Taking a Leap of Faith

Sunday, February 27, 2019 10:45am

As we begin the covenanting process, the Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck in a shortened worship service, talks about the possibilities that lie in taking a leap of faith. Although short, our choir will be singing. Following the service we will break into smaller groups to work on a congregational covenant.

Our Month of Possibility

Dear Friends,

The theme for the month of January is Possibility. It’s of possibilities that I wish to speak about here. On January 27, we’re going to have a shortened worship service to begin the process of creating a congregational covenant. This will serve two purposes, the first being that we will make official the rules of engagement that we’ll have with each other—be that in committee meetings, social gatherings, or in worship services. The second reason being that this covenant will also be the framework for which the Right Relations Team will use to do their work.

Conflict is inevitable—what matters is how it’s handled. Is it handled in such a way that the people or organizations involved figure out a way to resolve their differences and have a way to move forward? Or does it descend into triangulation, name calling and hurt feelings that are never addressed? I don’t believe that most people like conflict. I know I don’t. I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid it. Much like Jonah who in trying to avoid what God had asked him to do, avoiding something has hidden consequences. For me, when I try to avoid conflict, the conflict itself doesn’t get resolved and it usually gets worse before it gets better. As for Jonah, well, we know what happened to him. While I don’t think Tree of Life is going to be swallowed by a literal Great Fish, unresolved conflict can be a great fish unto itself. It might not be an animal that swallows us whole, but unresolved conflict can kind of feel like being swallowed whole.

I have great hopes for the creation of this congregational covenant. And I look forward to walking with you all through the process. To get the process moving in the right direction, I have enclosed some sample covenants for you all to look at and be thinking about when we break into small groups on the 27th. I hope as many of you as possible can join us on that Sunday. See you then!

Kevin DeBeck minister@treeoflifeuu.org

5 Sample Covenants

Atkinson Memorial Covenant of Right RelationsEvanston Covenant of Engagement

Just Trust Me

Sunday, February 3, 2019 10:45am

How many times have you heard those three little words? What does trust mean to you and what are the implications in our lives when trust is broken? How do institutions violate our trust?

Trust, sometimes easily given, leaves deep scars when violated. Many of the barriers to a successful life are the result of broken trust and violation of our tender beings. How can we build resiliency and thrive in a world where many times unwittingly people break trust?

If this theme resonates with you, join Lou Ness for a conversation about learning to trust yourself first, others second and building bridges to wholeness in relationships.

Creative Maladjustment

Rev. Misha Sanders

Sunday, January 20, 2019, 10:45am

We will consider some of the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and wonder together about their creative possibilities in our our own lives and communities.

Rev. Misha Sanders served this congregation as an intern minister and we are thrilled to welcome her back as a fully ordained minister.

“There Are Always Possibilities–Looking Behind, Looking Ahead “

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 10:45 am

In his first service of the New Year, the Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck reflects on lessons from the previous year to imagine the possibilities for the upcoming year.

Our Second Sunday collection will go to Thresholds

Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives.

Thresholds is one of the oldest and largest providers of recovery services for persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois. We reject the notion that anyone is a lost cause, utilizing evidence-based practices and a wide range of supports to treat the whole person, rather than just the disease.

They offer 30 innovative programs at more than 100 locations throughout Chicago, the adjacent suburbs, and nine surrounding counties. Services include assertive outreach, case management, housing, employment, education, psychiatry, primary care, substance use treatment, and research. Last year, Thresholds served more than 16,000 adults and youth, with 75% of services delivered out in the community, representing more than 500,000 hours of care.