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Our Whole Lives Program Update

As of July 2021, the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program at Eliot Chapel remains on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 health situation. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC) strongly recommend that all OWL programs be suspended until it’s safe for all OWL participants to gather in person.  

More information from the UUA about the impact of COVID-19 on the Our Whole Lives program can be found here.

Resources for When OWL Programs Are on Hold

The Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ have assembled a collection of print and online resources for Our Whole Lives participants of all ages (children, youth, and adults) which reflect the values of the OWL program, including resources designed to support parents in their roles as primary sexuality educators for their children and youth.    

The current list of Our Whole Lives resources can be found here.

Click here to explore possible Our Whole Lives conversations and activities to have by age group. Many of these resources and activities can be explored at home.

 
“I think the Our Whole Lives program is wonderful.  It gives teens a chance to learn and discuss sexuality in a safe, accepting, comfortable environment.   As a result of this program, I have grown more confident in my relationships and feel more comfortable talking to my parents about anything.”
 
~Anne Fried, Our Whole Lives Participant (2009)
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a lifespan, comprehensive sexuality education program, created jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United Church of Christ.   Our Whole Lives helps individuals make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior and equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas:
 
  • Human development
  • Relationships
  • Personal skills
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual health
  • Society and culture

 

Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

The Our Whole Lives values are:
 
  • Self Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • Justice and Inclusivity

 

Eliot Unitarian Chapel has traditionally offered the Our Whole Lives program to children & youth in different grade levels on a rotating basis, including these age groups:

 

  • Kindergarten & 1st grade
  • 4th & 5th grade
  • Junior High (some combination of 7th, 8th, and 9th grades)

 

Note that all Our Whole Lives (OWL) programs at Eliot are on hold due to Covid-19 and the future availability of these programs at Eliot Chapel remains unknown at this time

 
For more information about the Our Whole Lives program, please contact Scott Stewart at scott@eliotchapel.org.
 
Our Whole Lives: Background, Resources, and Additional Information

 

The Our Whole Lives curricula for 7th–9th grade was updated in 2014-15. Click here to explore the blog from UUA Call & Response titled The OWL Has Landed, by Melanie J. Davis, which explores the new edition, highlights the updated material in the curriculum, and includes links to additional OWL information from the UUA and other organizations.

 
Click here to learn more about the Our Whole Lives lifespan sexuality education program from the Unitarian Universalist Association.  
 
What’s religious about sexuality education?  Check out the Unitarian Universalist Association's Sexuality is Honored Here brochure, found here.
 
You can explore Forty Years of UU Sexuality Education, which examines the long history of sexuality education in the Unitarian Universalist Association, in this 2011 UU World article by Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, found here.
 
What insights and lessons can children and youth take away from participating in Our Whole Lives? Check out Talkin' About Birds and Bees, by Conor Friedersdorf, a 16-year-old youth who participated in the UUA's K-1 and 7-9 Our Whole Lives program.