Murray Church Notes

November 29, 2018

Volume 7,  Issue 17

In this Issue:

Preparing for the Season of Stillness  
Rev. Gretchen Weis

The human world is inviting us into crowded stores, and overcrowded commitments, amid the noise, the hustle and bustle of the weeks ahead as Christmas draws near.  But the larger world – the world of nature and of the shifting seasons -- is offering us a very different invitation.  
As you contemplate your holiday season “to do” list, consider this:  winter offers us a time of deeper stillness, to find moments of quiet downtime whenever and wherever we can.  Maybe there’s a fireplace to cozy up to where you can lose yourself staring into the bright, dancing flames.  Or some comfy cozy blankets and throws that help you feel warm and snuggly even as the weather outside is fierce.  Maybe favorite music in the car or on your playlist can create some quality time during long work commutes. Or maybe there’s time for a quiet cup of coffee, hot tea or cocoa in the early morning before everyone else is up, or at the end of a long day, as you enjoy the last of the evening in quiet stillness.
Read More  

"Ask Curious Questions"
This Sunday, let’s explore a “Question Box Worship,” where you will be invited to write down a question you would like to have the minister answer or discuss during the service.  There might be something about our faith that puzzles you, or you have a burning theological question, or a question about Murray Church.  Or perhaps you might like to ask the minister a personal question.  The purpose isn’t to try to “stump the minister,” it is about celebrating our faith, which encourages questioning at the deepest levels and lifelong learning on our respective spiritual journeys.

"Finding the Holy Land"      
Because there are five Sundays in December this year,Rev. Gretchen and Rev. Jim agreed to to a "pulpit swap." Please welcome Rev. Jim, as Rev. Gretchen will be in Foxoboro preaching this Sunday.


Religious Education for Sunday, December 2

Nursery is available 9:45 -11 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.  We will make decorations for our Giving Tree, discuss the spirit of giving during the holidays and have hot cocoa and cookies!
Youth Group:
This is your opportunity to be in the service!

Important Notice
Protocol for posting photos/videos of minors on social media

The Religious Education Committee and Kavita would like to ask people who take photos and/or videos of minors to please ask permission from Kavita before posting on social media, in our newsletter or hanging them on bulletin boards.  Our goal is to protect our children and to respect the wishes of our families should they prefer not to have anything posted.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kavita at  Thank you.

Attention All Pledgers – Your Help is Needed!

We are fast approaching the end of the second quarter of our fiscal year 2018-2019 that began on July 1st and our Pledge income is lagging behind expectations. We have many fixed and variable operating expenses that must be covered each month and we depend on your generous Pledge contributions to make that possible. If you are current on your Pledge payments, thank you very much! If you are behind on your Pledge payments and can catch up, please do so as soon as possible. 
Best Regards and Have a Happy and Safe Winter Season!

                                                                ~ Jim Richardi and The Executive Board  

If You Are Sick — Please Stay Home!

We’ll miss you, but not the germs….

Self-care is so important this time of year, as our immune systems and well-being can be challenged at every turn. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, we invite you to skip church and stay home to take good care of yourself.  We’ll miss you, of course, but we won’t miss the germs… Staying home to mend is a way of honoring and respecting others.  

If you need some help with a hot meal or rides to the doctor, please contact Barbara Clark, head of our Caring Circle, at or 508-222-6164 to arrange for some support while you’re at home, under the weather.  And feel better soon!

Call for Children's Holiday Art

We are looking for children to send in holiday drawings to be used on the cover of the weekly Order of Service each Sunday during the month of December.  All ages are encouraged to apply!  Finalists will be selected by Rev. Gretchen. 

Drawings can be dropped off Tuesday through Friday at the Murray Church office between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.  Submissions can also be scanned and sent by e-mail to, We look forward to seeing what our budding artists can do!

Please note: the cover of the Order of Service is portrait, not landscape, and steer your artists to long drawings, not wide.

Dec. 2:
Stay & Play

Calling all families for playgroup!  Join us in the Nursery and K-2 classroom after coffee for playtime and conversation.  Games and a craft will be provided in the K-2 room while younger children may play in the nursery.  At least one parent must remain with children.

We look forward to seeing everyone.  Questions?  Call Carol at 508-380-1025.

Dec. 2:
Giving Tree Starts in December

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 16th.  

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 Nancy Michaels  Thank you!   
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, that 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.

Dec 2:
Sunday Book Group 

For our December 2nd meeting, we’ll discuss Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. 

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick. One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
Dec. 2:

Soup Sales are Back!!!

Just in time to stock up for a quick meal during the busy holiday season, the Soup Sale will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, immediately following the morning service.

If you would like to help by contributing 3 quarts of your favorite freshly made soup (containers are available), or if you have any questions, please contact: Peggy Dixon at 
Dec. 3:

Clara Barton Christmas Luncheon

The Clara Barton Guild will hold their annual Christmas Luncheon on Monday, December 3rd, at 11:45 a.m. in the John Murray Room.  All interested women are welcome to join us for the festivities.  Bring your sandwich or salad.  Beverages and dessert are provided.  We will have our Yankee Gift Swap led by Irene Yutkins.  Each participant should bring a wrapped gift that is no more than $10 in value.  Please call Bev Hall (508-222-9324) with any questions.   

Office Space for Rent

Our church has office space for rent (four rooms in the office wing) that are ideal for a small non-profit or human services organization or educational based business. 

The total space for these four rooms is approximately 983 square feet. We really need the rental revenue.  We can use all the help we can get in finding suitable renters. Please mention it while you are networking with family and friends and listen/look for opportunities to promote this available space wherever and whenever possible.

Ask interested parties to contact the church office as soon as possible and myself or 
Bertha Young will get back to them as soon as possible. 

Thank you, 
                              ~ Jim Richardi, Executive Board President                                     

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 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to  Murray Church.

WANTED:  A New Elf-in-Chief
for Next Year's Holiday Fair!

Special thanks to Greg Wehmeyer, who has served as our Holiday Fair Elf-in-Chief for the past few years.  Greg will be stepping down for next year, but it’s never too early to recruit for our next Elf-in-Chief for Holiday Fair 2019!  The good news is that the Holiday Fair is a well-organized, well-run annual institution, with many of the long-time room captains in place who know what needs to be done year after year.  So, there’s no need to reinvent any wheels -- just help the team come together in the fall and support the room captains and other volunteers as the Holiday Fair approaches.   If you and a friend or partner are interested in heading up next year’s Fair, please contact Greg Wehmeyer at  No experience necessary.  Solo elfs or co-elf leadership is welcome. 

Have a Green Holiday!

At this time of year when we produce 25% more waste, it is time to re-think our habits to Bless Our One Earth. How many ways can you find to Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle this holiday season? Check out our interactive bulletin board in the foyer near Fellowship Hall for some tips and share your own ideas there to inspire others.  Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Give gifts of experiences together instead of “stuff”
  • For your Christmas tree, use a live tree and re-plant it after the holiday
  • Use LED lighting on your tree
  • Use earth-friendly wrapping, such as newspaper, bandanas or your own art.
  • Check-out Environment Working Group before purchasing personal care or home cleaning products to be safe for your loved-one’s health and for our earth   
  • Donate to a charitable group in someone’s honor

Seeking Murray Writers and Readers

For December 30 Lay-Led Service
At this cold, dark time of the year, we welcome warmth.   What does warmth mean to you?  Snuggling,  heat, light,  grace, a fireplace or wood stove, the sun, human kindness. the warmth of friendship and family, helping the homeless, refugees or others in need find shelter and heat?
The Religious Services Committee is seeking volunteers to read a piece that you or someone else has written based on a theme of warmth during service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 30th.   Writers and readers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome. You may have someone else read your work for you if you prefer.   The writing can be your original For more information, please contact Monica Staaf at or 774-219-1564.

Lost & Found

Found outside last Sunday and in the classrooms after the Holiday Fair. Contact the church office at to reclaim.  Items not claimed this week will be moved into the Lost and Found basket.


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 and cost of the plants will follow soon.  See Irene Irene Yutkins at church or call her at 508.226.3109 or e-mail her at

Dec. 7:

Community Blood Drive
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
Fellowship Hall
505 North Main Street
Attleboro, Ma 02703

Friday, December 7, 2018
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm 

For an appointment, please visit
Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Dec. 7:

Call for Food Pantry Volunteers

Murray Church Food Pantry will once again receive large quantities of food donations from Studley Elementary and Brennan Middle Schools in Attleboro. The pickup date is Dec. 7th between 9 a.m. and noon. A few volunteers and a large vehicle or two are needed. If you can be available that morning please contact Barbara Clark at, 508-222-6164, or in person.

Donations Needed! 

Recently the food bank has been unable to provide fruit juices for the food pantry.  Fruit juice donations in all flavors are welcome! 

Also needed:
  • Personal care items (deodorant, shampoo soap, etc)
  • Bathroom tissue
Dec. 9:

Holiday Concert Trip

Save the date!  Sunday, December 9, 4:00 p.m.
The Membership & Welcoming committee is planning a trip to the Providence Gay Men's Chorus "Can You Feel It" holiday concert at the Beneficent Church in Providence.  

We'll carpool from Murray Church at 3:00 p.m. and go down to Beneficent Church in Providence.  This men's chorus sings holiday music that is fun, sweet, and beautiful.  It's a great way to start your holiday season.  Email Sandy Stuart at for more info or to give her the good news that you can attend.     
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 December 4th.
If the weather outside is frightful, the minister and board president will confer to determine if worship services must be cancelled by 6:30 am on a Sunday morning. WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV5, FOX25 and WPRI-12, FOX Providence will air any Sunday Service cancellations during the morning news.

Websites for cancellations:,,
Cancellations will also be posted on our website and Facebook page: 
Be sure to "Like" us to see updates in your news feed. 

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

Copyright © 2018 Murray Unitarian Universalist Church, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
505 North Main Street Attleboro, MA 02703