Be a part of it all

General Assembly is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates. Tree of Life is entitled to 3 voting delegates this year but we encourage you to go even if you cannot vote. The 2019 General Assembly will be June 19-23 in Spokane, Washington. Most General Assembly events will be held in the Spokane Convention Center.

The Power of We

What do we want Unitarian Universalism to be? It is a time when we are asking big questions in our faith, and GA 2019 will be focused on digging into those questions together. It is a critical chance for congregational leaders and passionate UUs to set new goals and aspirations for our religious community. Help begin to reshape our Association and our congregations in new and powerful ways.

This year’s theme is about collective power, “The Power of We,” as well as the possibility, the purpose, the struggle and the joy of what it means to be together in faithful community. In the past two years, Unitarian Universalism has recommitted to the work of liberation inside and outside our faith community. The antidote to a time of dangerous dehumanization is a love that connects us to our deeper humanity. Come to Spokane to experience what our shared faith can become when we embrace the Power of We. Here is a great video to get you excited. Click Here.

Registration and Housing Open March 1

GA Registration and the GA Housing Reservation System open at 9 a.m. PST at www.uua.org/ga

Spokane

The Spokane region is the gateway for adventure and exploration in the Intermountain Northwest. Located driving distance from Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, Spokane is nestled in natural beauty.  Check out this Spokane promotional video. Click Here.

Spokane is located on interstate I-90, 110 miles from the Canadian border and 18 miles from Idaho. It is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis.

Spokane International Airport (GEG) is serviced by Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United Airlines. Nonstop service is offered to 17 destinations, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, and LAX.

Spokane is accessible by rail via Amtrak’s Empire Builder route (Chicago – St. Paul/Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle). It is also reachable by Greyhound Bus.

Excellent Programming

GA will offer more than 100 programming selections over the course of five days. This year, in addition to Theme-Based Programming, the schedule will feature Role-Based Track Programming, including time for discussion among attendees, sharing inspiring models and stories, and concrete suggestions for how to further the work or “take it home.” More programming details are available at www.uua.org/ga.

Financial Aid Available

The UUA is committed to the goal of making GA accessible to as many attendees as possible. Go to uua.org/ga in the month of March to learn about scholarships to support delegates – particularly those from marginalized groups – and volunteer opportunities (work in exchange for registration).

In the Heart of Everything: A Seed of Life

Sunday, February 17, 2019, 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe

Life is continually unfolding  –  a sea of constant change and unpredictability.   With all the uncertainty, naturally we look for points of refuge to trust….  and we want to feel we can rely on what our experiences have shown us.   Some experiences are pretty straightforward  (fire is hot, ice is cold),  but other experiences processed through our perceptions and opinions become a little more tricky for reliability.  ….and so we need to move towards seeing into the heart of things  ….and into our own hearts as well

(The accompanying painting :  “The Seed of Life” by Krystleyez shows its Hindu influences and incorporates the “Om” symbol – which, among its many meanings, can signify “the heart and source of everything”)

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.

“The Tale of Christmas, Told in Story and Song “

Monday, December 24, 2018 7:00 pm

The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck

Come celebrate Christmas Eve at Tree of Life with stories and hymns from the season. The service ends by candlelight. A special offering will be taken to support our minister’s discretionary fund. This fund allows our minister to provide private financial assistance to our community when financial needs become a pastoral issue.