What Have We Learned in 100 Years?

Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:45am

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I, or the Great War, or the War to End All Wars. The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck looks at what caused one of the worst conflicts in human history and tries to draw lessons that apply to us today.

What Does It Mean to Provide Sanctuary?

Sunday, October 28, 2018 10:45am

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Christian New Testament, Matthew 25, verse 35 and 36.

Providing Sanctuary is more than just putting a roof over a person’s head. The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck will talk about other ways that we as Unitarian Universalists provide sanctuary to a hurting world.

The night before, our community will be participating in Camp Compassion and the experience will be integrated into today’s service. Here are the details for Camp Compassion:

Camp Compassion

Please join us for Camp Compassion!
This is a special, one time event co-sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and the Religious Education Committee here at Tree of Life UU. Here’s what you need to know:

-Yes. We will be sleeping outside in tents or cars here at TOL on Saturday, October 27th (6pm start time) to raise funds for Compassion for Campers.

-Yes. This is a family event. Each participating student will need an adult supervisor (parent, guardian, or designated care provider).

-Yes. All members and friends are welcome to join us.

-Yes. We will have a shared campfire available for cooking. Each family will bring their own food and water for dinner and breakfast. Sharing is encouraged; keep in mind that some participants may have food allergies. Please confirm with parents before sharing your food with children!

-Yes. We will watch a movie in the evening (inside to help us warm up!).

-Yes. There will be a prize awarded to the family who raises the most funds!

-Yes. The building will be opened at designated times for bathroom access and will be opened by a key-carrier as needed in-between those times.

-Yes. It is likely to be cold! Come prepared!

-Yes. You can participate if you can not sleep out! Simply let your donors know you are raising funds for the homeless, but not sleeping outside that day.

-Yes. We will have discussions about our homeless neighbors. This is both a fundraiser and a learning experience! (And we may have some fun, too.)

-Yes. The event will culminate with our participation in worship service Sunday Oct. 28; please plan to stay through worship service!

-Yes. You will probably smell like campfire, have bed head, need a toothbrush, and have a desire to curl up to someone warm during the worship service on Sunday. Consider this your badge of honor for making it through the previous evening!

-Yes. This is a fundraiser. Pledge forms will be available after service on Sunday.

Still have questions? Please call Heather Madaus 815-509-7862 or Sue Rekenthaler 815-678-7072 or Janet Burns 847-542-7678.

Celebrating Life Through Music: Refuge; The Church of What We Know

Sunday October 21, 2018 10:45am

For our worship service, Peter Mayer leads us in word and song sharing his insights into Unitarian Universalism and how it connects us spiritually with the world as we experience it and as science provides us a picture. Peter is the composer/songwriter of such beautiful and meaning-filled songs as Blue Boat Home, Everything is Holy Now, and God is a River.

We are offering two opportunities with Peter Mayer. He is also going to perform a concert the night before our service.

Get Your Tickets NOW to see Peter Mayer in Concert! 

 Saturday, October 20th   7:00 pm at First Congregational Church in Crystal Lake. 461 Pierson, Crystal Lake.

To have adequate seating, First Congregational in Crystal Lake is partnering with us. Only $20 in advance online.


Even with online fees, you will only pay $21.50 per ticket. Or $25 at the door.

You can get more information about Peter Mayer on our web site https://treeoflifeuu.org/2018/07/26/tree-of-life-hosts-peter-mayer/

We are selling tickets to the concert to pay for Peter’s Sunday service. If we do not sell enough tickets, worship arts will have far less money to bring us other amazing speakers and performers. At the concert, Peter will be performing a full concert’s worth of music and only a few songs on Sunday. Come soak up all that Peter has to offer us.

Fall FUNdraising Auction Raffle Announced

You are not going to want to miss out on these great raffle prizes.

The Stewardship Committee at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation
will hold a raffle as part of the Fall FUNdraising Auction. 10% of money raised will
benefit PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter.) The raffle will start Sunday,
October 21 and run through Saturday, November 10. Raffle tickets are $5 each
or five for $20. On Saturday, November 10, during the Fall FUNdraising Auction
event, tickets will be available for purchase. The drawing will take place near the
end of the event. Winners need not be present.
Five amazing items have been created for this raffle. Values range from $250 to
$600. See descriptions on reverse side.
Cash or checks. Please write checks to TOLUUC. Or contact the office to pay by credit card. 815-322-2464 Monday-Friday 10-2.

1 The Lake Cottage – Value $300
The Lake Cottage, located in Crystal Lake, is a year-round vacation home comfortably furnished
for a family, a group of friends, or a romantic rendezvous. The home would be great for up to
four adults and children. One dog is permitted; yard is fenced. Pick two weekdays or a weekend
during May and June of 2019. Please make your reservation by December 31, 2018. Thank
you, Rebecca and Jim.

2 Wine Wagon – Value $350
The Stewardship Committee at TOLUUC has created an amazing array of 33 bottles of their
personal favorites. Types range from Pinot Grigio to Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc to
Chianti to Canadian Ice Wine. By the way, the wagon, which would be great to take to Ravinia
or a family picnic, is yours to keep and enjoy!

3 Stock Your Bar – Value $250
Ready to start up your new bar or add to your present collection? This is 6 bottles of high end
liquors. Thank you Judy, Tom and Beth.
Grey Goose Vodka
Tanqueray Gin
Tres Generaciones Tequila
El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum
Proper Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey
Aberfeldy Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey – 12 Year Old

4 Cats #15 of 20 and #5 of 20 by Bill Stone – Value $600
These unique painted hydracal casts of cat heads on a wooden stand are 11” x 5 1/2” and
“purrfect” for that lover of felines. Thank you, Bill.

5 Marriott Lincolnshire Theater Package Gift Certificate – Value $350
This gift certificate can cover dinner, two tickets to a musical, room for one night, and breakfast
the next day. NOW… if they want to celebrate with a $1000 bottle of Dom, they can pay for it
themselves!! Thank you Sue and Kaz.



Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:45am

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

How does a person make up for a past wrong? What has to be done to get back into covenant with one another? The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck looks at what atonement meant for people in ages past and what it means to us today.

Soul Matters at Tree of Life: Being a People of Sanctuary

Usually we think of “sanctuary” as a place of safety and protection, but in this month’s Soul Matters theme we are invited to consider larger view possibilities.  One such view is offered by Parker Palmer:

“When I was a kid, “sanctuary” meant only one thing.  It was the big room with the stained-glass windows and hard wooden benches where my family worshipped every Sunday.  Church attendance was not optional for my sisters and me, so that sanctuary was where I learned to pray — pray that the service would end, and God would release me back into the wild.  

Today, after 77 years of life in a world that’s both astonishingly beautiful and horrifically cruel, “sanctuary” is as vital as breathing to me. Sometimes I find it in churches, monasteries, and other sites designated as sacred.  But more often I find it in places sacred to my soul:  in the natural world, in the company of a trustworthy friend, in solitary or shared silence, in the ambience of a good poem or good music.   Sanctuary is wherever I find safe space to regain my bearings, reclaim my soul, heal my wounds, and return to the world as a wounded healer.   It’s not merely about finding shelter from the storm: it’s about spiritual survival.”

The October Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning of “sanctuary” – as we consider how we experience it in our lives and how it is a part of our experience in community.   We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles.  The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.   You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – there are chalice circle flyers in the fellowship room with information about this program.

Wishing you joy in community,   M.E. Tanabe

October News from Our Minister

Greetings everyone. First of all, I want to thank all those who sent me good wishes before I went to Boston to visit the Ministerial Fellowship Committee at the end of September.  Your support and good feelings helped me achieve something that I’ve been working toward since starting seminary 4 years ago—becoming a fellowshipped minister with the UUA. Our congregational polity states that any church can ordain anyone they wish, regardless if a person is fellowshipped with the UUA or not. I chose to go through with that process because I want the sanction of our national governing body. Now that I’ve passed, I can become ordained.  When, how and where that happens remains to be seen. But I will keep you all up to date as that progresses. But for now, I can say that I’ve graduated from the Not Yet Rev. Kevin to Almost Rev. Kevin.

This month’s theme is Sanctuary. This past summer this church became a literal sanctuary to a family from Romania.  I was pleased to hear that they have all been reunited in Romania and that our church was a big help in keeping that family together. I’ve also been thinking about recent news events that have brought to light issues of white supremacy and toxic masculinity and the intersectionality of both. While no institution is free of either of these issues, my hope is that our church can be a sanctuary where we can talk about what white supremacy means and how it’s affected all of us. Perhaps by opening a dialog with each other, and eventually the wider world around us, we can find ways to heal each other from participating in a culture we didn’t ask for. Perhaps we can offer sanctuary to those who don’t want to partake in the institutions that prevent us from being our best selves, that find ways to prevent us from being fully human. As I mentioned during the window dedication, my hope is that we can be the beacon that can help heal a bruised and hurting world.

Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

Fall FUNdraising Auction is Coming!

We are kicking off our Fall FUNdraising Auction with this fun video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3MMNablKlU

Do you want your party on our next video? Now is your chance to let us know about it.

Soon we will announce our 5 raffle items that are sure to knock your socks off. Tickets will be $5 each or 5 for $20.

When is this awesome event you ask? Saturday, November 10th at 6pm.