From our Board President

Beloved community, 

We talk often at Tree of Life about how much we value the community we build here. But we are also part of the wider Unitarian Universalist world, one that shares our core values of spiritual growth, nurturing a diverse community, and acting to create a more just world. I believe that being connected to that wider world inspires me to be a better person, and a better UU.  Today I’d like to highlight just a few resources that can help you discover more of what Unitarian Universalism has to offer: 

  • Would you appreciate a well-written, heartfelt, weekly message of courage and compassion to inspire you through good times and sustain you through difficult times? Check out Braver/Wiser–weekly reflections written by UUs and grounded in Unitarian Universalist values. They are sent from the UUA by email each Wednesday.  As an example, here is a recent reflection that I especially appreciated: Braver/Wiser March 15. If you like it and would like to read more, there is a place at the end to enter your email to subscribe.  
  • I invite you to check out the website and subscribe to the newsletter of our neighbor and friend to the east, the Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Congregation(PCUUC). You can find it here: PCUUC.  If you’ve ever felt like an isolated little voice for liberal religion in the middle of a very conservative county, you may enjoy learning more about this congregation, less than 30 minutes from our door, that shares many of our values. Here is a tidbit that I gleaned from their most recent newsletter: PCUUC will be collecting gently used clothes as well as batteries and #6 hard styrofoam from 10:00am-12:pm this coming Saturday morning (May 13) in the Colby Barn parking lot at 1561 Jones Point Road in Grayslake. Clothing will be donated to Veterans Closet, an organization supported by PCUUC as part of their shared plate program (similar to our Second Sunday program). Just think, you can ethically repurpose or recycle unwanted stuff and meet some new UUs at the same time. Plus, the Colby Barn is really beautiful if you’ve never seen it.  
  • The Unitarian Universalist Association(UUA) provides resources for individuals and opportunities for connection among congregations. One of my favorites is the UU World magazine, published twice a year and available all-year online. If you are a member, you should be receiving the print edition, or you can access the current edition here: UU World Spring/Summer 2023. Among many excellent articles, I was most inspired by the reflection from outgoing UUA president Susan Frederick-Gray, the poem called “Intergenerational Wealth”, and the article “Congregations Practicing Interconnection”.  Another great resource provided by the UUA is the Worship Web Library, which provides prayers, stories, images, music, and lots of other inspiring material for both worship and personal spiritual practice.  You can explore this resource here: UUA Worship Web 
  • We belong to the MidAmerica Region of the UUA. Our regional office provides consulting, resources, trainings, and opportunities to connect with folks from other congregations. They also put out a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of interesting information. Lately, I have been especially appreciating the monthly “Dismantling White Supremacy Resource”, and particularly the resource from the April 2023 newsletter. You can read that article here: April 2023 Dismantling White Supremacy Resource and if you’d like to see a little more of what our regional office has to offer, you can visit their website and, if you choose, subscribe to their monthly newsletter here: MidAmerica Region 

I hope you will spend at least a few minutes exploring one or more of these resources. I know that I draw inspiration, strength, and joy from realizing that in addition to Tree of Life, I am also part of this wider UU community that shares my values and is willing to work to make the world a better place 

With love and respect, 

Sue McCowin 

President of the Board 

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