Monday, December 11, 2017

A Day at Tree of Life—AM Sexual Harassment Eye Opener, PM Joyful Holiday Concert

How much can you squeeze in at one small Church on a Sunday in the middle of the Holiday Season?  As it turns out, quite a lot and plenty of emotional variety thrown in as a bonus if that church is the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 West Bull Valley Road in McHenry.
TOL’s weekly adult discussion Coffee With Questions is addressing one of the most dramatic and controversial issues dominating the news today—sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse this Sunday morning December 17 at 9:15.  

Charges of sexual harassment have led to the downfall of leading political, entertainment, and business figures this year spurred by the groundswell of the #MeToo movement.  The issue is so important Coffee With Questions is issuing a special invitation to the public to join in its challenging discussion this week.The discussion will be facilitated by Judy Stettner, Tree of Life’s Office Administer and Co-chair of its Social Justice Team, and Terry Kappel, a well-known McHenry County social justice and political activist.

In keeping with the program’s format participants will be asked to consider several facts and questions:
In the past year there have been many public accusations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and rape. As allegations against individuals have come out, many women, and men have felt emboldened by the bravery of others to come out with their own violations, despite the pain of public humiliation, judgement, and retaliation. The #MeToo movement followed with revelations by multiple women on social media who shared their own painful experiences.
The numbers of women revealing abhorrent behavior has become a tidal wave. Some individuals have been fired or forced to resign their positions amid such accusations. Some who have been accused and have refused to acknowledge the accusations, and even resorted to the time tested tactic of slandering their accusers.
While accusations by men and women of sexual harassment have been more numerous in recent months, the allegations still face the same obstacles.
What is sexual harassment and where is the line between casual flirtatious conduct and misconduct?
Is there culture which permits and even excuses sexual behavior which can cross the line of appropriateness?
How do we maintain a presumption of innocence while still encouraging those abused to come forward?
What is the appropriate punishment for sexual misconduct?
What is the toll of sexual harassment on women and men who have experienced it?
Childcare is available with an advance request to Religious Education Director Sam Jones at .

The discussion is free and open to the public.

After Coffee With Questions concludes Sam Jones will lead a special all ages worship service at 10:45 celebrating Winter Solstice and the return of the light with a fire communion.

The Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation Choir sings at a Holiday Concert.  Right to left, Judy Sowinski, Judy Stettner, Ivy Sitkoski, Heather Madaus, and Beth Hoover.

‘Tis the Season is the theme of the Tree of Life’s annual Holiday Concert at 3 pm.
Music Director Forrest Ransburgh said:
 We celebrate great themes of Christmastime. Themes of Winter’s First Snow, Fireside Glow, and Good Friends You Know combine to inspire that special magic that only music of the holidays can! The concert will feature the wonderful Tree of Life Choir, the delightful First Notes youth program, and some fabulous guest musicians who will come together to make an afternoon of beautiful music.”
Almost 30 voices strong the Tree of Life Adult Choir is one of the most admired choral groups in McHenry County and noted for the breadth and originality of its repetoire.  The choir toured in Romania in 2015 and  performs across Northern Illinois.
There is plenty of parking and children are welcome to this family friendly event.  The building and sanctuary are wheel-chair accessible.  Light refreshments will be served in the Social Room after the concert.
Christmas and all of the seasonal Festivals of Light are celebrated at Tree of Life UU Congregation.
There is no admission charge for the performance, but a free-will collection will be taken.
For more information call Tree of Life at 815 322-2464, e-mail  or visit .

No comments:

Post a Comment