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We want the curriculum to be co-led by people with different genders, but all of our volunteers are the same gender. What should we do?
A situation like this poses a dilemma for a congregation. On one hand, it is important for the program to be led by people who are qualified, capable, and appropriate. On the other hand, it is important for the program’s leadership to represent different gender experiences and provide different gender role models for participants. Sometimes it can take a real effort to find a male co-facilitator for the program because fewer males than females participate in religious education and sexuality education. Being proactive—speaking directly with people who you think would be good facilitators—frequently yields results. If after a real effort the dilemma remains, it is ultimately up to the program’s coordinators (usually the religious education committee and the religious education director) to decide whether it is in the best interest of participants to run the program with facilitators of only one gender. (Co-leadership is still crucial.) Sometimes a person who would add the desired gender diversity can be recruited as part of a three- or four- person team that rotates leadership, requiring less of a commitment from each facilitator. Another option is to postpone the program until a year when a multi-gendered team of facilitators can be found. For some, partnering with another congregation is an option that has several benefits.