Online guide helps assess sexual health of congregations

An online guide to help congregations assess their sexual health policies and procedures has been created by the Rev. Debra W. Haffner, president of the Religious Institute, a multifaith organization formed to advocate for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society.

Haffner, a UU minister, said Assessing Sexual Health: An Online Guide has nine checklists based on a congregation’s size and capabilities. Areas included in the checklists include whether bylaws address sexual orientation inclusion and sexual harassment, whether sexuality issues are addressed in worship, the ways in which sexuality education is offered for children, youth, and adults, and whether sexuality issues are included in a congregation’s social justice advocacy work. The nine areas covered by the guide are Policies and Environment, Religious Professionals, Worship and Preaching, Pastoral Care, Sex Ed for Children and Youth, Sex Ed for Adults, Welcome and Full Inclusion, Safe Congregations, and Social Justice.

Sexual health study guide updated

The study guide, A Time to Build: Creating Sexually Healthy Faith Communities, has been updated by the Religious Institute. The free guide, available online, outlines the building blocks of a sexually healthy faith community.

The guide focuses on sexually healthy religious professionals, incorporating sexuality issues into worship and pastoral care, creating safe congregations policies, and learning how to advocate for sexuality issues in the larger community. The guide also includes checklists for congregations to assess their own programs and policies.