Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Connecting Sexologists and Faith Leaders

One of the "hazards" of being a plenary speaker -- and indeed the preacher on a Sunday morning -- is when the material before the speech/sermon takes much more time than had been expected. I've prepared a 20 minute sermon or a 45 minute talk, and after the 10 minute delay getting started, the conference updates on ceu's and bathroom locations, and a lovely but long introduction, I discover that if we are to end on time, I need to cut out 10 or 15 minutes of my prepared remarks.

Which is exactly what happened at the AASECT meeting this past Friday. I quickly glanced at my watch after I had been speaking for a while, and realized that it was getting close to noon and lunch, and to keep the audience with me, I need to end by twelve.

I jumped to the next to the last page to begin the ending of the talk. It was only this morning when I was filing stuff from the conference that I realized that I had left off the part of the speech talking about how sexuality educators, counselors, and therapists could involve faith communities in their work. Here's the crucial paragraph I wish I hadn't cut:

"Our guidebook "Reaching Out to Faith Communities" will give you practical suggestions for involving faith communities in our work. For those of you who are active in faith communities, I hope you will bring your sexuality expertise into that community, offering training for the religious professionals and education for children, youth and adults. To the counselors and therapists, I hope you will talk with your clients about early cradle religious messages and have a mutual referral network with supportive clergy, so that they may send you their congregants with marriage and sexuality issues and you may send them folks struggling with religious messages. I hope you will become involved with the work of the Religious Institute, signing up for our e-newsletter or giving me your card or reading my daily blog on these issues. I hope the administrators here will think about adding faith leaders to your boards of directors and advisory boards. I hope you will explore the connection between spirituality and sexuality in your own personal lives, and I even hope that some of you who have left the faith community might try again."

In other words, there are a lot of ways for faith communities and sexologists to work together. See our web site for more ideas.

Next speech, I'll remember to bracket parts of the talk that I can cut if time is running short!

No comments: