Religious Exploration

At First UU Church of New Orleans, we offer our children and youth a safe, caring community of inter-generational sharing, respect, and joy.

We encourage them to grow into Unitarian Universalists who:

  • Can articulate a personal religious philosophy
  • Are compassionate with a commitment for social justice
  • Feel awe at the wonder of the universe
  • Have faith that their positive efforts are worthwhile

To meet these ends, Religious Exploration at First UU Church draws on various programming. During the official RE year (roughly Labor Day- Memorial Day), children participate in age appropriate Religious Exploration classes Sunday mornings during Worship Service. Our RE classes are taught by trained volunteer teachers. Our RE program focuses on curricula that teach about Unitarian Universalist values, world religions’ traditions and beliefs, and social justice.

To complement and supplement their classes, children and youth participate in ritualized worship through Children’s Chapel monthly and attend inter-generational services with the congregation at large throughout the year. Children and youth also plan social justice projects with RE volunteers throughout the year to put their faith into action.

We end each Religious Exploration year with one RE service: our annual RE and Flower Communion Sunday.

During the summer months, we offer a smaller RE program to accommodate people’s various summer schedules. Our children participate in an all-ages (4-12) RE program, and our youth group meets less frequently—usually once or twice a month.

For more information, please contact our Director of Religious Exploration, Katie Gelfand at

kgelfand_trail_opt Katie Gelfand, our Director of Religious Exploration, is a native of New Orleans and was raised in the First Unitarian Universalist Church. She has a liberal arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. During and after college, she spent ten years teaching, facilitating, and directing alternative education programs, all with an emphasis on engaging students’ various learning and creative styles. For four years she was a costume designer for local community theater companies. At FUUNO Gelfand served on the RE Team, the Worship Committee, and as board secretary. She has participated in and staffed various regional UU leadership development programs. Concurrent to her work at the church, Gelfand is a multifaceted healing arts practitioner. She has been the DRE at FUUNO since January 2016.

If you have any questions about our Religious Exploration programs, email her at