Our Traveling Ministry and Upcoming Events
"CONNIE BARLOW and MICHAEL DOWD are gifted troubadours who celebrate the new evolutionary epic. As they travel endless freeway miles and speak to the full spectrum of humanity, their passionate presentations are igniting a new and exciting synthesis of science and faith."
Brian Swimme, Professor of Cosmology, California Institute of Integral Studies
On April 25, 2002, CONNIE BARLOW and MICHAEL DOWD embarked on an itinerant ministry of sharing "the Great News of the Great Story" and to help foster the Great Work. We shed most of our possessions and now travel in a van as at-large inhabitants of North America and as ambassadors of the grand sacred story of the "Epic of Evolution": the big history of cosmos, Earth, life, and humanity. We are teaching (Connie has a science writing background) and preaching (Michael was a United Church of Christ pastor) an inspiring form of naturalism that honors the evolutionary significance of religious traditions in enabling wider possibilities for human-to-human cooperation and care.
As of June 2010, we have provided talks, sermons, children's programs, and multi-media shows in more than 700 venues in 48 states and 3 Canadian provinces.
Here is a sample of the variety of presentations we have given: From April 2002 through December 2003, we presented talks, workshops, sermons, guest lectures, and/or facilitated experiential processes at:
54 Unitarian Universalist churches or fellowships 24 colleges and universities 18 Christian churches (half UCC/Congregational,
and the rest Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Mennonite)
19 Catholic churches, retreat centers, and convents 16 spiritual centers (nondenominational) 13 nature/environmental centers, botanical gardens, and zoos 13 Unity / New Thought / Religious Science churches 11 living rooms 8 Montessori schools and teacher gatherings, and 1 public elementary school 6 conferences 3 high schools (1 private, 1 public alternative, 1 BIA) 5 campus ministries 3 Quaker meetings 1 Buddhist dharma group
Sample or subscribe to Michael and Connie's
(Click on images at right)
For the latest report of our travels, click: TURTLE TOUR TRAVEL LOG For a list of our upcoming speaking engagements and workshops, click: ITINERARY Click here to see an article on Michael and Connie's traveling ministry that was published in the October 2002 issue of Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology.
"The Wonder of Evolution" (article in Unitarian Universalist World)
The cover story of the spring 2006 issue of the national magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association features the work of Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd "itinerant evolutionary evangelists" in bringing a sacred understanding of evolution into Unitarian Universalist circles, where it powerfully bridges the spiritual and philosophical diversity inherent in this liberal faith tradition.
Click here to read our biographies and lists of writings.
Stories of Awakening
The most moving way to glimpse the kinds of awakenings that happen when people are deeply moved by a sacred telling of the 14-billion-year evolutionary cosmos is by way of anecdotes. Sample this richly illustrated compendium of vignettes gleaned from Michael's and Connie's 5 years on the road evangelizing "The Great Story".
We have 3 MAJOR GOALS while on the road:
♦ To share the Great Story (also known as the Universe Story or Epic of Evolution) with those who have never heard it before, or who have not yet fully experienced its magnificence. Churches and colleges (the latter via campus ministries or invitations to present guest lectures in classes or larger colloquia) are our primary venues thus far. We are also presenting to students in primary and secondary schools and religious education programs.
♦ To network with those who are already celebrating the Great Story, participating in discussion circles, creating rituals, and bringing the story to others.
♦ To provide and consistently update a central website: www.TheGreatStory.org that millions can use to find and post educational and inspiring materials on how mainstream science can be interpreted in sacred understandings of the universe, and to produce and disperse high quality DVDs on The Great Story.
Our commitment is to take the Great Story message wherever we are invited regardless of a group's ability to pay so long as we or our hosts can find us free housing: a guest room in a private home or cabin or dormitory. Because we are living out of a van, any abode will seem like luxury to us! Typically, we earn enough money selling books after sermons and other presentations to adults on weekends and on weekday evenings that we can offer our services to K-12 schools and colleges entirely free of charge during weekdays. To reduce energy use and travel costs, we are working region by region.
If you would like more information on our programs and HOW TO INVITE US into your region, click PROGRAMS AND PRESENTATIONS. Periodically we file trip reports in our TURTLE TOUR TRAVEL LOG (highlights of our travels) in order to share what we are learning, who we are meeting, how we are coming to appreciate the ecological and cultural richness of this North American continent ("Turtle Island"), and, overall, what fun we are having! We'll report on who is doing what and where including shared wisdom for teaching, preaching, living, ritualizing, and celebrating the Great Story.
ON-LINE FREE AUDIOS of our CHURCH SERMONS
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Sermons: MICHAEL DOWD
2013: "God Is Back! (Prophets Too): Evidence As Modern-Day Scripture"
First United Methodist Church of Boulder, CO
2013: "God Rebukes the Religious Right: Repent Or Face Hell and High Water"
Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Denver CO
2012: "The Evidential Reformation: Humanity Growing Up"
First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY
2012: "Evidential Reformation: REALizing God, Guidance, and Good News"
First Baptist Church of Painted Post, NY
2010: "Deep-Time Remembering, Deep-Time Blessing"
C3 Exchange: An Inclusive Spiritual Community, Spring Lake MI
2010: "The Scientific Basis of Compassion"
Unity of Portland, OR
2010: "Evolutionize Your Life"
Unity of Woodinville, WA
2009: "Gratitude: An Evolutionary Perspective"
Unity of Bellevue, WA
2009: "Evolutionary Transformations"
Mountainside Center for Spiritual Living, Placerville CA
2009: VIDEO: "Seven Gifts of Evolutionary Spirituality"
Agape Spiritual Center, Culver City CA
2008: VIDEO: "The Evolutionary Gospel"
Renaissance Unity, Detroit MI
2008: "Evolutionary Good News"
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI
2008: "Why I Thank God for Evolution"
Unity of Marin, CA
2008: "Thank God for Evolution!"
First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX
2006: "The Gospel According to Evolution"
Unity Church of Christianity, Houston TX
2006: "The Epic of Evolution"
Unitarian Universalists of Hendersonville, NC
2006: "The Great Story"
Unity of Woodinville, WA
More AUDIO and VIDEO of talks/interviews
can be viewed at ThankGodforEvolution.com
Sermons: CONNIE BARLOW
2013: "Stages of Life: Dreams v. Legacy" (MLK Sunday)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, CO (topics incl death and climate change)
2012: "Evolution: The Next Generation"
Cadboro Bay United Church, Victoria BC (Canada)
2009: "Your Brain's Creation Story"
UU Congregation of Whidbey Isl, WA
2008: "Evolution: Truth, Beauty, and Utility"
UU Fellowship of Hendersonville, NC
2008: "We Are Stardust" (intergenerational service)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Riverside, CA
2008: "Evolution Now: A Manifesto for our UU Congregations"
Cedar Lane UU Church Bethesda, MD (PDF).
2006: "Celebrating Evolution"
Second Unitarian Church of Omaha, NE
2006: "An Evolutionary Celebration of Death"
Unitarian Society of Hartford, CT
2005: "What Is Our Cosmic Task?"
Yakima Unitarian Universalist Church, WA
2003: "Is This Not Divine?"
Unitarian Church of Asheville, NC
2008: VIDEO of "Celebrating Evolution"
Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua, NY
DOWD and BARLOW
2006: "Cosmos, Mysticism, Reverence for Life"
First Unitarian Society of Denver, CO
Listen to 6-minute AUDIO of Michael reading his PREFACE
to the 2009 softcover edition of Thank God for Evolution.
For the list of speaking engagements already completed, click: PAST ITINERARY.
Contact us at:
We gratefully acknowledge the volunteer assistance of Ben Goldstein in helping us create the skeletal links of this website,
of Karen Holmgren for providing graphics, design, and typeface assistance,
and of Roger Davies for donating the artwork for one of our logos.