TIME TO BUILD, A
Creating Sexually Healthy Faith Communities
DEBRA W. HAFFNER
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
ISBN/Prod. Code: 70114CCS
Every clergy person counsels parishioners who are struggling with sexual issues. Every faith community knows that the sacred gift of sexuality can be abused or exploited: congregants experience domestic violence, adolescent pregnancy, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, homophobia, sexism, and other ways that people's sexuality has been broken. Many denominations have recognized the importance of sexuality education for teenagers and some have made a commitment to lifelong sexuality education, from kindergarten through the elderly years.
A "sexually healthy faith community" is committed to fostering spiritual, sexual, and emotional health among the congregation and providing a safe environment where sexuality issues are addressed with respect, mutuality, and openness. A sexually healthy faith community promotes the integration of sexuality and spirituality in worship, preaching, pastoral care, youth and adult religious education, and social action programs in the community. It makes a commitment to a sexual ethic that is not based on a double standard and understands that dealing with sexuality is an issue of spiritual wholeness. By addressing sexuality openly and holistically within the faith community, it models that sexuality and spirituality are inextricably connected.
The building blocks of a sexually healthy faith community are:
Sexually healthy religious professionals
Worship and Preaching
Pastoral Care on Sexuality Issues
Lifespan Sexuality Education
Education for Youth
Welcoming and Affirming Congregations