Our Whole Lives, together with Sexuality and Our Faith, helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives
- is a series of sexuality education programs for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults. The resources are written by professional sexuality educators and provide accurate information for parents, teachers and pastors to be used in the affirming and supportive setting of our churches.
- The resources are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
- There is a Parent Guide to Our Whole Lives Grades K-1 and Grades 4-6 that accompanies the Our Whole Lives resource for those age levels. Our Whole Lives Grades 4-6 also uses the book, It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris.
- Is written by United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist Association members and is the accompanying resource used for each of the grade groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults in the church setting.
- All but the Adult book have separate sections devoted to UCC and UUA faith traditions. The Adult Sexuality and Our Faith book has reflects UCC theology. However, the UUA Adult Sexuality and Our Faith companion is available by calling their bookstore: 800-215-9076. By using Sexuality and Our Faith, leaders integrate worship, prayer and discussion of United Church of Christ faith values and principles into the programs for each age group.
Our Whole Lives - Sexuality and Our Faith resources may be purchased by calling 800-537-3394 or online via the UCC Store.
What do these resources provide?
Each level of Our Whole Lives and Sexuality and Our Faith offers:
- A well-designed, teacher-friendly leader's guide
- Trained leaders
- Parent orientation programs that engage parents in the sexuality education of their children
- United Church of Christ materials incorporating worship and religious values into the program
- Up-to-date information and candid answers to all participants' questions
- Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
- Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer environment
- Education about sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment
- Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
- Acceptance of diversity
- Encouragement to act for justice
Our Whole Lives and Sexuality and Our Faith respond to General Synod actions calling for the development of sexuality education materials for all ages. Participating in a human sexuality program in a supportive and affirming environment in the church will help participants understand that sexuality is an important part of the way God created us; that their church cares about their sexual development; and that caring Christian adults are willing and able to talk with them about their questions and concerns.
"As a parent, I'm very grateful that the Board of Christian Education and the congregation as a whole have supported the use of the OUR WHOLE LIVES program. This has made such a positive impact on our family in that we're able to have open and frank discussions about topics that would have otherwise been difficult. The difficulty primarily would have been because I would have struggled with how to bring up the discussion, but possibly also because my "child" might not have been so comfortable in discussing. It's almost been the third party in our discussions.
I think there were some who were less than enthusiastic about bringing OWL to First Congregational Church of Long Beach fearing something - I'm not sure exactly. For us, OWL gave ([my daughter]) confidence to own her body and her feelings and the words/ability to discuss "the elephant in the room" - sex and sexuality."
The Advocacy Manual for Sexuality Education, Health and Justice is a resource that helps readers advocate for comprehensive sexuality education in their churches and communities.
Other helpful Our Whole Lives links:
- Frequently asked questions
- Ordering Information
- Our Whole Lives values and assumptions
- Parent information
- Planning Guide for hosting an OWL training
- Quotes from Our Whole Lives advocates