Balanced Life: An Oxymoron

Sunday, March 4, 2018, 10:45am

Gina Swinney

In a world filled with routines and deadlines, it is easy to feel as though the scales of our lives continually hang out of balance. Often, the time we spend doing what we need to do outweighs doing what we want to do. Frequently, we yearn for times that were more “simple”. Maybe “balance” isn’t an end, but instead a beginning. What if the goal we yearn for – a balanced life – is nothing more than an oxymoron?

The Path of Perseverance

Sunday, February 25, 2018, 10:45am

Life is persistent by nature, how many times after devastation or natural disaster have we seen new life spring forth.  In spite of opposition, whether it be from factors outside or inside ourselves, most of us persevere to achieve our goals, even if it’s just to get through the day.  Why?  What is it about life that appears to stubbornly persist to maintain itself?  How do we muster the persistence to continue putting one foot in front of the other?  What is the underlining impetus? Instead of pushing ourselves, perhaps we need to nurture ourselves and be more compassionate towards ourselves and others as we struggle with perseverance.  Join Sam Jones and members of the R.E. Committee to explore the possibilities together, as well as gain insight, about coping strategies while we, like mythical Sisyphus, continually roll our rock up the hill.

Jim Hecht Memorial Service

A memorial service will be held for Jim Hecht on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 4:00pm. The service will be held at Blue Lotus Temple (the old home of this congregation) 221 Dean Street, Woodstock, IL. All are welcome. Please note that you will need to take your shoes off once you enter the temple.

Long time member, Jim Hecht passed away peacefully Monday, February 12, 2018 surrounded by his loving family and the spirit of Abraham Lincoln.

Condolences may be sent to:

The Family of Jim Hecht

c/o Tree of Life UU Congregation

5603 Bull Valley Rd.

McHenry, IL 60050

 

The family asks that memorials be sent to:

McHenry County Conservation District

18410 US Highway 14

Woodstock, IL 60098

We Say Goodbye to Jim Hecht

Long time member, Jim Hecht passed away peacefully yesterday surrounded by his loving family and the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. A service is pending.

Condolences may be sent to:

The Family of Jim Hecht

c/o Tree of Life UU Congregation

5603 Bull Valley Rd.

McHenry, IL 60050

The family asks that memorials be sent to:

McHenry County Conservation District

18410 US Highway 14

Woodstock, IL 60098

Celebrating Life and Community Through Music: Eastern Europe and Japan

Sunday, February 18, 2018    10:45am  Worship Service

Join us for Worship Art’s  program for creating a worship experience through music.   Olya Prohorova from Moldova and Erina Koyasu have joined together to create a wonderful sound combination of flute and violin..

This is a wonderful opportunity to invite neighbors and friends to participate in a worship service that is both innovative and a celebration of the sacred within us  –  we come together to share beauty  and the joy that it inspires.

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

When we consider what it means to persevere, our thoughts usually shift to images of effort, struggle, and resistance to opposition.   But when we examine how others have remained steady and committed in spite of adversity, we see that there are underlying elements that make perseverance possible.  Usually there is a deep belief in and commitment to the rightness of what is being done; there is a connection to a sense of purpose.  Embedded in the individual or the community, often there is a form of hope that manifests as resilience.  All these things imply that there are already resources within that make the “improbable” more possible.

Over the past couple months, again and again in our journey together, we’ve witnessed the sustaining power that community creates — all by itself.   Community is a shared gift of creation:   when we see and value the beauty in each other’s lives, when we are committed to offering ourselves to make community happen, and when we are able to trust one another because we see the level of care that is present.  Both perseverance and resilience are sustained best when there are resources to offer nourishment and nurture.

There is a commonly shared phrase of encouragement:  “You can do it and you do not have to do it on your own!”   When we looked at courage last fall, we also looked at the vulnerability that made courage possible, so perhaps it’s helpful to remember that our vulnerability is part of what makes the strength and perseverance of community most valuable.  Our connection to each other takes place when we make an open space within us to allow that bond to happen.

This month our Soul Matters packets offer materials for us to  come together as a community in exploring the meaning of “perseverance” – as we think about how we experience it our lives and how it is a part of our community.   The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take a copy from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.   You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying.

Wishing you joy in community,

M.E. Tanabe

I Persisted – Or Did I?

Sunday February 11, 2018 10:45am

Lou Ness

Sometimes I can be like a terrier, once I sink my teeth into something, I never give up. Given the struggle to retain that part of ourselves that best reflect our better nature, do I persist or insist and is there a difference? When does persistence become rigidity, or the inability to be organic? More importantly when can this perseverance contribute to building relationships and what am I willing to surrender in order to choose a more inclusive path?

We welcome Lou Ness back to the pulpit. Lou is a favorite here with her wit and insights.

Life as We Know It

Sunday, February 4, 2018 10:45am

M.E. Tanabe

It’s always an inspiration to see the life of a flower take root and blossom in pavement cracks and on rocky slopes. We could view this display as the outcome of tremendous struggle – a survival against great odds – but from another perspective, this is also a joyful illustration of Life and the flower doing what they were made to do.

Time, Intention, and the Other

Forget about Eternity!  Eternal Being is overrated!  Time is the cool water which will quench our thirst for the other person, who can only be encountered in time: time for listening, time for learning, time to hold the other in love.  Only Time allows us to be beside ourselves with the other person.

Join us on Sunday, January 28th as our guest speaker, Gus Santo, explores “Intentions” and the impact it has on our relationship with ourselves and others.