Cookie Donations for TOLUUC Cookie Walk & Holiday Sale

We are so grateful for all cookie donations to the TOLUUC Cookie Walk & Holiday Sale coming up Saturday, December 14!

We’ve got a few tips if you’re looking for some help in choosing a recipe. Over the years and doing research into “Cookie Walk Best Practices,” we have found out a few things about what works best:

  1. Decorated and specialty Christmas cookies are top sellers precisely because most people just don’t have the time to make them anymore.  Eye appeal is really important for this holiday time.
  2. Even though they are delicious cookies, these types just don’t sell very well:  chocolate chip, oatmeal, plain cookies with no decorations.
  3. It’s important to label cookies with an appealing title – help us by sending along a note with your cookie name.
  4. Here’s a link to some great cookie ideas if you’re looking for inspiration:
  5. And to make our Cookie Walk a success, we need dozens and dozens of cookies! 

Finally, we thank everyone who will be working so hard – no matter what cookie recipe you use – to help make this TOL fundraiser a success.  Questions or need ideas, please call Karen Meyer, 815-338-6023, or Mary Robinson, 815-455-8007.

Remember we also welcome donations of gently used holiday decorations and your handcrafted artisan gift items.

Fall FUUNdraiser This Friday!

And Bid Big!

Our biggest fundraiser of the year is this Friday, November 8, 2019 at 6pm and you really don’t want to miss it. Join us for a night of fun bidding, raffles, open bar, snacks, and entertainment. We don’t even charge an entry fee. Check out our extensive catalog and even start bidding here.

Want to bring the kids? Make sure you RSVP to by Thursday. Fun games and activities are planned for the kids but we need to know who is coming.

10% of the proceeds are being given to Pioneer Center of McHenry County to support the opening of a year round homeless shelter. The rest will go into our general budget to support the worship, music, programming, and facilities that keep our community connected.

Holiday Pause for Self Kindness

Moving into the holidays….. what a wonderful time for a  pause!   During this season we often find ourselves with many obligations  —  frequently  accompanied by unexpected challenges and disappointments.  High expectations during the holiday season can leave us feeling over-extended, stressed, or disconnected.  

So let’s take time for a pause for centering ourselves and  for becoming better connected to those around us.  Join us as we give ourselves time to reflect on where and how we are,  and to explore ways to offer ourselves some loving kindness.  This kind of attention and self-care can bring us to a moment of gratitude and help us to then offer the best of ourselves to others and to all that we would do. 

We’ve prepared a program to look at how we can stay grounded and centered. Please, join M.E. Tanabe and Brenda Cox as we pause from the season’s busy-ness to connect with what is meaningful to us as unique individuals.

This gathering meets December 1, 2019 at 9:15– 10:15 am and will be held in the basement social room.  For any questions or additional information, please call or e-mail Brenda at 815-482-8672

Calling All Performers! Open Mic Night Returns Nov. 2nd

Dear Performers,

We’re back!!  Tree of Life UUC Open Mic will be live on November 2, 2019 from 7-10 pm.  We would love for you to be with us and share your talent.  Musicians, tellers of funny stories, and poets are all welcome to take the stage.  We have a grand piano, a PA, and 3  microphones available; guitarists should bring their own amps.  Sorry, out space cannot accommodate bands with multiple electronic instruments.  Bring your friends to see you perform, and to enjoy the camaraderie of coffee, tea, and soft drinks.   

 We have a limited number of 10 minute time slots.  Please sign up by October 27 at to reserve a spot.  We ask performers to time their acts, including introductions and commentary.  Please arrive by 6:45.  For information, email or call Tree of Life UUC at 815-322-2464.

We look forward to seeing you on November 2.

The Music Committee at Tree of Life UUC

5603 West Bull Valley Road

McHenry IL 60050

We Draw From Many Wells: Water Communion September 15, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:45am

As all rivers run to the sea, water is our great connector. In this service you are invited to share water in one of four ways: in awareness of scarcity; in recognition of change; as a symbol of the “storms” in our lives; in thanks for the “wellsprings” that bring us joy.

This year Water communion will be conducted differently than it has in the past. This all-ages service will consider water as a symbol that connects us to each other,  and our sharing will serve as the day’s sermon. There will be 4 periods of sharing water: 

First we will have a chance to share water that reminds us that while some have abundance, others struggle in scarcity.

Second we will share water that symbolizes travel, movement and change.

Third we will share water that reminds us of life’s storms: our concerns, worries, frustrations and losses.

Finally, we’ll share water that reminds us of the wellsprings of our lives.

No need to bring water with you this year.

Please join us for this special service, which also features our choir’s first performance under our new Music Director, Cassandra Vohs-Demann!

After the service please stay for our Annual Welcome Back Picnic.

Annual Welcome Back Picnic

Sunday, September 15, 2019, noon to 3pm

Following our Water Communion service on September 15th, we will be having our annual church picnic on the lawn.  We will be serving pulled pork sandwiches (hot dogs will also be available).  The rest of the meal will be potluck — please bring a side dish or dessert to share.  Once again, our Green Sanctuary Team is requesting that everyone bring their own tableware so as to cut down on paper and plastic being used.  Let’s go GREEN!!   Please make sure the items you bring have been prepared ahead of time and are ready to set out.  All food dishes should be brought to the kitchen before the service.  There will be a bounce house, games and activities for all to enjoy.  If you know of someone who has expressed an interest in coming to Tree of Life, this would be a fun way to introduce them to the congregation. The festivities will begin after the service and continue until 3:00 p.m.  We will need help with various tasks — there are sign-up sheets in the social room so please help us put together (and take down) a fun-filled event!

Seeds of Hope

“ …I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”  — Henry D. Thoreau

On August  11th after  worship, Tree of Life is hosting a community opportunity to create ceramic seeds of hope as a memorial to all those who have died by violence in their places of worship or while practicing their faith.  The Charleston AME Church, the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue and the two mosques (Al Noor and Linwood Islamic Centre) in Christchurch are recent survivors of this kind of wounding.   But even our own faith has been challenged in this way with the 2008 Knoxville UU attack .   We will be joined by  Laura McLuckie-Khandan, a local artist and member of the Baha’i  community, as she leads us in creating these seeds as a gesture of hope and a commitment to promoting understanding.  

          The project is designed for both families and individuals and lasts about 1 ½ hours.  We encourage you to pack a sandwich for after worship and we’ll begin the project a little after 12:00.  Seeds will be created in clay with individual messages of hope written on them and then they’ll be fired.  The intention is for the seeds to be shared as a rotating exhibit to places of worship and then ultimately to be “planted” in a sustainable garden.

As with participation in a vigil, creating these seeds is a visible act of love and of community dedication to overcoming environments of fear and separation.  Projects such as this, support  our own UU commitment to Side of Love.  We hope you can join in.

If you have questions please contact   Janet Burns  847.542 .7678,   M. E. Tanabe  815. 337. 9895,  or  Laura McLuckie-Khandan   224.339.4739

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