The Happenings
Friday April 12
Office closed 
Saturday April 13
9:00am Joyful Journey  
5:00pm Pledge Dinner  
Sunday April 14
9:15am Coffee with Questions
10:00am Choir Rehearsal
10:45am Service
12:00pm First Notes
12:15pm RE Committee
4:00pm OWL

Monday April 15
7:30pm Mindfulness

Tuesday April 16
7:00pm Social Justice
7:00pm DRE Search Team

Wednesday April 17
1:00pm Chalice Circle
7:00pm Board Meeting
7:30pm Odyssey   
Thursday April 18   
1:30pm Mindfulness
7:00pm McHenry County Pride
Saturday April 20 
9:00am UU Orientation 
Click here  for Website Calendar Link

Our Board Members:
Carrie MacDonald - President
Rebecca Colon - President Elect
Randy Meyer - Treasurer
Mike Stough - Secretary
Pat Costigan - Trustee
Rebecca Heisler- Trustee
Patrick Kerin- Trustee

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

Music Director Hours: By appointment  

Click Here to see the latest Board Minutes

In This Issue
April 11, 2019
Please enjoy this early edition of our weekly newsletter. The office will be closed Friday, April 12th for Judy's personal vacation.
Upcoming Services
Joyful Journey  
Sunday, April 14, 2019 10:45am
Kevin DeBeck & Religious Education
Put our statement of purpose into action and join us as we celebrate journeying as a family. This rite of passage has become a Tree of Life favorite over the years; our Joyful Journey students will share their first Faith Statements! Come see what our 7 principles mean to our students and take the opportunity to reassess and reaffirm your own relationship to the 7 principles of Unitarian Universalism.
We will take our Second Sunday plate collection for Youth and Family Resource Center of McHenry County. The Youth and Family Center of McHenry County exists to ensure empowerment and growth for youth and families by partnering with our community to provide direct services and linkage to individuals in McHenry County. 
What's a UU to do about Easter?  
Sunday, April 21, 2019 10:45am
The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck
Easter can be a confusing holiday for Unitarian Universalists. The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck will discuss what meaning religious liberals can take away from this holiday.
Something Different  
Sunday, April 28, 2019 10:45am
Green Sanctuary and Something Different
The Green Sanctuary and Music Committees have collaborated on a special service to honor Unitarian Universalist's seventh principle to maintain and develop a strong connection with mother earth and the web of life. The musical group, Something Different, will play their own nature- inspired compositions, with Pat Smith and Karen Tlusty-Rissman on Native American flute, John Rissman on guitar, and the whole trio on a variety of unique instruments. Their original performances draw from many musical cultures and genres and are enhanced with thought -provoking visuals.
Congregational Events and News
The Pledge Drive is Over - Let's Celebrate!  
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Doors open at 5 pm
Dinner served at 5:30 pm 

 Please remember to  bring a PLATED dessert to share .
Kaz: emcee
Music provided by Tom Steffens
Performances by the Frothy Boys and the Nightingales 

UU Orientation
Date: Saturday April 20th 9am-12pm
Remember a 1000-mile journey begins with a single step .  Whether you are new to Tree of Life 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.
Attending this orientation is a necessary step to becoming a member and is only offered a couple times a year. If you are toying with the idea of joining as a member, don't miss this opportunity.

Spring FUNdrive
Do it for your MOTHER, Earth!   Now is a great time to go through the closets and bag up clean, usable clothing for our clothing drive.  Please bag items for the Rag Bag separately and label so our friends at Savers don't have to sort.  Everyone deserves a second chance---even those skinny jeans!  Dream Team, Green Sanctuary, and RE are collecting bags April 28 and May 5 before and after church.
*****Judy Stettner is collecting nice business attire separately for Emma's project at NIU, Barsema's Closet*******

McHenry County Pride Yard Sale 
McHenry County Pride is celebrating it's 20 year history with our congregation by holding a yard sale at the home of Patrick Kerin in Crystal Lake Thursday, May 2 to Saturday, May 4. They are donating all proceeds to Tree of Life. If you want to help out, you can donate your cream-of-the-crop-unwanted-by-you treasures to the sale. Bring your boxed donations to Tree of Life before or after the service on April 28th. No items too big to fit in the back seat of a car. No mattresses or other items that Savers will not accept.
And for the most fun, plan to shop at the sale! 244 Ash St., Crystal Lake
Forrest Ransburg  & Cassandra Vohs-Demann
In Concert
Saturday, April 27th
Join us for a wonderful evening of music!  
Forrest will perform a selection of flute works ranging from the Baroque era on instruments of the time to modern works involving unexpected sounds generated by a variety of electronic media.
Cassandra will perform a set of her original compositions and share the personal experiences that inspired them.
A great night of music with two of our favorites- Woodstock Community Choir Director, Cassandra Vohs-Demann, and TOLUUC Music Director, Forrest Ransburg. Appetizers and drinks are included for the low price of $10 each. If you didn't snatch this up at the Fall 2018 Auction, now is your chance. Contact the office now to get your spot. or 815-322-2464.

Women's Book Club
Jane Richards is hosting our next book club event on Friday April 26, 7:00 PM.  Her address is 713 Grand Blvd. Wauconda, IL 60084.  Her phone numbers are 847-526-2575 (H) and 847 666-7731(C).  Our book selection is AMERICAN NATIONS, A History of the Eleven Rival regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard.  It is non-fiction, very readable, 326 pages and very timely.

Religious Education

Next Religious Education Committee Meeting
Sunday, April 14th, 12:15 (or as soon as the Joyful Journey celebration is complete)
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.
Spring is here! And with the mild weather comes the opportunity to spend some RE time outside. Please send your children in clothing and shoes that allow them to run, play, and get dirty! Please invite them to bring their jackets to the classrooms, too!
Students grades 4-8th are collecting an offering every morning for the work of the church. Please consider including your children in your family discussions about giving! Do they receive an allowance? Could they save a portion for the congregation? Could they do an extra chore? Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk? Let's include our kids in the pledge discussion!
Volunteers needed!
Our Whole Lives facilitators needed for 2019-2020. We will train you!
4th-6th grades (8 week commitment)
11-12th grades (12 week commitment)
We also look forward to offering our Coming of Age program to our 9-10 grades next year.
This traditional UU experience is a crucial step as our Tree of Life students investigate their personal spirituality. We are now recruiting teachers who want to make a difference! Please call, text, or email Heather at 815-509-7862 for more information.
Coming of Age to be offered 2019-2020 school year
Coming of Age is a rite of passage here at Tree of Life UU in McHenry, IL. This year-long program is designed to challenge youth in grades 8-10 to evaluate what they believe about the BIG questions of faith and culminates in a Faith Statement presented to the Congregation in the Spring. Consistent attendance will be important to your student's exploration and ability to articulate their beliefs. In addition to regular meetings there will be team-building events that will be scheduled throughout the year. The meeting time for this program has not yet been determined and will depend upon volunteer availability. For question, please text or call Heather Madaus, Interim Director of Religious Education at 815-509-7862 or email Please fill out our Coming of Age interest form to help us plan for the program!
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).
The Young Adult Group will meet on Sunday, April 7th from 6-8pm in the Clock Room. We invite all Young Adults ages 18-35 to join us for community, support, inspiration, and laughter!
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 pretty much any coffee shop, anywhere! Please email  or call 815-509-7862. Let's talk!

Social Justice Notes

It's time to sign up! Compassion for Campers provides lunch and fellowship with our homeless friends every Monday through the summer. We also provide canned food and supplies. Donations of socks, batteries and insect repellent are always appreciated. Our first Monday will be May 13th! You can obtain a wish list for donations or sign up to serve with Sue Rekenthaler by emailing her at . Look for the pink bin in the fellowship room to drop off donations.
Jail Brakers presents:
Our Story/Nuestro Historia
Saturday April 13th, 2019 at 2:30-4pm at the Gale Borden Library, 270 N Grove Ave, Elgin. Contact Cheryl Niemo for more information.  
Jail Brakers is a ministry of Tree of Life Social Justice and provides support to families affected by incarceration
Our next meeting will be Tues April 16th at 7pm in the sanctuary! We will be meeting the 3rd Tuesday of every month.
For more information please contact Social Justice Committee co-chairs Sue Rekenthaler (   ) or Patrick Murfin (

Coffee with Questions
Topic: Adolph Hitler
Presenter: Russ Marks
Time; Sunday, 4/14/19 @ 9:15
Location: TREE OF LIFE
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
 5603  West Bull Valley Road
McHenry, Illinois 60050
Phone: 815- 322-2464
We will discuss Adolf Hitler's "Brainy Quotes." Internet  

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.   
Sue Rekenthaler was bursting with joys last Sunday.  Sue had a great visit in California with her son, his family, and her adopted son, Abraham from Iraq.  Sue visited with a former C4C guest who now has a job and a home!  

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:    
Recruiting Treat Fleet Volunteers!!

Click Here to sign up

Beyond Our Walls
 Registration for General Assembly Began March 1
General Assembly is the annual meeting of Unitarian Universalists. Besides conducting the business of our association, there are awe inspiring worship services, life changing workshops, and truly motivating speakers. You will never get the chance to be with so many UUs than at a general assembly. A wonderful way to fall deeper in love with Unitarian Universalism. You can read all about it here.  
Is Spokane out of your budget and time availability this year? You can still participate in General Assembly as an online attendee.
With off-site registration for this year's General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, June 19-23, you'll also be able to
  • listen to the mini assemblies on the proposed bylaw amendments and the proposed Congregational Study Action Issues. Delegates will be able to propose amendments.
  • participate in an online chat room to build community and share ideas with other off-site registrants.
  • live-cast select workshops and business sessions.
You'll also be able to watch all events that happen in the General Session Hall: worships, business meetings, and the Ware Lecture.
Delegates will be able to participate in debates and vote in business sessions. Cost is $160 until April 30 and $185 thereafter. Off-site registration for General Assembly is the same process for delegates and non-delegates. For more information, visit
Please note: you don't need to register as an off-site participant to vote in a UUA Election. 
The Unitarian Church of Evanston is delighted to host Seminary-for-a-day, presented and led by the faculty of Meadville Lombard Theological School. Join us to learn what each of us can do to save democracy.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Mike Hogue, Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion. He will speak from his book American Immanence: Democracy for an Uncertain World. Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, and Rev. Dr. Lee Barker, President, will offer their reflections. They will lead small group conversations and panel discussion.  All are welcome. Advance registration is required. Limited seating: register today! Contact the UCE office 847-864-1330 with questions.  
  You are invited to the free Spring Concert at the beautiful Woodstock Opera House "LEGENDS OF ROCK". (Donations accepted). Sunday, May 5th at 3:00pm. TOLUUC Members and Friends Cassandra, Carrie, Annette, Beth, Karen, Sue, Kaz, Ally, and Judy will be on the big stage and hope to see you there. 
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