These Are Our Bodies: High School Leader Guide

Talking Faith & Sexuality at Church & Home

Samantha Haycock and Caren Miles

Jun/2017, 184 Pages, PAPERBACK, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9781606743294



• An easily accessible, theologically progressive, mainline Christian Ed resource on human sexuality
• A High School program resource to engage youth in connecting faith and sexuality in grades 9-12

This Leader Guide contains nine sessions for engaging high school students, (ages 14-18 years) in conversation about faith and sexuality in the These Are Our Bodies program, helping participants and their adult parents or guardians deepen their connection between God, the Bible, and sexuality. Each session uses scripture as an integral piece of the program using the NRSV or Common English Bible translation. Facilitators will find detailed planning information as well as background and useful information to employ the program in your church or community in a variety of settings: youth group, Christian education, camps, or retreats.

Comprised of two sections, "The Introduction" provides the goals of the curriculum, describes parts of each lesson, and provides all needed information for leaders to implement the program. The second section offers nine full session plans that have five parts that work together to create a hands-on, interactive approach to learning: Welcome, Work, Word, Wonder, and Worship. These offer creative and interactive ways to engage with the material and participants in ways that provide intentional group formation, engage the nature of high schoolers, offer time to wrestle with new material, provide words of blessing and affirmation, and allow time to move from the sessions back into the world. Facilitators lead each session with the first session a combination parent/caregiver and participant gathering.

Learn more about the program at

Samantha Haycock is the Episcopal lay chaplain to the University of Arkansas and coordinates young adult ministries with St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has a passion for spreading Jesus’ call for social justice. Previously the Director of Children and Youth Ministry at Christ Church, Alameda, California, she has been involved in diocesan sponsored youth events over the past decade, including summer camps, Happening, and the triennial Episcopal Youth Event. Samantha helps people to make connections between their daily and spiritual lives so that they can bring their whole and authentic selves to the world. She also enjoys concocting strange things in her kitchen and hiking all over the place. 

Caren Miles is the Associate for Discipleship Ministries in the Diocese of California, previously having served in congregations in the Diocese of Dallas, New York, and California with children and youth. She ran the Children's Program at General Convention in 2012 and 2015. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of North Texas and over 15 years of life lessons learned in ministry helping children and youth find their identities as beloved children of God. Caren loves that her job ranges from sitting on the floor to read Bible stories with preschoolers to sitting in a coffee shop waxing theological with teenagers to helping adults find the best ways to work with all ages. She also enjoys spending time in the kitchen, but prefers if someone else does the dishes.

SESSION 1: Our Introduction (John 15:16-17; Luke 2:41-52; Luke 19:45-48)
SESSION 2: Our Language (Proverbs 19:2; Ephesians 4:25-32)
SESSION 3: Our Value System (Philippians 4:8; Romans 7:14-25)
SESSION 4: Our Identity (Psalm 139:13-16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
SESSION 5: Our Self Image (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:1-11)
SESSION 6: Our Relationship (Ephesians 4:25; 1 Corinthians 13)
SESSION 7: Our Health (Proverbs 2:10-11; Matthew 13:10-17)
SESSION 8: Our Dignity (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 8:40-56)
SESSION 9: Our Theology (Isaiah 30:21; John 14:1-14)

“This thoroughly theological, biologically accurate, and highly adaptable curriculum will help revolutionize the way adults who work with youth engage the topics of sexuality, gender identity, and body image. The vast array of resources tapped, from Eric Law’s RESPECT model to the Trevor Project’s suicide prevention initiative, will help the church serve her teenagers well moving forward in an ever-changing cultural context. The glossary alone in the Participant’s Book is worth the purchase!”
—Bronwyn Clark Skov, Director for Formation, Youth, and Young Adult Ministries, Presiding Bishop’s Staff for The Episcopal Church

"Finally, a resource for open, inclusive, honest, theologically sound conversation with teenagers about sexuality! This curriculum is easy to follow and honors the dignity of everyone. Our youth need us to be willing and able to talk about these important topics. I have a feeling adults will benefit as much as teens from this curriculum.”
—Lydia Kelsey Bucklin, Young Adult Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa

“As God’s beloved children, our bodies are wholly involved in every moment of our lives of faith, from birth until death. Our Christian identity and our bodies cannot be separated. However, we do not always know how to talk theologically about physicality in general, let alone sexuality. These Are Our Bodies for High School provides parents, ministers, and teenagers a wealth of practical tools for exploring the interplay between faith and sexuality in the context of a Christian community. It invites us deep into the messy beauty of knowing and living out our belovedness with our whole being, for the flourishing of all of God's Creation.”
—The Reverend Charlotte Wilson, Associate Rector for Youth and Pastoral Care, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Burlingame, California

“Sex and sexuality are complex issues in our culture and in our church. How shall we then live in this world in relationship with God, one another, and ourselves? These Are Our Bodies provides an avenue to deepen our understanding on faith and sexuality, so that we may walk alongside our young people and together continue to grow in what it means to be image bearers of Christ.”
—Iman Green Syler, Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

“This inclusive curriculum promotes crucial dialogue between young people and adults regarding the connections between sexuality and spirituality. The Leader Guide presents clear lesson plans with creative activities that cover a wide array of relevant topics. All books––leader, parent, and participant––include sexuality-related scriptural passages, thoughtful reflection questions, a glossary of terms, and additional resources. This is an excellent resource for faith communities looking for a child- and parent-centered approach to sexuality education.”
—Kathryn Moles, PhD. Adjunct Professor at Graduate Theological Union, and Sexuality Educator.

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  • Sexuality
  • Youth
  • Christian Education

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