Turtlelog No. 7, www.TheGreatStory.org

Aerobic Preaching

Michael Dowd at (left) New Thought Unity Center of Cincinnati, and (right) Christ Church Episcopal, Hudson Ohio in September 2003.

"You certainly have an aerobic style of preaching!" commented Ticie Rhodes, wife of Rev. Tom Rhodes, minister of Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, Knoxville TN. Tom had invited Michael not only into his pulpit for a Sunday morning service in March 2004, but he and Ticie had also invited us into their home as overnight guests. Over breakfast the conversation ranged from UU religious education and images of God to Spiral Dynamics and dinosaurs. Home hospitality is not only what makes this itinerant lifestyle affordable; it makes it enjoyable. In two years of full-time travelling, we have stayed in hotels only twice — when serving as plenary speakers at conferences that had no home hospitality alternative.

During our second year of itinerant preaching and teaching, we delivered sermons, lessons, adult education programs and workshops, and kids programs related to The Great Story in the following religious contexts, directly speaking to a combined total of 6,650 adults and 450 children:

  • 40 Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships (32 sermons, 22 other programs, and one week-long summer camp)
  • 10 spirituality centers, Catholic and nondenominational
  • 6 Unity / New Thought churches (5 Sunday lessons and 6 other programs)
  • 5 United Church of Christ churches (4 sermons and 5 other programs)
  • 4 Catholic convents
  • 3 Roman Catholic churches
  • 2 Religious Science churches
  • 2 Methodist churches
  • 1 Presbyterian church (sermon and workshop)
  • 1 Episcopal church (sermon and workshop)
  • 1 Quaker meeting

    We (Rev. Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow) offer a variety of programs for religious and secular institutions. Click to view program titles tailored for Christian, Unity, Unitarian, Jewish, Meditation Centers, Campus Ministries, along with secular colleges, K-12, and retreat centers. Sermon titles this last year have ranged from "Giving God Glory in Evolution" (United Church of Christ), to "Humanists and Spiritual Seekers Discover Common Ground" and "What Is Our Cosmic Task?" (Unitarian Universalist), to "Cosmos, Mytiscism, and Reverence for Life" Unity), to "The Gospel of Evolution and Revival of the Human Spirit" (Presbyterian).

    Children's programs, in a variety of religious settings, have mostly been either "We Are Made of Stardust!" or "Celebrating Your Cosmic Age."

    Click to view illustrated commentary on their speaking experiences during their second year of travel at

  • Christian churches
  • Unitarian churches and fellowships
  • Unity / New Thought churches
  • Colleges and universities
  • Environmental & spiritual centers
  • Montessori and other teacher's conferences

    Note: If you wish to peruse the entire travel report, in order, you will eventually encounter all the above entries.

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