Service Schedule

Sunday Services & RE Classes from September to May at 10:30 a.m. 



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lake Michigan:  Our Globally Significant Resource

Guest Speaker: Judy Beck, Retired Lake Michigan Manager in the Great Lakes Natioanl Program Office, United States Environmental Protection Agency. 


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Interpersonal Conflict: What 30 Years of Research Has Taught Us about Managing It

Guest Speaker: Liz Garvey, Associate Marriae and Famiy Therapist and LSUS Member. 




Sunday, January 22, 2017

What Form Will Immigration Reform Take with a New President and Congress?

Guest Speaker: Julie Strauss, Ph.D., Lecturer on American Politics


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Get Curious: How Curiosity Replaced Revelation

Guest Speaker: Mr. Jeff Wagg, Curator, College of Curiosity

Throughout most of human history, civilization has held that there was a universal truth, passed down to us in the form of revelation.  These "truths" often came with a contract: don't ask questions, or an ultimate power will be very unhappy with you.  Where are we if we brave the gods and ask those questions?  What can we learn?  And how should we act?

A curator’s job is to collect and present what the rest of us will find unusual, interesting, and delightful.  It takes insatiable curiosity and a taste for the offbeat.  Jeff Wagg has these qualities.  From a young age, according to his father, Jeff was “… off in his own world.”  While other youngsters lost themselves in sports, Jeff lost himself in nature, history, science, computers, zoos, museums, geography, metallurgy, history, botany, and more.  Jeff’s thirst for knowledge stayed with him through obtaining an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and halfway through a masters degree.  He has spent his life traveling and living different lives. He has held jobs as varied as driving a school bus to running a non-profit dedicated to critical thinking.  As curator of the College of Curiosity, his goal is to bring more wonder and thoughtfulness into the world.  He has been featured on Canadian television, in the Chicago Sun Times, and at various conferences around the country.  His writing has appeared in Skeptical Inquirer, Daily Kos, Lifehacker, Atlas Obscura, James Randi's Swift, and various blogs and podcasts around the Internet.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cosmos and Connection

Guest Speaker: Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, Astrophysicist, Astronomer, Adler Planetarium

Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz will discuss some of the many ways in which humanity connects to its place in the universe, focusing on the discovery of planets beyond our own system, in particular those found by NASA's Kepler Mission.  With planets beyond our own system now numbering in the thousands, we learn more every day about Earth's place among the stars.  These discoveries raise questions that are both scientific and fundamentally human in nature.  Dr. Walkowicz will also talk about how humanity connects by viewing the night sky, and by new ways of participating in scientific discovery.

Dr. Walkowicz, as an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, studies stellar magnetic activity and how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life.  She is also an artist and works in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound.  Dr. Walkowicz holds a B.S. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  She was the Kepler Fellow at UC Berkeley, and the Henry Norris Russell Fellow at Princeton University, before joining the Astronomy Department at Adler Planetarium in 2014. She is a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, a 2011 National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, and has been internationally recognized for her advocacy for conservation of dark night skies.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Can Teaching Our Children about Religion Bring Peace to Our World?

Guest Speaker: Ms. Edwina Cowell, Founder, Spiritual Playdate

Ms. Cowell will answer your questions on how to tackle the often taboo subject of religion with your children, and will tell us why parents have a great opportunity to positively shape the hearts and minds of our youth.  In this talk she will provide what she believes may be the beginning of one path to peace.

Ms. Cowell designed and developed Spiritual Playdate for children ages 5-11 to be used at home or with Affiliate Organizations such as houses of worship.  Her dream to create a platform with which to teach love and religious acceptance came when she became a mother of two sons.  She studied philosophy and theology at Felician College in Chicago, and incollaboration with faith educators and leaders from around the globe, Spiritual Playdate was born in 2010.  Ms. Cowell believes that the clearest path to future peace in an interfaith world begins with our children.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fixing the Broken Justice System in Cook County

Guest Speaker: Ms. Amy Campanelli, Cook County Public Defender

The Cook County criminal justice system is broken and in desperate need of repair.  For at least the last three decades Illinois has gotten tough on crime by imposing draconian sentences without any discretion by the judge to sentence based on the age of the accused or his level of participation in the offense.  Cook County must look to diversion courts, such as drug court, veteran’s court, mental health court and prostitution and sex trafficking court to help people with problems.  Statistics show that individuals who receive intervention are less likely to recidivate.  The system of mass incarceration, with excessive pre-trial bonds and post-trial sentences, disproportionately affects people of color.  This causes disruption in the family structure, employment and education of the accused.  As citizens of Cook County we can fix the system one step at time.  The first step is to admit there is a problem.

Ms. Amy P. Campanelli was sworn in as the tenth Public Defender of Cook County on April 1, 2015. Amy's appointment was the culmination of 27 years of representing the indigent accused. She started as an assistant public defender in 1987, moving to the Felony Trial Division until 1998.  Her caseload included felonies of many kinds, from low level drug cases to capital murder. After leaving the office to care for her family for five years, she returned in 2003 as an Attorney Supervisor assigned to the Felony Trial Division.   Amy eventually became Capital Case Coordinator in 2010.  After the death penalty was abolished in Illinois, Amy served as Deputy Chief of the Homicide Task Force and Deputy Chief of the Felony Trial Division. In 2012, she was elevated to Deputy Public Defender in charge of all five suburban districts in Cook County, a position she held until her appointment as the Public Defender.  Over the years, Amy has been a frequent lecturer and trainer on mental health issues, trial advocacy, trial preparation, and therapeutic courts. Amy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana and her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Amy is married to Patrick Campanelli, and they have three children- Paul, Annabelle, and Emily.  Amy is the second female to serve as the Public Defender.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Children and Faith in Multidimensional Families: Discussing Faith with Children in Modern Families with Multiple Generations, Faiths, Cultures and Marital Statuses

Panelists: Dr. Scott Paeth, Associate Prof., Religious Studies, DePaul University & Ms. Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy, Communications Strategist

As more parents and families identify themselves as unaffiliated, secular, interfaith, spiritual or non-orthodox, their children may be facing some challenges in identifying themselves with their parents, grandparents or community.  How do we discuss faith with children in our multidimensional modern families?  Lake Shore takes on this topic and more at its upcoming parent panel presentation.  The discussion will cover children’s curiosity with religious identity, multigenerational differences and appropriate ways to answer their questions based on their delicate psychology.  Dr. Scott Paeth, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University, and Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy, Policy Communication Strategist, will explore these challenges for modern families and answer questions. The panelists will also provide insight on discussing acceptance of religious differences within a family and on providing accessible options for religious exploration without biased imposition.

Dr. Scott Paeth is a theologian, musician, published author and a regular speaker at LSUS services.  Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy is a lifelong and practicing Christian, who is married to a Jewish man, and they practice both religions in their house.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

R. W. Emerson and W. Whitman: Romantic Individualism

Guest Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Goluboff, Prof. of English, Lake Forest College

Scholars have criticized Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman for maintaining an "imperial" concept of the self, that is, a self without obligations to others, without ties to the community.  Illustrated with excerpts from their works, this talk will assess this claim, and identify reasons to both affirm and deny the charge of imperialism.  We will consider questions of collective action, the nature of evil, the writer's audience and the American future as they figure in Emerson’s and Whitman's meditations on the self.

 Dr. Goluboff holds a BA from New York University where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has published dozens of scholarly articles on 19th and 20th century poetry, one of which is “Emerson’s English Traits: ‘The Mechanics of Conversation’” in American Transcendental Quarterly.  Some of his most recent creative works are “Curtis LeMay, His Cigar” and “Home on Leave, Siegfried Sassoon Hallucinates Corpses in Piccadilly” in Kentucky Review and “A Lost Work by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska” in First Class Literary Magazine.  He is a winner of the Great Teacher Award from Lake Forest College.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Saving the Past for the Future: Legal and Ethical Approaches to Preserving Cultural Heritage

Guest Speaker: Dr. Patty Gerstenblith, Distinguished Research Professor, Director, Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law, DePaul University College of Law

The world's cultural heritage and its archaeological heritage, in particular, have long been threatened by war and by looting during times of both peace and conflict.  The ongoing aftermath of the Arab Spring has been particularly destructive of the cultural heritage in the Middle East as sites are looted on an industrial scale and historic structures fall victim to all sides in the conflict.  Prof. Gerstenblith will address the legal and ethical restraints that aim to reduce the incentives to loot archaeological objects for the purpose of sale on the international art market and the intentional destruction of cultural sites during armed conflict.

Patty Gerstenblith is distinguished research professor of law at DePaul University College of Law and director of its Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law. She is founding president of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (2005-2011), secretary of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and senior advisor to the ABA's Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee.  In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as the chair of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State, on which she had previously served as a public representative in the Clinton administration. From 1995 to 2002, she was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cultural Property. Her publications include the casebook, Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law (now in its third edition), and the article, “Beyond the 1954 Hague Convention” in Cultural Awareness in the Military (Robert Albro and Bill Ivey eds 2014).  Gerstenblith received her AB from Bryn Mawr College, PhD in art history and anthropology from Harvard University, and JD from Northwestern University.

Cellist Alexandre Debrus will join Elif Allenfort, pianist, in performing at this service.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Israeli Military Detention: No Way to Treat a Child

Guest Speaker: Ms. Jennifer Bing, Director, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago’s Office for the Middle East Program

Ms. Bing's talk will cover the advocacy campaign focused on ending military detention of Palestinian children. Details are at  In the past decade, nearly 8,000 Palestinian children living in the occupied West Bank have been arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the widespread, systematic abuse and ill treatment of Palestinian children.  She will share testimonies of Palestinian children and the impact their detention has on communities in the West Bank.

Jennifer Bing directs the Israel-Palestine program for the AFSC in Chicago.  She began her advocacy for Palestinian children after working as a teacher in a Quaker school in Ramallah during the first Palestinian uprising (1986-1989).  As a field worker and researcher for Swedish Save the Children, she documented the impact of the first popular uprising on Palestinian children under the age of 16. Jennifer has worked with AFSC since 1989, organizing dozens of speaking tours, conferences, educational workshops, protests, delegations, and public events. She has produced two documentary films about the Palestinian American community in Chicago and serves as a resource to people interested in activism and advocacy for human rights. The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that works for policies which reflect a cooperative search for solutions to protect our planet, reduce violent conflict, advance social justice, and meet global needs.  In the U.S., AFSC works to educate audiences about Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and supports activist efforts to change government policies and practices that support inequality and the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.


Sunday, March 27, 2016 (Easter)

Adoption: The Rest of the Iceberg  

Guest Speaker: Ms. Julie Tye, President and CEO, The Cradle, Evanston

When most of us think of adoption, we imagine new parents joyfully welcoming an infant into their family, having their dreams fulfilled by the selfless act of a woman who cannot parent her baby.  And, for the most part, this is all true.  But it is just the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to joy, there is a great deal of sorrow, making both the birth mother and the adoptive parents extremely vulnerable.  When adoption services are provided correctly, their journey, while difficult, makes all of them stronger.  When provided poorly, their journey can involve lifelong pain.  During our time together, we will explore what lurks beneath the tip of the iceberg.

Julie Tye has been President and CEO at The Cradle since 1992, during which time there has been a four-fold increase in annual public support from $500,000 to $2 million.  There has also been a 100% increase in the number of expectant parents served despite a declining birth rate in the target demographic.  Ms. Tye and her group initiated the Adoption Reform Act of 2005 and they were one of its chief architects.  They also had a role in editing the Original Birth Certificates Act of 2010 and a bigger role in testifying on its behalf.  Ms. Tye received her Masters of Management, Hospital and Health Services Administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and her B.S. in Biology (summa cum laude) from Pace University in New York.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Affordable Care Act: Are We Healthy Now?

Guest Speaker: Dr. Craig Klugman, Bioethicist and Medical Anthropologist, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Health Sciences, DePaul University.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare) was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation since the 1966 passage of the Medicare and Medicaid acts that expanded government-paid health care coverage to the elderly, orphans, widowed, and disabled.  Those on the left have called it the “single most important piece of legislation since World War II (Jonathan Gruber, MIT professor and former presidential health policy advisor) while those on the right have called it nothing less than “evil” (J. Christian Adams, attorney).  The reality is somewhere in the middle.  Most people like the elimination of lifetime caps, pre-existing condition clauses, and allowing children to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26.  Some dislike the required coverage for reproductive health services(there is a case before the Supreme Court right now)and the health insurance mandate(uninsured individuals will pay a $695 tax penalty this year).  Under the law, over 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage, reducing the uninsured to 9.2%.  Debate continues about whether the law has cost jobs, increased prices, or saved money.  With the ACA's future under scrutiny in the presidential election, examining the facts as well as the ethics behind it are important components of being an informed citizen.

Dr. Klugman studies ethics of health policy, public health ethics, and end of life issues.  He is the editor of Ethical Issues in Rural Health and the forthcoming MacMillan Handbook of Philosophy on Medical Ethics. Having written over 260 publications, he is blog editor for where he writes on issues of health policy, medical technology, and professionalism, as well as an author whose work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Medium, Pacific Standard Magazine, and The Hill.  He is the producer of the films Advance Directives and A Cure for Dying.  Dr. Klugman earned his doctorate in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch, master’s degrees in Medical Anthropology and Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University, and his bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

China's Environmental Challenge

Guest Speaker: Dr. Phillip Stalley, Associate Prof. & Fulbright Scholarship Program Advisor, Dept. of Political Science,  DePaul University.

Over the last four decades, no country has moved up the economic ladder as quickly as China.  China’s nine percent annual growth, faster than any country in history, has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty.  However, it has also placed a tremendous strain on the natural environment.  Sixteen of the twenty most polluted cities in the world are in China and it is estimated that air pollution alone contributes to 1.2 million premature deaths in China each year—a population greater than that of San Francisco. The concern of many is that China’s current rate of environmental damage is not sustainable and threatens to reverse many ofits recent economic achievements.  In this talk, Dr. Stalley will discuss the causes and consequences of China’s environmental challenge.  In the process, he will introduce some of the steps the Chinese government is taking to promote sustainable development, as well as the obstacles inhibiting better environmental protection.

 Dr. Stalley teaches courses on international relations, Chinese politics and environmental politics at DePaul.  He received a Ph.D. in International Relations from George Washington University.  Prior to joining DePaul, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program.  He is the author of Foreign Firms, Investment, and Environmental Regulation in the People's Republic of China (Stanford University Press) and his work can be found in academic journals such as the China Quarterly, Global Environmental Politics, and the Journal of Contemporary China.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Between Stories and Beliefs: The Complicated Partnership of Religion and Literature

Guest Speaker: Dr. Claire Sufrin, Visiting Professor, Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University.

In this talk, Dr. Sufrin will suggest different ways of thinking about the relationship between religion and literature.  We will begin by considering the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22 as an example of how religions use literature to convey their messages.  Dr. Sufrin will then discuss ways in which literary writers can illustrate what it means to lead a religious life, with a particular focus on the novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, an American novelist and essayist who has received several awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Humanities Medal.

Dr. Sufrin is a scholar of religion, focusing on modern Jewish thought and theology, particularly modern interpretation of the Bible, the intersection of religion and literature, and gender and religion.  She has published articles in a variety of journals and edited volumes and presents regularly at academic conferences.  She has taught previously at Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the University of Notre Dame, and Northeastern University in Boston.  She also teaches regularly for the Alumnae of Northwestern University Continuing Education Program and as a scholar-in-residence at synagogues and other institutions.  Dr. Sufrin holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University.  She lives with her husband and two sons in Evanston.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Terrorism from a Muslim Perspective

Guest Speaker: Prof. Inam Haq, Niebuhr Center for Faith and Action, Dept. of Religious Studies, Elmhurst College.

The word jihad has entered into common usage in the United States in the wake of the September 11 attacks.  Politicians use it to conjure up terrifying images of irrational foreigners coming to destroy American freedoms; religious figures use it to define Islam.  Jihad has even entered our everyday vocabulary, associated with unrestrained, unreasoning, total warfare.  But what does it really mean?  Mr. Haq will discuss the origin of jihad in Islam, its historical development and its more recentconversion into random, senseless violence.  What political and ideological developments led to this menace and how should we best respond?

 In addition to his duties at Niebuhr Center and Elmhurst College, Professor Haq is adjunct professor at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Hyde Park Chicago.  Previously Mr. Haq was principal of the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park for 11 years.  He is also a founding member of the International Strategy and Policy Institute, an Oakbrook based think tank.  He served on the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch and currently serves on the Board of Cardinal Bernadine Center of CTU.  Mr. Haq is an honorary Imam in various local mosques in the Chicago area.  He studied at International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and at Drew University in New Jersey.  He has been frequently interviewed by local media, including The Chicago Tribune and PBS, on issues concerning Islam and Muslims.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Designer Babies or the Future of Medicine: Ethical Implications of Modern Genetic Technology

Guest Speaker: Dr. Mike Kennedy

Dr. Mike Kennedy, Director of Science in Society and Research Professor in Neurobiology at Northwestern University, will speak on the topic, Designer Babies or the Future of Medicine: Ethical Implications or Modern Genetic Technology.  Advances in assisted reproductive technology over the last 20 years have generated an entirely new set of ethical issues related to conceiving a child.  No longer is nature fully in charge.  Using in vitro fertilization and modern genetic technology, parents are now able to conceive a child free from the devastating impact of genetic disease.  This same approach, however, allows parents to potentially choose their child's gender.  It allows parents to conceive genetically compatible children to serve as tissue donors for ailing siblings.  Research using powerful gene-editing technology may reveal new treatments for infertility, but can also be used to insert novel genes into human embryos.  Dr. Kennedy's talk will explore this new age of modern reproductive technology and the ethical dilemmas it has created.

Michael Kennedy has been involved in science education and outreach for more than a decade. He co-developed one of Northwestern University's first annual public education events, the Science Outreach Series, geared towards informing citizens of developments in the life sciences.  This annual event, held from 2001-2007, brought internationally prominent speakers to Northwestern’s campus to lecture on topics including the Human Genome Project, stem cell biology, human cloning, genetically modified foods, global warming, and neuroimaging.  In 2008, Dr. Kennedy co-founded Science Club, a mentor-based afterschool science initiative, developed in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and teachers in Chicago Public Schools. The success and growth of Science Club led to the establishment of a new research center for science education and public engagement at Northwestern under the Science in Society name, of which Kennedy serves as founding director.  Dr. Kennedy’s previous positions at Northwestern include Associate Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Director of Education and Outreach for the Center for Genetic Medicine, and most recently, Chief of Staff for the Feinberg School of Medicine.  He has a B.S. in chemistry from St. John’s University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Is Artificial Intelligence Good and When Will It Get Here?

Guest Speaker: Dr. Doug Downey

Dr. Doug Downey, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, will speak on the topic, Is Artificial Intelligence Good and When Will It Get Here?  Today more than ever, there is intense debate over the future that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will create.  On the one hand are dire predictions that AI is “more dangerous than nukes” -  apocalyptic visions in which AI renders humankind obsolete or even non-existent.  On the other side are promises of a utopian future – any day now, self-driving cars will whisk us wherever we want to go, and human-like robots will automate the drudgery of daily life.  Dr. Downey will discuss exciting AI applications that lie on the horizon, arguing that the predictions of impending radical change (whether positive or negative) are overblown.  The road to artificial intelligence will be longer and bumpier than many realize.  Further, the future of AI is something we must collectively choose.  Dr. Downey will discuss what each of us can do to help ensure that AI ultimately works in humankind’s best interests.
Downey received a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008, and has worked in the fields of natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for 15 years.  His research focuses on new ways to automatically extract knowledge from the World Wide Web, with a goal of enabling improved Web search technology.  He was selected as one of seven awardees of a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship in 2010, was appointed to DARPA’s Computer Science Study Panel in 2011, and received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2014.  He has recently contributed to research prototypes including and


Sunday, May 15, 2016

LSUS Spring Music Celebration

LSUS has talent!  Put a “spring” in your step listening to the gifted musicians at LSUS, including piano, violin, classical guitar, and voice performances.  Also sharing the stage will be the children in LSUS’ Religious Explorations, providing a brief description of what they learned this past season.  This program is certain to bring a smile to all who attend!
This program concludes our 2015-2016 year.