Beauty in the Barn

Sunday, June 23, 2019, 10:45am

How have you been touched by beauty in your life, and what can we all do to make the world more beautiful? We will be considering these questions at our annual Barn Service at the Tinkler Family barn 11314 McConnell Rd., Woodstock. Please bring a flower to add to the Flower Wheel, one of the beautiful traditions of this service. We hope everyone will stay after the service for a pot luck lunch; please bring a dish to share.

Welcome to our Month of Beauty

If one were to peel back the influences that pop culture has had on me, one of the biggest would be science fiction. From an early age, it was science fiction stories and shows that grabbed my attention. So, it should come as no surprise that when I think about the theme for the month of June, beauty, the first thought that comes to my mind is from a classic science fiction show.

The show in question is the original Twilight Zone, and the episode that comes to mind is one titled Eye of the Beholder. Perhaps you’ve seen it too? For most of the episode, we see a person in the hospital with bandages around their face, talking about an operation that was a last chance to alter a physical deformity. We, the viewers, don’t see the faces of the doctors and nurses who are telling the patient that regardless of how this operation comes out, the bandaged person can live a happy, normal life. This being the Twilight Zone, there’s a twist ending. Spoiler alert—once the bandages are removed, the person looks like a “normal” person. We then see the faces of those who were talking to her and they all have malformed faces, turning the idea of what is beautiful and what is ugly on its head.  This episode was written by Rod Sterling, a noted Unitarian Universalist. The episode debuted in November of 1960 and the message it sends is still relevant to us today—that beauty is a subjective thing, not to be dictated by a government or society.

For many years the idea of what is beautiful and what is not has been informed by white supremacy in our popular culture. When one looks at magazine covers or what we see in movies or television, up until recently there were very few people of color that were represented in these mediums, which is why Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura on Star Trek was such a groundbreaking role. Representation matters. In our current political climate, white supremacist ideals are re-asserting themselves. It’s up to us, as allies and as people of conscience, to fight white supremacist ideals, ideals like voter suppression, putting children in cages, or from police shootings and so on.

One of my favorite books is Ms. Rumphius, who is tasked by her grandfather to make the world a more beautiful place. This is a task that I give to you all—to make the world a more beautiful place, be it through the ballot box, social justice, or by taking to heart a science fiction show that held up a mirror to our own failings in an effort to teach us something. Amen, and blessed be.

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

Our Story

Saturday, June 22, 2019 10-11am at the Woodstock Library

We are holding a special Story Time and Craft event to speak directly to the experience of  those with incarcerated loved ones. 

Hope you will join us in sharing this special event with youth and families coping with having a loved one in prison or jail.

There is a great need for a safe and supportive space to share and connect with others who are dealing with the unique challenges of experiencing familial incarceration.

Drop-ins are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

With gratitude,

Cheryl Niemo, Director, Jail Brakers Ministry

Tree of Life Church

5603 Bull Valley Rd., Mc Henry Il., 60050

Director- 224-422-7431

Church office 815-322-2464

Come, Sing a Song with Me

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Hymn Sing!  For all who love to sing and those who love to listen we will be singing hymns and listening to songs.
Ron Relic will be leading the service with Tom Steffens at the piano  and asks that you come with  requests of your favorite hymns from both hymnals.  

Farm Tour

FARM TOUR ON June 30, 2019

Please join your Green Sanctuary Team for an Afternoon at the Natural Farm Stand in Richmond.  We will tour the farm and talk about organic farming, soil conservation,and small farm challenges.

We will meet at Ginger Blossom, 3016 Illinois Rt 173, Richmond, Ill. on June 30, 2019, at 2PM.  Dress for walking through the fields. There will be a sign up sheet in the social room.

Change- it’s Everywhere!

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 10:45am

Our guest speaker, Lou Ness, says ” Just ask someone this question. “What’s new?” the most common answer, “Nothing.” They often go on to say yeah, nothings changed and that’s just not so. Change is everywhere all around us and occurs in each second. It’s how we partner to and jump into the adventure of change that determines how it Changes our lives. “