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, February 24, 2019
Rev. Rob Keithan

When we think of the risks associated with change, we tend to think only of what might happen if we change. This mindset favors the dominant status quo, which likes thigs as they are. How can we learn to recognize that, in many situations, there are also serious risks if we do NOT change?

Sunday, February 17, 2019
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

James Cone, the late theologian of African American liberation theology, once wrote: “When you say ‘faith’ you might as well as say ‘risk.’” Faith is risky business. What risks is our faith asking us to take? What risks are you being called to take?

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies and Borderlink participants

As the President threatens to build his “border wall,” Rev. Hardies and All Souls members will share their reflections on a recent journey to the US-Mexico border. Come learn more about the humanitarian crisis taking place there, as well as the remarkable efforts for justice and compassion led by directly-impacted communities. In the midst of our national debate about “The Wall,” we hope to share with you both the possibilities and the perils of the border.

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Last year was a difficult one for our community, nation and world. Many of us faced personal challenges, too. This Sunday we’ll turn to the Buddhist tradition for wisdom and guidance as we ask the question: How do we transform past pain and sorrow and find new life in the New Year?

Sunday, January 27, 2019
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Finding a clear sense of purpose brings blessings to our lives,  giving focus and meaning to our days. But what do we do when holding to our purpose is a difficult struggle; it may mean swimming against the tide, or resisting what others would demand of us? How do we find the blessings of purpose when our sense of purpose gets lost or thwarted, or our life circumstances have changed? We’ll explore these questions and some possible answers this Sunday. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019
Bokamoso South African Youth Choir

On Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday we celebrate the meaning and purpose we discover through our collective struggles for justice and liberation. We’ll welcome back the Bokamoso Youth Choir from South Africa, who will team-up with our own Jubilee Singers, Junior Choir, and Children’s Choir for an intergenerational service of story and song grounded in our personal and shared struggles for freedom. This is an All Souls tradition you won’t want to miss!

Sunday, January 6, 2019
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Instead of beginning the New Year with our own resolutions, what if we listened for the ways the world is calling to us, and ask ourselves how we might respond? Inspiring music from the All Souls Choir will make you want to answer that call!

Sunday, December 30, 2018
Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton

Looking back into historical time, African American communities approached the New Year with a sense of awe, reverence, and wonder, not knowing what the future would bring. Today our country is in a Watchnight moment, and we explore the sustaining spiritual and religious traditions of the past in our own faithful present.

One service only at 10:15 am.

Monday, December 24, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

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 Rev. Hardies 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 23, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year. The darkness has much to teach about hope and fear, but first we must learn to see in the dark.

Sunday, December 16, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies, The children of All Souls

On this Sunday, Rev. 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.

Register your children to be part of the pageant. There is a mandatory rehearsal on Sat. Dec. 15, 9:30 to noon.

Bring an unwrapped gift this Sunday for the children of La Clinica del Pueblo.

Sunday, December 9, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Our breath is the one spiritual teacher that accompanies us from birth to death. How do we harness the power of our own breath to calm us, center us, and call us back to the source of life?

Bring an unwrapped gift this Sunday for the children of La Clinica del Pueblo.

Sunday, December 2, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The first in a three-sermon holiday series called “Simple Gifts,” focusing successively on the spiritual gifts of silence, breath, and darkness. The silence speaks to us. But we can’t receive its life-giving message until first we listen.

Sunday, November 25, 2018
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

In the autumn, as the leaves turn brilliant colors and then drift to the ground, we often feel both the richness and the fleetingness of life. How do we give thanks in the midst of impermanence? We’ll contemplate this question on Sunday with the help of a Zen teaching story: a man walking in the woods sees a tiger following him. He runs but the tiger is gaining on him fast. The man comes to the edge of a cliff and must either jump or face the tiger. He jumps. A fragile branch catches his fall. Below, another tiger is pacing, waiting to devour him. As the branch begins to crack, just within reach he sees a wild strawberry growing from the cliff, red and ripe. He plucks it and eats it. So delicious!

Sunday, November 18, 2018
Rev. Rob Keithan

Viewing ourselves as a beacon of democracy and freedom is deeply ingrained in our national self-image. And yet, the history of how we’ve acted—both abroad and towards our own people—tells a very different story. A similar struggle plays out in our personal lives as well. A day after returning from the All Souls BorderLinks trip to Arizona and Mexico, Rev. Keithan will reflect on the gap between our aspirations and our reality--and what we can do about it.   

Sunday, November 4, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

This Sunday is All Souls Sunday, when we remember those in our community who’ve died this year, and consider life’s preciousness in the context of our mortality. I think some people fear that All Souls Day is morbid or depressing. Why would I want to consider death when I’m already feeling anxious and afraid? Truth is, All Souls Day is one of the most beautiful Sundays of the year, and exactly what we need to help us put this violent and bitter season into perspective.

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton

What binds spirit to matter? When we have a diversity of cherished beliefs and belongings, what connects us in sacred relation within the liberal church? Join us as we explore the power and the possibility of covenant as scaffolding for the growth of the soul.

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

In times of challenge and despair, writes the author Barbara Kingsolver, “The very least you can to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” How do we live our lives from a place of hope? What does it mean to dwell together in hope? This Sunday we’ll share our hope with one another.

Sunday is Generosity Sunday, when we make a financial pledge to support the ministries of All Souls Church in 2019. Join us for an inspiring service followed by a celebration in Pierce Hall.

Sunday, October 14, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

One of my favorite spirituals is “Walk Together Children,” a song that suggests that liberation is something we accomplish together, not alone. Yet community is hard, and sometimes it feels easier to go our own way. That’s why we need covenant. “Walk Together Children” is an invitation to live our religious lives within the embrace of a covenanted community.

Sunday, October 7, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The Jewish mystic and theologian Martin Buber conceived of human intimacy as a covenant between I and Thou, between two human beings relating authentically and humanly. Scientists have since confirmed that such relationships help us lead longer, more fulfilling lives. How do we cultivate and strengthen authentic, intimate relationships?

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Sometimes new possibilities interrupt the well-established order of our lives. Are such disturbances a blessing, a curse, or maybe both? This Sunday we will explore the wisdom of spiritual traditions that regard unexpected disturbances to be the workings of a holy trickster breaking into our lives.

Sunday, September 23, 2018
Rev. Shana Lynngood

Our world is constantly telling us what we can't do. We are bombarded with reassurances about just how little we can have an impact and how long the odds are of us feeling a sense of the meaning in our lives. Possibility suggests that there is a dimension beyond the naysaying. This morning we will look for glimpses of where and how possibility emerges in our daily living.

Rev. Shana Lynngood served as the associate minister at All Souls from 2003 to 2010. She now serves as co-minister, with her wife Melora, of the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, BC, Canada.

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

It was the Unitarian preacher Theodore Parker who first defined democracy as government “of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people.” Yet today our democracy faces assaults on many fronts, not least the conspiracy to suppress the vote of people at the margins. This fall’s mid-term elections are a critical test for our democracy. This Sunday we continue the struggle for which our former minister James Reeb gave his life at Selma and launch our Reeb Voting Rights Project’s 2018 “Democracy Challenge.”

Sunday, September 9, 2018
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Somebody once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet we all get stuck in routines that don’t serve us or others well. Zen teaches that to overcome these unhelpful patterns and see things fresh we must practice “Beginner’s Mind.” As we return for Homecoming Sunday to begin the new church year, let’s practice Beginner’s Mind.