First Parish in Concord has a long tradition of helping our youth face the challenges of adolescence, especially around issues of sexuality. Our congregation has offered the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum to 8th graders every year since the program’s creation in 2000; in fact, using previous iterations of the curriculum (then called About Your Sexuality), we have been offering sexuality education in a religious context to our youth since 1971. We also offer Little OWL for Kindergarten/1st graders and Middle OWL for 5th graders.
Sexuality Education Awareness & Growth through UU Lifelong Learning
This year, First Parish in Concord is offering in-person comprehensive sexuality education for two age-groups: 10-12 and 14-15. There is a limit to the number of children and teens enrolled and preference is given to active members of First Parish. That decision was made in order to keep group numbers within a range in which it is easier for participants to connect with each other. Each session is important, builds from the previous session, and forms a cohesive community among participants.
Like OWL, this program is based in our Unitarian Universalist values of inclusion, respect, healthy relationships, and responsibility. At First Parish in Concord, we are fortunate to have Lora Venesy design our program, an educator who has worked in the reproductive health field for 28 years. Lora is assisted by trained and experienced educators, Sarah Chapman and Jeff Brainerd.
Lora Venesy and her family have been coming to First Parish in Concord since 2007. She has two daughters who have been raised in RE. Lora has served on the Religious Education Council and as Chair, as well as RE teacher including OWL for grades 1, 5, and 8 (they’re all her favorite!). She has served on the Standing Committee and Social Action community of First Parish. Lora is an educator who has worked in the reproductive health field for 28 years. She lives in Concord with her family, Dave, Margot, Adrienne, and their pets, Zelda, Louie and Edwin.
Sarah Chapman, a lifelong UU, and her family have been coming to First Parish in Concord since 2017. As a member of the UUA staff in the late 90’s – early 2000’s she enjoyed learning about the great history of our faith and watched her peers revamp the AYS (About Your Sexuality) program into today’s OWL (Our Whole Lives) lifespan sexuality education program. Now, with Lora Venesy, Sarah is pleased to be a part of First Parish’s own SEAGUULL program for a new era. Sarah is a clay artist working out of her studio in East Somerville. She lives in West Concord with her husband Beno, her two children, Elliot and Eevee, their rescue dog Kofi.
Jeff Brainerd and his family moved to Concord in 2011 and became members of First Parish in 2013. Jeff has served in a number of roles at First Parish, including the Chair of the R.E. Council, a member of the Standing Committee and an OWL Leader. He has worked in the software industry for over 20 years in Boston and California.
SEAGUULL for 10-12 year olds:
These Sunday morning sessions will be held in the Chapel.
Parent Orientation, Tuesday, 10/26, 7:00-8:00 p.m. For Zoom link, email Rev. Amy Freedman: firstname.lastname@example.org
||Session 1:||Values, Relationship Building & Communication
||Session 2:||Anatomy, Puberty, Hygiene|
||Session 3:||Gender Identity & Sexuality|
||Session 4:||Lovemaking & Reproduction|
||Session 5:||Cyber Safety & Decision Making|
SEAGUULL for 14-15 year olds
COVID Guidelines and Safety Actions
Masks are required inside our building. For ventilation, windows and doors will be open and there are air purifiers. First Parish in Concord will follow guidelines based on recommendations by the CDC to ensure the safety and well-being of our community: HERE
For more information, please contact Rev. Amy Freedman: email@example.com