OWL About It!

Summer 2021

Wherever you are when you are reading this, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well cared for. Here are our summer highlights:

The UCC and UUA appreciate that Our Whole Lives users are eager to plan programming for Summer and Fall 2021. We look forward to supporting your regular programming and training schedules; however, please remember that different people, congregations, organizations and geographical areas have differing mandates, different comfort levels, and different protocols about in-person gatherings.

The July webinar was about Framing Conversations About Restarting OWL Programs. If you are considering offering an in-person Our Whole Lives program this program year, we highly recommend you watch this webinar, which includes lots of thoughtful information about what to consider and how to structure your re-entry time. The entire webinar playlist is here. Registration is open for the September webinar here.

IN THIS NEWSLETTER: The “When You Can’t Do OWL-Do This” has information about running an OWL-based program for 4th-6th graders online.

The UCC and UUA honor church and congregation polity while also recommending that before in-person Our Whole Lives programs and trainings resume, programs and trainings be scheduled in accordance with expert guidance from the CDC and your state and local health department recommendations.

As in-person trainings resume, you will be able to find them here and here. In the meantime, we are planning to offer OWL trainings online during 2022. These trainings are approximately the same amount of hours as an in-person training (22-24), spread out over 3 weeks (two 2-hour Zoom sessions per week, as well as some asynchronous work between sessions, and a Saturday class to end with). If you are interested in participating, please contact Amy Johnson (owl@ucc.org) or Melanie Davis (owl@uua.org). Also, if you are an experienced OWL facilitator and are willing to serve as a mentor to new facilitators, please contact us as well.

Returning to some semblance of “normal” regarding Our Whole Lives still may not happen until months from now. To assist you in the meantime, we invite you to use resources linked on the UCC and UUA Our Whole Lives pages. These include resources for at-home learning, a free Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators curriculum you can offer online, monthly educational webinars for facilitators and program coordinators, and tips for adapting the Grades 7-9 curriculum for online use. You can find these resources at www.uua.org/re/owl/facilitators and also at https://www.ucc.org/owl.

Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators free download can be found here: https://www.uua.org/families/sexuality-educators. This has potential to provide education for adults in your congregation and build support for your upcoming OWL programs. A UCC adaptation is currently underway. You may watch the webinar about this Parents and Caregivers program here.

We continue our work to incorporate a more intentional anti-racism lens into Our Whole Lives curricula and training. This work is in process. In the meantime, please see our Anti-Racism resource section for families, and check out this video about how comprehensive sexuality education impacts anti-racism work. If you have questions, please contact Amy Johnson, UCC Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, at JohnsonA@ucc.org or Melanie Davis, UUA Our Whole Lives Program Manager, at mjdavis@uua.org. We remain in service and in solidarity with you!