Attending RE Classes
RE students attend the first part of church service at 10:30 a.m., then proceed to RE classes from 10:45 to 11:40.
After class, students are welcomed back with refreshments, conversation, and reflection with LSUS members and guests immediately following services.
RE instructors welcome new students and make sure everyone feels comfortable while learning, making new friends, and having fun. All children are welcome to participate. Parents and guardians are also welcome to join the class.
Ages & Stages
Children will be divided into groups no larger than 8-10 to learn about the week's topic at an age-appropriate level. Size of group and age ranges vary according to the number of children enrolled and present each week. Our RE program provides students with age-appropriate activities and projects that help them learn about various world religions and values, while also exploring their own personal spiritual identities. Some classes include opportunities to plan and execute service projects.
Our youngest students attend structured playtime, where they begin learning foundational elements of religious literacy using age-appropriate toys, games, crafts, and other educational activities that are supervised by an adult teacher or a mature teen member of the congregation. For example, they might hear a story about a holiday such as Easter or Ramadan, and then work on an art project related to the holiday.
Our students in elementary grades begin each session with “Joys and Concerns,” where children can express themselves in a safe setting with peers and a caring adult teacher. In this class, students are introduced to the Unitarian tradition of lighting a chalice, which symbolizes togetherness and community. While each class is different, all include learning, discussion, and hands-on projects.
Middle schoolers and beyond come together in a safe, positive environment to discuss life’s “big questions” and refine the values that will carry them into adulthood.
Coming of Age Ceremony
Typically in 8th or 9th grade, students select an adult member of the congregation to mentor them in a one-on-one discussion process we call Coming of Age. This process culminates in the student developing and presenting a personal Faith Statement to the congregation.
“What I like about religious ed is conveying my ideas to other people, discussing what’s right or wrong. Sometimes in school there’s a chance to do that, but not that often.” —Gill Hurtig, Evanston Township High School student
“Mentoring bridges childhood and the adult world. The mentors help kids filter their thoughts. The kids have a comfortable space to ask questions. They learn to be nonjudgmental, think critically, and assert their beliefs. Often in life there are no rules or guidelines – so if someone challenges them later, they know how to explain themselves.” —Molly Taylor, LSUS Religious Education teacher
“Coming of Age sends a message to teens: Your opinion matters. You are empowered, and expected, to question what you hear.” —Dani Petrie, yoga studio owner
“Kids are so used to communicating electronically, it can almost create a fear of relating in person. The religious ed program brings them together with other kids in a very interactive, face-to-face situation. They learn to relate to others, read body language, and become a good listener – the art of conversation.” —Tony Hurtig (Gill's dad)
“Coming of Age helped my son figure out what he wants to present to the world: who he wants to be, and what he wants his peers to think about him – which is so important at this age.” —Nancy Prial (Sam's mom)