2016 Evolution Weekend

This year marks the 11th annual Evolution Weekend. While all participating congregations will address the relationship between religion and science, many will focus their attention on the theme selected for this year: Exploring Ways to Engage in Complex Discussions in a Civil Manner.

12 - 14 February 2016 -- Evolution Weekend

Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. An ongoing goal has been to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic, and to show that religion and science are not adversaries. Rather, they look at the natural world from quite different perspectives and ask, and answer, different questions.

Religious people from many diverse faith traditions and locations around the world understand that evolution is quite simply sound science; and for them, it does not in any way threaten, demean, or diminish their faith in God. In fact, for many, the wonders of science often enhance and deepen their awe and gratitude towards God.

By taking this perspective, Clergy Letter Project participants demonstrate that when some define religion so narrowly that it is categorically opposed to evolutionary ideas, or any of the findings of science, it both demeans and diminishes religion. As members of The Clergy Letter Project have stated so often and so clearly, this narrow perspective is at odds with the broader conception of religion held by thousands upon thousands of relgious leaders.

Because religion and science use different methodologies to understand the world, and because religion and science ask very different questions, there is no reason to view them in conflict. One important facet of Evolution Weekend 2016, therefore, is to explore the questions each ask and to examine the different ways of knowing embodied in each.

In addition to engaging in rich discussions about the relationship between religion and science, participants in Evolution Weekend this year will deomonstrate that it is possible to remain civil while having such discussions about complex topics. Participants all around the globe will model ways to educate without shouting. Their actions will show that it is possible to disagree deeply about ideas without being disagreeable, and their actions will show the value of respecting individuals while dissecting their opinions. Simply put, Evolution Weekend participants will model the type of society they most value.

Through sermons, discussion groups, meaningful conversations and seminars, the leaders listed below show that religion and science are not adversaries. 

To examine some of the sermons members of The Clergy Letter Project have delivered on this topic, to find scientific consultants willing to help answer questions or to read media reports about our activities, please explore our web pages. Similarly, if you want to examine some liturgical resources created and recommended by Clergy Letter Project members for Evolution Weekend, click here.

Whatever way participants choose to celebrate Evolution Weekend, their activities demonstrate, as do The Clergy Letters themselves, which have now been signed by more than 13,800 members of the clergy in the United States, that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.

150 Congregations
representing 37 States, the District of Columbia and
9 Countries are scheduled to participate in
Evolution Weekend 2016

Select a state to see its participants or simply scroll down.




Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church of the Verde Valley, ELCA
Clarkdale, AZ
The Rev. Dr. Mari Larson
The. Rev. Ed Womack

Community Christian Church (DOC)
Tempe, AZ
The Rev. Doug Bland

St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church
Tucson, AZ
The Rev. Thomas J. Lindell



Congregational Church of Belmont
Belmont, CA
The Rev. Kristi Denham

Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Canoga Park, CA
The Rev. Mike Young

Peace Lutheran Church
Corona, CA
Pastor Mark Allert

La Canada Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
La Canada, CA
The Rev. C.L. "Skip" Lindeman, Pastor

Foothills Congregational Church
Los Altos, CA
The Rev. W. Matthew Broadbent

Congregation B'nai Horin-Children of Freedom
Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Stan Levy
Rabbi Laura Owens

Companions of the Abbey of Merton St. Ambrose
Martinez, CA
The Rev. Richard Mapplebeckpalmer

Christ Church Lutheran, ELCA
San Francisco, CA
The Rev. John Frykman

First United Lutheran Church
San Francisco, CA
The Rev. Dr. Susan M. Strouse

First Congregational Church in Sonoma
Sonoma, CA
The Rev. Alan Claassen


Living Water Spiritual Community
Arvada, CO
The Rev. David Ridge

United Church of Broomfield
Broomfield, CO
The Rev. Gregory Garland, Pastor

Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church
Denver, CO
Mark Meeks, Minister

Green Mountain United Methodist Church
Lakewood, CO
Stephen Walden, Program Director


All Saints Episcopal Church
Ivoryton, CT
The Rev. Brendan McCormick

First Congregational Church
New Milford, CT
The Rev. Michael J. Moran, Senior Pastor

Niantic Community Church
Niantic, CT
The Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson, Pastor

Simsbury United Methodist Church
Simsbury, CT
The Rev. Woody Eddins

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation
Southington, CT
Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker


Silverside Church
Wilmington, DE
The Rev. Dr. David Albert Farmer, Pastor


The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Miami, FL
The Rev. Trae Williamson

Unitarian Universalist Church
Tarpon Springs, FL
The Rev. Robert Francis Murphy


Mountaintop Lectures
Dawsonville, GA
The Rev. Michael Dowd


Hanapepe United Church of Christ
Hanapepe, HI
Michael O. Christensen, Pastor

Temple Emanu-El
Honolulu, HI
Dr. Dave Haymer



The New Reform Congregation Kadima
Deerfield, IL
Rabbi David Oler

First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Downers Grove, IL
The Rev. Scott Oberle

Pilgrim Congregational Church
Oak Park, IL
The Rev. Sally Iberg, Senior Pastor

Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Oak Park, IL
The Rev. Alan C. Taylor, Senior Minister

Third Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Rockford, IL
The Rev. Stephen Loch Bowie

Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation
Springfield, IL
The Rev. Martin Woulfe



First Unitarian of Des Moines
Des Moines, IA
The Rev. Michael Dowd

Clarke University Campus Ministry
Dubuque, IA
Andrea Bixler

Musserville United Methodist Church
Muscatine, IA
The Rev. W. Michael Biklen


Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC)
Lawrence, KS
The Rev. Peter Luckey, Senior Pastor

Unity Church of Christianity
Topeka, KS
The Rev. Michael Jamison



Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim
Alexandria, LA
Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman

First Christian Church of Greater New Orleans
(Disciples of Christ)
Metairie, LA
The Rev. Glen Schory

Community Church Unitarian Universalist
New Orleans, LA
The Rev. Jim VanderWeele


Bangor Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Bangor, ME
The Rev. Arthur Vaeni

Centre Street Congregational Church UCC
Machias, ME
The Rev. Dr. Eric W. Kelley

First Congregational Church UCC
Waterville, ME
Rev. Mark Wilson


Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
Annapolis, MD
The Rev. Fred Muir, Senior Minister

St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
Baltimore, MD
Alex Storrs

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Bethesda, MD
Rabbi George B. Driesen
Cantor Rachel Hersh

WesleyNexus, Inc.
Baltimore-Washington UMC Annual Conference
Damascus, MD
E. Maynard Moore, President

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick
Frederick, MD
The Rev. J. Carl Gregg, Pastor

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Southern Maryland
Hollywood, MD
James Gibbons Walker


Quincy Community United Methodist Church
Quincy, MA
The Rev. Dr. Susan F. Jarek-Glidden, Pastor

Pilgrim Church (UCC)
Sherborn, MA
Frank Villa

St. John’s Episcopal Church
Westwood, MA
The Rev. Jennifer Phillips


St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church
Ann Arbor, MI
The Rev. James C. Rhodenhiser, Rector

Nardin Park United Methodist Church
Farmington Hills, MI
The Rev. Dr. Dale Miller
The Rev. Karen Poole
Beverly Brun
Church & Society Committee

Michigan Technological University
Houghton MI
The Rev. Michael Dowd

Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Houghton MI
The Rev. Michael Dowd


St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Duluth, MN
The Rev. William Van Oss
Dr. Stephen Hedman

St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Community
Minneapolis, MN
The Rev. Michael Tegeder



Cape Girardeau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Cape Girardeau, MO
Allen Gathman

Columbia Friends Meeting
Columbia, MO
Brother David Finke

St. Mark's Episcopal Church
St. Louis, MO
The Rev. Mark Kozielec


Red Lodge Community United Church of Christ
Red Lodge, MT
The Rev. David W. Munson


St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Holly-Rushville, NE
The Rev. William J. Graham

St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Gordon, NE
The Rev. William J. Graham


The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Henderson, NV
The Rev. Pat Chapin

New Hampshire

Monadnock Congregational Church, UCC
Colebrook, NH
The Rev. Rebecca Larson

Plymouth Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Plymouth, NH
The Rev. Paulo Franço

New Jersey

St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Parsippany, NJ
The Rev. Frederick L. Lentz, Pastor

New Mexico

St. John's Cathedral
Albuquerque, NM
The Very Rev. Mark Goodman, Dean

Wellspring Church
Las Cruces, NM
The Rev. Sam Ritchey

New York

Saint John's Episcopal Church
Catharine, NY
The Rev. Michael Hartney

Temple Emanuel
East Meadow, NY
Greg Tobkes

Henrietta United Church of Christ
Henrietta, NY
The Rev. David R. Inglis

Lutheran Care Center
Poughkeepsie, NY
Pastor John Heller

Pulaski Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
Pulaski, NY
The Rev. Jim Tschudy

Saint James' Episcopal Church
Watkins Glen, NY
The Rev. Michael Hartney

North Carolina

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter
Charlotte, NC
The Rev. Kevin S. Brown, Rector

All Saints Episcopal Church
Concord, NC
The Rev. Nancy Cox

Judea Reform Congregation
Durham, North Carolina
Rabbi Larry Bach

The Lifelong Learning Institute
Duke University
Durham, NC
The Rev. Mark Rutledge

Eutaw United Church of Christ
Fayetteville, NC
The Rev. Dr. David Nikkel

Hillsborough United Church of Christ
Hillsborough, NC
Jay Kennett, Pastor

Umstead Park United Church of Christ
Raleigh, NC
The Rev. Douglas S. Long

North Dakota

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Grand Forks, ND
The Rev. Dr. James Michael Shannon, Rector


Mt. Adams Pilgrim Chapel UCC
Cincinnati, OH
The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Croskery

Wilson Memorial Presbyterian Church
Cincinnati, OH
The Rev. William D. Westmoreland

First Community Church
Columbus, OH
The Rev. Dr. Richard Wing, Senior Minister
The Rev. David Hett,
Minister of Religious Life & Learning

Franklin First United Methodist Church
Franklin, OH
The Rev. Bryan Lauzau

All Shepherds Lutheran Church
Lewis Center, OH
Pastor Glen Bengson

Congregation Beth Adam
Loveland, OH
Rabbi Robert B. Barr

Plattsburg United Church of Christ
South Charleston, OH
The Rev. Dr. Curt Miner, Pastor

Trinity United Church of Christ
Wooster, OH
The Rev. Dr. Kevan S. Franklin


Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ
Oklahoma City, OK
Dr. Robin R. Meyers, Minister

Unity Church of Christianity
Tulsa, OK
The Rev. Mary Anne Harris


Southminster Presbyterian Church
Beaverton, OR
The Rev. John Shuck

First Presbyterian Church
Central Point, OR
The Rev. Terry Graunke

Gold Hill United Methodist Church
Gold Hill, OR
The Rev. Terry Graunke

West Hills Friends
Portland, OR
Mike Huber


St. Luke United Methodist Church
Bryn Mawr, PA
The Rev. David Tatgenhorst

Green Pond United Methodist Church
Easton, PA
The Rev. Thomas S. Robinson, III, Pastor

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Harrisburg, PA
The Rev. Anthony Stultz

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Hershey, PA
The Rev. Anthony Stultz

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana, PA
Indiana, PA
The Rev. Joan Sabatino
Sara Steelman, Worship Service Coordinator

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Lancaster, PA
The Rev. Chris Peterson
The Rev. Frank Tunis

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Mannheim, PA
The Rev. Jim Smith

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Mechanicsburg, PA
The Rev. Brooke Wiley

The United Church of Schellsburg UCC
Schellsburg, PA
The Rev. Ruth Shaver

West Sunbury United Presbyterian Church
West Sunbury, PA
The Rev. Jeffrey Lang

Rhode Island

First Unitarian Church Providence
Providence, RI
The Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman, Interim Minister

South Carolina

Circular Congregational Church
Charleston, SC
The Rev. Jeremy Rutledge

St. Hubert in the Fields
Pritchardville, SC
The Rev. Canon Richard P. McDonnell

South Dakota


Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice
Pleasant Hill, TN
Donald B. Clark

Pleasant Hill Community Church
Pleasant Hill, TN
Donald B. Clark


Beth-El Congregation
Fort Worth, TX
Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger

Community Unitarian Universalist Church of Plano
Plano, TX
The Rev. Patrick Price, Minister

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church
San Antonio, TX
The Rev. Paul Ziese


South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society
Salt Lake City, UT
The Rev. Michael Dowd


United Church of Bethel
Bethel, VT
Pastor Tom Harty

Waterbury Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Waterbury, VT
The Rev. Peter Plagge


Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church
Burke, VA
The Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, Senior Minister

St. James United Church of Christ
Lovettsville, VA
The Rev. R. Don Prange, Pastor

Squires Memorial Presbyterian Church
Norfolk, VA
Alfred McCall, Pastor

St. James Episcopal Church
Roanoke, VA
The Rev. Susan E. Bentley
Dr. Michael L. Bentley

Christ Crossman United Methodist Church
Falls Church, VA
Mochel Morris, Pastor


Temple Beth Hatfiloh
Olympia, WA
Rabbi Seth Goldstein

Richmond Beach Congregatinal UCC
Shoreline, WA
The Rev. Dr. Paul Ashby

Washington, DC

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
Washington, DC
The Rev. E. Maynard Moore

West Virginia


Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Eau Claire, WI
Wil Taylor

Memorial United Church of Christ
Fitchburg, WI
Pastor Phil Haslanger

Peace United Church of Christ
Kewaskum, WI
The Rev. Eric Kirkegaard

First United Methodist Church
Madison, WI
The Rev. Michael Dowd

Holy Wisdom Monastery
Middleton WI
The Rev. Michael Dowd

First Presbyterian Church
Oskosh, WI
The Rev. Dr. Tom Willadson

Olympia Brown UU Church
Racine, WI
Tony Larsen, Pastor

First Congregational Church, UCC
Sheboygan, WI
The Rev. James Hollister, Co-Pastor
The Rev. Julia Hollister, Co-Pastor


International Partners


St James Uniting Church
Curtin, ACT, Australia
Aaron Harper
Helen Sahhar

Emanuel Synagogue
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

Killara (Five Ways) Uniting Church
Sydney, NSW, Australia
The Rev. Ian Pearson


Igreja Metodista
Terra Rica, Parana, Brazil
The Rev. Dr. Robert Stephen Newnum


Anglican Parish of Tweed-Roslin-Marlbank
Peterborough, ON, Canada
The Rev. Geoffrey Howson

Unitarian Fellowship of Sarnia and Port Huron
Sarnia, ON, Canada
Allan McKeown



Memorial Church (Unitarian)
Cambridge, England
Andrew J. Brown, Minister

Holly Mount United Reformed Church
Malvern, England
Andrew Webb

St Agnes Church (Anglican)
North Reddish, England
The Rev. Clive Larsen



Modi'in, Israel
Dr. Naomi Dar


New Zealand

St Marks Methodist Church
Christchurch, New Zealand
The Rev. Andrew Donaldson


Ateneo de Davao
Davao City, Philippines
Daniel McNamara, S.J., Rector



United Reformed Church
Greenock West, Scotland
The Rev. David Coleman
The Rev. Zam Walker


Due to scheduling difficulties, some participating congregations will be holding
their events close to the weekend of 12 -14 February 2016 but not on that weekend.