UCC and UUA Make OWL Partnership Official
Exciting news! – On June 23, 2016 Rev. John Dorhauer and Rev. Peter Morales signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ regarding how we will continue to partner together on our sexuality education programs – “Our Whole Lives” and “Sexuality and Our Faith.” This makes explicit the powerful and important work that our denominations have been doing together – through trainings, resource development, support of trainers and facilitators, and more – for many years.
Pictured: (Front Row) Rev. Peter Morales and Rev. John Dorhauer. (Back Row) Jessica York, UUA Faith Development Director; Melanie Davis, UUA Our Whole Lives Program Associate; Amy Johnson, UCC Our Whole Lives Coordinator.
“The United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association are pleased to join together in this Memorandum of Understanding regarding each of their commitments to the Our Whole Lives/Sexuality and Our Faith ministry. This agreement solidifies a partnership that has been in place for nearly 20 years regarding this important ministry. Our interfaith partnership with Our Whole Lives has helped thousands of people, and we commit to continuing this work together.”
This agreement has been under development for a couple of years, led by a UCC/UUA OWL Leadership Team consisting of Amy Johnson and Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer on behalf of the UCC, and Jessica York and Melanie Davis of the UUA.
The first OWL curricula were published in 1999. The UUA and the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries worked together for years prior to that to come to agreement about the content, format and values associated with the curricula.
Although the UCC and UUA co-created OWL resources and Sexuality and Our Faith resources years ago, until now there has been no official document formalizing this vital partnership. As we grow and evolve our sexuality education programs, it became crucial to have clear lines of communication and big-picture values outlined in this way.
What are OWL and Sexuality and our Faith?
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.