February 21, 2017
Talking about Sex at Church?
I’ve had sex on the brain for the last month….
No, I’m not about to share Too Much Information (TMI). It’s because we started the Elementary levels of Our Whole Lives (OWL) last month, I’ve been writing about my experiences as a sexuality educator for my portfolio for credentialing, and we’re about to start two Adult levels of OWL, including a brand new field test of OWL for Older Adults!
You may be wondering, why do we talk about Sex at Church, anyway?
For many of us, that would have never happened in the faith tradition of our childhood. For many of us, we might not have had that conversation at home, either. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a human sexuality class in college. We had to have a personal interview with the professor before we could register, but that course changed my life. It helped me understand myself, my friends, and opened my eyes to a much wider world than I would have ever learned about through my parents or through my childhood faith.
The first time I went to a UUA-sponsored human sexuality training, I was in awe. This was powerful work, and our children didn’t have to wait until college to learn about healthy sexuality. Our adults could have fun and gain information and learn about ideas that are changing our world.
Teaching OWL for Adults at a summer camp brought it home for me. We had an 80-year-old person ready to date for the first time in over 60 years. She had questions about dating and consent and safety, and she was coached in all those ideas by a 20-something-year-old in class who was also newly single and also ready to start dating again. The conversations were amazing!
Rev. William Sinkford, former president of the UUA, had this to say about teaching human sexuality in church: “This truly is a religious calling. We all come into this world as expressions of the great creative force that shapes the universe, the force that many call God. Theologically, UUs see sexuality as one of God’s greatest gifts. We express our sexuality best when we’re ethically and morally grounded, so responsible sexuality education is about much more than just biology and rules: It is about values, including self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity, and communication.”
Adult OWL teaches so much more than what we do beneath the covers. Human sexuality is who we are as body-selves who experience the emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual need for intimate communion, human and divine. During Adult OWL, we talk about Mind and Body and Pleasure, Gender and Orientation, Communication, Relationships, Love and Commitment, Sexuality and Family, Boundaries, Fantasies, and more. This is your chance to have deep conversations with other adults, learn about ideas you would like to know more about, and have FUN!
If you are an adult ages 19-119, interested in a conversation with other adults across those ages, please join us Wednesday evening, February 22nd, 7:00-9:00 pm in Room 150 for the Orientation. Workshops will be held on five Saturdays, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, from March 4 to April 1.
Older Adults OWL will run Thursdays, 1:00-3:00 pm, from April 20 through June 18. This class is recommended for ages 50+ and will specifically address issues and ideas for older adults, including Attitudes about Aging, Sex and Disabilities, the Sexual Body, Diversity, Safer Sex, and more.