The Happenings

Sunday July7
9:15am Coffee with Questions
10:45am Service
7:00pm Fireworks on Crystal Lake - offsite
Tuesday July 9
7:00pm PFLAG

Wednesday July 10
7:00pm Worship Arts

Thursday July 11
7:00pm McHenry County Pride  
Saturday July 13
10:00am Boating on the Chain O'Lakes - offsite 
Click here  for Website Calendar Link

Click here for our Congregational Covenant

Our Board Members:
Carrie MacDonald - President
President Elect to be confirmed - Leah Mikkelson
Randy Meyer - Treasurer
Mike Bissett - Secretary
Steve Lyons - Trustee
Marcia Johnson- Trustee
Patrick Kerin- Trustee

Office Hours:
Monday 10-2  
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10-2
Thursday 10-2   
Friday 10-2
Others by appointment
Office is closed July 4 

Music Director Hours: By appointment  

 Click Here  to see the latest Board Minutes

In This Issue
June 28, 2019
You can forward this email to your interested friends and family by using the Forward to a Friend button on the left hand side of this newsletter.

At our congregational meeting last month we adopted a Congregational Covenant to guide us all. You can view it by clicking here. It will also be attached to the left side of each Happenings in the future. We hope you will make this a living, breathing document by affirming it when you meet for committee meetings or other group functions.
Upcoming Services
UU Principles, American Ideals 
Sunday, July 7, 2019 10:45am
Carol Alfus  
The late Rev. Dr. Forrest Church once said that in many ways Unitarian Universalism is "the quintessential American faith." Join us as we consider how our Purposes and Principles are reflected in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and in the lives of famous Americans. 
The Right Bad Stuff 
Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:45am
The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck   
At the 2016 General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio, Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd gave a sermon about "Fake Fights" that UU congregations sometimes have when there's deeper social justice issues at stake. The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck discusses this phenomenon and what to do to try to avoid them. 
We will share our offering with our Second Sunday recipient, Land Conservancy of McHenry County whose mission is to  preserve natural, agricultural and scenic land forever, in and around McHenry County, by working with private landowners, communities and other like-minded partners 
Congregational Events and News
From Your Nominating Committee    

In the wake of   last month"s congregational meeting, Pat Costigan resigned her position on the Board leaving the President Elect position empty.  Pat was a valued member of the Board and her administrative experience and good humor will be missed.
The Nominating Committee is very pleased to announce that Leah Mikkelson has accepted our nomination to the position of President Elect. Leah has been a member of the congregation for a few years and has been an active and valued member of the Religious Education committee. Many of you may remember the wonderful testimonial Leah gave some years ago about how Tree of Life can change the world. We hope you will share our enthusiasm and vote to affirm Leah Mikkelson as Tree of Life UU Congregation President Elect at the special congregation meeting that will be announced soon.
In faith,
Carol Alfus and Judy Stettner   

Save the Date   

The Cookie Sale, Baubles 'n Bows, and Artisan Sale will return November 23, 2019. Test those cookie recipes. Artists start your engines. And remember to hold onto those holiday decorations you no longer use. Contact Karen Meyer with questions.   

Creating Ceramic Seeds of Hope   Aug. 11th
On August 11th after worship, Tree of Life is hosting a community art project 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.   Laura McLuckie-Khandan, a local artist and member of the Baha'i community, will lead 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 messages of hope written on them and then they'll be fired. For more info click:   . Additional questions please contact: Janet Burns 847.542.7678, M. E. Tanabe 815.337.9895, or Laura McLuckie-Khandan 224.339.4739

Do You Want to Help Tree of Life Grow?

Tree of Life is on which helps match people up with activities and groups. You can help us by going to and searching for Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation Sunday Services. RSVP for the days you plan to come to church. It is that simple. For added impact, start a discussion on our group. Help newcomers get to know us.
Women's Book Club  

The TOL Women's Book Club July selection is "WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING" by Delia Owens.  Susan Rowe is hosting at her home at 7603 Andrea Lane in Crystal Lake Friday, July 19th. We will be having a pot luck dinner at 6pm to celebrate Susan's birthday. Please bring a comfort food dish to pass. 

A Lovely New Tree  

Thanks to Randy Rapp and Jason Madaus, we have a new white pine tree outside the sanctuary. We lost two previous trees out there so this one has been put in a slightly different (hopefully less cursed!) spot. Thank you Randy and Jason for not giving up. 

Religious Education

A word from your Director of Religious Education
I'd like to thank you all for your support in funding the Religious Education of our students. Establishing a working budget that meets the needs of everyone is a difficult process and one that requires us to work together toward our common goals. I look forward to the budget revisions the board will be presenting to us with faith that we will be able to offer all our programs in the coming year and in the years to come.
Next Religious Education Committee Meeting
June retreat! 6/22 from 10am to 3pm at TOL in the Fireplace room
Nursery Care is available in the RE basement during regular Worship Services for children birth-4.
Step out Area: (Clock Room) 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.
Upcoming volunteer opportunities (2019-20 school year)
Spirit Play Storytellers and Doorkeepers (4yrs-3rd grade)
Soul Matters teachers (4-8th grades)
Coming of Age mentors and teachers (8-9th grade)
Registration (2019-20 school year)
Online registration for all programs will begin Monday, June, 17th. Watch your email for an invitation! Please contact with questions.
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).

Have questions? Are you jumping up and down to volunteer for something, but don't know where to turn? I'm available by appointment at the church and at pretty much any coffee shop, anywhere! Please email or call 815-509-7862. Let's talk!

Social Justice Notes 
Seeking volunteers for Compassion for Campers for July 8th, 22nd, August 5th and September 30th! We are seeing new faces at the site along with 2 families with children. Want to contribute, but can't be there on Monday?.  We also provide canned foods and supplies. Donations of socks, batteries and insect repellent are always appreciated. You can obtain a wish list for donations on the table near the coat room or sign up to serve with Sue Rekenthaler by emailing her at  
.. You will find a pink bin in the social room where you can add your donations.  
McHenry County Citizens for Choice need our support! MCCC will have a table at the McHenry County fair and need volunteers.  We are looking for volunteers for 4 hours shifts starting on Tuesday July 30 at 10 am until Sunday August 4th at 8pm. There are 2 people per shift.  The booth is run in conjunction with Planned Parenthood.  MCCC was kind enough to help us man our table at Woodstock Pride Fest (while we were having our congregational meeting) so we would really like to help them with this event.  Folks can contact Kay Hedum at or 224-856-7341.  All help is appreciated!

Wanna march in a parade?! Join with PFLAG on July 7th and march in the Crystal Lake Independence Day parade.  Meet at 12 noon at Crystal Lake City Hall and bring bubbles and rainbows!
Speak out for Immigrant Rights!
Many of us are disturbed by the stories we are hearing about the inhumane conditions immigrants are being subjected to at the border. Your Tree of Life Social Justice Team is co-sponsoring a protest vigil Friday July 12 from 7:30 to 9 pm across from the McHenry County Jail which rents space to Federal detention. It will be one scores protest vigils at detention camps on the border and other detention centers nationwide. Come join us and be part of Lights For Liberty! Check out our Facebook page for more information or contact Patrick Murfin. Bring friends, signs, candles. The McHenry County jail is located at 2200 N. Seminary Ave in Woodstock. We will rally on the grassy area across from the jail along Rt. 47 in Woodstock between Ware Road and Russel Court. Parking will be available in the Northwood Junior High school lot across Rt. 47.  

The Social Justice team will not meet in July.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 14th 7-9pm. Please contact Patrick Murfin ( or Sue Rekenthaler ( ) for more information.
Coffee with Questions
Russ Marks, along with Jeanette Stanfield, his author, educator, sister, will lead this Sunday in a discussion of Awe Filled Living...a creative and in depth understanding of the spiritual and the sacred.
Ms. Stanfield became part of the staff of the Ecumenical Institute in 1968, and she and her husband worked throughout the USA, Australia, India and Canada.  She continues to volunteer with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, serving communities around the world.  The couple live in Toronto, Canada.
For another lively discussion, join us at 9:15 this Sunday morning, July 7, in the upstairs religious education room.  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.   
On Wednesday, June 26th, Patrick Murfin welcomed his great granddaughter, Sienne Christine Gibson, to the world along with parents Joey and Carrie Gibson. Patrick was looking forward to meeting her in person on Sunday.
Marc Stettner celebrated his nothing special birthday (58th) with a big party that included many church friends and the Ukulele Superheroes singing the most in tune Happy Birthday he ever heard.
Judy Ayres shared her joy over the completion of the memorial garden thanks to much help from Patrick Kerin and Countryside Flower Shop.
Irene Raven attended a shower for her youngest daughter who is expecting a boy. While she remains concerned for her daughter's health the home was filled with loving family and grandbabies.
A week ago, Ivy and Jim Sitkoski  were lucky enough to attend a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and laughed until she was in pain. Even better than the finished product.
Liz, Dan, and Simon Kuhl introduced the newest Kuhl, Zachary! Many thanks to the congregation for the cards, flowers and notes. Welcome, Zachary! We are so glad to meet you.
Marcia Johnson and Annette Jasiota are excited that baby Oliver will be coming to stay with them for a couple weeks. Lucky Oliver!
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 if you are in need of support from the congregation.
Recruiting Treat Fleet Volunteers!!

Click Here to sign up

Beyond Our Walls
Woodstock Folk Festival
Sunday July 21, 2019 noon-6pm
The 34th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival will be held on Sunday, July 21, 2019 from Noon to 6 p.m. on the historic Square in Woodstock, Illinois, 47 miles northwest of Chicago. The Festival will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Anne Hills. It will also present "Woody" Awards to Sue Kessell and Juel Ulven. The LeftOvers (Pete Jonsson, Brian Murphy, Laurel Palma, Joe Pesz, Rich Prezioso, and Les Urban) will open the Festival and lead the All-Sing Finale; they'll commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing and Moonwalk (exactly 50 years ago that weekend) and the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. Other Main Stage performers will be Scott Ainslie, Joe Crookston, Gathering Sparks, Zoe Mulford, Cari Ray & the Shaky Legs, and Windborne. Scott Ainslie will also offer a Blues Workshop. Rick Fitzgerald will be the Featured Performer at the Open Mic Stage. There will also be a Children's Area with hands-on activities. The Festival is made possible, in part, by our Radio Partners WDCB/90.9FM, WFMT/98.7FM, and WNUR/89.3FM, the City of Woodstock, and Real Woodstock. More information at
Kevin DeBeck

Judy Stettner  
Office Administrator  
Heather Madaus  
Interim 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