An Enlightening Experience

Students visit pristine houses of worship in SCHS field trip


Lydia Holtermann

The Hindu Temple of Saint Louis exterior

by Patrick Benedict, Web Designer

On Friday, Oct. 4, Patrick Gebhard’s World Cultures class and David Jones’s AP World History class took a field trip to several houses of worship in the St. Charles area.

“The trip was about learning more about different religions and how they compared” one of the field trip attendees, sophomore Cassidy Blanke said. “We gained a better respect and understanding of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and orthodox religions, and their connection to other cultures.”

Of course, when attending these locations, etiquette and dress code was an important factor in student participation.

“Students were instructed to wear long pants without holes in them,” Jones said, “and to cover themselves in a modest fashion. Socks and shoes were also required as several buildings required no shoes.”

“It was important we weren’t wearing shorts, short skirts, or ripped jeans, or wearing tank tops or off-the-shoulder tops.” Blanke said. “We were encouraged to take pictures at some of the locations but in others, like the Hindu temple, it was asked that we didn’t take any pictures or videos inside, and of course, not to ask rude questions or do anything disrespectful.”

“[The trip] started this Spring,” Jones said. “The students seem to enjoy the art and architecture of each building, and listening to speakers describe their respective religions.”

On the trip, the students attended the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, the Hindu Temple of Saint Louis, the United Hebrew Congregation, and the Da’ar-ul-Islam Mosque.

“I really enjoyed the Jewish congregation,” sophomore Lydia Holtermann said, “because you learned how the Old Testament was essentially the same as the foundation for Christianity, but in other ways, it’s completely different. The prettiest part was where they had an arc where they kept all the Torahs, and there were still decorations all around from Rosh Hashanah.”

Others preferred the Hindu temple, with its numerous intricate statues caking the sides of the central building.

“My favorite place to visit was the Hindu temple,” Blanke said, “because I found it to be the most peaceful and the tour guide told us a lot of very interesting stories, and I think the religion itself is very interesting and relatable. All of the tour guides were very kind and helpful at every location though.”

Jones, however, prefers multiple facets of all of the locations.

“I enjoy the simplicity of the Muslim building, the paintings in the Orthodox Church and the art and statues in the Hindu temple.” Jones said. “The stained glass of the Hebrew Temple tells a powerful story as well. All four speakers were dynamic plus we got to eat lunch at the Orthodox Church.”