Religious Explorations Program
The LSUS Religious Explorations (RE) program strives to provide preschoolers through teenagers with experiences and relationships that will help them journey through life with integrity, compassion, hope, and wonder.
Guided by Unitarian Universalist principles, the program gives kids the spiritual and cultural literacy they need in an increasingly interdependent world.
Rather than holding up a certain doctrine as “valid,” we promote values shared by the world’s major religions that can guide each child on his or her own spiritual path.
The mission of our RE program is to provide an environment in which each child can be a seeker of personal truth while developing:
- A foundation of values and theological knowledge from diverse and dynamic traditions;
- A reverence for and joy in life;
- A strong sense of community which respects individual differences;
- A strong sense of individual responsibility and social responsibility;
- An understanding that one can make a difference through his or her outlook and interactions, one day at a time; and
- A way of thinking and approaching life as a Unitarian Universalist.
The curriculum is structured as a 3-year cycle so that over time, students revisit key topics in age appropriate ways. The three rotating themes are:
- Unitarian Universalist Traditions, Beliefs, and History
- Judeo-Christian Heritage
- World Religions
In the year 2015-2016, the children will learn about Unitarian Universalist Traditions, Beliefs, and History.
Our RE program thrives on family involvement. We ask parents to volunteer to teach 1-2 times per semester (a lesson plan is provided). It is a great opportunity not only to get to know other children in the program, but also to share your own spiritual beliefs and values within the boundary of a lesson guideline. Parent feedback is most welcome and any other participation is appreciated, whether parents volunteer to serve on the RE committee, help at RE social action events, or participate in some other way that fits their skills and interests.
RE program runs from September to May, divided into two semesters:
Fall Semester for 2015 is Sept. 13 - Dec. 13. No RE class on Dec. 6, but children and their families are invited to attend the holiday celebration service, which will feature the LSUS Choral Group and Youth Choir as well as audience participation. 13 classes.
Winter/Spring Semester for 2016 is Jan. 3 - May 15. No RE class on Mar. 20 or Mar. 27 (New Trier Township spring break). May 8 is "Religious Explorations Sunday," during which Lake Shore children and youth present what they have learned to the adults in the congregation. No RE class on May 15, but children and their families are invited to attend the spring music celebration, which will feature the LSUS Choral Group and Youth Choir. 17 classes including Religious Explorations Sunday.
- $120 per semester for the first child, with a $180 family maximum
- Early registration (by 10/1 for fall, by 2/1 for winter/spring) is $90 per semester for the first child, with a $135 family maximum
Registration for the 2015-2016 program year is now open. Click here to register or request more information below.
To receive an early registration discount, register by October 1, 2015, for the fall semester and by February 1, 2016, for the winter/spring semester.
"We looked at progressive synagogues for our kids’ religious education, and at local churches of different denominations. Then a friend introduced us to LSUS, and it just fit. The RE program has given our son and daughter exposure to a wide range of other religious beliefs, practices and rituals. Plus, the friends they’ve made here are great kids.” —Tony Hurtig, Evanston architect
“The RE program has helped our kids form a framework for how to live, how to treat people. It’s not about answers, but giving them questions to consider.” —Nancy Prial, Wilmette investment fund manager
“My husband and I wanted our kids to have religious literacy. We wanted them to know Bible stories, but also how the world’s major religions are more alike than different. The lessons of peace, kindness and charity are shared by all religions.” —Dani Petrie, yoga studio owner