This Sunday in RE

Welcome to a new year of Religious Exploration for our Children and Youth! Last Sunday we honored the start of the new church year with a water communion ceremony (pictured above).

This year we have a lot of exciting things planned as we accompany our young ones as they search for answers to life's big questions, learn how to face life's joys and challenges with compassion, generosity, and integrity, discover a sense of responsibility for others and for the Earth, and seek to find their place in something larger than themselves whether that be the divine or the universe or something else entirely. 

Today in RE:

It's Sundae Sunday, which is an annual tradition on the first day of Fall RE. It's a fun way of learning some Unitarian Universalist history! If you don't know the story, be sure and ask a UUI kid to see what they received in their mailbox today. We will have dairy-free options for our vegan friends! 

Our Preschoolers will be reading "Will Ladybug Hug" which teaches, on an age-appropriate level,  about how our bodies belong to each of us and it's ok to not hug if we're not feeling it! They will be doing fun activities together to support the message.Then they will be visiting the sundae bar.

Our K-1 Group, 2-3 Group, 4-5 Group will each be making name tags, making a Peaceable Being, which is a fun way of making a classroom covenant that explores ways we want to promise to be together in our groups this year. Then everyone will have the chance to visit the sundae bar to create their own ice cream creation. 

Our 6th - 8th Graders will be creating covenant, playing community-building games that are also designed to help youth get to know themselves, a key component of social justice learning. We will also be making name tags and visiting the sundae bar.

Our 9th - 12th Graders have special guest, Ray Wilson, visiting their class today to join in the conversation about the Climate Strike. They will also make name tags and visit the sundae bar.  

Online registration for the Religious Exploration Program is now available so please, please register your family! It's quick and easy and it helps us so much in making sure we are supporting your family to the best of our ability. 

There is more information about our Fall Session by age group and upcoming events below.

Today is going to be an awesome day! I'm looking forward to seeing you! 

Peace and Love,

Susanne Hinson-Rieger

Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Preschoolers (3 & 4 year olds)
Our preschoolers will be using the Chalice Children Curriculum which is based on the philosophy that a child's spiritual development is related to the child's own direct experiences. Each week we read a story book with a story basket, and then dive deeper into the theme of the book with song, art, nature, games and more. Some of the stories we will be sharing are Will Ladybug Hug, It Looked Like Spilt Milk, The Colors of Us, Julian is a Mermaid, Thunder Boy, Jr. and The Great Kapok Tree.

Kindergarten & 1st Graders (and homeschool/unschool equivalent)


Our makerspace curriculum is perfect for this age group who need more free time to explore at their own pace, use their imaginations freely, and need undivided attention of their group leaders. Each week we will read a story book that will deal with life issues such as being kind, fairness, working together, hearing others, consent, and self-acceptance on an age-appropriate level and all through an anti-bias/anti-racist/multi-cultural lens. We will play games and have time to explore with our makerspace materials.

2nd & 3rd Graders (and homeschool /unschool equivalent)
Cartoon Theology

Our 2nd and 3rd Graders will be watching episodes of The Bravest Knight and Molly of Denali, discussing the episodes, and then exploring the themes with art, music, games and various other projects.

4th & 5th Graders (and homeschool/unschool equivalent)
Neighboring Activists

We will be focusing on the making a difference in the world and living our UU principles. 

We will be doing a lot of service projects on campus and taking field trips. 

We will also be building our own community by doing fun things together. 

6th - 8th Graders (and homeschool/unschool equivalent)

Social Justice Year

We will be learning about why we do social justice work, from a Unitarian Universalist perspective and then choosing projects that matter to our youth.

It’s going to be an amazing year!


9th - 12th Graders (and homeschool/unschool equivalent)

This year we will be youth-directed and adult advisor supported and supervised.

Youth Group is the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. We share lunch, discussion, games, youth worship and more.

Class is each week during the service, after the Words for All Ages portion of the service.

  • We will be reading books, watching movies and tv shows to discuss

  • Doing service projects such as a laundromat surprise, working at a soup kitchen, working at a food pantry and more.

  • Volunteering at church together

  • Taking field trips like going to movies, the apple orchard, Haunted Indiana trip, Youth CONs, a summer Service trip and more!

Youth are welcome to bring a friend!


Mark Your Calendars!

First Day Back to Religious Exploration AND Sundae Sunday
September 15
This is the first day kids and youth will be with their new groups for the church year. Click here to find out what each age group will be doing from September - November! This is an important day to be at UUI because we are getting to know each other in a new way. It's also Sundae Sunday! At the end of our RE time together on the first day, we always celebrate Sundae Sunday!

Parents of Elementary School Kids Group
September 20

In the Social Hall from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Bring yourself, your children and a dish to share (if you are able). Child care is provided. For more information, contact Heather MacGumerait at

Youth Bash
September 20 - September 22

This is a fun weekend for our junior and senior high youth! Our 10th - 12th graders (or homeschool / unschool equivalent) spend Friday night planning the weekend for our 6th - 9th graders. Junior and Senior High Youth spend Saturday together playing games, sharing meals, and in workshops. Saturday night 9th - 12th graders have an overnight together and 6th - 8th graders have an overnight together.

Blessing of the Backpacks
September 22

Children, youth and educators are all invited to bring their backpacks, tote bags, handbags, and briefcases to church for our annual Blessing of the Backpacks! Each person will receive a keychain/backpack charm to hang on their backpack to remind them that our community supports them in their lifelong search for truth and meaning, no matter where they are.

OWL Parent and Youth Meeting (10th - 12th Grades)
September 22

From 5pm - 7pm at UUI.

Children's Chapel
September 29

On this day during Religious Exploration we will be having a special Children's Chapel, led by our Director of Ministry, Jamie Hinson-Rieger, who will be leaving the service that day with the children. A guest speaker will be delivering the sermon to the adults.

Senior High Youth Group
September 29

For our youth in 9th - 12th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for lunch, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the Senior High Youth Room in the UUI Cottage.

Haunted Indiana Youth Trip
October 4-6

There are four secret weekend itineraries planned by youth adviser, Tim Murphy (parents get a copy, youth do not) for Indiana weekend road trips full of historic, spooky and some say, haunted places. By the end of their senior year, each youth has the opportunity to have gone on all four weekend trips! Click here to register and for more information.

We Honor Indigenous Peoples' Day
October 13

Fall Senior High Youth Convention CON
October 18-20
Muncie, Indiana

UUI 40th Anniversary Party
October 19

UUI turns 40 this year! Help us celebrate! Weather cooperating, we will have early outdoor activities, a bonfire & s’mores, followed by an inside social hour with jazz music, a short program honoring our history, and finally, a rockin’ dance party for all! Child care will also be available in the evening if desired.

All-Church Halloween Party
October 27

Join us for this annual tradition that includes a chili cook-off lunch, a youth-created haunted house, trunk-or-treating and a fun party for all!

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
October 27

5pm-8pm at UUI

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
November 3

5pm-8pm at UUI

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
November 10

5pm-8pm at UUI

Age of Reason Ceremony
November 17
UUI's 2019 Age of Reason Ceremony for our 1st graders (and homeschool and unschool equivalent) will be held on Sunday, November 17 during the Service. This is a milestone ceremony that celebrates reason and education during which the child's grownups present their child with a book they have chosen for the child either because the book is special to them or it has a message they particularly want their child to learn. Click here for more details.

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
November 17

5pm-8pm at UUI

Popcorn, PJ, Movie Day
November 24
Kids are encouraged to invite a friend, wear their pj's and go straight to class on this annual Sunday tradition! This year we will be watching Pachamama for our little ones and Coco for our older kids. Junior and Senior High youth will be choosing their own films to watch.

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
November 24

5pm-8pm at UUI

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Class for 10th - 12th Graders
December 8

5pm-8pm at UUI

Blue Christmas Service
December 13

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
December 24