Speaking Engagements of
Michael Dowd & Connie Barlow

   Record of Past Events

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Rev. Michael Dowd is a former pastor, sustainable communities organizer, and bestselling eco-theologian and pro-science 'evangelist' 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 sermon videos can be found here and here, audios here, and longer programs 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'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, deep sustainability activists, 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 - $500, depending on the size of the congregation. Travel reimbursement and home hospitality are also generally extended. 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 and DVDs 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
  • Michael's personal / media website
  • Standing for the Future — Videos of three of Michael's core 45-60 minute live presentations

  • Deep Sustainability "Scripture" — 1,200+ hours of free downloadable audio recordings

    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 (

  • "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)

  •      2018


    HOME BASE: January 1-7 - in Lakeland, FL

  • January 2 - Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, FL (Michael 7pm)

  • WRITING RETREAT / BASECAMP: January 8 - March 10: Big Canoe, GA

  • February 15 - Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA (Michael, public lecture; also speaking in Mark Causey's Religion and Science class.)

  • February 25 - Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sandy Springs, GA (Michael sermon and 7pm follow-up program)

  • March 11 - Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Marietta, GA (Michael sermon and 1pm follow-up program, free and open to the public)

  • WRITING RETREAT / BASECAMP: March 11-30: Ft. Payne, AL (Lookout Mountain)

  • March 18 - Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville, AL (Michael sermon and possible late afternoon or evening follow-up program)

  • March 30-31 - Link Centre and SPAFER (Southern Progressive Alliance for Exploring Religion), Tupelo, MS (Michael: Friday dinner, two Saturday morning hour-long multimedia presentations, box lunches, and short homily, followed by Q&A & discussion) Poster/flier HERE

    ARIZONA - April 2 - 29: MINISTRY BASECAMP in Phoenix - various presentations at Beatitudes Campus and in Phoenix area

  • April 4 - Beatitudes Town Hall, meet and greet - Phoenix, AZ

  • April 5 - Beatitudes Passover Seder - Phoenix, AZ

  • April 8 - Church of the Beatitudes 9am service - Phoenix, AZ

  • Friday mornings April 6, 13, 20, 27 - Beatitudes "Science and Spirituality" conversations

  • Monday mornings April 9, 16, 23 - Beatitudes 3-part "Life Long Learners" lecture series, Phoenix, AZ

  • April 9 - Beatitudes UCC Lunch - Connie speaking "Assisted Migration of Trees", Phoenix, AZ

  • April 12 - Beatitudes breakfast event, Phoenix, AZ

  • April 14 - Elders for a Sustainable Future, Phoenix, AZ

  • April 15 - The Fountains United Methodist Church, Fountain Hills, AZ (Michael morn)

  • April 17 - Beatitudes Resident Retired Clergy lunch @ 11:00am, Phoenix, AZ

  • April 19 - Earth Day at Daley Park, Tempe, AZ - sponsored by AZ Foundation for Contemporary Theology and AZ IP&L

  • April 20 - Temple Emanuel of Tempe, Tempe, AZ (Michael eve)

  • April 22 - Dayspring United Methodist Church, Tempe, AZ (Michael morn and 4pm)

  • April 27 - Creative Living Fellowship, Phoenix, AZ (Michael eve)

  • April 29 - Via de Christo Faith Community, Scottsdale, AZ (Michael morn)


  • April 30 - All Souls UU Church, Colorado Springs, CO (Michael eve)

  • May 1-4 - SHORT RETREAT Cripple Creek, CO

  • May 4-5 - Visit friends/colleagues in Denver, CO

  • May 6 - High Plains Church, Unitarian Universalist, Colorado Springs, CO (Michael morn)

  • May 7-16 - Staying with friends/colleagues in Santa Fe, NM

  • May 13 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe, NM (Michael morn)

  • May 16 - Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe, NM (Michael 7pm)


  • May 18 - Haskell-Baker Wetlands Discovery Center in Lawrence, KS, sponsored by the EcoJustice Team at First Presbyterian Church and the Sustainability Action Network

  • May 19 - "Dialogue for Our Future" at Troost Ave. Festival, Kansas City, MO

  • May 20 - 10am Forum at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, MO

  • THREE-PART MULTI-MEDIA SERIES in Springfield, MO: "Ecology as the Heart of Theology: The Death and Resurrection of Religion" (3 locations)
  • May 22 - "Reality 101: Big Green History & Deep Time Wisdom: What's Inevitable? What's Futile? What's Inspiring?" - The Emerging Church (Community Christian Church), Springfield, MO

  • May 23 - 7pm - "Grace Limits 101: Nature, Human Nature, and Death: Staying Sane, Sober, and Empowered in Hard Times" - Springfield Library Center

  • May 24 - 7pm - "Legacy 101: Pro-Future Faith: Reclaiming the Evolutionary Purpose of Religion" at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield, MO

  • May 27 - All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK (Michael sermon)

  • May 30 - All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK (Michael 7-8:30pm: "Faithful to the Future")


    HOME and MINISTRY BASECAMP: June through late September in Ludington, MI

  • June 14-18 - family events, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, MI

  • June 23-25 - First Congregational Church, UCC, Sheboygan, WI - (morn sermon + eve)

  • July 15 - UU Fellowship of Midland, Midland, MI - (Michael sermon)

  • July 22 - People's Church UU, Ludington, MI - (Michael sermon)

  • July 29 - Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton, WI - (Michael sermon + eve)

  • August 26 - People's Church UU, Ludington, MI - (Connie sermon)

  • September 2 - People's Church UU, Ludington, MI - (Michael sermon)

  • September 30 - Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, Brighton, MI - (Michael sermon)

  • October 1-4: Visit family and friends in and around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, MI


  • RETREAT / BASECAMP: October 5 through November 14 in Cullowhee, NC

  • October 7 - Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, NC - (Michael sermon)


  • November 17-18 - Workshop and guest lecture at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston, TX (Michael: two presentations on Saturday and one on Sunday morning)


    BASECAMP: November 21 - December 31: Ft. Payne, AL (Lookout Mountain)



    BASECAMP: January 1-31: Ft. Payne, AL (Lookout Mountain)

    BASECAMP: February and March: Big Canoe, GA


  • March 29-30: New Story Festival: Community, Creativity, and the Common Good, Austin TX

  • March 31 - April 4: Houston, TX (Mon-Thur: SW UU Ministers Retreat)

  • April 7-13: UU Village Church in Hot Springs, AR


  • Mid-April to late-May 2019: Still to be determined

  • MINISTRY BASE: Mid-April to early May 2019: Scarsdale, NY


  • Late-May to late-June 2019: Still to be determined

  • June 9-14: Atlantic Seminar in Theological Education (A.S.T.E.), Truro, Nova Scotia


  • July 2019: Still to be determined


  • July 29 - August 2: Ghost Ranch, NM


  • HOME BASE / WRITING RETREAT: July 7 - September 30: Upper Lake, CA and/or Eureka, CA

    PACIFIC NORTHWEST (Washington and Oregon)

  • October - December: Still to be determined


    WEST COAST and WESTERN U.S. — (?? WA, OR, CA, NV, ID, UT ??)

  • January through June 2020 — Still to be determined

    MOUNTAIN WEST and MID-WEST U.S. — (?? WY, CO, NM, KS, IA, NE, OK, MO ??)

  • July through December 2020 — Still to be determined

    For the list of speaking engagements already completed (2002-2016), click: PAST ITINERARY.

    To invite us to present in your community, visit our PROGRAMS page or click to SEND US AN EMAIL.