Speaking Engagements of
Michael Dowd & Connie Barlow

   Record of Past Events

Contact us


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.)

Michael's 2019 8-Session VIDEO DISCUSSION COURSE (for study groups) - PRO-FUTURE FAITH: The Prodigal Species Comes Home

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 2,700 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

    Deep Sustainability "Scripture" — dozens of free downloadable audio recordings by multiple authors (narration by Dowd). Also available on Dowd's SoundCloud page.

    Short essays express the heart and soul of Rev. Dowd's pro-science, pro-future prophetic message...

  • "The Future As Judge and Guide" 2019 (in Oneing magazine)

  • "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)

  •      2020

    Shift to ZOOM MINISTRY

    Available for Zoom homilies, sermons, and evening programs throughout the U.S. and Canada

    ***CONTACT via EMAIL: MichaelBDowd(AT)gmail(DOT)com / PHONE: 425-760-9941 or 850-420-8002***


    BASECAMP: March 1 - September 3 -- 534 Pacific Lumber Camp Rd., Eureka CA

  • July 19 + 22 via ZOOM: Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bayside CA (MD morn + eve)
  • July 30 via ZOOM: First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA (MD eve)
  • August 5 via ZOOM: Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bayside CA (MD eve)


    PERMANENT RESIDENCE: beginning September 12: Ypsilanti, MI

    NOTE ON ENDING OUR 18 YEARS OF ITINERANT MINISTRY: Owing to the ongoing "social distancing" brought about by Covid-19, and especially because of the escalating signs of social as well as economic and ecological collapse, we are regrouping with family in southern Michigan. Michael's youngest daughter gave birth in May to our second grandchild, and we are thrilled with the invitation by Miriam and Trevor to assist with homecare and childcare needs. Cnnnie, in fact, had grandparents in her home while in elementary school in Detroit, so this feels to her like a welcome stage in her own life cycle.
        Thankfully, internet tools for Michael's continuing work in providing guest sermons and extended presentations have already proved their viability Spring and Summer 2020. SEE EXAMPLES OF ZOOM MINISTRY at bottom of this page.

    EVENTS VIA ZOOM (anywhere in North America)

  • October 16 - 18: First Presbyterian, Elizabethton TN (MD events)
  • November 15: Friendship Fellowship UU, Rockledge, FL
  • November 6 - 7: St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA (MD lecture / workshop)
  • November 11 - 12: Jewish Center & Federation of the Twin Tiers, Elmira, NY (MD eve presentation and morning clergy event via zoom)

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

    To invite Michael Dowd to present via internet for your community, visit our PROGRAMS page.

    Guest Sermons by Michael Dowd (via Zoom)

    2-Part VIDEO series by Michael Dowd: Postdoom Thinking and Living

    • Version for Religiously Liberal (including Unitarian) churches:

        Owing to Covid-19, all presentations by Michael Dowd in 2020 are limited to online technologies. This 2-part video series stands for Michael's long-form slide presentation style — this time, with extensive text elaboration such that the presentation feels like reading an illustrated book while listening to the audio version. Uploaded to youtube, this offers FREE VIEWING, along with an ability for each viewer to pause the program for depth understanding and note-taking.

    (recorded July 2020; posted July 2020)

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR USES BY CHURCHES AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Rev. Dowd offers to appear for a scheduled live online session of Q&A / DISCUSSION as a follow-up to the group's assignment for watching one or both of these video programs. Each of the two videos is a stand-alone program; or the set can be watched in tandem. Consult the lengthy youtube caption of each program for a complete list of topics and sources, along with direct time-coded access to the internal chapters. The core content entails 67 minutes in one video and 75 minutes in the other, each followed by an extensive resources video section. Each video is divided into 4 "chapters", with direct access via the timecodes listed in the youtube captions.

        "Finding Meaning in the Dark: Sobering Inspiration for Hard Times" (67 min)
        "Embracing Our Predicament: Trading Confusion for Clarity" (75 min)

    • Version for Secular and Religiously Mixed Audiences:

        This 2-part video series, for individual or group viewing, can be accessed from the resources page of Michael Dowd's new website featuring "Postdoom Conversations."

    (recorded July 2020; posted July 2020)


    Return to Home Page