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, September 4, 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?

Sunday, May 1, 2016
All Souls Youth

In this ritual of passage, All Souls Youth read their credos before the congregation.

Sunday, April 24, 2016
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

In honor of Earth Day, this Sunday we will reflect on the religious and moral challenges of global climate change. What spiritual practices can inspire, heal and direct us aright as we seek to live faithfully on this earth? What might the trees themselves teach us?

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

The Unitarian Universalist Church celebrates our environment this year beginning March 22 as “World Water Day” to April 22, “Earth Day.” Let us celebrate our relationship with water from inception to cremation – we are one. We must care for water as she has cared for us.

Sunday, April 10, 2016
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Love for this earth, this interdependent web of which we are all a part, is at the heart of our spiritual commitments as Unitarian Universalists. This Sunday, we will explore how Christianity traded love of this world for crucifixion, crusading, and exploitation of the earth. How can of we draw on the deep well-springs of our faith tradition to resist the violation of earth and its peoples and orient our lives to love for paradise here and now?

Sunday, April 3, 2016
Rev. Shana Lynngood

We may intellectually understand the concept of interdependence, but we don't often feel its truth. Our 7th principle encourages us to see our lives as part of and impacting the larger web of Life. What experiences do we have the help us see these threads of connection between and among all living beings? How might we bring those threads to the surface? How might the way we live change if we felt our interdependence more keenly?

Rev. Shana Lynngood has served as co-minister of the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, BC, Canada, with her wife since 2010. Prior to the move to BC, Shana served All Souls as associate minister for seven years (2003-2010). A native of the Philadelphia area and lifelong UU, Rev. Lynngood currently serves Unitarian Universalism as vice-chair of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (the UUA committee that approves ministerial candidates for ordination). Rev. Shana's passions include art and art history, jazz, and poetry. She and her wife parent two children, Athena, age 10, and Demetrius, age 3.

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

Easter Sunday opens our hearts to the affirmation that life goes on beyond sorrows, losses, and tragedies. Recalling the experience of Jesus’ followers after his crucifixion, we will remember the loved ones we have lost, make room for the grief we feel at injustice in the world, and turn again to the beautiful feast of life to receive refreshment for our souls.

Friday, March 25, 2016
Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore

Join us for our tenebrae service, with readings from sacred texts, music, and a common table of remembrance and love.