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.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The Latin word “tenebrae” means “darkness” or “shadow.” Join us for a hauntingly beautiful service of music, poetry, silence and darkness as we remember the crucifixion of Jesus and the brokenness of our world. A simple communion will be served.

Sunday, April 9, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Passover celebrates the story of how the Hebrew people mustered courage and took risks to liberate themselves from a tyrant called Pharaoh. How does this ancient story speak to our present moment?

Sunday, April 2, 2017
Rev. Rob Keithan

Sometimes events in our lives—or in our world—are so challenging that we’re plunged into discomfort and uncertainty. How can we take advantage of this opportunity to evolve into something new, rather than just reforming into old patterns?

Sunday, March 26, 2017
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

“The world is too broken to be healed by one pair of hands,” Rev. Rob Hardies has said. To “see, savor, and save” the world we must join hands with others. Aiming to “co-exist” in a religiously pluralistic world is a good goal, but more is needed. Now is the time for people of diverse faiths, cultures, and life circumstances to “co-resist” the forces of evil and injustice in our world. What does multi-faith, sacred activism offer and ask of us?

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The activist Angela Davis once said something that seems to speak to our present moment: “I’m no longer accepting things I cannot change. I’m changing things I cannot accept.” How can our attention and love for the world fuel our efforts to save it? Last of a three-part series called “See, Savor and Save: A Spiritual Path for Difficult Times.”

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

We are bombarded with desire-stimulating advertising, but what truly satisfies the deepest desires of our hearts?  The feminist essayist Susan Griffin writes, “For this is the meaning of desire, that wanting leads us to the sacred.”  Spiritual traditions that honor eros, affirm desire, and invite us to savor the goodness of life here and now can teach us something important about how to live in these difficult times.  Second of a three-part series called, “See, Savor and Save: A Spiritual Path for Difficult Times.”

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

More than a set of beliefs, religion is a way of seeing the world. Many traditions teach that attention to the world is the first step toward loving and saving it. How can we remain fully alert and attentive to both the beauty and brokenness of our world? And how can that attention fuel our efforts to save our world? First of a three-part series called “See, Savor and Save: A Spiritual Path for Difficult Times.”

Sunday, February 26, 2017
Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt

We are less than 40 days into the new administration, and progressive religious people seem torn between the pragmatic and the prophetic. What stances could we take that are most faithful to the Holy's call upon our lives?

The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt is president of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and the author of a memoir, Unafraid of the Dark.

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

How can we treat one another with tenderness in a time of vitriol and scorn?

Sunday, February 12, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Compassion is an essential ingredient in the Beloved Community. In these dark times, our ability to summon compassion could mean the difference between a long, dark night and the dawning of a new day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017
Rev. Dr. Joanne M. Braxton

Friends, we are called to compassion and empathy in dangerous times. How do we sustain the gifts of the spirit: joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in the face of insult and injury? How is it possible to see and resist systemic evil and remain centered in one’s own grounded spiritual ecology—until the glory finally comes?

Dr. Joanne Braxton is a native Washingtonian born to a father who was a machinist at the DC Navy Yard and a mother who worked at the Census Bureau. A graduate of Yale University and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Dr. Braxton is widely published. She is currently David B. Larson Fellow in Spirituality and Health at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center.

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

Rev. Hardies returns to the pulpit his weekend for the second sermon in a two-part series called "Truth and Love in the Age of Trump." This week we focus on love and solidarity. Rochelle Rice and her trio will offer music that inspires and delights.

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry

(Click title to see both the 9:30 and 11:15 sermon recordings.) On the weekend of the Women’s March on Washington—and on the first Sunday of a new administration—we are delighted to welcome to All Souls professor, author, Unitarian, and former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, one of our nation’s pre-eminent African American public intellectuals. Dr. Harris-Perry will share words of wisdom and courage for the road that lies ahead.

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Bokamoso South African Youth Choir

At this Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday intergenerational service, the young South Africans of Bokamoso return by popular demand and, along with the Jubilee Singers and All Souls Children’s Choir, share songs and stories of courage in the face of adversity.

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

The Oxford Dictionary named “post-truth” its 2016 Word of the Year. How can we be faithful to the truth when so many have cast it aside?

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty!

On the night of December 31, 1862, weary but hopeful people gathered in churches across the land to watch and pray for the long-awaited announcement of freedom. On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and a new day dawned. In the spirit of the Black Church’s “Watch Night” traditions we will gather on New Year’s Day 2017 to ‘pray the old year out and pray the new year in.’ We will remember struggles now past, the struggles still with us, and devote ourselves anew to “Imani”—the seventh principle of Kwanza—keeping faith in the struggle for liberations yet to be.

One service only at 10:15 am.

Sunday, December 25, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies


Sunday, December 25, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Join Rev. Hardies and the All Souls Choir in welcoming Christmas into the world and into our hearts during this candlelit service of readings and carols. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”

Sunday, December 25, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies and the children of All Souls

Rev. Hardies and the children of All Souls share the Christmas story in our annual Christmas pageant. An All Souls tradition. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Welcome the solstice at our mid-week contemplative service of silence and chant.

Sunday, December 18, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

Our vespers hymn goes “Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away.” As we celebrate the solstice and prepare our hearts for Christmas, we seek light in the darkness.

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

How can we speak of hope unless we speak of winter? This season invites us to open our hearts to the times, places, and circumstances in which hope is hardest to find. What can warm and cheer us in these difficult days?

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

People often ask what gives me hope. Yet hope isn’t so much a gift as it is a spiritual discipline. It is the fruit of conscious decisions and actions that we take in our lives. Hope is a journey.

Sunday, November 27, 2016
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

We remember the first Thanksgiving as an iconic story of native peoples and pilgrims coming together in peace. But that peace held only for a brief moment. Today, the water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota, summon us to protect sacred land and water for future generations—and to right the wrongs done to indigenous peoples in North America. To do so, we need to better understand the role our Puritan forbearers played in the legacies that haunt our national conscience still and heed the ancestral voices that cry out for healing for the earth and “all our relations.”

Sunday, November 20, 2016
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies

After a polarizing presidential campaign, many of us will return home for Thanksgiving to families and communities that are still divided. How can we heal the many divisions in our nation? Who is welcome at our table?