• Kids in my class are incredibly sexist and homophobic, as a queer woman how can I feel safe?
  • What is asexual and aromantic?
  • What age should I be dating and how do I talk to my parents?

These are questions asked anonymously this month by our youth in our Our Whole Lives (OWL) program. Who did you go to with your questions?  I was fortunate to have medical professionals as parents, we muddled through uncomfortable conversations, I explored their book collection and then turned to my peers. The world has gotten a lot more complicated since my adolescence. There is more to know and so many more questions about human sexuality.

Collective action occurs when people work together to achieve some common objective.

OWL education is a collective action our church creates to help the next generation. The objective of Our Whole Lives program is to offer our children holistic knowledge of human sexuality. It aims to not only provide facts about anatomy and human development, but also help participants clarify their values and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

We do this by training a collective of teachers or facilitators who work in rotating teams to guide each class. The facilitators are church community members who take turns to ensure that our young people have the knowledge they need to thrive and survive. Parents are never asked to teach their child in OWL classes. The beauty of a collective is that you can depend on the church community to guide your children.

We’re hosting training this August!

This August, using our religious education budget and staff we are making an investment to build our OWL collective by hosting a training at our church. As we rebuild RE, we need more people who can help us fulfill our objective. And once you are OWL trained, you are trained for life.

We have the ambition of offering OWL for all ages in a rotating schedule at First Church.

First Church OWL Rotating Annual Schedule:    

  • 2022-23:  Fall: Grade 4-6,  Spring: Grade 10-12
  • 2023-2024 All Year: Grade 7-9 and Parent & Caregiver Online OWL program
  • 2024-25:  Fall: Grade 4-6, Spring: Grade 10-12
  • 2025-2026 All Year: Grade 7-9 and Parent & Caregiver Online OWL Program

We need a team of OWL teachers to do this successfully. I hope you will consider joining this collective action by applying to be an OWL facilitator or helping us host our training in August.

It takes a village,
Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education

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