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Training For T he Conversation. Virginia Wingard UMC Sept. 15, 2012. Why do we need to have the Conversation?. How We Got Here. The church developed a certification system for training leaders in Human Sexuality in the 70 ’ s.

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Training for t he conversation


For The Conversation

Virginia Wingard UMC

Sept. 15, 2012

How we got here
How We Got Here

  • The church developed a certification system for training leaders in Human Sexuality in the 70’s.

  • This system was shut down because of concerns about both process and content.

  • These “certified” leaders continued to lead sexuality events.

  • Several people (including me) chose to write their own.

  • Created By God and Let’s Be Real. Were written.

  • Created By God was updated, Lets Be Real was not.

  • Young People’s Ministries is working on a new resource.

Why it s important
Why It’s Important

  • God created sexuality, it is a theologically important topic.

  • Young people need to hear a clear message from the church that their sexuality is one of God’s good gifts.

  • School curriculum on the topic, “street wisdom,” and parental discussions may lack a comprehensive approach as to the role of sexuality in the life of a Christian.

  • We live in a sexualized world where the vulnerability of adolescence is readily co-opted for the benefit of others.

  • As United Methodist, we affirm God’s good gift of sexuality and “call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift.”*

    * The Social Principles, United Methodist Book of Discipline.

Why its difficult
Why its Difficult

  • Most of us would rather avoid controversy.

  • Many of us have never dealt with our own issues around sexuality.

  • FEAR of how youth/their parents will respond.

  • Lack of Biblical background.

  • Concern about doing something wrong.

A few facts
A Few Facts

  • Only 13% of teens have had vaginal intercourse by the age of 15, almost 70% have by the age of 19.

  • Average age of first sexual experience is 17.

  • In 2006-2008 the most often cited reason by teens for not having sex was that is was against their religion or morals.

  • 15-24 year olds make up almost 50% of the STI incidents yearly (9.1 million). 13-24 year olds make up 17% of HIV/AIDS infections.

  • Each year 750,000 15-19 year old girls become pregnant. Approximately 200,000 end in abortion.

    *”Facts on American Teen’s Sexual and Reproductive Health”, January 2011.

Facts closer to home
Facts Closer to Home

  • Fifty-three percent of South Carolina’s high school students report ever having had sex.

  • South Carolina has the 9th highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation.

  • There are over 7000 people living with AIDS in South Carolina.

  • South Carolina has the nation’s 3rd highest gonorrhea rate.

  • Students reported using condoms the last time they had sex at rates lower than the national rate.

Addressing the topic
Addressing the Topic

  • Know and share why it is important for your congregation to deal with the topic.

    • General statistics

  • Understand and communicate the relevance to the needs of young people in your particular congregation/community.

    • Local statistics/stories

  • Understand and communicate the UMC’s stance on the topic.

Develop a plan
Develop a Plan

  • Decide on a resource/resources. Involve others.

  • Use your church’s decision-making process. Avoid surprising people.

  • Recruit leadership carefully/prayerfully.

  • Provide training.

  • Communicate with the whole congregation.

  • Develop a support system.

  • Meet with parents.

  • Use material appropriately.

Training for t he conversation


For The Conversation

Training for t he conversation

Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0

1. We are created in God’s image – male & female

Training for t he conversation

Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0

2. Sexuality is a wonderful, complex gift that takes a lifetime to explore.

Training for t he conversation

Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0

3. Sex touches every part of us… bodies, minds, emotions, spirits, and relationships

Training for t he conversation

Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0

4. Sex is affected by our brokenness and wrongdoing, just like everything else about us.

Training for t he conversation

Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0

5. Sex can be rescued and renewed by the grace of Christ, just like everything else about us.

Training for t he conversation

Preparation Components

* Parent’s Meeting

* Additional ideas for parent partnerships

* Pointers for gaining pastoral support

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

1. Sex Messaging – responding to cultural message teens are wading through

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

2. Sexual Identity – Helping kids think about the forces that share their sexuality.

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

3. Intimacy – Helping kids think about dating & non-sexual closeness.

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

4. Desire – Helping kids understand their appetites and needs.

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

5. Boundaries – helping kids decide what to do with their sexuality.

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

6. Responsibility – helping kids take sexual responsibility.

Training for t he conversation

7 Session Topics

7. Do-Overs – Helping kids experience mercy, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

Training for t he conversation

Session Format

* Now: what’s happening w/students’ sexuality NOW?

* New: what NEW perspectives can we glean from scripture?

* How: HOW do we want to live differently?

Created by god

Created by God

James H. Richey jr.Ed.D

Created by god1
Created by God

  • Scripture based

  • Affirms growth and change as part of God’s plan

  • Recognizes and celebrates sexuality as a good gift from God.

  • Gives guidelines for lifelong loving relationships

  • Examines intimacy

  • Challenges all to make careful decisions

  • Celebrates God’s love and forgiveness

What is the parents role
What is the Parents’ Role

  • Parents are primary sexuality educator from birth

  • Parents are most influential

  • Working in partnership with the church

Session i parent and child orientation
Session IParent and Child Orientation

  • Introduction to the course

    • Why we should offer sex education in the church.

    • Parents’ Role and involvement

    • Instructions for a weekend event

    • Overview of each session

    • Opportunity to write down questions

    • Created by God assumptions

Key scripture
key Scripture

  • Genesis 1.25-31a

Created by god assumptions
Created by God Assumptions

  • To be human is to be sexual

  • Sexuality is a good gift from God, to be used wisely.

Session 2
Session 2

  • “Untangle it” game

  • Welcome and prayer

  • Autograph collection

  • Whale story

  • Sing

  • Introduce the question box

  • Jesus in Jerusalem

  • Name that change

  • Writing of questions and looking at books

  • Puberty and adolescence

  • Create your own creation Biblical Study and craft

  • Respond to the question box

  • closing

Session 3
Session 3

  • Welcome , songs and prayer

  • Adam and Eve

  • Language

  • Anatomy in Common

  • External Reproduction System

  • Respond to the question box

  • Internal Reproduction system

  • Concept of intimacy and Biblical foundation

  • Small-Group review

  • Closing

Session 4
Session 4

  • Welcome, songs, and prayer

  • Respond to the question box

  • Reminders of concepts

  • Female growth and development

  • Male growth and development

  • Create male and female montages

  • Dating, falling in love, marriage

  • Review game

  • Song and closing

Session 5
Session 5

  • Welcome, song, litany, and prayer

  • Reminders regarding marriage

  • Love and sexual intercourse

  • Conception, fetal development, and childrenbirth

  • Respond to the question box

Session 6 important issues
Session 6Important Issues

  • Abstinence

  • Abuse , rape

  • Birth Control

  • Heterosexuality, homosexuality

  • Masturbation

  • Oral Sex

Session 6 more important issues
Session 6More Important Issues

  • Internet, chat rooms, phone sex, sexting

  • Pornography

  • Pregnancy –planned,unplanned


  • Question Box and referral to book

  • Closing

Session 6 parents and tweens together
Session 6Parents and Tweens Together

  • Welcome and singing

  • Production game

  • Intimacy skit

  • Parent/tween directed conversation

  • Response forms

  • Litanies of love

  • Closing with song, scripture, and blessing

Leadership qualities needed
Leadership Qualities Needed

  • Love and passion for the age-group

  • Be comfortable in your own skin

  • Have healthy and comfortable relationship with both genders

  • Be able to put faith into words

  • Be willing to prepare

Leadership qualities continued
Leadership Qualities Continued

  • Be able to laugh

  • Be willing to remember

  • Be able to listen

  • Be energetic

  • Recognize your own limitations

Remember 2 corinthians 12 9
Remember 2 Corinthians 12.9

  • 9 But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.

Training for t he conversation


For The Conversation

Developing as adolescents puberty
Developing as adolescents – Puberty

  • Pituitary Gland sends hormones to stimulate other glands.

  • Hypothalamus interacts with the Pituitary gland to regulate hormones.

  • Thyroid gland influences growth.

  • Gonads or sex glands – testes in male and ovaries in females involved in secondary sex characteristics.

  • Major hormones are estrogens in female and androgens in males.

Developing as adolescents brain
Developing as adolescents – Brain

  • Prefrontal cortex is developing – not developed.

  • Amygdala is in overdrive!

  • Synapses are developing connections.

  • Pruning is taking place at an accelerated rate.

Developing as adolescents cognitively
Developing as adolescents - Cognitively

  • Schema – a framework that allows an individual to organize and interpret information.

  • Assimilation – incorporation of new information into existing knowledge

  • Accommodation – Creating a different framework for new information.

  • Equilibration – process of shifting from one stage to the next.

Developing as adolescents intelligences
Developing as adolescents - Intelligences

  • Visual/Spatial

  • Verbal/Linguistic

  • Mathematical/Logical

  • Bodily/Kinesthetic

  • Musical/Rhythmic

  • Intrapersonal

  • Interpersonal

  • Naturalist

  • Existentialist

So what
So what!?

  • Need to be sensitive to where they are

  • Expect inconsistencies

  • Challenge growth

  • Frame it in a new way

  • Use a variety of learning tools/methods

  • God’s love experienced through caring adults can overcome any barrier!

Involving them in meaningful ways
Involving them in meaningful ways

  • Invite involvement from the beginning

  • Meet with them to introduce the program

  • Share information with them from the beginning

  • Consider a parallel experience

  • Include a follow-up session

The new sexuality resource from young people s ministries
The New Sexuality Resource from Young People’s Ministries

  • Focus is theological:

    • Our sexuality is part of God’s good creation as are we - created in God’s image – for relationship within the wider community.

  • Focus is biblical:

    • Connecting participant’s story to the breadth of God’s story in relationship with humankind.

  • Focus is educational:

    • Involves young people in specific learning activities for the purpose of understanding the physical, social, and emotional aspects of sexuality within a spiritual framework.

Resource development
Resource development

  • Middle School leader’s guide with reproducible handouts.

  • Online and in-person training available as resource debuts.

  • Web presence at with enhancements, interaction opportunities, and updates will follow introduction.

  • Senior High resource to follow.

  • Modules dealing with specific topics to be added to web presence.

  • Young Adult resource to follow.

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