Byron Bradley Byrd Carrier

is creating Sermons, Book, Blog, Podcast, Vidcast, Songs

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About Byron Bradley Byrd Carrier

Welcome!  Thank you for even coming to my Patreon site to read about who I am and what I seek.  

Patreon is built off of the word "patron," that being a donor who supports an artist.  I am seeking some income for my "art," what I call my "real work." I'm hoping you'll be one of a small group who want to reward and support my artistic and professional efforts, whether that be small or substantial. 

I don't expect to live off of what patrons provide, but a little support will take me a long way towards being able to concentrate on my "real work," building that into a feasible and fair income stream for me.  Can I be a prophet who profits?  I hope so.  This is right livelihood of a high order.   

Way back in high school, interested in art, I thought I might go into advertising.  But I didn't like using art to support consumerism: e.g., Salem cigarettes had an ad where they showed a pristine waterfall and voiced-over it, "Take a breath; it's springtime!"  They used our inherent love of clean breathing to classically condition users to death sticks, like the ones that killed my Mom.  To me, art should serve something higher, like, "Take a breath; it's springtime," with no cigarette, just to remind us of what we really want - clean, healthy breathing. 

For the last 22 years, I've done "get-by work" to keep my house, pay the bills, raise my sons to men, and then try to fund and do my "real work."  So I've built rock walls, helped build houses, done maintenance work, and so-forth.  This was satisfying, straight work-for-pay, with dirt that washes off and boogers worth picking, but it wasn't my real work, not my essential art, which is closer akin to my efforts in the Unitarian Universalist ministry, only even more outspoken, edgy, and pertinent. 

If you read my writings at my web site (where my bio has the photos I wish I could use here) you'll see lots of sermons (and some recent blogging) delivered in these last twenty years, mostly at the UU Fellowship of Grants Pass, Oregon, which I helped found and nurture. However, all these are hurriedly written with "spare time and spare change."  I couldn't devote much time to reading, thinking, writing, delivering, and tending while having to do lesser work to support my "real work."

My real work grows out of my extraordinary life.  In high school I worked for a funeral home.  At first I just set up chairs and sat with grieving families in the evenings. Then I was attending and driving their ambulance (the hearse doubled as the community ambulance) and embalming bodies.  (Note: not causally connected!)  I had to help embalm 50 bodies to get my funeral director's license.  I remember being proud of a sign I put on the front lawn of the parlor: "Have a Meaningful Christmas."

I wouldn't have known to go to college were it not for the two years I had to do prior to mortuary school.  I fell in love with learning, especially science, logic and religious philosophy.  I still take anatomy and physiology courses (on brain science, lately) and stay interested in religious, psychological and environmental trends.  

Continuing on to get my Bachelor's, I got acquainted with Chinese and Hindu religions, and took a BA (Oakland University in Michigan) in Psychology and Philosophy.

Having attended a Unitarian church in Birmingham, Michigan, I felt I could put my interests together in the liberal ministry: our physical bodies, our environment, our trends in culture, religious beliefs, counseling, and creating pertinent, realistic, emotive, intellectual services. I went on to get a Masters of Divinity from the Meadville/Lombard Theological School, then at the University of Chicago.  

That's right, friends, I have a Master's degree - in Divinity!

Which is funny, because I don't know any more about the mysteries of pre-life and after-life, nor do I like clergy who get all proud and pumped up on their supposed knowing. I value the skeptical side of religion. (I went on to take a graduate-level three year course in Humanism while in seminary.)  To me, religion is that which relates us well to Reality, and that reality is, at-least, made up of physical, biological, ecological reality.  To ignore these is to fail in religion.  I'm more interested in the obvious and possible than the fanciful and speculative, more the reality we do and could live in than the alien version imposed by many religions.

My attention and emphasis is not so much on God as what I call God's goods - Nature, including all life and all humans.  (See Genesis One in the Bible or my:

My "career" with the UU religion is both spotty and spectacular.  I've served congregations in St. Joseph, Michigan, Urbana, Illinois, Clinton, North Carolina, Ashland, Oregon, and I've serviced a dozen or so small fellowships on a visiting basis.  The Ashland UU congregation tripled and bought their building while I was their first settled minister.  The Grants Pass UU fellowship has grown to finally buy their first building.  While I didn't "take over" in either place, my involvement helped both thrive.   

I've generated many hundreds of sermons (never repeating, though themes recur), many dozens of weddings and memorial services, and lots of newsletter entries. I've sat in intimate company at people's life transitions.  I've counseled many, whether formally or casually.  I've created services and sermons that hundreds of people really like, telling me, "I never liked any church till I heard you." 

But, for various reasons, what I championed and supported has not supported me much.  I'm living on less than some UU ministers get given for mere expenses. I'm not funded to buy books or travel.  I'm barely getting by on about a tenth of what I might be making.

Yet, something like ministry is in my bones.  It is my dharma, my essential nature, my calling.  Last week, besides prepping my Clean Energy News for my weekly volunteer radio show, besides contributing on various forums, besides blogs, besides visiting one person with a broken leg and another with brain cancer, besides studying brain science as part of my counseling and preaching skills, besides trying to learn social media and how to use computers skillfully, besides writing songs, besides tending my main project - a book - I've had to get by on social security and food stamps, barely.

Yet for the last couple of years, I've deliberately dropped my other sources of income.  They were taking too much time from my real work.  I dropped the rock wall work, dropped the maintenance work, pulled out of a local climate action group where I had been chair of the government committee, and tried to focus on my book and real work.  In my seventies now, I don't have time to do lesser work.  I have a unique and valuable contribution to make to this misguided world.  

If you'd be willing to help me out with a small or large monthly donation, I would very much appreciate it.  I've been getting-by at the edge of things so long anything you send will help!  

Patreon is set up to shuttle some rewards for various levels of contributions.  I'm not sure what you'd want in return, but I'd be glad to satisfy that in grateful return as you let me know as to what fairly repays you. My "real work" is now: 

*****Finish a book about fixing a mistake in interpreting the Garden of Eden story in a way that empowers both believers and humanists at this crucial point of history.

****Share sermons as I deliver them, both to the occasional UU setting, but more on YouTube, intended for a far wider audience than UU's.  These might be provocative and controversial at times when that fits. 

***Write and perform my own songs (and occasional covers of others') via YouTube or Soundcloud.

**Blog via my website (with link to them on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) and via podcast and vidcast.  

*Conduct some services, like the UU ones I've long-done, only more focused on my points rather than that tradition. Forming some local congregating for company, mutual support, and tuning-in to our inherent goodness - is also part of my intent.  

So, friends, there you have it.  If you'd like to give me a financial pat on the back to empower me in my real work, I'd gratefully receive it and put it to good use.

This is my art, and I hope you'll be a patron of it, but if not, don't pull away.  I still want you to be aware of my cause.  If nothing else, perhaps you can forward this to someone who would like to help.  

I imagine an ad that relates us to the clean air of a waterfall, advising we "take a breath," only, not to sell cigarettes, but rather to "sell" clean air and breathing as the good we really want. This is what I want to do as my art, my "real work," in the form of a book, sermons, blogs, vidcasts and music.

Thanks for reading this, for considering donating, and for sending this to those others you know may also help.  

$8.95 of $50 per month
My initial goal is to raise $500 a month (don't panic; I don't expect this from you alone) from all my patrons to help provide my living expenses, the expenses of renting a place for activities, and the expenses of mounting blogs, podcasts, and vidcasts.  

For instance, the $50 yearly fee to keep my God's Goods religion active in Oregon (founded in 1996) is due again (I've paid $1,000 on my own so far since then).  It would cost $200 to have underwriter slots played for one month on my radio station. Renting a place to hold services and other events would cost $150 a month or more.  To not have to pay the ridiculous $10 a month Umpqua Bank charges business accounts, I'd have to get $1000 as a minimum in that account.

I'm hoping a stream of income from patrons will give me the breathing room to develop ways of earning an actual profitable income.  Your monthly gift will empower me in my work initially. 

(The Patreon software won't let me change the $0 of $1 per month field.  When you sign up to contribute monthly you can set a slider to anything from $1/month on up.  Anything is appreciated! But remember, this isn't like Kickstarter; this is a monthly donation.  You can always increase, decrease or stop it at any time.)

(The Patreon software is odd, restricting my goals and your rewards in ways not easy to foresee.  I don't know what you need from me to reward you for helping, but as we go I will find out and provide it.  As is, yours is really more of a gift than a way to get rewards.  Your reward will be knowing you're helping me get my "art" out there, and if you want, I can send some of that directly to you via this Patreon system. Look down this page for levels of goal and reward, but remember, it's just a way to encourage your giving and my "art." Everyone will get on a periodic newsletter; patrons who contribute greater amounts may request rewards, such as one-on-one sessions.)
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