well.

Please plan to join us on Sunday to celebrate the lives and rich heritage of native peoples in our area.  Loren Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum, will provide a thoughtful dialogue regarding indigenous history, culture, arts and Mother Earth, and connect to native issues of today.

In love, faith and gratitude for the gift of you,

Rev. Gretchen
THIS SUNDAY: 
Honoring Indigenous Peoples

On a weekend where the nation officially recognizes a 15th century explorer, we honor the continent's indigenous peoples. Loren Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum, will deliver the homily. Located in Exeter, RI, the mission of the Tomaquag Museum is to educate the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding indigenous history, culture, arts and Mother Earth, and connect to native issues of today.
NEXT SUNDAY:
"Transgendered Rights are Human Rights"


Massachusetts has Referendum 3 on the ballot this November, proposing to remove transgendered people from the list of those legally protected from discrimination.  If the 
referendum passes, it would then become legal to discriminate against transgendered persons in public.  We cannot allow this to happen to members of our family, our friends, our neighbors and co-workers.  Come hear more about this odious proposed referendum, as transgendered members of our congregation share their stories with us.

Religious Education for Sunday, October 4

The RE program will be sending small care packages to our young adults who are 
attending college. This is to remind them that we here at Murray Church are thinking of them and that we support them in their pursuits. Our goal is to send the packages twice a year, in the late fall and late spring, before final exams. 
 
If you have a college student who would welcome a care package, please email Kavita at kkvansant@gmail.com with your student's name and a recent photo, and the name of the student's college or university.  

Religious Education is in need of:
  • Plastic lids from Cool Whip containers and/or large yogurt containers.
  • Empty spray bottles. 
  • Please make sure these items are thoroughly cleaned.  The items can be dropped off in  Kavita's office
Thank you!  
 
Schedule

Grades K-7:

We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for Spirit Group.  Dave Curry, our guest, will teach us about spiritual drumming!  

Youth Group:
We will begin in the service and then head to the Unity Room for Spirit Group.  Dave Curry, our guest, will teach us about spiritual drumming!  
The Mime/Balloonist was a big hit during coffee hour! A big thank you to 
Allison Macdonald for organizing the fun!

Religious Education Resource Kits  

As our needs grow, the RE Committee and Kavita are providing resource kits for anyone who wishes to borrow them. Our topics for the kits are Grief and New Baby.  We encourage anyone to borrow them from Kavita's office.
 
Please sign out for the kit and return within 2 weeks so someone else may be able to use it. As the interest grows ,we will expand our kits to include other topics. If you have any ideas or would like to put a kit together, please contact Kavita at kkvansant@gmail.com.  

Oct. 14:
Congregational Meeting Called 

To vote on hanging a Black Lives Matter Banner


A special congregational meeting has been called in the Sanctuary following worship on Sunday, October 14th, to hold an official vote on hanging a Black Lives Matter banner outside the church building.  All are invited to attend.  

Only qualified members will be allowed to cast votes.  A qualified voting member is anyone who has signed the church membership book at least 45 days prior to voting, and who has made a financial contribution of record to the church in the past 15 months.  Note that our bylaws do not say that someone has to pledge to be a qualified voting member, but has to give some donation of record. No amount is specified.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please contact Bruce Field, Chair of Social Concerns, or Rev. Gretchen.

Please note Child care will be available from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM.

 

In August, the Black Lives Matter banner committee emailed a survey to give the congregation an opportunity to express their anonymous thoughts on the proposal to hang a banner.  The survey asked for views on benefits and challenges of hanging a banner, as well as how a person might vote (for, against, or undecided).  The survey ended with an open-ended question on further thoughts.  At the Sunday Services on September 9 and 16, we handed out paper ballots to those who had not responded online.

We received 100 responses.  84 voted “yes,” 8 voted “no,” and 8 responded “undecided.”  Across yes, no, and undecided respondents, the views on benefits and challenges were often similar.  Living our values was seen as a benefit, and possible vandalism was seen as a possible challenge.  You can read the results in greater detail at: http://www.murrayuuchurch.org/pdfs/BLM_Survey_Results.pdf .

The survey was an opinion poll.  The decision to hang the banner, or not, will come at our Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 14, immediately following the service in the Unity Room.  All are invited to attend, but only voting members of Murray Church are eligible to cast a vote.  (a voting member must have signed the membership book on or before August 30, 2018, and must have made a recorded monetary contribution to Murray Church in the 15 months prior to the Congregational Meeting).  The decision will be made by a majority vote of members in attendance.  

Thank you for your participation in the survey and the meetings over the past few months.  We welcome your attendance at the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 14.    The Black Lives Matter Banner Committee

 
Oct. 6:

Abolition Day Celebration

Right vs. Wrong     Freedom vs. Slavery 
National Black Doll Museum welcomes the community to bring a blanket or a chair and join us for the second Abolition Day Celebration being held on Saturday, October 6th,  in Mansfield on the South Commons, 288 North Main Street, from 11 am-4 pm. This community event celebrates Mansfield’s rich anti-slavery history and our choice to build a Beloved Community of diversity and inclusion. 
  • Program: Historical Reenactment, Interfaith Discussion Booth, Kids Zone w/ Face Painting, Doll Workshop and Bounce House, Reading of Bill of Rights by Council of Aging/ Taunton High Diversity Club
  • Musical Performances:  Gospel Rapper Freddrick Hallelujah!!, Mansfield High School Chorus
  • Dance:  Simdaca Dance Academy/ Chefiatou Tokou 
  • Food: Non–profit resource tables and vendors

Oct. 7:
Murray All Ages Playgroup

Once a month Religious Education Committee will host a family meet-up activity where kids can play and parents can mingle.  In an effort to involve more Murray families we are inviting families with children of all ages to attend. This Sunday, October 7th from 12-1 pm, meet us at Capron Park playground for an hour of free play.  Feel free to bring a bagged lunch.  Parents must remain at this event to supervise children.  In the event of inclement weather, we will meet at the church immediately following service for a teambuilding, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math) challenge for kids.  Location TBA.  

We hope to see you there.  Any questions, please contact Carol Connolly, 508-380-1025. 
Oct. 9:

Murray Men's Lunch Bunch

Inviting all Murray men to join us for lunch, the second Tuesday of each month, at Morin's Diner indowntown Attleboro. This is a very informal gathering for conversation and fellowship. No reservation required, just come as you are. If you need a ride, please call Rob Hasselbaum at 774-282-0818 a few days in advance, and transportation will be arranged.

The next luncheon is on
Tuesday, October 9th at noon.
Look for us in the back room of Morin's, if you don't see us - just ask!
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Our Shared Journey

Congratulations to Joel and Rashae Piggott on the birth of Wesley Owen Piggott on September 11, 2018.  Little Wesley makes Murrayites Cynthia Eddy and George Piggott first time grandparents.  Best wishes all around!

And here is some additional baby joy to share:  New Murray members Mike and Kim Burke announce that they are pregnant, expecting a little girl sometime in late March. 

It is with sadness that we announce that Andrea Dion-Purdy’s father, Philip Dion, died unexpectedly on September 26th.  He was 90.  Calls and cards are welcome.

The information above is shared with the knowledge and permission of the people involved.

Oct. 7:
Sunday Book Group 

THE SUNDAY BOOK GROUP meets the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 in the John Murray Room. All are welcome. Please feel free to bring a bagged lunch. The Mission of the Book Group is for open-minded people to select, read, and discuss interesting books that broaden our minds and challenge how we perceive the world. Books are chosen by the group, of reasonable length, and library accessible.

For our October 7th meeting, the group will discuss any of the books we read over the summer, books we recommend, and books we want to read. We’ll then make our book group selection for our next meeting.

Oct. 8:
Pie Workshop:Grab Your Peelers!

Bring your paring knives and best rolling pins,
the APPLE PIE WORKSHOP is OCTOBER 8th.  We will meet at 9 am in Fellowship Hall to prepare 70 pies for the Holiday Fair.  We will bake several just for quality control!! Please call Laurie Lawes to volunteer at 508-243-3011 or email ldl50on@gmail.com  Blessings!

Oct. 12 & 13:
Clara Barton Fall Rummage Sale

The Clara Barton Guild needs your gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, books and working household items for our Fall Rummage Sale to be held on Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13, both days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Please bring your items to Fellowship Hall, labeled for Clara Barton.  If you need help bringing items to church, please contact Bev Hall (508-222-9324).  Please note:  We appreciate receiving your items by Wednesday, October 10, so we have time to sort and display.  Proceeds from the Rummage Sale help support Murray Church and other charitable organizations.  

Oct. 14, 21 & 28:
Free Photo Shoot For Church Directory

It’s time to update the church photo directory.  Come have your photo taken after worship in Harmony Hall in October.  We invite all Murray members and friends — especially our many newcomers — to have your photo taken.  There is no charge to have your photo taken for our church directory.  We encourage everyone — individuals, couples, families and even family pets to participate, as we update our directory for the 2018-2019 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: October 14, 21 and 28

Oct. 20
Halloween Carnival

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
All little ghosts and goblins invited!

Shoe Drive Ends October 21st

We will continue to collect gently worn shoes through October 21st!  Please drop off your clean, dry, donations in the box at the front entrance to the church. (It's under the welcome table.)

Cookie Monsters

 

Murray cookie making is in full swing, with Cookie Monsters (from left) Peddy Dias, her cousin Jayden and Tom Stuart.   You can join the Cookie Monsters Tuesday and Saturday, 9 am to noon and Sunday, after church on October 14th, 21st and 28th.

 

Oct. 27

Octoberfest

It's October again - and time for Octoberfest!  So dust off your lederhosen and join the fun.

Membership & Welcoming invite all Murray members and friends to a hearty German meal at Morin's Restaurant in Attleboro on Saturday, October 27, at 6:00 p.m.  There's open seating and a family-style meal of potato pancakes, red cabbage, bratwurst, German pot roast, and weinersnitzel.  $15.50 per person - $8 for children.  RSVP -- um Antwort wird gebeten -- or, let me know you're coming!   Sandy Stuart at ms.stuart@hotmail.com   

Rethinking Plastics

Did you know that virtually all plastic ever produced, since 1950s when plastic production began - 9 billion tons so far, still exists in some shape or form? The good news in the 1950s and bad news now is that plastics are indestructible.  Moreover, 40% of plastic products are used just once and discarded, and 93% of plastic waste is not recycled! This plastic waste is filling our landfills and oceans. It is also harming our health as the leached chemicals and micro-particles are ingested by us, and by the fish and animals we consume. So what can we do?  REDUCE plastic consumption, REFUSE single use plastics, REUSE products we have, properly RECYCLE the plastic we use, and REMOVE plastic litter already in the environment. Check out the bulletin board in the foyer near Fellowship Hall for more information.

Donations Needed! 

For the food pantry:
  • Bathroom tissue
  • Soup (all flavors & varieties)

Did you lose your name tag?

Is yours in need of replacement? Are you new to Murray Church and thinking you've found a home church? Would you like a permanent name tag to indicate you'd like to become more involved in the life of our congregation? Please let me know by calling 508-222-6164, emailing barbjclark@gmail.com or speaking to me at church this coming Sunday. If you have an old name tag, please return it when you get your new name tag. The material is recyclable!  

Scholarships Available

Limited funds are available from the scholarship funds for this church year. The Scholarship Fund is administered by the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses. It is used to award scholarships to any member in good standing, following one full year of membership, for purposes of attending educational courses or training programs approved by this Board. For example, it could be applied toward registration fees for attending UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy at andreadion25@comcast.net for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.
Newsletter weekly schedule!

Please email all newsletter submissions by Tuesday end of day  for inclusion in the following Thursday's Murray Notes. The next deadline is October 9.

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