Our Whole Lives

Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education program.

Register for Grade 8/9 Program

This year’s Grade 8/9 OWL Program (2022.23)

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education • GRADES 8 & 9
with certified OWL facilitators Lynn Rosenbaum and Mark Dixon

  • Sundays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Mandatory Parent Orientation – September 25; 
  • 18 Youth Sessions – October 02, 2022 through March 12, 2023;
  • in the event of any class cancellations, three potential make-up dates are scheduled through April 02, 2023;
  • Detailed Calendar Grade 8/9 Program 2022.2023
  • In-person (Medford – see below for COVID protocols)

Limited to 16 Youth, grades 8 or 9 (2022/2023 school year); we will seek to create a gender-diverse class.

Sanctuary UCC and Hillside Community Church are proud to offer to the wider community Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive sexuality education class for 8th and 9th graders. The program equips teens of all genders with accurate, age-appropriate information and skills to help them lead sexually healthy, positive, and responsible lives. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL addresses a wide range of topics including body image, relationships, social media/internet, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexually transmitted infections, contraceptives, pornography, and cultural influences on sexuality. Through engaging activities and discussions, OWL helps teens to clarify their own values and to build their interpersonal skills. Our Whole Lives is used nationwide in a variety of community settings including schools, youth serving agencies, and faith-based communities. Although developed by two progressive, faith-based organizations (UCC and UU denominations), OWL is secular in content and contains no religious doctrine*. 

Students’ registration requires the following:

  • attendance at mandatory parent orientation meeting on Sunday, September 18, 2022,  6:30 to 8:30pm 
  • receipt of parent approval form following orientation (refunds will be provided should your family decide this is not the program for you)
  • proof of Student Vaccination
  • signed family agreement regarding COVID protocols
  • Payment or payment arrangements

We ask that students commit to attending the full 18 session program.

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Location: Hillside Community Church (lower level) ; 144 North Street, Medford, MA  02155

Registration: $630.00 for (18) two hour session series; materials fee ($15.00 per per person)

Scholarships and payment arrangements are available on the registration form or contact Rev. Wendy (below)

We seek to create a gender diverse class. After your payment is received or payment arrangement made, you will be notified of your child’s spot in either the class or a waitlist. Full refunds will be made through September 20, 2022 if, following the orientation, your family determines not to proceed.

Register Here: Link to Grade 8/9 Registration/Payment Portal

Schedule: Link to detailed schedule including make-up dates for snow and/or COVID delays

Contact: Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade: Wendy@SanctuaryUCC.org; Rev. Thomas Hathaway: pastor@hillsidemedford.org 

COVID Protocols: We will practice the guidelines for in-person meetings that the Department of Education has recommended for schools including masks, cleaning practices, air circulation/exchange, and no shared food. We will require proof of vaccination.

Session Postponement due to Snow or COVID: If weather and/or a shutdown of the local school(s) by the health department affects any of our meeting dates we will not move to virtual sessions (given the nature of the program). If we need to pause the schedule/program it is our plan to return to gathering when we can do so safely, and complete the sessions in the spring. We currently have three make up sessions noted on the schedule.

*The content of the program is based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

Register for Grade 8/9 Program

Meet Our Facilitators

Lynn Rosenbaum, M.Ed., M.A. has been enthusiastically facilitating Our Whole Lives for the past nine years to young people in grades 5-12 in towns throughout the Boston Metro area in both church and community settings. An experienced Health Educator, she has led workshops on a wide array of topics including mindfulness, substance abuse, sexual assault, and eating disorders. She co-authored the chapter on Sexuality in Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005) and is on the Steering Committee for the Community Health Network Coalition (CHNA17). Lynn is also a musician and dancer, and a leader of improvisational CircleSings.

Mark Dixon is a parent, engineer, and musician. He enjoys drumming for Natick Drama Workshop, an educational theater program for grades 5 through 8, and served as its co-chair for 4 years. Mark completed his OWL training in 2019 and co-facilitates the 7th/8th grade OWL program at First Congregational Church Natick. He has one son and one daughter, ages 24 and 22, and his wife works as an elementary school librarian. His daughter completed the OWL program as a 7th grader solidifying his belief in the curriculum and sparking his interest in becoming an OWL facilitator for future generations.

COVID Protocols

We will practice the guidelines for in-person meetings that the Department of Education has recommended for schools including masks, cleaning practices, air circulation/exchange, and no shared food. We will require proof of vaccination.

Session Postponement due to Snow or COVID: If weather and/or a shutdown of the local school(s) by the health department affects any of our meeting dates we will not move to virtual sessions (given the nature of the program). If we need to pause the schedule/program it is our plan to return to gathering when we can do so safely, and complete the sessions in the spring. See Schedule (above) for plans for make-up sessions should a class need to be canceled.