Murray Church Notes

November 21, 2019

Volume 8,  Issue 17

In this Issue:


The Kinship of Gratitude

Rev. Gretchen Weis

In this season of gratitude, we are invited to take stock of our many blessings, and to give thanks.  From the relationships that love and support us to the relationships that drive us nuts and nudge us out of our comfort zones into our better selves, to the roof over our heads, the food in our refrigerators and on our tables, the clothes on our backs and in our closets, to the gift of meaningful work, to beauty that brings us joy, to whatever level of health and ability we each enjoy – may we pause, may we honor, may we give thanks. 

As so many of us prepare to gather around the table next week to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, I invite you into this reflection by Buddhist philosopher Mark Nepo, who writes:
The goal of all experience is to remove whatever might keep us from being whole.  The things we learn through love and pain reduce our walls and bring our inner and outer lives together, and all the while the friction of being alive erodes whatever impediments remain.  

But the simplest and deepest way to make who we are at one with the world is through the kinship of gratitude.  Nothing brings the worlds of the spirit and earth together more quickly.

To be grateful means giving thanks for more than just the things we want, but also for the things that surmount our pride and stubbornness.  Sometimes the things I’ve wanted and worked for, if I actually received them, would have crushed me.  

Sometimes just giving thanks for the mystery of it all brings everything and everyone closer… So take a chance and openly give thanks, even if you’re not sure what for, and feel the plentitude of all that is living brush up against your heart.
Come and take a chance and openly give thanks, even if you’re not sure what for.  Please plan to join us this Sunday in our traditional Thanksgiving cornbread and cider communion worship.   We welcome our children, youth and teens to join in this multi-generational celebration.  

And, please join me at the Attleboro Interfaith Collaborative’s Multi-Faith Community Thanksgiving service, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday afternoon at the Living Word of Life Church, 300 Locust Street in Attleboro.  (Patriots fans, please note, you can attend the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and still get home in plenty of time for the 4:25 p.m. kick-off against Dallas.  Just sayin’.)

In love and gratitude,
Rev. Gretchen
"Gratitude and Blessings"
Join us for our traditional Thanksgiving service as we acknowledge the abundance and many blessings of our lives.  Our traditional cornbread and cider communion will be served for this all-important multigenerational family service.   

"Weaving a New Way"
Amidst times of cultural and political turmoil across our world, humanity calls for a change. This "new way" can be woven by the love and goodwill of our united global community. Join us for a service where we will explore the construction of this new way, our place in our web, and the call to embody the radical love our world needs.

McKayla Hoffman (they/them/their) is a first year seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School, and is a member of First Parish Bridgewater. She is excited to join everyone again in the spirit of worship and community.

Circle of Life

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of life-long Murray member Roger Boucher.  Roger died at Rhode Island Hospital of respiratory failure and other medical complications on Monday, November 18th.  His wife Nancy was by his side.  He was 81 years old.  There will be a memorial service to celebrate his life on Saturday, December 14th at Murray Church at 10:30 a.m., followed by a collation in the Unity Room.  Nancy welcomes cards and phone calls.

Office Hours Thanksgiving Week

Please note that during Thanksgiving week, the Murray Church office will be open only on Tuesday, November 26th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  We wish everyone a safe and joyous Thanksgiving celebration!
Religious Education for Sunday, November 24

Nursery will begin at 9:45 am.  Please note Sunday, December 1 there will be no RE and no Nursery.  We would like our teachers to enjoy their Thanksgiving weekend.

This Sunday is our multi-gen cornbread and cider service.
Youth Group:
This Sunday is our multi-gen cornbread and cider service.
This Sunday, Nov. 24:

Interfaith Service

Free Thanksgiving Meals in the
Attleboro Area   

As we all approach the holiday season, many area organizations are holding free Thanksgiving meals.  Please share these links with those in need:

Starts Dec. 1:

Giving Tree 

This year the Giving Tree will sponsor local non-profit organizations (read about them below). Please visit the Giving Tree in the Unity Room during coffee hour and sign up 
to be a donor for our giving drive.  You can choose an ornament off the tree which will describe a specific donation request.  We are asking all donors who take an ornament to also sign up on our list and we’ll send you a reminder.   All donations will be due back at church on Sunday, December 15th.  

Please return your gift donations in one of the two collection boxes at church - in the 
Sanctuary Foyer and the Unity Room.  Please attach your ornament to your donation.  
If you have any questions please contact Laura Gustafson or  Kavita Vansant
New Hope is a non-profit organization that works throughout Massachusetts to build an anti-violence movement to end sexual and domestic violence. As an organization dedicated to social justice, New Hope encompasses a way of seeing, naming, understanding, and acting aimed at addressing inequality and oppression across society. New Hope offers a wide range of services which combine crisis intervention, violence prevention, life transition and self-sufficiency opportunities, while promoting behavioral and systemic changes to reduce violence at the individual and community levels.
The Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter (FAAS) is an all-volunteer organization which donates time and hearts to the cats and dogs in Attleboro and surrounding communities. They are committed to nurturing and promoting the animal-human bond and creating a community where our relationship with companion animals is guided by compassion. Their vision is to reduce the number of unwanted animals through community spay and neuter programs, low-cost vaccination programs and micro-chip events, all while raising awareness and promoting responsible ownership. Each year, hundreds of abandoned companion cats and dogs looking for a second chance in life are successfully placed in loving homes through adoptions facilitated by FAAS.
A team of volunteers gathered after worship last Sunday to paint the new Thrift Shop.  Special thanks to (from left): Rachel Killion, Kim Gordon, Stephanie Pacquette, Joan Gustaff, Maddie Galvin and Christine Terreault for a job well done! 
Did you bring something wonderful in a crock pot for the Holiday Fair Gourmet Room?  We still have 4 crock pots left waiting to be reunited with their families!  Check out the kitchen counter when you come to church on Sunday….
Dec. 1:

Postponed until January:  (we will not gather this Saturday, November 23 for a Potluck Dinner and the movie BlackKklansman)

You are Welcome to: 

Sunday, December 1, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm:  Join the Conversation
Our focus will be on how to talk about race with anyone, with the help of a workbook on the topic, and your experiences.  

Please come as you are.  We will grow together.   
Dec. 2:

Clara Barton Guild Holiday Luncheon   

The Clara Barton Guild will hold their Holiday Luncheon and Christmas Party on Monday, December 2, in the John Murray Room at 11:45 a.m.  We will have desserts and beverages provided by our hostess group.  Members will bring their own sandwich or salad.  Irene Yutkins will lead us in our traditional Yankee Swap.  Gifts should be no more than $10.00 in value.  It promises to be a festive time with seasonal decorations and music along with good food and fellowship.  Any interested women of the church are invited to join us.  Please contact Bev Hall with any questions.  
Special thanks to the hardy gardeners who helped plant more than 450 bulbs out front after worship last Sunday while snow flakes began to fall!  We can’t wait to see the beauty of what will bloom in the spring.  From left:  Russet Morrow, Andrea Dion-Purdy, Carla Rissmeyer and Bill Morrow. Planting bulbs just out of camera view is also Russet’s brother David, and Adam Zysk.

New Bulbs in the Oval Garden

A Big Thank You!

Thank you! Thank you to all the folks who helped prep and plant almost 450 bulbs in front of the 
Sanctuary in the Oval Garden this past Sunday afternoon!  Just as mail is delivered in all weather, we planted through the cold, the wind and the nickel sized snowflakes! When snow started, we all said, “Oh come on now, really?”  However, we persisted, although at one point I really thought we wouldn’t finish in one day, but we did! And, in time to get home for the Pats Game.

Spring should present a brilliant display of colorful blooms from bulbs, along with the perennial design of the lovely plantings we put in over the summer.  We had a good turn out that included Carla Rissmeyer, Shelly Freddo, Janet Cooke, Adam Zysk, Andrea Dion Purdy, Bill Morrow, Russet Morrow and Dave McQuery, (Rusty’s brother).  Rev. Gretchen came out for a few minutes to cheer us on.  

Finally, a big thank you to Andrea Dion Purdy for updating the hanging baskets from her summer design to “autumn plantings.”  They are beautiful!

                                                                -- Russet Morrow
Dec. 6 & 9:

Food Pantry Limited Commitment Opportunities   

On the morning of December 6th, our food pantry will be the recipient of generous food donations from Studley Elementary and Brennan Middle Schools, our partners in the Attleboro Public Schools Holiday Food Drive. Help is needed to load vehicles, as enthusiastic students carry or roll bags and boxes of food out from their buildings. About 4-6 people and 2 large vehicles should make this rewarding task go quickly. 

Help will also be needed to check can and package dates and repack like items into boxes the following Monday afternoon, December 9th

To sign on please contact Barbara Clark 
Dec. 8:

Humanist Discussion

There will be 6 topics -- one per month.  For more information on all the topics please go on our church website ( or our Facebook page (Murray Unitarian Universalist Church).

“Tolerance is not an excuse for doing nothing.”
“Tolerance does not mean acceptance or indifference.”  
“We believe in the toleration of religious ideas.  All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only intrinsic merit, but also potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.”  

The first two quotes are from the book Anti-science and The Assault  On Democracy, and the third is from the UU pamphlet “What UU’s Believe”.  

  • Are we too tolerant?
  • What can we as Humanists do?
Date: Sunday, December 8 
Time: 11:30 am 
Place: Harmony Hall 

Questions?  Please email Len Yutkins



It’s time to think about ordering poinsettias for Christmas.  The colors are red, white, pink, marble, and jingle bells (red with white splotches).  

The final order date is Dec 8.  The price of each plant is $20.  See me at church or call me at (508) 226-3109. 
                                                                      --Irene Yutkins
Dec. 15:               

Murray Holiday Outing

Want to experience some fun holiday music?  Membership & Welcoming is attending the Providence Gay Men's Chorus holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 15th at 4:00 p.m.  It is at Beneficent Congregational Church in Providence, RI.  Tickets for our group are $20 each.  We'll carpool from the Murray parking lot at 3:00 p.m.

After the concert, we'll walk two short blocks down to Coal Fire Pizza at 385 Westminster Street for eating and chatting.  Felices fiestas!

RSVP to Sandy Stuart
Dec. 15: Save the Date!     

Soup Sale

The soup sale will take place on December 15th during coffee hour.

If you can help this fundraiser by preparing soup, or have questions, please contact Peggy Dixon

General Assembly Registration Now Open

Please Join Us For General Assembly 2020!
General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists for conducting business of the Association, exploring the theological underpinnings of our faith, and leaning fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island for this 5-day immersive experience themed Rooted, Inspired & Ready! Join your faith family at inspirational worship services, informative workshops and a bustling exhibit hall. We anticipate that 4,500+ UUs will gather for this unforgettable experience and leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas for congregational and community engagement.

Save this special Day for our
Murray Auction: February 29,2020   

During a Leap Year, as Leap Day approached, I began to have this sense I was to get what I always seem to need: an extra 24 hours in the day.... Then I started to think Leap Day should be designated a special event day so people can take advantage of the extra 24 hours however they wished.... By marking this bonus day in some special way, we would celebrate our time together.  HOW ABOUT AN OLD FASHION MURRAY AUCTION?.  It is a wonderful time and  great fundraiser for our church. Mark the date on your calendar. More details to follow.
                                                         --  Rob Hasselbaum, Auction Committee

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.

Food Pantry Donation Suggestions      

The food pantry is in need 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.

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The next deadline is December 3rd.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

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