Minister’s Column December 2017:
Diverse human cultures have diverse ideas about sexual ethics. Back in the 1970s, a UU Congregation held its high-school sexuality course on Friday evenings. The best screen for the projection of visual materials was one of the shades pulled down over a window in the meeting hall. While they were leading a discussion about the slide show, two Police officers showed up. They were investigating a complaint of seeing pornography on the windows of the church. That next week, the church had to do a lot of explaining to its neighbors about the nature of a UU religious education program.
American society is now struggling with sexual ethics. People are challenging hurtful behavior that has long been tolerated and justified. Through #metoo posts, public denouncements and personal sharing we are discussing the treatment of women and men in our society. However, the UU approach to ethics is not to be satisfied with lists of approved or disapproved actions. We want to nurture human goodness, balance justice with compassion and help one another “become the best that we can be.”
That is one reason we offer OWL, “Our Whole Lives,” a comprehensive sexuality curriculum to any who are interested. The course goes beyond “telling kids about sex” to promoting sexual health, responsibility, self-worth, mutual respect, justice, and inclusivity. Since 1970 UUs have offered comprehensive sexuality education as part of our religious education. In the 1990s we joined the United Church of Christ to create OWL which expanded and deepened the ethical dimension of our teaching. Today this is one of our most important, regular, programs of religious and spiritual education, which we offer to all.
In this and so many other ways, we promote health and respect in the web of relationships that sustain us all.
Minister’s Column 9-20-17:
It is said that we are all like Scheherazade. That bright young woman, told stories every night in order to distract a vengeful king and stay alive. We all share stories to make sense of our lives, to connect with others, and thereby increase our joy and lighten our difficulties. But it matters how you tell a story. Some storytellers lose their narrative amid too many details, or forget to find any point to their telling. Other people will tell things “slant” and leave out very important facts.
Rev. Thomas Perchlik, our new minister, began his work with Cedars on August 1, 2017. Rev. Perchlik was ordained in early 1991 and has served congregations in Wyoming, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, and has most recently been minister of the Olympia UU Church. He is married to Amy Genova and they are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Emily and Molly.