How We Got Here The church developed a certification system for training leaders in Human Sexuality in the 70s. 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 Lets Be Real. Were written. Created By God was updated, Lets Be Real was not. Young Peoples Ministries is working on a new resource. 3
4 Why Its 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 Gods 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 Gods 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. 5
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 Teens Sexual and Reproductive Health www.guttmacher.org, January 2011.www.guttmacher.org 6
Facts Closer to Home Fifty-three percent of South Carolinas 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 nations 3rd highest gonorrhea rate. Students reported using condoms the last time they had sex at rates lower than the national rate. 7 http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/main.cfm?s=amplify&actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpState&htmlKey=stateSouthCa rolina
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 UMCs stance on the topic. 8
Develop a Plan Decide on a resource/resources. Involve others. Use your churchs 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. 9
Created by God Scripture based Affirms growth and change as part of Gods 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 Gods 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 I Parent 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
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 6 Important Issues Abstinence Abuse, rape Birth Control Heterosexuality, homosexuality Masturbation Oral Sex
Session 6 More Important Issues Internet, chat rooms, phone sex, sexting Pornography Pregnancy –planned,unplanned STD AND AIDS Question Box and referral to book Closing
Session 6 Parents 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 1.Love and passion for the age-group 2.Be comfortable in your own skin 3.Have healthy and comfortable relationship with both genders 4.Be able to put faith into words 5.Be willing to prepare
Leadership Qualities Continued 6.Be able to laugh 7.Be willing to remember 8.Be able to listen 9.Be energetic 10. 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.
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. 48
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. 49
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. 50
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 Gods love experienced through caring adults can overcome any barrier! 52
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 54
The New Sexuality Resource from Young Peoples Ministries Focus is theological: – Our sexuality is part of Gods good creation as are we - created in Gods image – for relationship within the wider community. Focus is biblical: – Connecting participants story to the breadth of Gods 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. 56
Resource development Middle School leaders guide with reproducible handouts. Online and in-person training available as resource debuts. Web presence at www.globalyoungpeople.org with enhancements, interaction opportunities, and updates will follow introduction.www.globalyoungpeople.org Senior High resource to follow. Modules dealing with specific topics to be added to web presence. Young Adult resource to follow. 57
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