McHENRY – One of the oldest continually operating congregations in McHenry County got a new name when members voted Sunday to adopt the name Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
The Tree of Life is an image that occurs in many religious traditions around the world affirming the sustaining gifts of creation. The church has used it for more than 40 years.
Now located in McHenry at 5603 Bull Valley Road, the church was founded in Woodstock in 1865 as the First Congregational Church.
Over the next 145 years, the name was changed to the Congregational Universalist Church in 1938 after voting to affiliate with the Universalist Church in America. Then after the Universalists consolidated nationally with the American Unitarian Association to create the Unitarian Universalist Association, the name Congregational Unitarian Church was adopted in 1984.
It was changed again to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock just a few years ago after dual affiliation with United Church of Christ was dropped.
Two years ago, the congregation received the former Haystacks Manor Restaurant building and grounds in McHenry as a donation and moved there from its 100-year-old building in Woodstock. It held its first services in the new building in January 2012.
The congregation serves members throughout McHenry County and from nearby areas in Lake County and southern Wisconsin.
The new name was launched in a brand-new web page at treeoflifeuu.org.