Lessons from the March–November 16, 2014

Lou Ness serves as director of Rockford’s Shelter Care Ministries and is also an Episcopal Deacon. She spent two months walking the 930+ miles from Rockford to our nation’s capital to deliver a message of compassion for the poor and homeless. “I know that the impoverished families we serve need a voice. When one of us suffers, we all suffer and how we treat the least among us is a reflection of who we are.”

The choir will be singing and we will also be welcoming new members. The service will be followed by a potluck and time for questions and answers with Lou.

Service Sunday–November 9, 2014

We are very excited to present our second Service Sunday on November 9. Service Sunday starts at the usual worship time of 10:45. We will have a short, 30 minute service and then fan out into the community to provide service for about 2 1/2 hours. We will then reconvene at the church for a potluck to share our experiences.

We will have a variety of service opportunities. Child care will be available for the little ones, as well as service opportunities for kids at the church. Many of the outside services will also be open for kids to participate.

Here is an idea of some of the things you will be doing:
Farm to Table – Harvest and Wash veggies for Food Pantry Donation We will help harvest extra produce from Sue Rekenthaler’s family farm to give to area food pantries. Harvesting will happen on Saturday Nov 8th – all ages welcome – must be able to walk on uneven terrain and bend over to pull out potatoes and carrots, etc. Volunteers will fill wheelbarrows and haul produce back to truck. Wash off dirt and bag for donation to area food pantries.

Social Butterflies Needed – Chat with residents at Alden Terrace and Call BINGO – 5-7 volunteers to visit with residents before/during lunch and to help with their BINGO event after lunch 1:30 – 3 p.m. calling out the numbers and helping place markers on the cards for those who need extra support. All ages welcome.

Many other opportunities for service are being planned. Bring the family and together, we can make a difference!

Dancing With Memories–November 2, 2014

The Day of the Dead and the Christian holy days of this time (All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days) are meant to be a way for relationships and connections to be renewed, even across the barrier of death. In this All-ages service we recall our beloved dead and renew our commitment to life and to each other. You are welcome to bring a picture or memento of a departed loved one to add to our altar/offrenda.

Ghoulishly Good Service Auction 2014

Tree of Life UU

Ghoulishly Good Auction

November 1, 2014

October 19

That’s the date your auction donations need to be turned in so they can be included in the catalog.

Your donations are needed!!

This is a service/events/nice things auction. Need some ideas? How about these?

Pet sitting/walking    Maid or butler services  Wine tasting party   Art in any medium

Picture framing  Garage or basement cleanup  Window washing   Knick-knacks

Dessert a month for 12 months  Dinner party  Themed basket  A collection

Tech consulting   In-home concert   Music lessons   Poker party with casual meal

Concert or sporting event tickets    Custom jewelry  Tutoring  Furniture

Use the Donation form you received in your Auction packet or pick one up at the Stewardship Table on Sunday. Turn in your Donation form to anyone on the Stewardship Committee: Sue Eberhardt, Dave Ayres, Judy Stettner, Sandy Eckert, Rebecca Heisler-Strong, or Whit Sears.

This will be a Ghoulishly Good Auction!

7 p.m. – Silent auction begins. View live auction items.

7:45 p.m. – A period of entertainment

8 p.m. – Live auction begins

8:45-9 p.m. – Live auction intermission. Final Silent auction bids! Cashiers open.


9 p.m. – Silent auction bidding ends sharply! Live auction resumes.

9:45 p.m. (approx..) – Live auction ends. Winning bidders pay cashiers.

Refreshments from beginning to end!

Wear your costume!!

There may be a good reason for doing so.

Endowment Fund Financial Planning Presentation

 Personal Financial Planning Seminar

As a service to the congregation, the Endowment Fund Committee is putting on a Personal Financial Planning seminar, to be held next Sunday immediately after the Service. The Committee is very interested in your future financial well-being.

Paul Krieg, Ed Robbins, and Peter Tinkler will be performing a skit.

The cast will be:

  • Peter Tinkler as the client, Leslie Nurmslinger.
  • Ed Robbins as the financial planner, H&R Goodfellow.
  • Paul Krieg, of the law firm, Dewey, Teachem, and Howe, as the attorney on legal issues.

Since the skit begins at 12:15, they’ll be providing a light snack and drinks to tide you over.

Please let the office know if you’re coming office@treeoflifeuu.org , so we can provide enough snack items.

Minister’s Mind: Renewal

What does “renewal” mean? It’s pretty simple in some ways and not simple at all in others. The prefix “re-” means “again.”  So “renew” means “new again.” Which means our task for October is to return to newness.  Simple, but not.

Maybe we need to think for a moment about what it is like to be “new.” Over the course of the history of advertising, we’ve learned that “NEW!” is the single most effective word to put on packaging to get buyers’ attention. We like things that are new. We’ve conflated “new” with “improved” so much that people wait for hours, even days for the newest gadget, even though the one they already own works fine.

But newness, in this case, isn’t about things. It’s about what our Unitarian Universalist first source calls “a renewal of spirit.” What does it mean to be renewed as a person? To feel new again? For me, it’s about breaking through the boredom, malaise, and apathy that comes from routine. When things are new, they seem more fascinating, more colorful, more interesting. To be renewed is, for me, to be brought back to that place where my day, my life, and my calling seem new.

I think of our hymn, Wake Now My Senses, and how it expresses the desire for one’s senses, reason, compassion, conscience, and vision to awaken, so that we can be freshly empowered to do what we can to make this life better.  I also think of many other pieces of music and works of art that help me stop, break the habits of routine, and connect anew to the meaning of my life. Here is another song that may inspire you to feel renewed, like it does me: “Bird Song” performed by the Wailin’ Jennys. (lyrics below the video:)  And here is a link to this month’s packet. Be sure to read through it for lots of ideas on how to practice renewal.

“Bird Song”

I hear a bird chirping, up in the sky
I’d like to be free like that spread my wings so high

I see the river flowing water running by
I’d like to be that river, see what I might find

I feel the wind a blowin’, slowly changing time
I’d like to be that wind, I’d swirl and shape the sky

I smell the flowers blooming, opening for spring
I’d like to be those flowers, open to everything

I feel the seasons change, the leaves, the snow and sun
I’d like to be those seasons, made up and undone

I taste the living earth, the seeds that grow within
I’d like to be that earth, a home where life begins

I see the moon a risin’, reaching into night
I’d like to be that moon, a knowing glowing light

I know the silence as the world begins to wake
I’d like to be that silence as the morning breaks