Come Sing a Song With Me

Sunday January 7, 2017 10:45am

Tricia Alexander and M.E. Tanabe

Music! What a wonderful way to begin the New Year at TOL – celebrating our community through singing! Tricia Alexander is joining us to lead in singing songs of the heart. We’ll be sharing songs for voices of all ages and sharing the joy of being together.

Celebrating a Community of Hope – Sharing and Listening

Sunday, December 31, 2017, 10:45 am

Tree of Life Voices

We’ll each be a part of the worship message. In small groups we’ll take on big questions — carefully listening to what others have to say and gently exploring how we and our own thoughts are important to the community. This service is designed to be welcoming to all ages — how life affirming to create a “space” to invite sharing from all generations.

Sharing the Gift of Hope

Sunday, December 24, 2017, 7:00 pm

With carols and candlelight we celebrate the joy of Christmas in our lives and community. This communal joy renews and reminds us of the powerful hope that we can share with others. The service ends with lighting candles and singing Silent Night. There will be no morning service that day.


Soul Matters at Tree of Life: Being a Community of Hope

Barbara Kingsolver writes, “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for.   And the most you can do is live inside that hope.”

Sometimes we think of hope as a kind of wishfulness or as an ingredient in optimism….  But when we talk about the power of hope from a spiritual perspective, the experience of hope is fundamentally different.  It is resilient, enduring, courageous, and occasionally bold..  When we have passed through difficulties and hard times, there is a lingering appreciation for how hope strengthens our vision and revitalizes our purpose.

There is also a good chance that many of us have had some occasion to lose hope.  Such occasions can serve as powerful reminders of the difference between living inside hope and finding ourselves in a state of defeat and lacking motivation.  Ultimately, an understanding of hope is only possible because of our experiences of passing through adversity.

Hope is also a measure of our connection: to a life of meaning, to a community, and to a larger purpose of action and Karen Herring identifies this thought by observing, “During the many times I have lost sight of hope from my window, I have felt grateful when friends have invited me to view it from theirs.”

A natural environment for hope is in community.  Kirk Loadman-Copeland writes:   “ The Common Good is affected by our individual and collective experiences and how we view the present and the future. When hopeful, we invest in the Common Good, believing the results will be worthwhile. Our circle of concern extends to include the “Other.” When fearful, our circle of concern shrinks.  We abandon the Common Good, and in so doing, imperil the future.”   As a community, I think it can be helpful for us to consider and remember this.  And to offer encouragement for working towards and holding onto hope, we have this thought from Barack Obama:  “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

This month may we come together as a community in exploring the meaning of “hope” – as we think about ways to experience it our lives and as we work to see it manifested around us.  The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take a copy from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.

Wishing you joy in community,  M.E. Tanabe


‘Tis the Season!

Please join us for Tree of Life’s beloved annual holiday concert! The theme this year is ‘Tis the Season. We celebrate great themes of Christmastime. Themes of Winter’s First Snow, Fireside Glow, and Good Friends You Know combine to inspire that special magic that only music of the holidays can! The concert will feature the wonderful Tree of Life Choir, the delightful First Notes youth program, and some fabulous guest musicians who will come together to make an afternoon of beautiful music! Please join us at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation on December 17th at 3:00 PM to enjoy this concert.

UU Military Ministry Administrator/Lay Leader Job Opening

The Military Ministry conducts UU services for recruits at the Navy’s Great Lakes boot camp.  There is an immediate opening for an administrator to coordinate the work of the lay leaders and serve as liaison with the Chaplain’s office.  This person would also serve as one of the five lay leaders.  The position pays $500/month; workload averages about four hours a week.  It’s open to UU men and women (about a quarter of the recruits are women), regardless of age, race or sexual orientation. Military experience is not required. There are also openings for volunteer lay leaders.  If interested, email Roger Baron at or call 847-291-1082 (cell: 312-560-8382).

Fire Communion

Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:45am

Sam Jones

What parts of our lives-what things, ideas, people, ways of liging-have become obstacles to our becoming the people we want to be, the people we NEED to be? What’s holding you back? What’s getting in the way of you living as fully as you’d like to? What might you want to “burn away”? What troubles, problems, issues, would you like to put in your past, move beyond? Join us, for in this service, we offer an opportunity to burn away what is no longer wanted or needed in our lives, through a ritual that will help to symbolically clear the way for a renewed journey into the new year.

Join us again at 3 pm for our annual music concert.