A Personal Message to United Church of Christ Clergy
By Michael Dowd
Click here to see VIDEO CLIPS and PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS I offer in liberal and conservative Christian settings. Click here to learn how I interpreted the UCC Statement of Faith in my ordination paper, written in 1990. Click here to visit the the website of my book, Thank God for Evolution, which has been endorsed by 6 Nobel-prize-winning scientists, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. Click here to sample postings from my blog.
Before inviting me into their pulpit, some UCC ministers want to know why I no longer have standing in the United Church of Christ.
I was disfellowshipped by the UCC in 1995 because the denominational leadership concluded at the time, rightly so, that I was unfit to be a UCC pastor, given my sexual ethics and practice during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
While serving my first church, in 1989, I had an affair with a deacon in my congregation. Moreover, when this fact became publicly known years later, my first wife and I were practicing "polyamory" that is, we were living non-monogamously.
Even though most of my former congregants would say that I was a beloved and effective pastor, because of my confused morals and unclear pastoral boundaries, I was deemed unsuitable for pastoral ministry. I fully agree with their decision.
My non-monogamous lifestyle (at the time) ultimately cost me much more than my ministry. It also cost me my marriage. Alison divorced me in 1995, after falling in love with another man.
Much has changed over the last 15 years. The two most relevant to this topic are: (1) I have been in active recovery for the last decade, and (2) I am happily married, monogamously, to Connie Barlow, my mission partner.
Since January 2002, I have been teaching and preaching a faith-enhancing, Christ-honoring way of interpreting the evolutionary history of the universe in churches and retreat centers (including UCC) across North America. It is not my life-course to enter any form of pastoral ministry again, but I DO know that the message I am called to share and my heartful approach and presentation skills well serve any Christian congregation in which I am invited to speak or preach. (Words of praise from Christian churches in which I served as pulpit guest or religious educator can be accessed here.) I realize that my having been disfellowshipped by the United Church of Christ makes this distinction most sensitive in a UCC context.
I welcome a conversation with you on the phone if you have any concerns inviting me into your church for a guest sermon or evening program. If you’d like to schedule a time to talk, please email me at
Thank you and God bless,
P.S. Beyond Sunday sermons, I also offer a multi-media program. Below you can preview online the standard program that I now offer for any audience, religious or secular. I presented a version of it at the United Nations in April 2009 and it was enthusiastically received there as well: "Evolutionize Your Life: Heaven Is Coming Home to Reality" (alt title: "Deep-Time Wisdom: An Inspiring Vision of Humanity's Future")
"Evolutionize Your Life" multi-media program
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