Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation

By: M. E. Tanabe,

Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person and respecting the interdependent web of all existence are fundamental principles of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Honoring those principles is deeply important to our congregation and, as a congregation, we support and work with programs that serve these ideals. We have both social justice and environmental justice teams that keep the congregation informed of service opportunities and learning events.

In 2012, two of our members formed the Compassion for Campers program (C4C), which seeks to share community with our homeless neighbors during the months when PADS sites are closed. Hosts are arranged to share a weekly communal picnic at the PADS headquarters in Woodstock and collected food and personal items are made available.

Another engaging congregational program is our Second Sunday Offering in which, once a month, we collect the unmarked offerings to benefit programs that serve humanity. There is a new recipient each month and a program representative is invited to briefly tell the congregation about the work being done and to give information about ways to be involved in their efforts. So the offering both raises congregational awareness for the area of service and also grows community with the organization...and with our neighbors as well. Some of the past recipients have been PADS, the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI), McHenry County Resource Center, Family Health Partnership Clinic, TLS Veterans, CASA for children, Thresholds, and McHenry County Conservation Foundation.

Our congregational identity lies deeply within our desire to serve. We have many members who work with PADS, C4C, ICDI, CASA, and food pantries. We donate 10% of congregational fundraisers to local service organizations. We are a Welcoming Congregation and supportive of the LGBT community. We advocate for an embrace of diversity of all kinds. We are committed to growing interfaith understanding.