September 6, 2019
The Happenings
Saturday September 7
10:00am Boating on the Chain - offsite
6:00pm Choir Kickoff

Sunday September 8 
9:00am Chalice Circle
9:15am Coffee with Questions
10:45am Service
12:10pm OWL
12:15pm RE Committee

Monday September 9
7:00pm Board Meeting
7:30pm Mindfulness

Tuesday September 10
7:00pm PFLAG

Wednesday September 11
7:00pm Worship Arts

Thursday September 12
1:30pm Mindfulness
7:00pm Membership Development - offsite
7:00pm McHenry County Pride

Friday September 13
4:00pm Tent Setup
6:30pm Basement Cleanup

Saturday September 14
2:00pm Table and Chair Setup
Upcoming Services
What Do You Expect!
Sunday, September 8, 2019 10:45am
Our guest speaker, Lou Ness, writes " “...“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,” exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.”...” Anne said it well. A gift that proves invaluable throughout life is the ability to be disappointed and try again. How do expectations and the outcomes shape and form our lives and the lives of those around us. The common phrase, “I was expected to…” leaves out the value of failure and disappointment. Along with expectations it is important to develop resilience. Join me on Sunday September 8th for a “pithy” conversation on expectations.
We Draw From Many Wells: Water Communion
Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:45am
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 your own water 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!
Plan to stay after the service for our Annual Welcome Back Picnic. See details below.
Sandbars, Circuit Riders and the Big Heart of Universalism
Sunday, September 22, 2019 10:45am
What are the stories behind the Universalist side of our family tree? What meaning does their message of God's unconditional love have for a people who may not believe in God?
Congregational Events and News
From Our Board President
Hello everyone!
As we start off our new church year, I know there are a lot of questions and rumors going around about when we'll hire a minister and who it will be. Please know that the Board is in contact with our Mid-America consultant as well as with the UUA Transitions Team to figure out our options. Hiring a minister at this time of year is difficult; the process happens much earlier, and it's not like hiring for any other job. As soon as I have more information, I will be happy to share it! 
Carrie MacDonald 
Annual Welcome Back Picnic
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!
Join the Choir Saturday
Our new Music Director, Cassandra Vohs-Demann, and Accompanist, Billy Seger, hope you will come for a fun meet and greet. Come get to know us and sit in on the first rehearsal. Bring a dish or beverage to share. Anybody 16 and older is welcome to join the choir.
Bonfire and Sing Along
T his party was offered at our Service Auction back in November but you can still get tickets. Invite your family and friends. Cost is $20 per person. Contact the office to get your ticket. Event is Saturday, September 21, 2019 7:00pm. Party will be held at the home of Jim and Ivy Sitoski in McHenry. Snacks will be served and Amy Beth will lead the sing along.
Chalice Circles Added
Our UU faith is a theology of connection:  in our Chalice Circle program we explore those connections as we examine our thoughts about life, our gifts, and the needs of the world around us.  Using the Soul Matters curriculum, we listen to the reflections of each other and learn to hear our own voice as well – growing the confidence to speak our truth wherever we are..   Everyone is welcome to join. We now have 4 circles that meet at the church:   2 nd and 4 th  Sundays 9am,  3 rd Wed. 1:00 pm, and 3 rd Sunday 6:30 pm. and we look forward to forming new circles. Please, click here for more detailed information. There are Circle flyers and curriculum packets available in the fellowship room.   Con tact  M.E.Tanabe,    815 337 9895  or Janet Burns,   847 542 7678
Join the Tech Crew
Our worship services would not be nearly so wonderful if nobody could hear our speakers and musicians. Use the link below to get information on how you can be trained to run the sound board and sign up to help.
Women's Book Club
The September meeting of the book club will be on September 27, 2019 at 7:00pm. We will discuss a book by Toni Morrison titled The Bluest Eye. The gathering is at Ann Tirk's 1513 Rhett Place in Woodstock.
Religious Education
Mark your calendars!
September 8, 12:10-2pm First day of 4-6th OWL
September 15, Water Communion
September 22, first day of Spirit Play (PK-4th), Soul Matters (4-12th), and Coming of Age (8-10th)
October 13, no Religious Education classes
Nursery Care is available during regular Worship Services for children birth-4.
Step out Area: We invite children of all ages to use our Quiet Work Area under the supervision of their families during worship services. You will find it tucked away outside the sanctuary in the Clock Room.
We need you!
Religious Education is looking for Soul Matters teachers (4-8th grades). You can volunteer in many ways! Do you have one Sunday per month you can volunteer? Yes, you can help! Do only have one month to offer? Yes, you can help! Do you only have ONE Sunday available? Yes, you can help. Please consider lending a hand in this important class as we journey as a family!
It’s time to register!
Please register all children for Religious Education programs at:
Calling all 8-10th graders!
TOLUUC will be offering a Coming of Age program on Sundays from 5:30-7:30pm (twice per month). All 8-10th graders are encouraged to enroll and will work with each other and their mentor/facilitators throughout the year to explore their own ideas about their faith and spiritual beliefs and will be a great opportunity to practice expressing those ideas. Please register at:
(all COA parents are asked to register their child for RE programs in addition to completing the COA registration. Thank you!)
The 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).
Please email or call 815-509-7862 with questions.

Social Justice Notes
Social justice committee continues to meet on the 3 rd Wednesday of the
Our Second Sunday collection recipient this month is McHenry County Citizens for Choice.
McHenry County Citizens for Choice (MCCC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education about women`s reproductive rights. We believe that every woman has the fundamental right to decide for herself, free from governmental interference, whether or not to have an abortion. We promote that right and also work to safeguard access to birth control for all women. It is our firm conviction that all women`s rights – as well as each woman`s ability to participate in society as an equal – are based on reproductive autonomy.
You can learn more at
Thanks to all the volunteers with Compassion for Campers!
While we have filled all of our Mondays with volunteers and meals, we still are in need of supplies. Specifically, we need bug spray, medium and large men’s brief or boxer brief underwear and body wipes. Contact Sue Rekenthaler for more information.
We are encouraging members to attend the Immigration Resources Fair to be held Saturday, Sept 7 th from 10am-1pm at First Church in Crystal Lake. See the flyer at the bottom of the happenings for additional information.
Protect the safety of refugee children!  Call our US Senators Duckworth and Durbin and support 2 bills:
  S397 – Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act which would end the use of unlicensed emergency detention facilities for refugee children such as Tomillo, Texas
S388 – The Families not Facilities Act, which would reduce the ability of ICE to engage in inappropriate civil immigration enforcement actions that harm the safety of unaccompanied children and prevent reunification of families.
Learn more at
Coming soon:
           Actions to protest gun violence
           Expungement workshops to train members to assist those impacted by the war on drugs
           Renewal of our UUA Welcoming Congregation Status
Join us! Our next meeting is Sept. 18 th in the Fireplace room.
Contact chairperson Patrick Murfin for more information (

Coffee with Questions
Russ Marks will lead off a 12-week study of "The Courage to Lead," a book by his brother-in-law, R. Brian Stanfield.  
The key question of the book is: What does it take to act powerfully out of one's own inner wisdom? In developing "what it takes," one seeks to find meaning in his everyday life, learn in what context he makes everyday decisions, determine what role he wants to play in the change process in society, work, community and family, and discover how to keep learning from his everyday experiences and trust his inner wisdom.
In Chapter One, Stanfield posits that none of this is possible unless one cares.
Is care an essential ingredient in developing inner wisdom and courage? What is care? How do you care? What kinds of care are most difficult? What kinds are most easy? Does one have an obligation to care? Who or what obliges you? Do you ever wish to escape caring? What do you do about it? Does it make a difference whether or not you care? What are some examples? Are there areas in your life where you should show more care? Is it necessary to care for yourself in order to care for others? What are some examples?
For another lively discussion, join us at 9:15 in the fireplace room this Sunday, September 8th. There'll be coffee and food for body and soul. 
Community Care Committee
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.

Thank you to Elgin UU Valerie Howell and the Worship Committee for Sunday's service. 
CONGRATULATIONS to Kevin DeBeck who advanced from "Almost" to "100%" Reverend at his recent ordination in Elkhart, Indiana. 
Our thoughts are with Billy Seger who is grieving the loss of his father. Billy's dad passed away Friday, August 29, in Florida.
Lisa Campagnolo's great uncle passed away Sunday while in Hospice care. He had been a strong and active 90+ man. 
Judy Stettner welcomed her mom, Jan Thompson , to Sunday's service.
Patrick Murfin asked that we pause and consider the meaning of Labor Day and appreciate the need for solidarity of the working class in these times. 

Drivers to and from Sunday services needed!
 Do you drive through Crystal Lake on your way to services in Sunday? We try to keep the commitment to once per month and can be creative!   
Please contact the Member Care Team at  if you are able to offer assistance with rides. 
The Member Care Team can be reached at the same email address or by calling Karen Meyer if you are in need of support from the congregation.
Coffee Hour Treats
Please take a turn providing treats for coffee hour after the service. It is easy to sign up using this link
You don't have to make coffee - the brew crew takes care of that. You just need to plate and put out your treats and cart them away after the social time.
Beyond Our Walls
Immigration Resources Fair
Young Adult Conference
Women's Conference
"Connection & Healing"

UU Women's Connection Fall Retreat
October 11-13, 2019
DeKoven Center, Racine, WI
Join us for our 37th Annual Fall Retreat. We will be gathering at the DeKoven Center. Our Keynote is Kellianna, an American pagan singer, songwriter and author.
Be prepared to chant and be enchanted with Kellianna! At the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin. Our keynote, Kellianna is an American pagan singer/songwriter. She is internationally renowned for her powerful performance of song and chant inspired by myth, magic, sacred places, and ancient times. With guitar and vocals, she brings to life stories and sagas of the Gods and Goddesses. With primal frame drumming and soaring vocal chants, she honors the Earth and the Ancestors. More at
Plan on a fun weekend filled with music and activity!
On Friday evening, join Jenny Ross to watch the documentary She's Beautiful when She's Angry about the American Women's Movement in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
On Saturday start your morning with Gong Meditation with Heather Poyner. Enjoy the keynote and her early afternoon workshop. Choose an afternoon workshop:
  • Sound Meditation with Dawn Frase
  • The Positive Power of Anger with Jenny Ross
  • Curious About Medical Cannabis? with Heather McMeekam.
Enjoy the Lake Michigan shoreline and the beautiful grounds of the DeKoven Center. Participate in activities on Saturday evening that will including a Croning ceremony (if there is enough interest).
On Sunday morning, enjoy Gentle Movement with Kathy Salzano, breakfast and our closing ritual.

Judy Stettner 
Office Administrator 

Heather Madaus 
Interim Director of Religious Education 
Cassandra Vohs-Demann 
Director of Music 

Billy Seger
Carrie MacDonald
Board President 
Click here for our Congregational Covenant
Click Here  to see the latest Board Minutes
Office Hours:

Monday 10-2 
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10-2
Thursday 10-2  
Friday 10-2
Others by appointment
Our Board Members:

Carrie MacDonald - President
President Elect - Leah Mikkelson
Randy Meyer - Treasurer
Mike Bissett - Secretary
Steve Lyons - Trustee
Marcia Johnson- Trustee
Patrick Kerin- Trustee
Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation
5603 Bull Valley Road
McHenry, IL 60050