Holiday Services at Tree of Life

This holiday season, Tree of Life will have some special services to mark this holiday filled season.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:45am

Season of Lights Holiday Pageant with the Religious Education children and youth. Our students have been learning about many Festivals of Lights from around the world. Please join us on December 16th as they showcase their knowledge and bring to you: Season of Lights.

Sunday, December 23, 2018 10:45am

Choir Concert. Tree of Life’s beloved holiday concert is fast approaching! Mark your calendars now! The concert will take place on December 23rd beginning at our regular service time of 10:45 am and will feature the wonderful TOL Choir and our beloved First Notes, as well as guest instrumentalists and soloists. The concert will be as diverse as it is delightful and is sure to be a holiday treat to be remembered. Be sure to be there and bring a friend or five!

Monday, December 24, 2018 7:00pm

The Mystery of Hope. Come celebrate Christmas Eve at Tree of Life with stories and hymns from the season with the Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck. The service ends with the congregation singing Silent Night by candlelight.

Open Mic Night Returns to Tree of Life

Haystacks Open Mic is now Tree of Life Open Mic


Hello Performers,

Tree of Life UUC Open Mic is back, and will be live on January 12th, from 7-10! Musicians, tellers of funny stories, and poets are all welcome to take the stage. We have a grand piano, a PA, amps, and 3 microphones available, or you can bring your own. Our music director, Forrest Ransburg, will be running sound.

Of course, there will be free coffee, tea, and soft drinks, and we hope you will bring your friends!

We have a limited number of 10 minute slots.  Sign up by January 1st at to get yours!  Please arrive by 6:45 to check in.

If you have questions, email or call Tree of Life UUC at 815-322-2464.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Music Committee at Tree of Life UUC

5603 West Bull Valley Road

McHenry, IL 60050


You can still get in on Auction fun

Our Fall FUNdraiser Auction may be over but you can still get in on the fun. Some of the big parties offered have space left. Did you mean to bid on this but got distracted? Were you unable to make it to the auction that night? Have you thought it over and now you’re sad you didn’t bid on that party? You are in luck! Just email the office which of the parties you and your friends want to be added to. 

Wine, Chocolate, Cheese & Love Songs hosted by Tom Steffens and Beth Hoover $35 each 9 spots left

Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019 4pm-7pm

What could be a better ending to your Valentine’s holiday than experiencing wine, chocolate, cheese and love songs? Come to sample many different varieties of food and drink accompanied by love songs performed by Tom and his friends.


Spooky Halloween Party hosted by Marc and Judy Stettner only $15 for adults; kids are free 19 spots available

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2019 5pm-8pm

Fun for the whole family. Come in your ghoulish best for costume contests, games, prizes, food and the witches brew!



Barn Party 2019 hosted by Tinkler, Burns, Dionne, Light, Murphy, Meyer and Tirk families. $25 each 28 spots left

Date: Saturday, August 17, 2019 7pm-10pm

Join us at the Tinkler’s Barn in Woodstock for a live performance by Ken Johnson and Tom Steffens. Enjoy some hors d’oevres and Janet Burn’s delicious desserts in a fabulous welcoming venue. Doors open at 7pm.


Super Bowl 2019 hosted by Marc and Judy Stettner $20 each 9 spots left

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019 4pm to game ends

Join us for food, fun, games, $$ to win, refreshments, commercials, a performance by Pink, and, oh yeah, the big game!



Movie in the Barn hosted by Tinkler, Cichon, Light, and Murphy Families only $10 for adults and $5 for kids lots of spots still available for you.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 7pm-10pm

Enjoy a family friendly movie on the big screen at the Tinkler’s Barn in Woodstock. TOLUUC youth will staff booths as fortune tellers, advice dispensers, and face painters. Visit the concession stand for popcorn, candy and drinks.


A Night with Cassandra, Forrest & Friends hosted by Kazluskys, Meyers, Kriegs, Johnson/Jasiota only $10 each. Plenty of spots for you and your music loving friends.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 7:00pm-9:00pm

A great night of music with two of our favorites – Woodstock Community Choir Director, Cassandra Vohs-Demann and TOLUUC Music Director, Forrest Ransburg, and some of their talented friends! Appetizers and drinks are included in the price. A can’t-miss event!

Star Wars Trivia Night hosted by our own Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck $20 each. 5 spots left.

Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018 7:00pm-9:00pm

The almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck will take on all comers in a game of Star Wars DVD Trivial Pursuit. Come for a night of fellowship and Geekdom! Challenge your nerd wits with the Jedi master – the almost Rev!

Wine and Rock Painting hosted by The Burns Family $35 only one spot left

Date: Friday, February 22, 2019 7-9pm

Join us for a relaxing evening of sipping wine and painting rocks. Take home a tiny treasure to decorate a desk or windowsill, gift a friend, or leave in a public place to delight the finder. At this painting party, no need to BYOB. All refreshments, materials, inspiration, and instruction provided. You supply the wonder and joy. No skill required!


Stories from our Lives- Story Slam hosted by Tom Tipton, Laurie Barnes, and Zena McFadden $20 each 3 spots left

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019 7-10pm

Led by talented storyteller, Zena McFadden, join us in an engaging evening of entertainment and fun. Food and drinks will be provided.


Party Like You’re a Kid…Again! hosted by Randy Rapp, Sue McCowin, Hannah Rapp and fiancé, Andre $15 each 9 spots left

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019 7-10pm

Do you remember play-doh? Slinkies? Toy trains? Legos? Hungry, Hungry Hippo? Mouse Trap? Did eat mac and cheese? Fish sticks? Grilled cheese? Weenies and beans? Chocolate milk? Wake up your inner child and join us for an evening of games, activities and foods designed to recapture some of the fun of being a kid. We’ll end the evening with s’mores and singing around the campfire, weather permitting.


Bonfire and Sing Along hosted by Jim and Ivy Sitkoski, and Tom Tipton $20 each 7 spots left

Date: Saturday, September 14, 2019 7-10pm

Enjoy a night with a bonfire, light supper, and a sing along with TOLUUC guitarist, Tom Tipton. A great way to wrap up the summer.


St. Patrick’s Day Party hosted by Nick and Carol Ciccotosto $20 each 7 spots left

Date: Sunday, March 17, 2019 7-10pm

Put on your green clothes, socks, hats, etc. and join us in an evening of Irish food, entertainment, and libations. Slainte!


To reserve your spot call 815-322-2464 or

Payment by cash, check or credit card.




Cookie Walk 2018

This Year’s Cookie Walk is new and improved! As in year’s past, we will have table after table of delicious cookies to pick from and buy by the pound. There will also be breads, pies and cakes to purchase. There will also be  previously loved decorations in our Bells, Baubles, and Bows Rummage Room.  Nothing is priced and our guests take what they like and pay what they can.  New this year is Mrs. Claus’s Artisan Alley Boutique. One of a kind crafts by our community members will be on sale to help you with your holiday gift giving.

Sale begins at 10:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2018 and concludes at 2:00 pm. Look for the blue cookie monster!

Traditional Iced Gingerbread Christmas Cookies with Trees and Snowmen

FaithBridge’s 12th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration

Sunday, November 18th at 7:00 PM

Hosted by Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Join your Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Baha’i, Muslim, and UU neighbors for FaithBridge’s 12th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Living in Unity; Within Diversity All are One. This evening of song, drumming, and unifying words, to give thanks, enjoy fellowship and make an offering for the benefit of others, will be held at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, at 7:00 pm, Sunday, November 18.

A drum circle will be led by Greg Rajsky; bring your percussion instruments! The choir of Tree of Life will participate, and an offering will be requested for area food pantries, and for FaithBridge’s future programming.

FaithBridge Interfaith promotes mutual understanding and respectful relationships among diverse religious communities in McHenry County and surrounding areas.

For more information, contact M.E. Tanabe at, or Rabbi Maralee Gordon at

Fall FUNdraising Auction Saturday November 10, 2018

Thank you to everybody who participated in our Fall FUNdraising Auction! We had a record number of people attend and blew right by our big goal of raising $16,000. While the final figures are not in yet, it looks like we raised almost $19,000!

6:00pm Saturday, November 10, 2018, Tree of Life is going to be the place to be. We will be posting a preview of the auction booklet soon. Pictured are the great items being raffled off. Drawing is the night of the auction at the end of the live auction. Winners will be notified by phone if not present. There are also several parties available for a set price ( Movie at the Barn Party, Super Bowl Party, Halloween 2019 Party, Barn Party, Wine Chocolate, Cheese and Love Songs Party). Add onto that our live and silent auctions, refreshments and  live entertainment! You don’t want to miss this year’s big event. Movies and pizza will be offered downstairs for the kids so you don’t even have to get a babysitter.

Here is a preview of our 2018 TOL Auction Master Silent and Live so you can plan your bidding. See something you want but can’t make it to the auction? Call Judy (815) 322-2464 and tell her what your highest bid is. We will bid on it for you! You can then pay by credit card when we call you with your winnings!

Watch this video to get a peek at the awesome events you can win at the live auction

Looking for some more information? 815-322-2464 or

Remember to Dream Big; Bid Big! We have set an aspirational goal of raising $16,000 with this FUNdraiser and send 10% of that to Pioneer Center for Human Services to help them build a new permanent shelter for our area’s homeless neighbors. We are already well on our way with the raffle sales. Help us get the rest of the way there by coming to the auction and checking out the great gift items and services we have to offer.

What Does It Mean to Provide Sanctuary?

Sunday, October 28, 2018 10:45am

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Christian New Testament, Matthew 25, verse 35 and 36.

Providing Sanctuary is more than just putting a roof over a person’s head. The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck will talk about other ways that we as Unitarian Universalists provide sanctuary to a hurting world.

The night before, our community will be participating in Camp Compassion and the experience will be integrated into today’s service. Here are the details for Camp Compassion:

Camp Compassion

Please join us for Camp Compassion!
This is a special, one time event co-sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and the Religious Education Committee here at Tree of Life UU. Here’s what you need to know:

-Yes. We will be sleeping outside in tents or cars here at TOL on Saturday, October 27th (6pm start time) to raise funds for Compassion for Campers.

-Yes. This is a family event. Each participating student will need an adult supervisor (parent, guardian, or designated care provider).

-Yes. All members and friends are welcome to join us.

-Yes. We will have a shared campfire available for cooking. Each family will bring their own food and water for dinner and breakfast. Sharing is encouraged; keep in mind that some participants may have food allergies. Please confirm with parents before sharing your food with children!

-Yes. We will watch a movie in the evening (inside to help us warm up!).

-Yes. There will be a prize awarded to the family who raises the most funds!

-Yes. The building will be opened at designated times for bathroom access and will be opened by a key-carrier as needed in-between those times.

-Yes. It is likely to be cold! Come prepared!

-Yes. You can participate if you can not sleep out! Simply let your donors know you are raising funds for the homeless, but not sleeping outside that day.

-Yes. We will have discussions about our homeless neighbors. This is both a fundraiser and a learning experience! (And we may have some fun, too.)

-Yes. The event will culminate with our participation in worship service Sunday Oct. 28; please plan to stay through worship service!

-Yes. You will probably smell like campfire, have bed head, need a toothbrush, and have a desire to curl up to someone warm during the worship service on Sunday. Consider this your badge of honor for making it through the previous evening!

-Yes. This is a fundraiser. Pledge forms will be available after service on Sunday.

Still have questions? Please call Heather Madaus 815-509-7862 or Sue Rekenthaler 815-678-7072 or Janet Burns 847-542-7678.

Celebrating Life Through Music: Refuge; The Church of What We Know

Sunday October 21, 2018 10:45am

For our worship service, Peter Mayer leads us in word and song sharing his insights into Unitarian Universalism and how it connects us spiritually with the world as we experience it and as science provides us a picture. Peter is the composer/songwriter of such beautiful and meaning-filled songs as Blue Boat Home, Everything is Holy Now, and God is a River.

We are offering two opportunities with Peter Mayer. He is also going to perform a concert the night before our service.

Get Your Tickets NOW to see Peter Mayer in Concert! 

 Saturday, October 20th   7:00 pm at First Congregational Church in Crystal Lake. 461 Pierson, Crystal Lake.

To have adequate seating, First Congregational in Crystal Lake is partnering with us. Only $20 in advance online. 

Even with online fees, you will only pay $21.50 per ticket. Or $25 at the door.

You can get more information about Peter Mayer on our web site

We are selling tickets to the concert to pay for Peter’s Sunday service. If we do not sell enough tickets, worship arts will have far less money to bring us other amazing speakers and performers. At the concert, Peter will be performing a full concert’s worth of music and only a few songs on Sunday. Come soak up all that Peter has to offer us.

Fall FUNdraising Auction Raffle Announced

You are not going to want to miss out on these great raffle prizes.

The Stewardship Committee at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation
will hold a raffle as part of the Fall FUNdraising Auction. 10% of money raised will
benefit PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter.) The raffle will start Sunday,
October 21 and run through Saturday, November 10. Raffle tickets are $5 each
or five for $20. On Saturday, November 10, during the Fall FUNdraising Auction
event, tickets will be available for purchase. The drawing will take place near the
end of the event. Winners need not be present.
Five amazing items have been created for this raffle. Values range from $250 to
$600. See descriptions on reverse side.
Cash or checks. Please write checks to TOLUUC. Or contact the office to pay by credit card. 815-322-2464 Monday-Friday 10-2.

1 The Lake Cottage – Value $300
The Lake Cottage, located in Crystal Lake, is a year-round vacation home comfortably furnished
for a family, a group of friends, or a romantic rendezvous. The home would be great for up to
four adults and children. One dog is permitted; yard is fenced. Pick two weekdays or a weekend
during May and June of 2019. Please make your reservation by December 31, 2018. Thank
you, Rebecca and Jim.

2 Wine Wagon – Value $350
The Stewardship Committee at TOLUUC has created an amazing array of 33 bottles of their
personal favorites. Types range from Pinot Grigio to Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc to
Chianti to Canadian Ice Wine. By the way, the wagon, which would be great to take to Ravinia
or a family picnic, is yours to keep and enjoy!

3 Stock Your Bar – Value $250
Ready to start up your new bar or add to your present collection? This is 6 bottles of high end
liquors. Thank you Judy, Tom and Beth.
Grey Goose Vodka
Tanqueray Gin
Tres Generaciones Tequila
El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum
Proper Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey
Aberfeldy Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey – 12 Year Old

4 Cats #15 of 20 and #5 of 20 by Bill Stone – Value $600
These unique painted hydracal casts of cat heads on a wooden stand are 11” x 5 1/2” and
“purrfect” for that lover of felines. Thank you, Bill.

5 Marriott Lincolnshire Theater Package Gift Certificate – Value $350
This gift certificate can cover dinner, two tickets to a musical, room for one night, and breakfast
the next day. NOW… if they want to celebrate with a $1000 bottle of Dom, they can pay for it
themselves!! Thank you Sue and Kaz.


Fall FUNdraising Auction is Coming!

We are kicking off our Fall FUNdraising Auction with this fun video.

Do you want your party on our next video? Now is your chance to let us know about it.

Soon we will announce our 5 raffle items that are sure to knock your socks off. Tickets will be $5 each or 5 for $20.

When is this awesome event you ask? Saturday, November 10th at 6pm.