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Training For The Conversation Virginia Wingard UMC Sept. 15, 2012
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 • 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 • 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 • 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”www.guttmacher.org, January 2011.
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. http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/main.cfm?s=amplify&actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpState&htmlKey=stateSouthCarolina
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 • 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 The Conversation
Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0 1. We are created in God’s image – male & female
Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0 2. Sexuality is a wonderful, complex gift that takes a lifetime to explore.
Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0 3. Sex touches every part of us… bodies, minds, emotions, spirits, and relationships
Big Ideas of Good Sex 2.0 4. Sex is affected by our brokenness and wrongdoing, just like everything else about us.
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.
Preparation Components * Parent’s Meeting * Additional ideas for parent partnerships * Pointers for gaining pastoral support
7 Session Topics 1. Sex Messaging – responding to cultural message teens are wading through
7 Session Topics 2. Sexual Identity – Helping kids think about the forces that share their sexuality.
7 Session Topics 3. Intimacy – Helping kids think about dating & non-sexual closeness.
7 Session Topics 4. Desire – Helping kids understand their appetites and needs.
7 Session Topics 5. Boundaries – helping kids decide what to do with their sexuality.
7 Session Topics 6. Responsibility – helping kids take sexual responsibility.
7 Session Topics 7. Do-Overs – Helping kids experience mercy, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
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 James H. Richey jr.Ed.D
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 • Parents are primary sexuality educator from birth • Parents are most influential • Working in partnership with the church
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 • Genesis 1.25-31a
Created by God Assumptions • To be human is to be sexual • Sexuality is a good gift from God, to be used wisely.
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 • 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 • 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 • Welcome, song, litany, and prayer • Reminders regarding marriage • Love and sexual intercourse • Conception, fetal development, and childrenbirth • Respond to the question box
Session 6Important Issues • Abstinence • Abuse , rape • Birth Control • Heterosexuality, homosexuality • Masturbation • Oral Sex
Session 6More Important Issues • Internet, chat rooms, phone sex, sexting • Pornography • Pregnancy –planned,unplanned • STD AND AIDS • Question Box and referral to book • Closing
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 • 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 • Be able to laugh • Be willing to remember • Be able to listen • Be energetic • Recognize your own limitations
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 The Conversation
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 • 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 • 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.