SAP church taking on taboo topics
By Scott Carlson
Sex. Death. Money.
Those are three subjects that many people are reticent to talk about with friends and family.
But Victoria Wilgocki, pastor at St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, said her congregation is looking to take those topics “out of the shadows” and bring them into the light to the public when it launches a three-part series called “Sex, Death and Money.” The first event, on sex and sexuality, is scheduled for Friday, April 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the church, 2129 Commonwealth Ave. Programs on the other two subjects are tentatively scheduled for this coming September and November.
“These three topics are often taboo – shame-based at worst, avoided at best,” Wilgocki said. “We also acknowledge that people’s past experiences with these issues in a religious context could have been harmful, troubling, or again, avoided altogether.”
However, SAP United Church of Christ considers holding conversations on these subjects “essential to a life-giving spirituality and faith,” Wilgocki said. “We have taken these topics out of the shadows and we shine honesty, integrity and gratitude on them. We educate all ages with developmentally appropriate approaches, and we equip people with tools and resources to use on their own.”
While, the church’s three-part series is new, it has had ministries on sexuality, death and money for some time, Wilgocki said. “We have amazing in-house experts on each issue –members of our congregation who are leaders and teachers in each of these fields.”
The church has had a human sexuality and faith curriculum called “Our Whole Lives” (OWL) for eighth, ninth and 10th graderssince 2013, and death and dying education for its confirmation students since 2010. Meanwhile, the church’s monthly bereavement support group has been up and running since 2016.
For further information on the program about sex and sexuality, call the church at 651- 646-7173.