Celebrating Rev. Hardies

Rev. Robert Hardies, who has served as senior minister at All Souls since 2001, will move on to the next stage of his life and career in June 2020. Help us celebrate his tenure and wish him well as he departs.

Letter from Betsy Quilligan (May 6, 2020)

Dear All Souls,

We write with news about Rev. Rob’s departure as our senior minister. As the Board wrote to us recently, “We know the departure of Rev. Rob will not look like we imagined, but it is being reimagined….” In collaboration with Rob, we have some details about that reimagined plan, and we invite you to be a part of it!

  • Rob’s Last Sermon as Our Senior Minister. It is difficult to even type those words, but we know it is coming. His last sermon as our senior minister will be delivered to our inboxes on Sunday, June 7. Though our congregation is physically separate, we will be united in spirit as we watch this service.
  • Ritual of Gratitude and Love. We cannot let Rob leave All Souls without an opportunity to thank him, honor him, and pray with and for him. On June 8, at 7:00 pm, we will come together virtually to celebrate Rob, the gifts he has bestowed on All Souls for nearly 20 years, and his journey to the next chapter of his life. Please join us to celebrate, to laugh, to cry, and to say “goodbye” in community, in solidarity, and in love. Zoom information to follow.
  • Farewell Virtual Happy Hours. There will be opportunities to join Rob and small groups of your fellow congregants for virtual happy hours to celebrate Rob before he leaves. We invite you to mix up an All Souls-themed cocktail or mocktail, grab your favorite beer, or pour a glass of wine and join us on Zoom to thank Rob and share a few words of appreciation or a favorite memory. [See below for information on how to RSVP for these gatherings.]
  • Video Tribute to Rev. Rob and All Souls Church. We are going digital! Please share a 15- to 20-second video of your message to Rob expressing your love, appreciation, and/or hopes for the future. Be sure to include a few seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your video clip for easy editing. Send the video file to RevRobFarewell@gmail.com as soon as possible or by May 25.
  • Mementos and More. Many of us had hoped to share written appreciations, photo books, and other tangible signs of our love. We’re focusing on collecting these digitally and creating a physical memory book to share with Rob. Anything that can be scanned or shared digitally can be sent to RevRobFarewell@gmail.com by May 25. We are especially looking for photos from life events: weddings, baby dedications, pilgrimages, Weekend on the Bay, etc. If you have something that must be handed over in person, please email Betsy (bquilligan@gmail.com) with details about that gift by May 25.

Obviously, this is not how we wanted to enter this transition; it is not what we planned for. But we hold out hope that in-person celebrations and goodbyes are in our future when we can safely gather.

Please join us in making this a meaningful transition for Rob, for our congregation, and for each other. Join as you are able in community spaces like the ritual of gratitude and love and Zoom gatherings. Send us your video tribute and your meaningful photos. And most of all, be there for each other as we build our future together.

In love and gratitude,
Betsy Quilligan

Farewell Virtual Happy Hours

Please join Rev. Rob and a small group of your fellow congregants for a virtual Happy Hour to celebrate Rob before he leaves. We invite you to mix up an All Souls themed cocktail or mocktail, grab your favorite beer, or pour a glass of wine and join us on zoom where there will be an opportunity to thank Rob and share a few words of appreciation or a favorite memory. Sign up for one of the following dates:
All events will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. After you sign up, you will receive information about how to log into Zoom for the event. If you have questions or need assistance using the Zoom virtual meeting platform, please contact Danielle Garrett (laurendgarrett@gmail.com; 804-873-2897).

Did you know these facts about Rev. Hardies' time at All Souls?

  • When he was called by the search committee, Rob was all of 29 years old!
  • Rob had barely unpacked when the US was attacked by terrorists on September 11. He and a group of volunteers opened the church doors that night and held a service for hundreds of stunned mourners.
  • His second Sunday in the pulpit as senior minister was September 16, preaching a transformational message of comfort to the hundreds who gathered.
  • In December that year, there were 468 members on the rolls, 314 of whom were voting members. Today there are over 1300 enrolled members, and almost 900 voting members.
  • In March 2003, to minister to a rapidly growing congregation, Rev. Shana Lyngood was called as the first associate minister during Rob’s tenure.
  • Rob’s prophetic preaching and an inspiring music program soon packed the pews on Sundays.
  • In 2004, with membership going from 400 to 700 and RE classes filling up, two more fulltime staff were hired: Gabrielle Farrell in religious education and Louise Green in social justice.
  • In 2005, All Souls was recognized as a Breakthrough Congregation at UUA General Assembly for its focus on growth and engagement of lay leadership.
  • In 2006, All Souls sponsored its first multi-generational service/learning trip to post-Katrina New Orleans.
  • In 2006, Rob launched the first Coming of Age trip to Boston and the roots of Unitarian Universalism in America.
  • The congregation moved to two services in September 2007, despite concerns about splitting congregants into two groups, not to mention pushing choirs, musicians, staff, and preachers to conduct two services each Sunday.
More FUN FACTS to come in this space!