Heart Mindfulness Retreat and Workshop

Saturday, February 10, 12:45 – 4:30 pm                                                                                   

Advance registration is necessary  

Individual:    $20 if paid in advance ($25 if at the retreat)  

Family (2 or more people):  $30 ($40 if at retreat)

Scholarships are available

Come, take a break from winter – and maybe even bump up your levels of serotonin.   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.  Among the various exercises, we’ll work on sensory awareness,  qi gong movements, breath practices, and we’ll do some focused reflection.   There will also be suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your daily activities.

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 challenging for very young children.   If you’re curious, Marc Stettner, Janet Burns, Irene Raven, or Linda Howanietz can offer insights into what they find beneficial about these practices.

In order to make arrangements for our space, an advance registration is necessary.   If you plan to attend, please let me or the office know by February 5.   The cost is $20 if paid in advance, and $25 if paid at the retreat. There’s a family discount $30 for 2 or more people with advance payment and $40 for 2 or more, paid at the retreat.   All proceeds will be donated to the newly created Member Care discretionary fund, to serve members of our community in need.   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

To register, please see me at church OR send me your intention and contact info.  All checks are made out to Tree of Life UU with “retreat” in the memo line.  Please, include your email address so that you can receive updates and reminders.  There are registration forms on the table in the fellowship room to give to Judy if I’m not available.


Come Sing a Song With Me

Sunday January 7, 2017 10:45am

Tricia Alexander and M.E. Tanabe

Music! What a wonderful way to begin the New Year at TOL – celebrating our community through singing! Tricia Alexander is joining us to lead in singing songs of the heart. We’ll be sharing songs for voices of all ages and sharing the joy of being together.

Sharing the Gift of Hope

Sunday, December 24, 2017, 7:00 pm

With carols and candlelight we celebrate the joy of Christmas in our lives and community. This communal joy renews and reminds us of the powerful hope that we can share with others. The service ends with lighting candles and singing Silent Night. There will be no morning service that day.


‘Tis the Season!

Please join us for Tree of Life’s beloved annual holiday concert! The theme this year is ‘Tis the Season. We celebrate great themes of Christmastime. Themes of Winter’s First Snow, Fireside Glow, and Good Friends You Know combine to inspire that special magic that only music of the holidays can! The concert will feature the wonderful Tree of Life Choir, the delightful First Notes youth program, and some fabulous guest musicians who will come together to make an afternoon of beautiful music! Please join us at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation on December 17th at 3:00 PM to enjoy this concert.

Fire Communion

Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:45am

Sam Jones

What parts of our lives-what things, ideas, people, ways of liging-have become obstacles to our becoming the people we want to be, the people we NEED to be? What’s holding you back? What’s getting in the way of you living as fully as you’d like to? What might you want to “burn away”? What troubles, problems, issues, would you like to put in your past, move beyond? Join us, for in this service, we offer an opportunity to burn away what is no longer wanted or needed in our lives, through a ritual that will help to symbolically clear the way for a renewed journey into the new year.

Join us again at 3 pm for our annual music concert.

Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Celebration

Sunday, November 19, 2017, 7:00pm

Join us at the 11th Annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration hosted by Faithbridge Interfaith Association.

The celebration will be held at Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple & Meditation Center – 221 Dean Street, Woodstock, IL


Come join neighbors, families and friends as we honor the diversity of faith and culture – and celebrate the Oneness of our humanity.

Sharing community in a variety of musical offerings (our choir will be performing with Tricia Alexander) and messages, we take this time to find joy in connecting with one another.

To share gratitude, an offering will be made to benefit the people of Puerto Rico, local food pantries and the work of FaithBridge.

For additional information, contact:

Tricia Alexander: triciababa@aol.com

M.E. Tanabe: m.e.tanabe@comcast.net



Turkey Bingo!

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 1pm to 4pm

Here at Tree of Life UU Congregation

$20.00 for every person playing Bingo. Get a 2nd card for $5.00. Kids not playing Bingo, $5.00.

Tons of Turkeys! Silent Auction! Door Prizes! Live Music by NW Highway! Lunch and Beverages! Face Painting!

All proceeds benefit JailBrakers. Jail Brakers is a ministry of Tree of Life UUC and benefits the families of the incarcerated and recently returning citizens to help reduce the stigma of incarceration and end the cycle of incarceration in our community.

Chatting with the Tea Party this Friday

Friday November 10, 7:00 pm

The Tree of Life UU Congregation’s Word Players readers’ theater troupe presents the acclaimed docudrama Chatting with the Tea Party by Rich Orloff.

Chatting With the Tea Party is about one person’s journey across America exploring the question, “Who are these people?” It’s a documentary style play about a New York liberal playwright who decides to travel around the country interviewing leaders of local Tea Party groups, to get to know people whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed to his. For a year playwright Rich Orloff attended Tea Party meetings and events in cities large and small in every region of the country. The play shapes the highlights of over 63 hours of interviews plus notes from the events to go beyond sound bites and stereotypes to show the people behind the politics. In a journey that’s at times disturbing, humorous, moving, and always thought-provoking.

Tickets are $10 available at the door. Proceeds benefit the Social Justice Ministry of the Tree of Life Congregation.

Service Auction 2017 Booklet Finalized

The finalized copy of the Service Auction offerings is here and it has new offerings!

Been dreaming of a fun and relaxing vacation on a lake? Dinner at 1776? A rejuvenating massage? A shopping spree at Macy’s? You will find it at the service auction and so much more.

CLICK HERE to plan your bidding and we will see you Saturday at 6 pm. Copies of the booklet will be provided at the event.

Can’t make it? You can still get in on the action. Many have asked friends to bid for them and give them a budget for each item. Your winnings can be paid for by credit card for convenience. The service auction is used by many of us to plan much of our social events for the year and we don’t want to miss seeing you there.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Madaus family and the Broussard family will be hosting a potluck Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner on Thanksgiving Day at the church. We will gather from 2-4pm at the church and will plan to eat at 4pm. Please bring a dish to pass (turkey will be provided!). A sign up sheet will be available in November in the Social Room to let us know you’re coming and tell us what you’re bringing. We look forward to spending Thanksgiving with you!

Please contact Heather Madaus with any questions: 815-509-7862