Saturday March 10
6:00pm Potluck Circle Dinner

Sunday March 11
9:00am Choir
9:15am Coffee with Questions
10:30am Coming of Age 
10:45am Service
6:00pm Youth Group
6:30pm Chalice Circle

Monday March 12
7:30pm Mindfulness

Tuesday March 13
7::00pm PFLAG

Wed March 14 10:00am Chalice Circle
7:00pm Social Justice
7:00pm Worship Arts

Thursday March 15
1:30pm Mindfulness
7:00pm McHenry County Pride

Friday March 16
7:00pm Women's Circle

Saturday March 17
12:45pm Mindfulness Workshop
5:00pm Chili Cook Off Setup

All Committee Meetings are open and you are welcome to attend.

Office Hours:
Monday 10-2
Wednesday 10-2
Thursday 10-2  
Friday 10-2
Others by appointment

Music Director Hours: By appointment  

Click here for Website Calendar Link

  Click Here to see the latest Board Minutes  

In This Issue
March 9, 2018
Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour Saturday night.  We would hate to miss seeing you! 
The Happenings
Journeying Together 
March 11, 2018 10:45am
M.E. Tanabe  
Each week we say the words of our congregational purpose and our statement begins by reminding us we are on a journey..... Bringing awareness and an openness to embrace our unfolding path, we set the groundwork to welcome new meaning in our lives. And, as we travel together, we grow a deeper understanding of one another.
Our Second Sunday offering will be shared with Jail Brakers.  
Celebrating Life and Community Through Music: Javanese Music of the Gamelan   
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 10:45 am   
Join us for Worship Art's program for creating a worship experience through music. We'll host a visit by the Friends of the Gamelan ensemble led by Alex Yoffe.   Alex has shared these inspired thoughts: "I am so drawn to this music because of its communal nature: all of the instruments are necessary and each person's part is essential to completing the piece of music.  You need a community in order to play this music;  there is no concept of a soloist.   Experts can play alongside total beginners and they can create music together.  I think that is a very powerful concept." 
 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.

Do you have questions for the board? 

The majority of the church board will be available for an informal listening session after service on March 11. Grab a cup of coffee and have a sit-down with board members! We will be happy to provide any answers that we can at the time as well as take your comments, concerns, and unanswered questions to discuss at our next board meeting. We will meet in the sanctuary.

As always, you can reach out to me anytime (email is best).

Carrie MacDonald
Board President

Did you know you can see the latest approved board minutes anytime? There are 3 ways.
1. They are posted in the social room on the bulletin board.
2. They can be found on our website under the members only section. Just login to view. Contact the office if you have never logged in before.
3. Click on the link on the left hand side of this newsletter above the "Join Our Mailing List" Button. 

Meet One of Our Pastoral Care Providers
The Board is happy to announce that Rev. Catherine Erwin, pastor at Faith Community United Church of Christ in Prairie Grove has agreed to provide pastoral care to our congregation as needed.  She will come to TOL on March 11th toward the end of our service so that you can meet her.  Rev. Catherine was ordained by The Fox Valley Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ UUC in 2010.  She is a 2008 graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, Hyde Park, Chicago with a Masters of Divinity degree.  She graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts/Literature from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri in 2004.  The Board is very excited to have Rev. Catherine available to you should you have any pastoral needs.  Please come meet her on March 11!  Read a more detailed bio of Rev. Catherine here:

Chili Cook Off Lunch
Sunday March 18, 2018
Join us for this fun and yummy kick off for our annual pledge drive. Everyone is encouraged to attend even if you are brand new to Tree of Life. Here is how it works:

1. Have a great chili recipe? Enter to win the golden ladle trophy! Let Dave Dreyer know the name of your chili (the more unique the better) and what category you are entering it in (mild, hot, or vegetarian). or at church. Bring your entry with you Sunday morning in your crockpot.

2. Stay after the service to sample chilies of every variety. You can vote for your favorites by purchasing beans. $1/bean, 6 for $5 or 12 for $10. The proceeds will go to Woodstock Area Community Ministries (WACM) and their direct assistance program which provides monetary emergency assistance to those in need. There will be winners in the mild, hot and vegetarian categories and a grand prize winner for the most beans overall (People's Choice).

3. We will hand out materials for this year's Re-commitment Drive to all members and interested friends. There will be a short 10-minute introduction of the drive and its theme.

Make Sure to Save These Dates Too
Saturday, April 21, 2018 Celebratory Pledge Dinner
Sunday, April 29, 2018 Rummage Intake Day
Thursday, May 3 - Saturday, May 5 Rummage Sale
You can find the complete Tree of Life Calendar at   
It's Sunday, Let's Go to Church
Religious Education has survived the flu season!!!! Hip hip hooray!  In spite of illness, our numbers continue to reflect dedicated parents and students!  Thank you for helping to make the church school experience meaningful for all involved through participation.  
Spirit Play ( ages pre-K through 3rd grade) continues with their awesome stories related to world religions.  The World Religions class (4th grade through 8th) will be looking at Quakerism (Friends), this month.  Parents should have received a link with materials that can be shared with the family during the week.  There will be no field trip this month, however, we are trying to get a speaker.
Coming Of Age is still meeting regularly, all involved have been  given  a schedule.  
The 11th and 12th Grade O.W.L class was completed on March 4th.  Gratitude to Pat Kerin and Andy Myers for their dedication to the students who participated in this worthwhile program.  Next year will be O.W.L for the 8th and 9th graders. 
The Youth Group (High School aged youth) will continue meeting Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00 unless otherwise informed. Speaking of Youth Group, we are looking for church members who would be willing to be in the Youth Group classroom with Mariela (most Sundays), until we can find another solution.  If this is something you could do, or share with others, please contact Sam Jones. 815 382-5571
There is a Youth Conference at DuPage UU church on March 9th-11th for all High School students who have registered.  These conferences always are a wonderful opportunity for the youth to share in our faith in a meaningful way with other UU's through activities and worship services.  
An activity group for LGBTQ teens meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month, 7-9PM, in the downstairs youth room. The time of the meeting coincides with the meeting of McHenry PTI (Parents of Transgender Individuals). Led by Raina Hodgson, the mother of a trans teen, the group provides a safe space for teens to be together for conversation, games, and fun activities. Raina will be assisted by Laura Michaels, a school psychologist in the Rockford area and mother of a gender non-conforming teen. 
Mindfulness Workshop Rescheduled to Saturday, March 17
The workshop date needed to be moved.  Come take a break from winter as we spend an afternoon exploring exercises to live more mindfully.  The workshop will be held at Tree of Life, March 17,  12:45 - 4:30.  Advance registration is necessary.  The flyer can be accessed at this link:  There are also flyers and registration forms in the fellowship room.  If you have more questions contact M. E. (Emi) Tanabe 

Date: Saturday April ,14th 9am-12pm
As Unitarian Universalists we believe that learning is a never ending process.  Whether you are new to the Church or have been coming a while we want to offer you the opportunity to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and more about how the congregation works.Childcare is available upon request. To register, send an email to  .  Or call Marc Stettner at  256-665-2655.   Or sign up at the visitor information table in the front lobby area.

Circle Dinner Potluck
Have you ever wondered what this Circle Dinner thing is all about?
Are you an alternate with no dinner to attend on Saturday, March 10? 
Have you ever though "what a great idea, but will there be room for my whole family?" 
Here is your chance to join in! On Saturday, March 10, at 6 pm, there will be a Circle Dinner Pot Luck at the church! Bring a dish to pass; all are welcome. 
Please RSVP to Heather Madaus at 815-509-7862.  
Choir Festival
Tree of Life Choir will be joining voices with 6 other area UU choirs on Sunday, April 15th, 4:00pm at Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin and we would love for you to see you there. A freewill offering will benefit the Community Crisis Center. UU of Elgin is located at 39W830 Highland Ave, Elgin.  
Women's Circle Announcement
Chill Out with Friends is this Friday, March 16 at 7pm
Come join us as we share our gifts we bring to the table. Last month we discussed what we hoped to accomplish in our community of women. This month, let's talk about the strengths and experience we bring to the conversation. Please bring a snack to share that comforts and sustains you- comfort food day!.  
magic_ribbons_book.jpg Women's Book Club
Our next gathering will be on Friday March 23rd from 6pm-9pm at Judy Whitaker's place (8660 Belfield Rd in Crystal Lake). We are reading and discussing The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (2015, Gallic Books, paperback is 159 pages). We are meeting a little earlier so we can celebrate a few book club member birthdays (Therese on 3/18 and Sandra on 3/22), so please bring a small food favorite or appetizer to share. Book description: "Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There's nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there's all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?" There are only 9 copies total listed for the local libraries, and none are eBook or audio book, just regular print. Book retailers list copies for around $10-$12 if you need/wish to purchase it. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, Therese Hart, via email ( or in the Women's Circle group on Facebook, thanks! 
 Social Justice Notes
We had a successful Medicare for All forum this week with 3 outstanding panelists and a showing of the film, Fix It. If you were unable to make it, you will find helpful information on solutions for our healthcare system on the long table outside the nursery.

UU Justice Event: We encourage you to attend a two day event being held at Countryside UU Church in Palatine, Friday, March 23, 6-9pm and Saturday, March 24, 9am-4pm. Tearing Down Walls Building Up Connections, Community and Solidarity. Here you can gain knowledge on the issues of  Social Justice, Restorative Justice, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice and Immigrant Justice and leave with leave with ideas to put into action. Registration and full details can be found at

Many of us will be joining the March for Our Lives event at 1:00pm on the Woodstock square in support of stronger gun laws, school safety and the youth who are leading the way on this.  We hope you can join us.

This Sunday we will take our Second Sunday offering for Jail Brakers. Jail Brakers is now a ministry of the Social Justice Team. You can find more information about Jail Brakers at
Community Care Committee 
The following JOYS and CONCERNS were shared  with the Care Committee.   

Bob and Ann Tirk will return to Woodstock this weekend as Bob pursues cancer treatment with his doctors in Elgin. We wish them well!
Bob Jackson welcomes the upcoming conversation with Board members this Sunday after service.  
Heather Madaus reports that Jason is back on the road, restoring power out East following a storm.  
Sam Jones expressed gratitude to the Worship Arts committee for filling in for her on short notice during a recent illness.
Rebecca Heisler's son, Darren, is participating on a basketball team in the Special Olympics at ISU.  Way to go Darren!   
Joys and Concerns shared during the service will be printed in the Happenings and Bulletin unless there is a request made to the office or community care committee to withhold.  

Happy birthday to Carol Hamlin Faure (3/13), Steve Lyons (3/15), Randy Meyer (3/15) and Sue Kazlusky (3/16)!  
Please note that this committee can be reached at  
If you are looking for a ride to church, please contact Pat Costigan, our Transportation Coordinator, who is matching people in need of rides with others who are willing to provide them.
Drivers to and from Sunday services needed! Do you drive through Crystal Lake on your way to services in Sunday? Let Pat Costigan know. We try to keep the commitment to once per month and can be creative!  Please email:
Coffee with Questions 
 Leader:  Bob Jackson
Subject:  "Death of God?"
Time:Sunday, March 11, 2018, 9:15  NEW TIME
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
5603 W. Bull Valley Road
McHenry, Illinois 60050
Phone: (815) 322-2464
We are continuing to bring our skepticisms, questions, insights to Karen Armstrong's 2008 book, The Case for God.  We begin by focusing on the title of the last chapter, "The "Death of God?"

Since the book is organized approximately in the order of time, this last chapter  also focuses most on our own contemporary situation.

Karen Armstrong (KA) is also at her own most autobiographical in this chapter-- as she struggles to understand and interpret to us what is going on now in global "religious" and "secular" culture.  The Past has already happened and therefore  seems to have some kind of defined character.  The Present is still happening -- and we ourselves along with KA are part of how that will be defined -- as our and her Present passes away into that supposedly more defined aspect of reality called, "the Past."

Therefore we should not be surprised that this last chapter is also perhaps her most puzzling.  

In an effort to reduce the puzzlement of that last chapter, we will take a look at the progression of her chapter titles that precede and build up to that last chapter.  Maybe that process will cast some light on how to respond to the central question of today -- which is the question of that last chapter title, namely:

Why does she put a question mark at the end of that last chapter's title: "Death of God?" ?
Interfaith Program 
Continuing the Conversation is a series sponsored in part by FaithBridge and hosted at McHenry County College. On Friday, March 9, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Luecht Conference Center, the documentary Racial Taboo will be shown followed by facilitated discussion in small groups. Both the movie and the program deal with the difficulty that black and white Americans have in talking about race and as they are facilitated, they provide an effective avenue for communities to begin a meaningful conversation about "race."   There are a few flyers available in the Fellowship Room. For more information contact:    or   Sonja: 815-353-9898
Recruiting Treat Fleet Volunteers!!

Click Here to sign up

UU World's email newsletter
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The touchstone of community
It's going to take all of us to move our world, and our faith, forward in the ways of truth, compassion, and justice.
By UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray, 3/5/18 (Spring 2018)
Table of contents
The Spring 2018 issue is now arriving in subscribers' mailboxes, but you don't need to wait for your copy to arrive to start browsing the contents online.
Members of Unitarian Universalist congregations receive a subscription to the print edition as a benefit of membership. Others may subscribe or buy a gift subscription for someone else!
Selma's challenge
In the past, our religious forebears had stood on the brink of making a difference in racial justice, and had wavered. When Martin Luther King Jr. sent a telegram to the UUA on March 8, 1965, they responded in transformative ways.
By Mark Morrison-Reed (Winter 2014)
In François Clemmons's unlikely neighborhood
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," we present this 2016 profile of the actor and singer who played Officer Clemmons on the landmark children's show-and who is also a Unitarian Universalist.
By Heather Beasley-Doyle (Fall 2016)
Reported by UU World writers
Board prepares bylaw changes for 2018 General Assembly
Changes will simplify social witness resolutions process, remove gendered language, and allow for co-moderators.
By Elaine McArdle, 3/2/18
Updates throughout the week
Media roundup: Youth survivors of 2008 UU church shooting lead vigil for Parkland students
Weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media.
By Rachel Walden, 3/5/18
Interdependent Web: We have work to do together, and thoughts and prayers are not enough
Weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.
By Heather Christensen, 3/2/18
News brief: Powerful storm closes UUA headquarters on March 2
A powerful nor'easter coincided with the full moon and high tide to flood the Seaport neighborhood. Sand bags kept water out of the UUA's basement garage as staff worked remotely.
By Christopher L. Walton, 3/2/18
Judy Stettner  
Office Administrator  
Sam Jones 
Director of Religious Education 
Forrest Ransburg 
Director of Music 
Carrie MacDonald
Board President  
Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation | 815-322-2464 | |
5603 Bull Valley Road
McHenry, IL 60050