The Lamp Beside the Golden Door: Welcoming Immigrants to America

Sunday September 24, 2017 10:45am

February Sky Music Duo

We celebrate through the music of Phil Cooper and Susan Arnold as they create worship in song: “The path of immigrants in America has not been all easy money and streets paved with gold. Besides leaving behind family and beloved homelands, immigrants have often been subjected to discrimination, overwork, low wages and substandard living conditions. We will look at the treatment of various immigrant groups when they first arrived in the U.S., and consider how we, as Unitarian Universalists, can help to welcome our new neighbors from other lands.”

Come Join Us on an Uncomfortable Journey

Sunday September 17, 2017 10:45am

Led by the Tree of Life Social Justice Team

This spring, the Unitarian Universalist Association was rocked by the realization that white supremacy is seen even within our liberal religion. Join us as we tackle this uncomfortable reality and look forward to change within each of us. If you want to gain some insight ahead of the service, we suggest starting here . On this third Sunday of the month, we will take our Second Sunday offering for Black Lives UU.

Service Auction 2017 Donation Form

Have an item or a service you can donate to our Auction this year? Print out the donation form and hand in to Dave Ayres, Judy Stettner, or Don Metivier. You can also mail them in to the church.

Auction2017 Donation Form

Need ideas? Here is last year’s auction booklet.


Remember, this is our biggest fundraiser of the year, besides our pledge drive, and 10% of our proceeds this year are being given to TLS Veterans

If you are a frequent customer of a McHenry County business, you can help us out. Dave Ayres has packets that you can use to ask that business for a donation to the auction. We have found many businesses around the area are very happy to donate certificates or items to our auction and they are especially eager when they are approached by a loyal customer.

Most of all save the date, November 4th, and plan to come and enjoy an evening with friends and our always entertaining auctioneer, Ron Relic. There will be food, drinks, activities for the kids, and lots of laughs.


Being a Community of Welcome

Soul Matters at Tree of Life:

            Being a Community of Welcome


One of the wonderful resources we have at Tree of Life is our subscription to the UU curriculum, Soul Matters.  This program is the source of the themes used for our worship calendar and through it we receive ideas and materials for developing worship services.  Monthly “packets” are available to the whole congregation and are used by our Chalice Circle discussion groups.  Many UU congregations participate in this program and it’s an uplifting thought, knowing that every month we are reflecting on the same subjects as other UU’s across the U. S.


With this posting, we are introducing a blog series on the soul matters of Tree of Life.  For September our community is invited to reflect on how we can better understand and become a community that is welcoming.   Celebrating  Water Communion with the UU Fellowship of DeKalb on Sept. 10,   considering the issues of White Supremacy on Sept. 17, and, on Sept. 24, through the music of February Sky,  honoring  stories of Welcoming Immigrants —  our worship experiences will encourage us to expand our thinking about the avenues for offering kindness, greeting, and comfort.


Welcome and its attendant hospitality both have deep roots in the connection we share with all of humanity.  Rev. Tom Owen-Towle reminds us that “Hospitality isn’t a mere social grace; it’s a spiritual vocation …. It evokes our need to know and be known, to embrace and be embraced.”  In this month’s Soul Matters packet, we are encouraged to reflect on how “expanding community and welcoming newcomers requires right-sizing our needs and putting our preferences second.   Welcoming regularly involves the smallness of humility and willingness to listen and learn.    … a key to feeling at home in the universe is seeing ourselves as a tiny but precious part of a greater whole.”

May we come together as a community in exploring and experiencing the meaning of “welcome.”   This month’s resource packet can be accessed here If you need a printed copy, please feel free to use the copies that are available in the fellowship room (or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken).   You are also invited to join discussion through one of our Chalice Circles – please look for the Community Blog giving details about these circles.

Wishing you joy in community, M.E. Tanabe

Jail Brakers hosts The If Project at Woodstock Public Library

Proudly providing support to children and their families who struggle
with the stigma and challenges of incarceration

The If Project Film Screening & Community Discussion
SAVE the DATE! Tuesday September 19th, 2017 6:30 p.m.
Woodstock Public Library
414 W Judd St, Woodstock, IL 60098
In 2008, Seattle police officer Kim Bogucki walked through the
gates of the Washington Corrections Center for Women, intent
on asking a group of mothers for permission to work with their
school-aged daughters in a Girl Scouts Beyond Bars troop for
girls with incarcerated parents. On that day, Bogucki asked the
mothers a critical question: “If there was something someone
could have said or done that would have changed the path that
led you here, what would it have been?” Join us for this
encouraging film.
Refreshments, discussion and resources.
Jail Brakers offers opportunities to connect with the community

Click on the link below for more information. Jail Brakers is a ministry of Tree of Life UU Congregation.

The If Project Woodstock w date

Water of Life at the Tree of Life Worship @ 11:45

For our Water Communion we celebrate coming back together by pouring out water from our summer experiences. We bring water from special occasions or travel or which symbolizes meaningful experiences. This year the UU Fellowship of DeKalb joins us and their choir and our choir will sing for the service. Worship starts at 11:45 to allow for their travel time. Immediately after the service will be a Potluck Picnic – please bring a dish to pass …and our UUFD guests will be bringing the desserts. The day will be capped by a short musical concert.

Words, Thoughts, and Deeds

Sunday September 3, 2017 10:45am

Gina Swinney

We grew up learning various responses to playground adversaries; ”sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was one of the most popular. We know that words carry much power to hurt or help. There is much power in what we do and what we say. There is also much power in what we think. Our heart carries a duality of emotion. We happily acknowledge that love “comes from the heart.” But living in the same chamber as love, we find what might be referred to as a “darker” emotion; evil. The challenge we face as humans is to tip the scales of our hearts towards love. Though there are no easy answers, we can begin by examining our thoughts, words and deeds.

A Vigil for Charlottesville – All Creeds, All Colors, All Caring

Monday August 14, 2017 8pm-9:30pm

As Unitarian Universalists dedicated to democracy, peace, and equality the violent demonstrations by  Supremacists in Charlottesville last week were disheartening. Tree of Life Social Justice Team invites you and the McHenry County community to join us tonight for a candlelight vigil as we remember the victims and speak for the values of this country that we hold dear. We will gather outside on the grounds of the church outside the sanctuary for spoken words and then move toward the street for the candlelight portion of our vigil where we will gather in silence and song. Our Facebook event page can be found at
Please invite anyone you feel would like to join us and bring bug spray as we will be outside at night.
For questions, please contact the office or use the contact us form on this website.

Service Auction Date Announced


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tree of Life Annual Service Auction

This is one of our biggest fundraisers – we will bring in thousands of $$$$$s

We will need your donations by about mid-October. A more precise date will be announced a little later.

We will begin assembling an Auction Team immediately. Our Service Auction is an all-hands event. Volunteers will be needed for set up, helping at the auction, and for tear down. Signups will begin Sunday, August 6, right after worship service. As plans are finalized, we will be announcing many more details.