Church Workshops Address Teen Sexuality

Article excerpt

Do you want your kids learning about sex by watching "Sex in the '90s" on MTV? Would it shock you to learn that the Q&A columns in magazines for teen girls often feature questions about oral sex, pregnancy, disease and orgasms?

Is sex ed something you hope a high school health class will cover when, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, 59 percent of American teenagers have French-kissed by the age of 14?

If you count yourself among the folks, particularly Christians, who wish their children would resist societal pressures about sexual involvement, three churches in Batavia are eager to help.

Congregational Church of Batavia and Batavia United Methodist Church are teaming up to offer a weekend workshop, "Christian- Oriented Sexuality Workshop," Feb. 25-27. It is primarily for youths, parents, pastors and Christian educators.

Why are churches getting involved with sex education?

"Because parents want us to to it. It is such an important topic, a hot-button topic," said the Rev. David Foxgrover, pastor at Congregational Church. "It is an issue the kids want to discuss."

Speakers from Worth Waiting For, a Christian sexuality ministry based in Colorado Springs, Colo., will lead the workshops. One of the leaders is Linda Klepacki, a former Batavia resident who has led sexuality workshops for Congregational Church in the past.

The group advertises itself as "Dedicated to the Choice of Fearless Love." It promotes abstinence for people who are not married.

The workshops include "Training Heart and Soul," which will inform parents, teachers and anybody else involved with young people of the pressures facing youths to become sexually active. Another, "Fearless Love," will help teens discuss relationships.

Children in middle school can participate in a Friday night workshop, and senior high youths will have one Sunday afternoon. The adult workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 26.

The workshops aren't intended to replace school-based sex education, said Marcia Schneider, an interim youth director at Congregational Church. …