A Conversation With Michael Dowd

Our Vespers group (recently renamed STAR Cluster) at Boonville Presbyterian has been studying Michael Dowd’s Thank God for Evolution for the past 11 weeks.

This week, we will wrap up our study with a live phone call with Michael Dowd himself, who has so kindly offered his time to our little community.  This will happen at 6pm on Monday, May 27 at Boonville Presbyterian (corner of Church St. & James St. in Boonville, NY).

Here is an interview with Michael Dowd on the themes he explores:


What is the STAR Cluster?

Carina NebulaAs you know, our Monday night Vespers group has been studying Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd. This past week, we were so inspired by a passage from the book that we decided to change our name!  Here’s what Michael has to say about it in his book…

I’ve come to think of the acronym STAR as summarizing this work to increase and deepen our evolutionary integrity…

S ervice: Supporting others in maintaining integrity and providing lifegiving service in additional ways. In so doing, we not only bless the world; we support our own growth and fulfillment, while boosting our chances for long-term integrous living.

T rust: Surrendering to the wisdom of divine Wholeness—that undeniable physical and nonphysical Reality beyond thought, belief, or denial, which is at work in the world and to which each of us is ultimately accountable.

A uthenticity: Getting real with oneself and others, owning the painful truths about one’s life, and grasping the comforting truth that God loves us anyway. Then making commitments that will cultivate healthy habits and supports for living in integrity.

R esponsibility: Stepping into the shoes of those we have harmed, and then making amends—while cultivating compassion for ourselves and others. Enlisting the support of others, too, as integrity is a team sport.

I imagine people coming together in groups, locally or online, to support one another’s growth in evolutionary integrity. We might call these groups “STAR Clusters.”  And as we develop connections among such groups—email lists, conference calls, websites—for community-building, information-sharing, networking, support, action, we can imagine bridging the distances between the STARs, reaching through “interStellar space.”

If you feel inspired by this vision of intentional community, join us at our next STAR Cluster meeting this Monday evening at 6pm at First Presbyterian Church of Boonville!  Even if you haven’t been reading Michael’s book, come anyway and join in our fascinating conversation.

The most exciting new development this week is that Michael Dowd himself has generously offered to chat with out group via conference call when we near the end of the book.  We’ll be making arrangements for this to happen and will keep you updated as plans become concrete!