Tapestry of Faith: Resistance and Transformation: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History

Activity 2: From About Your Sexuality to Our Whole Lives

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Handout 2, From Liberation to Health and copy it for all participants.
  • Optional: Read the unabridged article on the UU World website.

Description of Activity

Distribute Handout 2. Explain that it is an abridged version of an article from UU World magazine and participants can read the full article online if they wish.

Give participants ample time to read the handout silently to themselves. Or, if the group prefers, have volunteers read the handout aloud. Ask participants, as they read, to underline statements they think are significant about the differences between the About Your Sexuality (AYS) and the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curricula and to note any questions they have.

Once participants have finished reading, ask: What cultural changes do you think prompted the move from AYS to OWL? Lead a group discussion.

Share this quote, from the longer version of the article:

The UCC's Gordon Svoboda ... predicts slow going within his faith group. "We are going to start small and build out," he says. "We don't have a 30-year history of active sexuality education, as the UUA does. It's something of sacred history for the UUA, and we are not in the same spot. We have a great deal of tilling the ground to do."

Ask these questions:

  • What does Gordon Svoboda mean when he says this is "sacred history for the UUA?" Why have Unitarian Universalists committed to this issue over the long term? Do you see any parallels between the work of sexuality education and any other socially transformative work taken up by Unitarians and Universalists in the past?
  • When AYS became very controversial, congregations could have simply abandoned the curriculum. Why do you think the UUA chose to rewrite the curriculum, rather than back away from sexuality education completely?