Past Sermons

Please explore this archive of past sermons. You can stream the sermons using the audio player controls or you can download the audio file by clicking on the MP3 file name below the audio player.
Sunday, October 23, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Sometimes it feels like we're just going through the motions, skimming life's surface. Other times we live with a profound sense of joy and meaning. Jesus made a distinction in his ministry between mere life and "life abundant." How can we live with and give from life's abundance?

Sunday, October 16, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

To be a person of faith is to believe that what others call “impossible” is, in fact, possible. We are called to be the people who make the impossible possible.

Generosity Sunday is the day we bring forth or pledges of financial support for the upcoming church year.

Sunday, October 9, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Karen Tse

In this justice struggle, hope lies within the human heart. Rev Tse will share her reflections on the movement to end torture as an investigative tool through early access to counsel and the tenacious generosity of heart that sometimes makes the seemingly impossible possible. 

Karen Tse, international human rights lawyer, UU minister, and former public defender, founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in criminal justice. IBJ aims to end torture as an investigative tool by providing early access to counsel. Karen has trained the Cambodia’s first core group of public defenders, served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor, trained judges and prosecutors in Cambodia, and negotiated measures for judicial reform in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, and India. IBJ’s Global Defense Support Program brings assistance to public defenders worldwide, sponsors independent Justice Makers in 25 countries, and currently has a presence in over 40 countries. A graduate of UCLA Law School and Harvard Divinity School, Karen is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Innovation, Gleitsman International Award, Harvard Kennedy School Award, American Bar Association Human Rights Award, and was named by the US News and World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders.

Sunday, October 2, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

From its beginning Unitarian Universalism has confronted the prophets of fear and hate with a message of love. Now more than ever we are called to continue that legacy. Last in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times."

Sunday, September 25, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

Henry David Thoreau lived alone in a cabin, near Walden Pond for a little over two years. He journeyed there. Lived there, and when the time came to return from the woods, he left. What can happen if we take time to pause and reflect upon our lives like Thoreau? Can we move forward in the direction of our dreams?

Sunday, September 18, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

In world filled with violence and terror, we face daily temptations to turn our back on the Beloved Community. How do we cultivate souls that allow us to resist this temptation? How do we keep the faith in times of terror? Second in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times."

Sunday, September 11, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 we reflect on what we learned that difficult season about what it means to be the Beloved Community in times of terror. How can those lessons inform our current struggles to live faithfully in turbulent times? Join us on Homecoming Sunday for an intergenerational service featuring a combined Festival Choir and a Story for All Ages. First in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times." We return to our regular church year schedule: two worship services at 9:30 and 11:15 am.

Sunday, September 4, 2016 - 10:15
Michael Milano

We often talk of “Building the Beloved Community,” but that is only half the reality. The other half is that it is we who are built and transformed by the evolution of the Beloved Community. We will consider the implications of a well-known model for transitions to look at some beliefs we hold about how change and transition works…and how the building and being built by Beloved Community might work. When we switch our lens from “change” to “deep transition” our entire way of thinking about what is going on is altered. Through the lens of transition, we will consider what has to end—what we might have to give up—to make space for what is to emerge. And what is to emerge cannot be fully known today. Many of the notions we hold about change actually get in the way of making successful transitions. Together, by looking at our personal experiences of transitions, we will confirm some of the core beliefs we hold about this deep transition we call Beloved Community…and together we will also profoundly challenge other beliefs we have about our journey to Beloved Community.

Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Our biennial celebration of the interconnectedness of all living creatures.

Dogs will sit to the right (as you enter the sanctuary from 16th Street) and cats to the left. Other creatures are welcome anywhere they feel safe. The balconies are reserved for humans only.

Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Rev. Hardies returns from his sabbatical to answer your Questions of Faith. You can send yours to, with "Question of Faith" on the subject line.

Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore and the Right Relations Committee

Dr. King envisioned the “Beloved Community” as a place where all people can share in the wealth of the earth. Poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. An all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood will replace racism and all forms of discrimination. Certainly this cannot happen just by us wishing it into existence. If we’re honest, there are times that we just do not agree with the way decisions are made or things are done. Not at home, not at work, and--often--not at church. What is a good UU to do?


Sunday, August 7, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore and the Young Souls

Letting go is part of moving on to something better. You will not get what you truly deserve if you’re too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.

Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Abhi Janamanchi

"A Religion for Our Time" has been the refrain of UUA President, the Rev. Peter Morales. Rev. Janamanchi will reflect on what Unitarian Universalism is called to be and do in order to truly be a religion for our time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Amanda Poppei

Unitarian Universalism is creedless: there’s nothing you “have to” believe in order to be a member of our movement. So are we non-believers? What does that even mean—to believe nothing? Rev. Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader at the Washington Ethical Society, will make a case that liberal religionists of all stripes, including humanists, actually believe quite a fact, that they might even have faith.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Rob Keithan

“Resistance” is an interesting word, since it can be used to describe both the act of fighting oppression and the act of being opposed to change. The events of the last few weeks (and months, and years) have made it abundantly clear that profound change is needed, but learning to think and act in truly different ways is extremely hard work—even (and perhaps especially?) for those who profess to be open-minded. This service will explore the obstacles that keep us from transformation and how we can overcome them. What will we risk to change the world?

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 10:15
Norman Allen

As Unitarian Universalists we celebrate a creed-free faith that we proclaim as welcoming of all souls. And yet, even in our openness we can find ourselves making assumptions that diminish our appreciation of other religions—Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Muslim. In his work with the Religion and Faith Department at the Human Rights Campaign, writer Norman Allen interviewed members of the LGBT community who remain deeply devoted to faith traditions that are often unwelcoming of their own lives and loves. This Sunday he draws on those narratives to explore the riches to be uncovered when we put aside the things we know and open our hearts—and minds—to new possibilities.

Sunday, July 3, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

Acting Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore will respond to your questions about spirituality, belief, and other things of life that may be on your heart.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

“My cup is full and spilling over,” the 23rd Psalm says. This week, we will remember the spiritual traditions that place extravagant love at their center--especially the Sufi mystical path that calls us all to be “lovers of love.”

Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Rob Keithan

Ours is a faith that tends to favor a spectrum of possibilities rather than rigid categories on matters of belief. North Carolina’s HB2, aka the “bathroom bill,” and years of courageous organizing by the transgender community, have called us to view gender identity as a spectrum as well. This Father’s Day sermon will explore the connections between our religious values, gender identity, and what we all have to gain from living outside the norm.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

When we can be present to the abundance that is available to us in this present moment, we can change our relationship to “striving and stress.” We also can find a different grounding for our justice-work. This Sunday we will explore the spiritual power of “enough” and of being awake, right here, right now.

Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr.

This Sunday we welcome The Rev. John Crestwell to our pulpit. Rev. Crestwell is the associate minister of outreach, leadership, and evangelism, as well as the founder of AWAKE Ministries, at the UU Church of Annapolis. He will share with us his belief that a more emotionally literate and competent society is the key to reaching Beloved Community. Using research, anecdotes, and personal stories, Rev. Crestwell will compel us take up his cause that he believes can save the world. Music by the AWAKE Singers.

Sunday, May 29, 2016 - 10:15
Rev. Rob Keithan

There is much in our Unitarian Universalist religious history worth celebrating, but there are also some deeply problematic elements to reckon with. For example, several Unitarians were among the most public, influential proponents of the eugenics movement in this country. Should we forgive them as products of their time? What responsibility do we have for their legacy?

Sunday, May 22, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

How do we recover a sense of moral integrity and personal worth when we have participated in causing harm to other human beings and/or the planet? How do we recover from violation of our core humanity by others? In such experiences, when we find it nearly impossible to forgive ourselves, others, or ‘the system,’ is there a pathway to recovering our sense of humanity? What does recovery involve? How can it be achieved? This sermon will give special attention to the moral dilemmas experienced by soldiers and will draw on new research into “moral injury” as a hidden cost of war, as discussed in the book Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War (Beacon Press, 2013), by Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini.

Sunday, May 15, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Sometimes we forgive too soon and minimize a harm that needs healing. Sometimes we delay forgiveness so long that bitterness corrodes our spirits. Sometimes we crave forgiveness but don’t want to change. Sometimes we find it easier to blame ourselves than to hold someone else accountable. How do we find the balance that makes forgiveness a pathway to genuine transformation of injustice, betrayal, or broken relationship?

Sunday, May 8, 2016 -
09:30 and 11:15
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Mother’s Day began as rallying cry from mothers who called for an end to war. The outcries of women from around the globe continue to call humanity to seek forgiveness for how we have failed to care for life. Can we hear and heed their call? How, this Mother’s Day, might we learn from the spiritual and ethical imperatives arising from the women of the world?