Book Study

Beginning January 27th at 7:00 pm, Lou Ness is hosting a group for anyone interested in studying Karen Armstrong’s new book, “The Lost Art of Scripture.” The Armstrong book has been highly reviewed, well researched and offers a new way of considering the history and intention of the Scriptures. In the first meeting members will outline a working structure for the group, create agreements that will allow for healthy and hopefully edgy conversations, and set out future dates and times. 

For more information please call Lou at 815-404-7246 or simply attend the first group (weather permitting) on

January 27th, 2020

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

466 W. Jackson, 

Woodstock, Ill 60098

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

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.   As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. (Wikipedia)

For UU’s, any discussion of integrity is apt to include words about wholeness along with the implied personal “goodness.”  And wholeness always embraces how we are put together – including the very important restoration and healing of missing and broken parts.  Looking at the integrity of our wholeness is an invitation to examine the wealth of our inner selves, to recognize what is inherently already ours.

UU minister, Scott Tayler, tells us “the call of integrity is not “Be perfect.” or “Be good.” but “Be yourself!”  Know your center.  Know what makes you uniquely you. And live from that place!  Forget the masks. Forget the “shoulds” and the “suppose tos.”  Just figure out what takes you to that place of deep gladness and to that remain true! This doesn’t mean abandoning the task of doing the right thing;  it just means that you will know what the right thing is when deep joy accompanies your choice.   Integrity and joy.  They are companions on the spiritual journey. “

The January Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning and possibilities of “integrity” – to reflect on how we can experience it in our lives and how it is a part of sharing 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’re gone.   You might also like joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – you can find information about the circles here and there are also flyers in the fellowship room.

Wishing you joy in community,

M. E. Tanabe

Living with Integrity

Sunday, January 5, 2020, 10:45am

Rev. Michelle Lattanzio, guest speaker

What does it mean to be a people of integrity? Integrity is not
something that is inborn; it is learned (and re-learned, and refined)
throughout our lives. Let’s explore together how integrity functions in
our communities and ourselves.

Climate Change/Climate Justice comes to Religious Education in 2020

Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry, IL is pleased to announce that our 4-12th grade students will be studying Climate Change/Climate justice in 2020. Topics will include: Food Supply, Human Health, Immigration, Energy, Transportation, and much, much more. Using curricula from the Unitarian Universalist Association and Alliance for Climate Education in combination with many guest speakers to share their experience with local climate concerns in McHenry County the congregation hopes to increase awareness and empower youth to take action. Classes will be held on Sunday mornings from 10:45 to 12:15. Parents may register their new students at

Please email with any questions!

Please share widely! Climate Change and Climate Justice impacts the world!

The Christmas Star, Myth or Magic?

Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 7:00pm

We gather on Christmas Eve to renew ourselves in this season of good will, to kindle hope and celebrate the gift of life. Join visiting preacher and special friend of Tree of Life, Lou Ness, and Music Director, Cassandra Vohs-Demann, for a service that weaves special music, stories for children, meditations and a message created to contemplate the mystery of the Star that shone that special night centuries ago. Rekindle the magic of seeing the season through a child’s heart, if only for a few days. 

Image by Angeles Balaguer from Pixabay