Coffee with Questions and Climate Change

You can click on the audio file above to listen to the Coffee with Questions discussion lead by Russ Marks regarding Paul Tillich and Climate Change on August 28, 2016. These discussions are open to the public and are held at 9:15am most Sunday mornings at Tree of Life. We invite you to join us.

Coffee with Questions Intellectual Confusion and Clarity

Click on the track above to hear the Coffee with Questions discussion on Sunday August 14, 2016. Better yet, join us this Sunday August 28th  at 9:15am as the group discusses

Topic: Paul Tillich and Climate Change

Presenter: Russ Marks {Formated by Bob Jackson]


I am writing a book on Paul Tillich and Climate Change. You are welcome to contribute to the book.

Hans Jonas writes:” We are the first generation forced to ask the question whether there will be future generations.” John T. Pawlikowski reviews Jonas’s book and writes in response to Jonas’s quote: Never had I been confronted in such a dramatic fashion about the condition of the creation of which I shared as a human person. Never had I understood the depth of responsibility that I and the people of my generation now shared for the survival of planet Earth and the life it sustains.

Paul Tillich was the voice of responsibility in another generation. Tillich located the problem of human existence in sin or separation. Man was separated from himself, others and the ground of his being. Man’s only salvation was through grace or reunion. Man now is fundamentally separated from nature which reflects the separation of himself, others and the ground of his being.

Tillich writes that “Grace strikes us:

1) “when we are in great pain or restlessness.

2) “It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.

3) “It strikes us when we feel our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved or from which we were estranged.

4) It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of discipline and composure have become intolerable to us. “

5) It strikes us when year after year, the longed for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.”

In these 5 sentences, Tillich has taken us to the depths of human experience which he lived during World War Two and which we now live with climate change.

Which one of these five sentences about grace points to your own experiences with climate change? Explore the sentences in relationship with separation and grace.

Covenant and Citizenship

Sunday September 25, 2016 10:45am

Rev. Sean Parker Dennison

There is a lot going on in our nation and the world. Some of it is heart-breaking, some of it is frightening, and some of it is hopeful. What are our responsibilities as citizens? What if we considered our citizenship a covenant? Should our politics and our beliefs connect? How?

From 1 to 512 in 10 Weeks

Sunday September 18, 2016 10:45am

Larry Dille

Larry and Ann Dille are moving to Arizona this fall. On September 18, Larry will be giving his “swan song” remarks. Larry and Ann have been active members since 1972. During those
years, they have witnessed the Church meet the challenges of member growth and financial stability, while always moving toward their Vision. In his remarks, Larry will visit the past actions taken to grow our Church. Then, he will suggest how today’s Church can overcome its current challenges Larry has given speeches from Singapore to Dubai, and from Spain to Austria with stops in Orrville, Ohio. He is known for making his participants feel, think, learn, and laugh. He plans to create the same atmosphere for you during his Sunday remarks. Larry looks forward to seeing all of you at his “swan song” on the 18th.

Renewing Our Covenant

Sunday September 11, 2016 10:45am

Rev. Sean Parker Dennison

In our annual Kickoff Sunday, we renew the promises that form our community. As Religious Education classes begin, we reflect on the purpose and mission, and recommit ourselves to each other and to building a more compassionate world.

For Such A Time As This…Maybe

Sunday September 4, 2016 10:45am

Intern Minister, Misha Sanders

A low-pressure call to whatever action your heart is guiding you to take to make the world just a little bit better. Or maybe to save your whole nation, who knows? Let’s explore the Hebrew scriptural story of Esther, and see if we find ourselves anywhere in it.

Water Ceremony

Sunday August 28, 2016 10:45am

Intern Minister, Michelle Lattanzio and Sam Jones, DRE

At Tree of Life, we mark the end of summer by coming together and sharing stories from the Summer. Join intern minister, Michelle Lattanzio, and Director of Religious Education, Sam Jones, in this All Ages Service. In our water ceremony, we bring water that symbolizes something meaningful from our summer and each person or family has a chance to share the water’s meaning and pour their water into the common bowl that represents our community. The service includes music, stories, and sharing about the power and beauty of water and the power and beauty of our connection to the earth and to each other. Please join us for one of our favorite services of the year and don’t forget your water!

Barn Service at Tinkler’s Barn

Sunday August 21, 2016 10:45am

On August 21st , thanks to our gracious hosts, the Tinkler family, we will have our annual Barn Service at 11314 McConnell Rd. Woodstock IL at 10:45. This is a special service that includes a pot luck afterwards, so pull out your special recipes and prepare for a feast! This month’s theme of “Celebration” will be incorporated into a musical sharing. We are asking for musicians to come forth and share a special tune with the congregation. For those who express their talents in other ways, there is also an opportunity to share a poem or short story or interpretive dance regarding a memorable moment involving music. There are a limited number of slots, so contact Sam Jones via email at, no later than August 12th.

“In All Thy Getting, Get Understanding”

August 14, 2016

Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout

What do we enter into congregational life hoping to get? So many things, perhaps – but underneath the consumer’s idea of acquisition is the pull to a deeper encounter with the experience, hope, heartbreak and yearning of others in community. Can we be a place of deep encounter where borders are crossed and faiths connect, where real stories and real struggle intersect and understanding arises anew?

This is a sermon recorded at General Assembly and will be re-brodcasted during the Sunday service.