Session 1: “Pour Out Your Heart”: Identifying Priorities and Misconceptions
Aim: To provide the atmosphere and framework within which teens can express their ideas and concerns about their sexuality within the context of the Church.
Guidance to Leaders: Expect participants to come into this session with a lot of preconceived notions, assumptions, and ideas about sex and sexuality. Teens are bombarded with sexual images through the forms of publicly accessible (and seemingly inescapable) media such as TV, radio, advertising, and the internet.
If current statistics are correct, then chances are that many of the teens you encounter will have had some sexual experiences. Therefore, we should be neither naive, nor prudish, nor callously blunt, but sensitive to the situation of today's teenager.
The purpose of this session is for you to develop an environment that is safe enough for them to assess their personal experiences and ideas about sex and sexuality. A safe environment means one in which a participant can trust the group and the leader enough to be honest with their feelings and thoughts with others, without fear of ridicule or judgement.
There are too many questions with regards to sexuality and too many misconceptions on the subject to discuss in one session. Stay focused on the central objectives and aim of this session. If a question arises that you feel unable to answer right then, make it clear that you will address it at a later time, and then do so. If the topic comes up in a future session of this unit, you can tell them to ask the question again at the appropriate time.
We should think of ourselves as shepherds leading them to the safe pasture of the Church where they can experience the love of God.
Objectives: By the end of this session participants should be able to . . .
1. Articulate the difference between sex and sexuality
2. Begin to assess societal messages about sex and sexuality
3. Compare societal images about sex and sexuality with those presented in the Church
Useful Texts (Scriptural, Canonical, Liturgical, Lives of Saints, etc.)
1 Cor. 6 “Your body is not your own . . .”1 Cor. 13:4-8 some of St. Paul’s lists (review the "What's Love got to do with it?" unit)
1 Cor 13:11-12 “When I was a child I spoke like a child . . .”
I. Opening Prayer
III. Activity #1: Putting it in Perspective
IV. Activity #2: Let's Talk about Sex
V. Activity #3: Media Blitz
VII. Closing Prayer