Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.)

We are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.), the nationally renowned program on human sexuality developed in collaboration by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Here at First Church, O.W.L is offered annually to children of church members who are entering Eighth Grade.  Parents are required to participate in an in-depth orientation each year prior to their child’s enrollment in the program.

Introduction to the O.W.L. Philosophy

Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) is a nationally renowned series of sexuality education curricula developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in partnership with the United Church of Christ. O.W.L. helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. 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. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, O.W.L. provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

Our Whole Lives Values:

  • Self Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • Justice
  • Inclusivity

Our Whole Lives offers:

  • Up-to-date information and honest
  • Age-appropriate 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 group
  • Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
  • Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • Encouragement to act for justice
  • A well designed, teacher-friendly leaders’ guide
  • Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
  • Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.

Praise for Our Whole Lives

“As a scholar and activist in the field of child welfare, and as a parent of a teenager who has participated in the program, I deeply appreciate the wisdom imparted by Our Whole Lives. Our Whole Lives transmits a great deal of valuable information, but more importantly, it promotes compassion and responsibility. As my 15-year-old told me, “Our Whole Lives does much more than teach us plumbing, Mom. It helps us to know what we should do in a difficult situation.” — Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Chair, National Parenting Association

“The Our Whole Lives curriculum guide is extremely well written and easy for professional educators to use. The program handles a variety of issues that are absent from many sexuality education programs sexual orientation, body image, sexuality throughout the life-cycle—in creative and engaging ways. Most importantly, the program ensures that young people not only get the information they need but that they get the skills practice that evaluations show is critical to ensuring healthy choices and behaviors.” — Leslie M. Kantor, MPH, Vice President of Education, Planned Parenthood of New York City
“Our Unitarian Universalist Purposes and Principles are woven into the fabric of Our Whole Lives. They take on new meaning as they become the basis for decisions and taking actions.” — Chris Nelson and Holly Van Goor, Our Whole Lives for Grades 7-9 facilitators, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Bethesda, MD

“Teaching Our Whole Lives for Grades 7-9 was a powerful experience that challenged my sexual values to my inner core. It was a most enlightening experience, allowing me to witness young people as they grow through the struggles within themselves, their bodies and their values about sexuality.” — Volker Thomas, Our Whole Lives for Grades 7-9 facilitator, Unitarian Universalist Church of Lafayette, IN
For more information, visit the national OWL Web site.

For more information on the First Church OWL program, contact the Youth Program Coordinator, Deb Solis.