• Easily accessible, theologically progressive, mainline Christian Education resource on human sexuality
• The Foundation Book for the These Are Our Bodies program various age level modules (Middle School, High School, children, etc.)
• Why the church needs to work with children and youth on human sexuality in partnership with families
These Are Our Bodies offers practical information, developmental material, and suggestions on how to ask and answer questions, all in the context of our faith as Christians, particularly as Episcopalians. These Are our Bodies was created in response to the need of The Episcopal Church for program resources to help young people explore sexuality in the context of a faith community.
The These Are Our Bodies Program consists of a Foundation Book (recommended for facilitators, small group leaders, and parents if the program is being used in a congregation, school, or other setting) and age level program modules that each include a Leader Guide (for each facilitator and small group leader), a Participant Book (for each participant) and a Parent Book (for each parent or caregiver of the participant).
Our inherent value and worth comes from God's love for us, but our modern world is filled with sexual expression that too often leads us away from the life of Christ. As Christians seeking to live a life worthy of our calling and desiring to pass along these values to our children and youth, this book explores how we (as parents and adults) can explore issues of sexuality in the context of our faith. Grounded theologically, foundational issues are addressed for how we (and why we) are called to have these conversations within a faith community as well as to support families in their role as primary educators of their children and teens. The importance of looking at one's sexuality throughout the lifespan through the lenses of decision making, faith and daily life, respect, growth and change, behavior, responsibility, values, prayer, and intentionality is explored, offering a grounding as well as stand-alone resource for individuals and churches to build upon.
Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, making this a resource for adult study groups as well as parent groups. Included is a comprehensive glossary, annotated bibliography, and websites for further study.
This book also serves as a resource for the These Are Our Bodies program modules, supplementing and supporting those educational materials.
Learn more about the program at theseareourbodies.org
Part I: The Theological
Chapter 1: The Mystery of Sexuality
Chapter 2: Sexuality and Our Baptismal Covenant
Chapter 3: The Body as Sacred
Chapter 4: Conversations Grounded in a Faith Community
Chapter 5: Sexuality Honors the Body
Part II: The Ethical
Chapter 6: A New Way of Understanding Our Sexuality
Chapter 7: Care for the Body
Chapter 8: Responsible Behavior and Decision-Making
Chapter 9: Consent and Shame
Chapter 10: Changes in Culture
Chapter 11: Beyond Stereotypes
Chapter 12: Sexuality Education for Adults
Part III: The Biological
Chapter 13: Parenting and Healthy Development
Chapter 14: Moral Identity
Chapter 15: Faith Development
Chapter 16: Infancy and Toddlerhood
Chapter 17: Early Childhood
Chapter 18: Middle Childhood
Chapter 19: Adolescence
Part IV: The Practical
Chapter 20: The Need for Conversation
Chapter 21: Parents Are the Key
Chapter 22: Teachable Moments
Chapter 23: Getting Started
Chapter 24: When to Begin the Conversation
Chapter 25: A Framework to Answer Questions
Chapter 26: The Question
Chapter 27: Called to Be Truth-Tellers
Part V: Resources
The These Are Our Bodies Program
Annotated Education and Program Resources
General Convention Resolutions
"There is an urgent need across the Church for faithful, honest conversations with young people about sexuality. Finally, we have the sturdy resource we need to hold them. Honoring the inherent tension between the beauty and the complexity of the God-given gift of human sexuality, These Are Our Bodies is written for real people with real lives. It invites parents and church leaders into the serious, hopeful work of integrating body and soul."
––Lisa Kimball, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Virginia Theological Seminary
"God gave us the gift of sexuality. Our history of using that gift with the care and love intended is not a good history. This book can be used to begin conversations, enhance existing conversations, and start larger discussions about all aspects of sexuality and its spectrum in God's creation. Of great importance is the inclusion of issues around being LGBTQ+. We fool ourselves if we think our young people are not aware of such things at an early age. Our obligation is to help them build a healthy attitude toward all the variations that occur in human sexuality and learn to appreciate the gifts God gives us. Thank you for undertaking such a major task."
––Bruce Garner, President of Integrity USA
"Breaking down the perceived wall between our bodies and our minds, These Are Our Bodies finally brings sex to the conversation of wellness. Joining with the expanding awareness of the impact of nutrition, mindfulness, and exercise, this book explores the mind-body-soul connection. Our total health requires an honest, open understanding of one another and ourselves as sexual beings. A practical and informational book, These Are Our Bodies serves as a thoughtful, faithful springboard for facilitating meaningful conversations with all ages."
––Heidi Carter Clark, LeaderResources