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, December 24, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Please note that there will be no Sunday morning worship services on Christmas Eve.

7:00 pm. “Family Candlelight Service” Our early Christmas service is designed especially for families with young children—as well as the “young at heart” of all ages! This year features a dramatic reading of a classic Christmas story. The Jubilee Singers and Children’s Choir will sing. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”

10:00 pm. “Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols” Join our ministers and the All Souls Choir in welcoming Christmas into the world and into our hearts during this candlelit service of lessons and carols. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”

Sunday, December 17, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies and the children of All Souls

On this Sunday before Christmas, Revs. Hardies will be joined by the children of the church to tell a very special story set to some very special music. An All Souls tradition.

Sunday, December 10, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Unitarian minister Galen Guengerich writes, “To know courage is to know a calling that is greater than fear.” It is to hold fast to something inside us that is so strong, fear cannot overcome it.

Sunday, December 3, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The popular hymn “Amazing Grace” includes the line, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” How does grace give us the courage to face our fears?

Sunday, November 26, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

How can we cultivate gratitude and mindfulness during the busy holiday season, and throughout the year?

Sunday, November 19, 2017
Rev. Rob Keithan

As people committed to love and justice in today’s world, it’s fair to say that we have “counter cultural” aspirations. And yet we’re still products of the larger culture, so it’s easy to accidentally reinforce the status quo rather than challenging it. What would it look like to truly liberate our hearts, minds, and bodies?

Sunday, November 12, 2017
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Sufi mystics teach that one must learn to “die before you die.” What might this spiritual tradition teach us about embracing the reality of death as a pathway to living with greater freedom and deeper love?

Sunday, November 5, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

On All Souls Sunday we remember those in our community who have died over the last twelve months and consider what death means for us, the living. How can our contemplation of death point us back to life? When death comes, what consolation and understanding does our Unitarian Universalist faith offer us?

Sunday, October 29, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

I once heard Cornel West observe that while our smartphones keep getting smarter, we’re not getting any wiser. “Smart is for phones,” he said, “let the people be wise.” This morning we explore how our “high-tech, low-touch” society impacts our spirits, as well as our capacity for resilience and wisdom.

Sunday, October 22, 2017
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

The strength to hold on and the flexibility to let go—resilience is born from both. In countering the toxins of white supremacy, how do we deepen our spiritual wisdom to know what is most needed at any given time? How do we create a resilient faith community that engages our different identities, communities of accountability, histories, and choices in the struggle for just and sustainable life for us all? This Sunday’s sermon honors the call from Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism for Unitarian Universalists across the country to hold a second “White Supremacy Teach-In.” It will be followed on Wednesday evening, October 25, 7-9 p.m. with a “Teach In and Topics-In-Formation” session on “Countering White Supremacy” for further discussion and exploration.

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Income inequality has reached Gilded Age proportions. Nations build walls along borders and declare some human beings “illegal.” Aid to the poor and vulnerable is on the chopping block while corporate America awaits another tax cut. Big money, foreign hackers, and vote suppressors undermine our democracy. This Sunday I want to lift up a different vision, a vision of a world of generosity, mutuality, and justice--a shared world.

Sunday, October 8, 2017
Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton

What if the Balm in Gilead is to be discovered from within as a source of resilience? Our individual experiences may leave us wounded, but in community they may also give us the tools that we need to help others who have suffered similar wounds. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Every year on the Sunday closest to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, we explore themes of forgiveness and reconciliation and end our service with the words of our Litany of Atonement: “We forgive ourselves. We forgive each other. We begin again in love.” There can be no new beginnings—no resilience of spirit or community—without atonement, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Sunday, September 24, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

“Not a moment but a movement,” has become a popular slogan in progressive circles, a reminder that our social justice work must go beyond mere resistance to the immediate political crisis, and strive to build a lasting movement for justice and equality. As people of faith committed to building beloved community, we understand this. Yet I would argue that as people of faith we seek something beyond the moment and the movement. I would argue that our current climate of division and suspicion and fear offers the possibility of an even deeper transformation, a spiritual and moral transformation. This Sunday I share what’s at stake religiously in this moment.

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

Many of our life events are not planned with a timeline, goals, and objectives. Often the most valuable lessons come to us like unexpected guest, and we learn what it really means to say “Welcome!

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies, UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick Gray

In times such as these, community becomes essential. Beloved community nurtures our dreams, our humanity, our capacity for compassion, and yes, our collective courage. Join Rev. Hardies, UUA President Susan F. Gray, and our Festival Choir for a celebratory, intergenerational Homecoming Sunday focused on racial justice and beloved community.

Sunday, September 3, 2017
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

The value of education has become a controversial topic in our nation. Our Unitarian forbears, however, pioneered a transformative spiritual understanding of education that can illuminate what is at stake now. In honor of the beginning of a new school year, in appreciation of teachers and students everywhere, and aware of the challenges before our society, how might we re-imagine teaching and learning as essential to our souls and our calling to build beloved community?

Sunday, August 27, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

On the day after the violence in Charlottesville, a gay dad and his multiracial son board a train for a trip across Trump’s America, in part because the son loves trains … in part because the father wants to reclaim America for his family. What did they learn along the way?

Sunday, August 20, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Rev. Hardies returns to the All Souls pulpit this Sunday for our annual “Questions of Faith” service, when he responds to your questions about faith, spirituality, and current events. We are living through times in which many of the values and people we cherish are threatened, and Rev. Hardies is eager to know what you’re wrestling with during these troubling times. Submit a question to our communications director Gary Penn ( Gary will collect your submissions and send them to our lay worship associates, who will select from among the questions. On Sunday, Rev. Hardies will address as many as time permits.

Sunday, August 13, 2017
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

No matter who you are, where you live, what you do in life – each morning you awaken, you're given another opportunity to chart your life’s course.

Sunday, August 6, 2017
Dr. Stacey Patton

Dr. W.E.B. Dubois said, “In the treatment of the child the world foreshadows its own future and faith. All words and all thinking lead to the child – to that vast immortality and wide sweep of infinite possibility which the child represents.” He is saying, what we do to children is what we do to the future. How do we model a healthy village not only for our children, but for all children?

Sunday, July 30, 2017
Derek Mitchell

Unitarians have had strong associations with Hindu sages and reformers since the mid-nineteenth century. Derek Mitchell will tell the story of one such sage, Paramahansa Yogananda, and how Yogananda's message inspired his own faith journey in India. He will explore multiple aspects of Hindu tradition's beliefs and practices. Through this exploration, Mitchell will show how an individual holding progressive values can find a home in the Hindu faith.

Sunday, July 23, 2017
Rabbi Alana Suskin

For Jews, this summer includes three weeks of mourning leading up the saddest day in our calendar, the 9th of the month of Av. This was the day Jerusalem fell and the temple was destroyed. That moment of our history turns out to be, in many ways, the defining one of Jewish memory and a pivotal event in the creation of rabbinic (modern day) Judaism.

Sunday, July 9, 2017
Rev. Rob Keithan

While many of us reject a negative, fear-based view of sexuality and reproductive health, the topic overall is still incredibly loaded and rarely gets talked about openly. What's stopping us from having a healthier relationship with sexuality and reproductive health, and what do we do about it?