Monday, August 28, 2006

Hablando del Sexo

The Rev. Jim Hagen, Continuing Education Coordinator, moderates the youth panel discussion on sex and sexuality

From August 17 to 22 the Episcopal/Anglican Church of El Salvador was abuzz. Everyone, from clergy to youth to lay leaders was talking about... sex. In a week of continuing education designed to “romper los tabus” (break the taboos) about everything related to human sex and sexuality, over 200 people from around the diocese participated in parish and diocesan gatherings, and the clergy gathered in a special two-day retreat. Topics were discussed in the historic Church of San Juan Evangelista at the diocesan education day which would probably get this website censored! The Rev. Canon Lee Crawford spoke to the group about the goodness of creation, including human sexuality, and of a theology in which Christ’s incarnation leads us to take seriously the dignity of every human being created in God’s image. The Rev. Jim (“Padre Jaime”) Hagen lead a panel of young adults from around the diocese in a discussion of provocative topics, and likened sex to a table full of food: “the food itself is not a sin,” he said, “it would be a sin, for example, if I ate all the food myself and didn’t give you any.” Youth and adults met in groups separated by gender and age to discuss the issues of human sexuality relevant to their lives. In an anonymous question time, leaders received questions ranging from “What should I say to my boyfriend when he pressures me to have sex?” to “What do you think of orgies?” It is clear that our young people are having sexual experiences and facing difficult questions related to sex. In a heavily Roman Catholic culture, the tendency is to simply pretend sex doesn’t exist. This week the Anglican/Episcopal Church opened the doors to an on-going conversation about human sexuality in all its aspects. Youth and adults went away with the message that we can talk about sex positively in the context of church, and hopefully together find ways to face the difficult sexual issues that confront us from a perspective of giftedness and celebration rather than one of prohibition and sin.

5 comments:

Archana said...

Did you read the article in the New York Times magazine article about abortion in El Salvador? It was very moving and you should look it up - relevant to discussions about sex among the youth in El Salvador...

Jessica said...

This is fantastic. I am so thrilled that you all have brought sex into the forefront.

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