Wisdom of the Trees

Sunday August 6, 2017 10:45a,

Carol Alfus

Through all of human history, we have been nurtured and inspired by trees. Trees figure widely in the myths and spirituality of civilizations the world over, and they have lessons to teach us, if we will listen. How can Tree of Life, as a religious community, embody those lessons?

Heart Mindfulness Retreat and Workshop

Tree of Life          Saturday, August 12     10am  – 2pm

  A light lunch will be served

  Advance registration is necessary

 $25 if paid in advance  ($30 if at the retreat)


Come join us for a different  kind of summer vacation experience.  Although frequently imagined to be just a quiet sitting meditation, mindfulness  is actually a dynamic and fully engaged way of going about life.   The mindfulness-based stress reduction programs of Jon Kabat-Zinn, are taught in hospitals around the world to help people deal with chronic physical and emotional pain and other health challenges.    His books, particularly Coming to Our Senses, and Full Catastrophe Living,  are wonderful resources for understanding the how and the why of mindful living and in his writing, he encourages us to see that through mindfulness practices, we develop an expanded  awareness and that this “awareness offers a safe haven in which to restore ourselves and rest in a vital and dynamic harmony, tranquility, creativity and joyfulness.”

For our retreat and workshop, we will work on developing our “awareness” in a meditative environment  and within the quiet stillness of shared practices.  Within the practices, there will be qi gong exercises,  sensory connection exercises  and breath exercises.  And there will be many suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your daily activities.   Weather dependent, we will spend some time outside.  A light lunch will be provided – which we will mindfully share together.

Everyone is invited; no prior attendance or experience is necessary.  This program is open to the community and you may invite friends or family.  This program is suitable for youth, but probably a little too challenging for young children.   If you’re curious,  Marc Stettner, Janet Burns, or Linda Howanietz can offer insights into what they find beneficial about these practices.

In order to make arrangements for the lunch and our space, an advance registration is necessary.  If you plan to attend, please let me know no later than August 8.   The cost is $25 if paid in advance, and $30 if paid at the retreat.  If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact me:  m.e.tanabe@comcast.net,   phone   815 337 9895

Wishing you deep peace and joy,

M.E. (Emi) Tanabe

Creative U(U)

Sunday July 23, 2017 10:45am

Craig Parsons

Celebrating with our creativity is always a source of joy and when we find this joy by creating with others, we form a deeper bond of community. Join us for a hands-on creative experience led by Craig Parsons. He is the Director of Worship at Good Shepherd Church, in Naperville, where he provides creative leadership in all aspects of traditional and contemporary worship. He is also in demand as a keynote speaker and as a leader of seminars which explore creativity. The morning will be full of practical tips for enriching your life and, yes…there will be drums, too!

Thank God for Evolution!

Sunday July 16, 2017 10:45am

Ron Relic will  present some of the teachings and a short video  of Michael Dowd, a self proclaimed  evolutionary evangelist.  He and his wife Connie Barlow, a science journalist, have traveled the country [including McHenry County] since 2002 presenting programs that demonstrate  a marriage of science and religion   The Great Story, or Epic of Evolution,  is a way of telling the history of everyone and everything that honors and embraces all religious traditions and creation stories.  It is the sacred narrative of an evolving universe.  Evolve with us next Sunday!

Being the Light: Worship in Music

Sunday July 9, 2017 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe and Amy Beth

Join us for a celebration of worship in music. Amy Beth and M. E. Tanabe use songs inviting us to open our hearts and embrace the wonder of our lives. Amy is musically very active in the community. She presents monthly sing-a-longs, is president of the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, performs with The Kishwaukee Ramblers, teaches lessons on folk instruments, and works for Home Instead as an in-home caregiver. She is founder and has led the Woodstock Folk Festival,

Everything is Holy Now: Worship in Music

Sunday July 2, 2017 10:45am

Having a music-filled worship service creates different possibilities of celebration ….and using music as an expression of joy, is as old as mankind. Ken Johnson and M. E. Tanabe use songs of Peter Mayer to create a message exploring the mystery of Life and inviting the congregation into a time of wonder and reflection. Ken is very active at local musical venues and also performs regularly for the Unity Spiritual Center of Woodstock. His performances are beautifully intimate, with soaring vocals and folk-rock guitar stylings.

The Necessity of Joy – Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Sunday June 25, 2017 10:45am

Rabbi Maralee Gordon

Often we experience joy as a gift, something special, out of the ordinary. Judaism teaches otherwise, requiring joy as a regular part of our daily existence. Where is joy? How do we hold on to it? Newly returned from Israel, Rabbi Maralee Gordon will join us to share joy and music

Words of Joy

Sunday June 18, 2017 10:45am

Voices of Tree of Life

The experience of joy is always an expanded moment of life. Finding a moment of joy in a poem, a passage in a book, or a quote from an inspired speaker always opens a window for the possibility of returning to those words and renewing a connection to the heart. The Worship Arts Team leads our worship experience by lending voice to readings that bring them personal joy. And for Father’s Day we have a chalice lighting that honors the male nurturers of the world.

Sustainable Community

Sunday June 11, 2017 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe

We gather each week in a celebration of Life and Community and to refuel our joy. This act of “gathering” is the first step in sustaining community – we receive sustenance through sharing with others and we empower others through our presence.

Following today’s shortened service, we will hold our annual congregational meeting. Child care will be provided during the meeting.

This is also the Second Sunday of the month in which we share our offering with a community partner fulfilling our principles. This month we will share the plate with Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI).