Providing Home Hospitality
for Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow
Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow (if you don't know who we are, see below) have lived entirely on the road since April 2002, sharing an inspiring, pro-science worldview with some 2,500 religious and secular audiences. Our work is possible only through the generosity of countless individuals, families, and organizations who have provided us with home hospitality along the way.
Our needs are minimal:
"BEDROOM" IN OUR VAN. We often prefer to sleep in our van; however, since we sometimes like sleeping indoors, a spare bed is appreciated, though not a necessity. Our Dodge Sprinter van has no temperature control, so we typically only sleep there when night-time temperatures are in the comfort zone: between 35 and 75 degrees F. Our van, which we affectionately call "Angel," is 9 and a half feet tall and 22 feet long (see photo below). We are fine with parking in the driveway or on the street, whichever is best for our hosts. Our van is too tall for most garages and carports. USING YOUR GUEST ROOM AS OUR OFFICE. Our van is not an RV. We do not need power hookup but we do need access to a bathroom, kitchen, and a place to plug in and work on our laptop computers during the day. A guest room where we can set up our laptops and the portable tables we carry with us to create a mini-office is very much appreciated. We do not need internet access, as we have devices that will access a satellite connection, so long as there is a cell phone signal in your neighborhood. NO PET ALLERGIES. Your pets are no problem for us. Indeed, we welcome the opportunity to pet-sit while you are away, as it gives us a chance to enjoy more privacy than usual. NO FOOD ALLERGIES OR AVERSIONS. We are omnivores, but we also gratefully accommodate to a vegetarian household. We are happy to share some meals with you, but you are under no obligation to feed us, nor do we expect that you will. For short stays, we appreciate simply scrounging in your refrigerator and cupboards for a few meals. (We usually have some basic food items with us in a cooler.) For longer stays we will purchase foodstocks and we are happy to prepare our own meals and snacks. Of course, if our hosts offer us a meal or two, we will not refuse! DURATION. The longer we can stay at one location, the better for us. Housesitting/petsitting or off-season stays in an owner's second home is hugely appreciated for longer stays, writing retreats, and to enable us to schedule more talks in a single region. This sort of "retreat time" is so important to us that we often build our speaking engagement schedule around such opportunities. Please let us know if something along these lines might be worked out in the future. Our only requirement for such an abode is electricity and a cell phone signal by which we can use our own devices to connect to the internet. YOU DON'T NEED TO ENTERTAIN US. We pretty much work on our laptop computers all day long and sometimes into the evening, although we also appreciate suggestions for where to take walks in your neighborhood.
DIRECTIONS TO YOUR HOME. Because we have a GPS system in our van, those who offer home hospitality usually need do no more than supply us with their full street address and phone numbers (home and cell, if you have one). Please include your zip code too, in case we need to have any of our mail forwarded to your place for our arrival or if we need to schedule a restocking delivery of books that we sell.
HOW YOU CAN CONTACT US...
Please email BOTH of us...• MichaelBDowd@gmail.com • ConnieBarlow52@gmail.com
For last-minute changes or other emergencies, you can contact Michael by phone at his cell: 425-760-9941.
We thank you in advance for sharing your home or institutional housing with us!
Rev. Michael Dowd is a former pastor, sustainable communities organizer, and bestselling eco-theologian whose work has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Discover, and on television nationally. His book, Thank God for Evolution, was endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize-winning scientists, noted skeptics, and religious leaders across the spectrum. Michael has delivered two TEDx talks and a program at the United Nations. He has also conducted two acclaimed online conversation series: "The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity" and "The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness". Dowd's passion for proclaiming a pro-science, nature-honoring message of inspiration what he calls "the gospel of right relationship to Reality" has earned him the moniker 'Rev. Reality', as he speaks prophetically in secular and religious settings about our sacred responsibility to future generations. (Michael's message, grounded in an ecological interpretation of Big History, always centers on fidelity to the future and how to stay sane, sober, and inspired to act locally and become ever more resilient in chaotic and contracting times. Sample videos can be found here and here, and audios here.)
Connie Barlow is a science writer, evolutionary educator, and professional audio, video, and text editor. Her 2001 book, The Ghosts of Evolution (Basic Books), was Amazon.com's top-recommended science book for several months. Her previous books, Green Space, Green Time: The Way of Science (Copernicus Books), Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life (MIT Press), and From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in the Life Sciences (MIT Press), all explore the nexus of science, meaning, and inspiration. Now mostly retired from speaking, Connie is a leader in the rapidly emerging field of assisted migration. (See her "Climate, Trees, and Legacy" video blog.)
Michael and Connie both pro-future activists and climate hawks, and both on the Board of Advisors of the Religious Naturalist Association (RNA) have spoken to some 2,500 religious and secular groups throughout North America since 2002: from Catholic, Protestant, Anabaptist, and Evangelical Christian churches; to humanist, skeptic, and freethinker groups; to grade school, high school, college, and university classes; to New Thought, New Age, Jewish, and Eastern Spirituality gatherings. They have been in the pulpit of nearly 500 Unitarian Universalist churches or fellowships and their work was featured on the cover of the UUA national membership magazine, the UU WORLD, twice: in 1997 and again in 2006.
Re Honoraria: Michael and Connie have no standard fee, preferring to trust the budget and generosity of the sponsoring organization. For Sunday services most churches offer an honorarium in the range of $200 - $600, depending on the size of the congregation and number of services. Home hospitality is vital, as our itinerant lifestyle would not be affordable if we had to stay in motels. Follow-up programs usually Sunday afternoon or eve, or some evening the following week as well as stand-alone 1-2 hour programs, are typically offered free of charge or on a donation/love offering basis, as that tends to ensure the most number of visitors. (Many churches find that Michael's evening program is one of the larger community outreach events of the year.) For endowed lectures, retreats, denominational gatherings, summer camps, and half-day, full-day, or longer workshops, some churches and organizations have extended as much as $3,000 - $6,000, usually for 2-5 presentations, but for other churches and secular groups it's been in the $1,000 - $2,500 ballpark. The main way that Michael and Connie have supported themselves over the past 16 years is by setting up a table of self-serve books, audios, and videos wherever people congregate for coffee and refreshments. (Also see "Home Hospitality".)
Connie's audio, video, and text publications Michael's audio, video, and text publications Deep Sustainability "Scripture" page
The following 3 short essays express the heart and soul of Rev. Dowd's pro-science, pro-future prophetic message...
"The Way Home for the Prodigal Species" 2017 (ProgressingSpirit.org)
"Evidential Medicine for Our Collective Soul: What's Inevitable? What's Redemptive?" 2016 (in Oneing magazine)
"Evidential Mysticism and the Future of Earth" 2014 (in Oneing magazine)