Coffee with Questions May 1, 2016

Subject: Importance of Novels

Presenter: Ivy Sitkoski

Sunday May 1,  2016 at 9:15am

Location: TREE OF LIFE: Unitarian Universalist

Congregation, 5603 W Bull Valley Rd, McHenry, IL 60050

Phone: (815)322-2464

CHILDCARE AVAILABLE ON EMAIL REQUEST TO SAM JONES, samjones@ameritech.net
In an article in a recent issue of The Atlantic, a conversation between President Obama and a novelist Marilynne Robinson is reported.  Obama is quoted as saying:

“Are you somebody who worries about people not reading novels anymore?  And do you think that has an impact on the culture?  When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels.  It has to do with empathy.  It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that.  And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some(one) else even though they’re very different from you.”

The author of the article later says, “By encouraging us to adopt the perspective of an other – in particular, a profoundly alien other – fiction leads us to draw new and wider nets around our otherwise more isolated selves.  Reading novels breaks down the boundary between “me” and “not me.”

  1. If you assume that President Obama is right, and that people are reading fewer novels than they once did, due to TV, the Internet, video games, etc., then do you also suspect that the     result is less empathy?
  2.   Do we have any evidence of this?  Is a novel-reading citizenry really a more empathetic one?
  3. Do you have personal experience with novels leading you to greater empathy toward particular individuals or groups of people?
  4. Do you know anyone else who has had such experiences?

 

A Fun Peak into Our History

Martha Hansen a reference librarian at the Woodstock Library unearthed some fun footage of congregation members leaving after services in about 1919! In the film you will see the Rev. Kilburne toward the end come out and stop to talk to another gentleman.  The film also include footage from other Woodstock churches of the time, the typewriter factory workers leaving for the day, and a nifty car parade on the Woodstock Square. Enjoy the big hats and boys in short pants!  Click on this link to view. https://youtu.be/b-K2W6B7YWs?t=6m1s

To Be a Blessing

May 22, 2016 10:45am

Rev. Sean Parker Dennison

We are not here–on this beautiful earth or in our congregation–only to get our needs met. It’s been proven again and again that the “secret” to a joyful life is to be part of something bigger than yourself. Today we explore how we can be a blessing in this world.

Celebrating Our Learning Community

May 15, 2016 10:45am

Sam Jones, Director of Religious Education

We will honor our volunteer teachers, Coming of Age volunteers and the Religious Ed Committee. We will acknowledge those students who will be bridging to the next level, including our High School graduates. The Coming Of Age students will celebrate the end of their program by reading their faith statements, (credos) to the congregation.

Blessing of Hands

May 8, 2016 10:45am

Rev. Sean Parker Dennison and the men of the choir

For Mother’s Day, we will acknowledge all those who have nurtured us and helped us grow. We will bless the hands that do the daily work of life and remember that the holy is always found in the everyday.

RSVP for Sesquicentennial Now

RSVP for the Sesquicentennial Now!

Saturday April 23, 2016 and Sunday April 24, 2016

In order to plan meals and space needs, we need your RSVP by MONDAY APRIL 18TH.
Send an email to office@treeoflifeuu.org or call (815)322-2464 with the following information:

  • How many for Saturday dinner?
  • Dinner Choice : Chicken Marsala, Pork Roast, Pasta Primavera (vegetarian)
  • How many for Sunday lunch?
  • Food allergies?
  • Will you be going to Blue Lotus tour?

Here is what you need to know.

Saturday April 23rd

1-2pm Get a tour of our old building in Woodstock; now Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple. They completely reworked the first floor of the building and it is well worth a visit.

1pm-5pm Tours of our current building including the changes we made to turn this restaurant into a church and our plans for the future.

1pm – 10pm View displays of our history, purchase logo wear and chalice or tree of life fused glass sun catchers. Visit with old friends and new.

5:30pm– Catered dinner with entertainment courtesy of Tom Steffens and company. Free will offerings will be taken to offset costs of the event  and to restore the Lopatin Stained Glass Windows. We want to get the stained glass windows out of storage and displayed for all to enjoy. There is a matching grant for up to $5000 being offered so your donation goes twice as far!

Sunday April 24th

10:45am Sunday morning worship with Rev. Barbara Merritt who served our congregation from 1975 to 1982 and the adult choir. The sermon is: Celebrating the Past, Creating the Future: The Reality Principle.

12pm -3pm Community picnic on our spacious grounds with inflatables for the kids and young at heart. You may want to consider bringing a change of clothes if you want to join in the fun. If the weather is bad, we will eat inside.

 

We Need Your Help

We are celebrating 150 years as a congregation because generations of members and friends know it takes many hands to make things work well. This event is another opportunity to work together to make something wonderful happen. Here are some ways you can help us make something wonderful happen.

  • Help go through the archives to create history displays
  • Supervise the inflatables for a shift at the picnic to keep everybody safe
  • Be a grill master
  • Decorate for the Saturday dinner
  • Sell logo wear and sun catchers on Saturday
  • Be on the setup and/or tear down crew
  • Give tours of our building on Saturday
  • Bring a side dish or dessert for the picnic on Sunday (we need all our local folks to do this)

To help with any of these areas, contact Judy in the office at (815)322-2464 or email her at office@treeoflifeuu.org  
otherwise she will track you down on Sunday or by phone (but don’t make her do that). 🙂

Make Your Plans Now for the Sesquicentennial!

Plan Now for Tree of Life Sesquicentennial Celebration!

Saturday April 23, 2016 and Sunday April 24, 2016

Here is what you need to know.

Saturday April 23rd

1-2pm Get a tour of our old building in Woodstock; now Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple. They completely reworked the first floor of the building and it is well worth a visit.

1pm-5pm Tours of our current building including the changes we made to turn this restaurant into a church and our plans for the future.

1pm – 10pm View displays of our history, purchase logo wear and chalice or tree of life fused glass sun catchers. Visit with old friends and new.

5:30pm– Catered dinner with entertainment courtesy of Tom Steffens and company. Free will offerings will be taken to offset costs of the event and to restore the Lopatin Stained Glass Windows.

Sunday April 24th

10:45am Sunday morning worship with Rev. Barbara Merritt who served our congregation from 1975 to 1982 and the adult choir. The sermon is: Celebrating the Past, Creating the Future: The Reality Principle.

12pm -3pm Community picnic on our spacious grounds with inflatables for the kids and young at heart. You may want to consider bringing a change of clothes if you want to join in the fun. If the weather is bad, we will eat inside.

We Need Your Help

We are celebrating 150 years as a congregation because generations of members and friends know it takes many hands to make things work well. This event is another opportunity to work together to make something wonderful happen. Here are some ways you can help us make something wonderful happen.

  • Help go through the archives to create history displays
  • Supervise the inflatables for a shift at the picnic to keep everybody safe
  • Be a grill master or help arrange for side dishes/desserts on Sunday
  • Decorate for the Saturday dinner
  • Sell logo wear and sun catchers on Saturday
  • Be on the setup and/or tear down crew
  • Give tours of our building on Saturday

To help with any of these areas, contact Judy in the office at (815)322-2464 or email her at

office@treeoflifeuu.org