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.


Soul Matters at Tree of Life; Being a Community of Mystery

In our culture, we have a built-in expectation that any “mystery” is offering us the opportunity to put together the pieces of a puzzle or to find answers to something unknown.   But as we explore this month’s Soul Matters packet, frequently we are urged to also think of the “mystery” in our lives as something to be simply experienced — that it is something that can be listened to.  In fact, the packet authors encourage us to actively make space within ourselves, to allow the wonder of life to speak to us.

The physician and author, Rachel Naomi Remen, writes:  Mystery has great power.  [As a doctor], I have watched people in their confrontation with the unknown as they recovered awe, wonder, joy, and aliveness.  — they remembered that life is holy….     Everything and everyone has a dimension of  this unknown.    Mystery helps us to see ourselves and others from the largest possible perspective, as a unique and possibly endless process.    A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgment to a place of expectancy.   It opens in us an attitude of listening and respect.    ……..Knowing this, enables us to listen to life from the place in us that is Mystery also.   So not only can we witness Mystery; in some profound way [we discover that] we are Mystery.

The December Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning of “mystery” – as we consider how we experience it in our lives and how it is a part of our experience in community.   We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles.  The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.   You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – there are chalice circle flyers in the fellowship room with information about this program.

Wishing you joy in community,

M.E. Tanabe

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 rubatotime@aol.com to get yours!  Please arrive by 6:45 to check in.

If you have questions, email rubatotime@aol.com 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

815-322-2464

Mystery: Our Relationship to the Unknown

Sunday, December 2, 2018 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe

There is a difference between mystery (lower case) and Mystery (with a capital “M”). Dr. Rachel Remen reminds us that this latter Mystery “cannot be solved, it can only be lived. A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgement to a place of expectancy. It opens in us an attitude of listening and reverence.”

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 office@treeoflifeuu.org

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

Notes from the Almost Rev. Kev

Greetings everyone.

The theme for the month of November is Memory, and given that the Holidays are now upon us, many of us will be thinking of holidays past, perhaps thinking of beloved family members who are no longer with us.

It doesn’t take much to trigger a memory—our brains are hardwired to associate all our senses with memory to help us remember things. In the distant past, this was used for survival. If that person recalled that a particular smell happened right before the saber-toothed tiger attacked, or heard a particular growl, then that person was likely to live longer. In our modern sensibilities, sometimes memory can be so strong it’s like you’re living that particular moment over again.

Back in the early 1990’s, I recall a song by Patricia Yearwood titled, “The Song Remembers When.” There are songs that I hear, either on the radio or on my smartphone, that can literally bring me back to an exact place and time in my life. I’m sure you all have those moments too. Where we run into trouble is when those memories can cloud our judgement or perception of what’s happening today. This idea was used for comic effect in one of my favorite Christmas movies, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The main character, Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, spends the length of the movie trying to re-create the magic of Christmas from his childhood. Therein lies the chaos that ensues for the length of the movie. I think this is where many of us get trapped this time of year—we see the past through a sentimental lens and don’t see what’s in front of us, for good and for bad. The uncle that you had a lot of fun with as a child now might be sitting at the Thanksgiving table espousing the latest he heard from Fox News, and it’s hard to maintain your feelings for who they were and who they are now. The question then becomes, how does one deal with this? I believe the best way is to remember who they were, and set boundaries for who they are. And probably change the subject, if possible.

So, in this month of Memory, let’s remember those who are no longer with us, and remember who we are with now because, someday, we’ll hopefully be the pleasant memories for others.

 

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  m.e.tanabe@comcast.net, or Rabbi Maralee Gordon at maraleegordon@gmail.com.