What Are We Willing to Risk to Care for Others?

March 5, 2017 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe

Knowingly taking a risk, to care for another, springs from an inner awareness of how we all share Life together. How deeply and how consciously we see this connection is one way of growing our capacity to cherish others – including the others whom we may not understand or like.

Green Sanctuary Presents Chasing Ice

2014 Emmy winning film for News and Documentaries

James Balog, a skeptic about climate change headed to the Arctic with a band of young adventurers on assignment with National Geographic. The trip opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history. Balog deploys time lapse cameras across the Arctic to capture the changing landscape, delivering evidence of climate change and hope for the future.

Please join us for a screening of this beautiful film followed by a time for discussion. This is a good opportunity to meet other like-minded folks.

Friday February 24  7:00 PM

Tree of Life UU Congregation

5603 Bull Valley Rd


Admission is free

Rattle the Walls at Tree of Life

Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry, will host the inaugural concert of Rattle the Walls, a Chicago-based group of musical activists, at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 18. The concert will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.)

Founded by Forest Ransburg, Tree of Life’s music director, Rattle the Walls is a new organization of accomplished Midwest musicians dedicated to “bring music to a world in need of music, to give aid to those in need of aid, and to stand tall against those who need to be stood up to.”

Forrest Ransburg: Rattle the Walls founder and Tree of Life Music Director


“Our first concert will feature a diverse group of musicians from and will feature a variety of instrumentalists and genres, including contemporary art music, pop, jazz, classical masterpieces, and more,” Ransburg said. “Our group is about inclusion, and our diverse programming is reflective of that goal.”

Each Rattle the Walls concert will benefit an organization working for social justice.

Donations can be in the form of a personal check made out to the ACLU, a cash donation, or a printed confirmation of an online donation that was made earlier in any amount.

Among the musicians performing will be Jesse Lyons and Jordan Knudson, a voice and guitar duo from Chicago; singer/songwriter Cassandra Vohs-Demann of Woodstock; vocalist Carrie MacDonald of McHenry; classical soprano Dana Vetter of Milwaukee; oboist Jen Gardner of Chicago; jazz and contemporary multi-instrumentalist Devin Fanslow of Chicago; multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Mula of Chicago; Ransburg, a contemporary art music multi-instrumentalist; and the Tree of Life Choir which recently toured in Europe.

The concert is also the second in a series of special events organized by Tree of Life’s Social Justice Team “responding to looming threats to American values of freedom, democracy, and justice with joy and employing the power of the arts.”

The first was the Justice for All Ball in January. On March 10 there will be a Poets in Resistance reading and rally at the church.

There will be adult beverages, coffee, and soft drinks available and baked goods for sale to help defer expenses of the program.

Identity: Whole and Holy by Rabbi Maralee Gordon

On Sunday February 5, 2017 retired Rabbi Maralee Gordon presented the sermon Identity: Whole and Holy at Tree of Life exploring the wisdom of Hillel the Elder and the words “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” Click on the link below to read her inspirational sermon.

Rabbi Maralee Gordon’s Sermon




Identity, Belonging, and Heresy

Sunday February 19, 2017 10:45am

We all have a need to belong, yet it can be difficult to hold on to our own unique identity when we are part of a group. Unitarian Universalism offers us a “positive heresy” that encourages us to be our truest selves in community. This sermon was written and delivered at Tree of Life by Rev. Jennifer Slade in 2012, and will be shared by Carol Alfus.

Year of the Rooster

Sunday February 12, 2017 10:45am

Join the Religious Education Committee for our 2nd All Ages Service of this new year as we acknowledge and learn more about the celebrations surrounding the Chinese New Year, the year of the Rooster.  Along with other rituals, the Chinese celebrate with an annual family reunion including  a special meal.  Help us bring awareness and honor the celebration of family reunion, and clear the slate for good fortune in the new year. There will be a light dish that we will all share together, as well as special music by our talented music director, Forrest Ransburg, as well as special pre-recorded selections to complement the occasion.  All Ages Services are family oriented, although if you prefer, Nursery Care will be available for those 3 and under.

This is also our Second Sunday collection day. We will be sharing the plate with Habitat for Humanity. If donating by check, please make your check out to TOLUUC and indicate Second Sunday or pledge in the memo line.