Rev. Michael Dowd
Presentations for Churches and Other Christian Audiences
♦ Contact Michael
♦ Biography and Publications List
THE REV. MICHAEL DOWD is the author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, which has been endorsed by six Nobel Prize-winning scientists and religious leaders across the spectrum. Gifted at bridging the liberal-conservative divide and speaking meaningfully to religious and non-religious audiences alike, Dowd is passionate about sharing the wonder and awe of the science-based history of the universe in ways that inspire people of all backgrounds and beliefs. Michael and his wife, noted science writer Connie Barlow, have addressed more than 2,500 groups since they began their full-time itinerant ministry in April 2002. In Christian settings, Rev. Dowd offers ways in which an understanding of the evolutionary sciences can deepen and strengthen faith and make core Christian doctrines truly relevant in challenging times. Recently, a life-centric and pro-future message now brings an ecological understanding into his longstanding evolutionary focus.
8 SESSION VIDEO DISCUSSION COURSE: "ProFuture Faith" (2019)- Rev. Michael Dowd
Earth Day 2019 marked the launch of an 8-session course for religious and secular groups the core of each session being a 20-minute DVD segment, accompanied by a pre-session reading, facilitator guidelines for group discussion, and participant resources for "going deeper." Michael Dowd was filmed by 3 cameras at a cathedral church in Houston, TX November 2018: St. Paul's United Methodist. Living the Questions (progressive Christian ministers and staff based in Phoenix AZ) has previously produced educational videos series featuring Marcus Borg, John Shelby Spong, and others.
PHOTOS BELOW: Michael Dowd, November 2018, during course filming in Houston
DOWD'S RECENT ESSAYS in Progressive Christian publications:
Recent Sermons in Christian Contexts
VIDEO: "Ecology Is the Heart of Theology"- Sermon at Unity Church of Christianity, Houston TX
Professionally filmed and live-streamed before a very large congregational audience, this is one of Dowd's best and most dynamic sermons. Sermon summary:
Rev. Michael Dowd, will share why a deep-time big picture is vital for staying sane, sober, and inspired in chaotic and challenging times. His soulful, deep green message bridges the gap between head and heart and celebrates the convergence of science, inspiration, and sustainability.
28 minutes • (31 March 2019)
Rev. Dowd's 24 June 2018 guest sermon at the First Congregational Church of Sheboygan (Wisconsin) is what he now regards as his best short presentation for a Christian audience.
25 minutes • (June 2018)
This voice-over slide program by Rev. Dowd is for Christians who wish to sample the full range of his most important ideas (as of 2018) and to do so in a compact and image-rich way.
80 minutes • (August 2018)
Rev. Dowd's guest sermon at Church of the Beatitudes (UCC), Phoenix AZ, includes these key statements:
God's revelation comes through all forms of evidence: scientific evidence, historic evidence, cross-cultural evidence, and of course the evidence of our own experience.... Idolatry is when your notion of God is no longer synonymous with reality.... We have an economic system that rewards the few at the expense of the many, measures progress by how fast we can turn the biosphere into pollution, and makes it inevitable for billions of us to betray the future just by pursuing the so-called good life. In other words, we have an economy that doesn't mimic the reality of ecology.
VIDEO: "Faithful to God Means Faithful to the Future" (2016)
2016 - Westchester Congregational UCC, Spokane WA
VIDEO: "Ecology as the Heart of Theology"
2016 - St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Bellevue WA
3-part VIDEO series by Dowd: "Standing for the Future"
Three hours of live performance at the Mountain Top Lecture Series by Michael Dowd in April 2016 (in northern Georgia) were filmed and edited by Barlow then posted on youtube (in low resolution).
This VIDEO trilogy is Dowd's best and most richly illustrated compilation of ideas to date, and we aim to have leader guides prepared by end of 2016 for distribution with high-resolution versions of the videos on a program flash drive.
Previous Contributions in Christian Contexts
In this 25-minute sermon at the UCC church in Pleasant Hill, TN, Rev. Dowd makes 3 points about where religion has been out of step with Reality: "We've been catastrophically wrong about (1) God's Presence, (2) God's Word, and (3) God's Judgment." (November 2014)
"Reality is my God and integrity is my religion. Scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence is the first place I go for divine guidance and inspiration not ancient texts or mythic beliefs. My ultimate commitment is living in right relationship to reality and assisting others and our species in doing the same." Michael Dowd
Michael Dowd on ABC National News
on Fox & Friends
Five minute video interview on this Sunday morning nationwide talk show. Fox News hosts called his perspective "overdue." July 2009
"Video: Michael Dowd at Agape Center"
On 17 June 2009, Rev. Dowd shared
his cosmic gospel message at the
Wednesday evening service of
Michael Beckwith's Agape Spiritual Center
in Culver City, CA. Three cameras
captured this 35-minute
dynamic message. The full video
is now available free online.
When you get to the page,
click the play arrow.)
Emerging Church Webcast
The evangelical theOOZEtv interviews
Dowd on his evolutionary evangelism.
Michael Dowd was the keynote speaker for the annual College Day at Texas Wesleyan University, spring 2009.
Click to read Faculty Praise of Michael's contribution.
Michael Dowd presented the Dekker Lecture at California Lutheran University in September 2011.
Click to read Pre-event news report and a report on the event itself, which appeared in the regional newspaper and was titled, "Evolution doesn't have to clash with Christianity, author tells CLU crowd".
This 27-minute documentary, produced by New Hampshire's public television station, first aired in December 2010. The camera crew filmed Dowd at one of seven presentations he made during November 2010 at UCC and Congregational churches in New Hampshire.
"ONE-ON-ONE WITH MICHAEL DOWD"
The documentary centers on an interview with Dowd that was conducted by the television team just before an event. Interspersed are fragments of Dowd during his actual presentation, along with excerpts of video made years ago (an obviously younger Dowd!) that are available on the Evolutionary Christianity DVD sold on this website.
You can freely access online the entire, hour-long digital program Michael used as the content for that evening, with his voice overlayed, by clicking here Evolutionize Your Life".
This 21-minute guest sermon was delivered at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gallup, New Mexico, on 4 May 2014. Here Dowd presents the key points that he later delivered in TEDx Grand Rapids. (posted May 2014)
Sermon Titles and Descriptions
♦ "The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness"Suggested description for Sunday morning sermon:
Humans, unwittingly, have become a planetary force. We are changing, irreversibly, the very climate of our world. Henceforth, any actions we take as individuals and societies will be done in the new light of climate change. What vision will carry us forward and inspire us to work together? What vision will charge us with a sense of heroic purpose that the future is, indeed, calling us to greatness?
America's evolutionary evangelist explores why climate change is a deeply moral concern. Calling attention to the "intergenerational injustice" of human-caused climate chaos, Michael Dowd urges churches to speak out and take action on this issue.
Rev. Michael Dowd is the author of the bestselling, bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.
Note: Dowd presented an hour-long and illustrated version of this program in February 2014 at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, Encinitas CA. A shortened audio version of that talk is available online under the title, Legacy Consciousness.
♦ "Ecology Is the New Theology"ALTERNATIVE TITLES for the same basic sermon:
"Ecology Is the New Theology" "Big History Is the New Genesis" "Evidence Is Modern-Day Scripture"
Suggested description for Sunday morning sermon:
Religion, Dowd claims, has always been about helping people collectively to live in "right relationship to reality." Given today's science-based knowledge and the magnitude of humanity's challenges, ecology is necessarily the new theology and the interdisciplinary study of "big history" is the new Genesis. Those who fail to understand that evidence is modern-day scripture, and that the world we live in is an honorable world, betray the future in the most egregious of ways.
Rev. Michael Dowd is the author of the bestselling, bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, along with noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.
Note: Dowd presented a summary of this topic in a half-hour podcast episode.
♦ Contact Michael
Thank God for Evolution book website
Rev. Dowd's Huffington Post blog
Michael's PODCAST INTERVIEWS
with "Evolving Faith" leaders
published in 2008
"Michael Dowd has produced a thoughtful, timely, challenging and readable synthesis of science and spirituality in the spirit of Thomas Berry and Teilhard de Chardin. There is much here for all of us to ponder as we look for solid reasons for ethical aspiration in the 21st Century."
John F. Haught, Distinguished Professor of Theology, Georgetown University
"Reveals that spirituality is not only compatible with a science-based worldview; it is integral to it."
Rev. Jim Burklo, author of Open Christianity, Founder of The Center for Progressive Christianity
"For Catholics who are worried that evolution has nothing to offer them but random Godlessness, this is the book to get. Take courage--and read it!"
Chris Corbally, SJ, Vice Director of the Vatican Observatory
"Thank God for Michael Dowd! How wonderful that a pastor shows how religious inspiration can be drawn from contemplating evolution and the beauty and diversity of the living world." Francisco Ayala, past president, American Association for the Advancement of Science, author of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion
"Like orphans reunited, spirituality and evolution come face to face in this daring book."
Spencer Burke, TheOoze.com (evangelical), author of A Heretic's Guide to Eternity
"A step toward that ultimate truth in which both religion and science will be reconciled."
Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious
"A powerful book, a passionate book, a needed book, and a necessary book."
Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing and Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet
"The universe took 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing book. I heartily recommend it. I am often asked how science and religion can co-exist. This is a wonderful answer."
John Mather, NASA Senior Astrophysicist, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics
"Honest students of God should welcome the revelations of science as insights, not fear them as threats. Here is a book in that spirit by Christian minister who takes evolution to heart, and celebrates it."
Frank Wilczek, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
"If anyone can persuade a monotheist that the science of evolutionbiological, geological, or cosmologicalcan enrich his or her faith, I'm betting on Michael Dowd."
Thomas C. Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics
"The science vs. religion debate is over. Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a world view that celebrates the mysteries of existence and inspires each human being to achieve a higher purpose in life. A must read for all, including scientists."
Craig Mello, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine
"This book is indeed about the marriage between science and religion and the bright offspring of their union. Filled with well-organized material and exercises, Mr. Dowd's book could almost be a textbook for a class in creation theology and spirituality." National Catholic Reporter, 3 October 2008 Book Review
Read statements of PRAISE and GRATITUDE from Christian ministers and church leaders.
LEFT: Dowd at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, PA (2009)
"How can I thank you enough? Sunday was phenomenal! People loved Michael and thought he was smart, charismatic, and thought provoking." Lori Nelson, administrator of adult religious education programs at Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco
"The relief you provided for both of my sons" (excerpts from an email following a program by Michael Dowd in 2008 at a Catholic church in southern Wisconsin):"Dear Michael: Thank you for the absolutely great talk you gave last night. I am most happy about the relief you provided for both of my sons who attended. They have worried about what will happen to them when they die perhaps too many fundamentalist views floating around landed on their heads and became fact. I have struggled with helping them. Last night you really helped them to see things differently and gave them a sense of relief about their own salvation.
"Prior to your talk, my 15 year old son couldn't let himself believe in evolution because he wanted to believe in the biblical teachings. He thought if he believed in evolution he couldn't really believe in God. But now he tells me that evolution makes sense where the biblical teachings were questionable. You helped him to connect the dots. Now he can believe in both. He now feels free to trust his instincts about God and not worry about it anymore.
"My 13 year old son picked up the Jesus loves Darwin fishes bumper sticker at your book table after your talk. He now has it hanging above his bed. He says he looks up at it at night and smiles because he is not afraid anymore."
VIDEO & AUDIO Clips
We suggest you listen to / watch these clips in order. Total TIME about 12 minutes.
1. "Sacred Story" video audio only
AUDIO & VIDEO clips of
CORE CHRISTIAN CONCEPTS
8. "The Gospel" video audio only
Scheduling Presentations and Fees
Michael is passionate about these topics. For guest sermons he gratefully accepts whatever compensation a congregation typically offers guest ministers.
In addition, Michael likes to present a FREE powerpoint, evening talk during the week immediately following the Sunday service. We carry our own portable screen and high-lumen digital projector to use for the evening follow-up program, so the only thing you need to provide is an adequate room and voice amplification. Because book and DVD sales following the presentation are usually substantial (we make the table self-serve, so no assistance is required for that either), we suggest you publicize the event as FREE (or on a love offering basis) and consider it as an opportunity to attract newcomers from the wider community.
FOR LARGER VENUES, especially those that require him to travel by air, we are happy to negotiate fees that will work for your group.
Rev. Dowd generally schedules appearances on a region-by-region basis to minimize transportation time, costs, and energy. To learn when Michael will be in your region, click for his YEAR AT A GLANCE ITINERARY.
Michael and Connie's itinerant lifestyle is made possible by a commitment to voluntary simplicity and the generosity of those who open up their homes to them for a few days or longer. Depending on whether we are also presenting for other organizations in your town or city, we may ask you to locate HOME HOSPITALITY for us for the night preceding a morning service or that follows an evening workshop. Click here for a handy list of information on our HOME HOSPITALITY needs. We intend this list to supply prospective hosts with all the information they need to feel comfortable in extending us an invitation.
♦ Contact Michael