The title of this sermon might sound a bit irreverent, but there is a sound theological basis to the idea of religion as play. Cultural theorists and anthropologists have noted with fascination the elements of human behavior that make us playful are also those that make religion possible. Religion only fulfills its purpose when it functions as a sort of sacred play.

Rev. Dr. Fred Howard has roots deep in Georgia soil.  He was born and raised in Macon, attended Valdosta State College and then the Medical College of Georgia, and practiced medicine as a family physician in Cairo and Douglas for twenty years.  In 2002 he heard the call to ministry and closed his medical practice, moved to Atlanta, and began studies at Candler School of Theology.  For the past ten years Fred has served as minister of the Valdosta UU Church.  He also continues to work part time in the medical field as an emergency room physician.

He is author of Transforming Faith: Stories of Change from a Lifelong Spiritual Seeker, recipient of numerous awards including the coveted Nautilus Book Award.  More recently he published Children of Covenant, an intriguing and informative suspense novel that will be of special interest to UUs.