Unitarian Universalists have helped equip young people with accurate and respectful knowledge about human sexuality and healthy relationships since the “About Your Sexuality” program of the 1970. More recently, we worked with the UCC church to revise the curriculum and create the “Our Whole Lives” (OWL). OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education program. For more than a decade, Cincinnati area churches have worked together to provide OWL for our middle school and high school youth.
This has only been possible through the heart-felt efforts of trained and committed volunteers. Men and women from all area churches have given countless hours to help our young people understand their bodies, boundaries, and relationships. The language of the program respects people along the continuums of gender, physical ability, and across any other characteristic of personal identity.
The work of teaching respect, relationship, and responsibility with regard to our embodiment has never been more important than it is in today’s political climate.
With changes in staff and new clergy coming into the city, it is time to assess the way we have been delivering this essential program, and perhaps expand into new offerings.
In addition to offering OWL for middle and high school youth, we might choose to offer OWL for K-1 and fourth grade children, as well as for young adults (18-35 years old) and adults.
We should treat each other’s bodies with the same care that we would treat their souls. With roots in a tradition of universal reconciliation, we are well situated to affirm the worth of each of us, and the healthy relationships among us.
Training for adult and middle /high school OWL facilitators will be offered in Louisville in June. Training for younger children will be offered in September in Chicago. Volunteers for these trainings should be comfortable in their own skin, practice healthy boundaries, pass a background check, and be willing to offer significant time to the program. They must also be interviewed and approved by the minister. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.
Yours in Faith, Rev. Mitra