Breathing through Breath-Taking Times

We live in breath-taking times. Both the world’s beauty and its injustice can take our breath away, metaphorically and, alas, literally. How do we harness the power of our own breath to calm us, center us, and call us back to the source of life?

Rob Hardies has served for 18 years as senior minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC. Founded in 1821 by John Quincy Adams, All Souls is a dynamic, multicultural congregation in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Throughout his ministry, Rob has been a local and national leader for LGBT equality. In 2009, he helped lead the struggle for the District of Columbia to become the sixth jurisdiction in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. DC’s mayor signed that historic civil rights legislation in the sanctuary of All Souls Church.

Before entering the ministry, Rev. Hardies served as a human rights worker among indigenous communities in Guatemala, and later studied with Gustavo Gutierrez, the founder of Latin American Liberation Theology. In DC, Rev. Hardies has worked with the immigrant community in many capacities, most recently as a leader in the Sanctuary Congregation Movement.

After the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in its 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision, Rev. Hardies launched the Reeb Voting Rights Project in honor of All Souls former minister James Reeb, who was martyred in the 1965 voting rights struggle in Selma. Since then, All Souls has worked with many partners, including the Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP, to combat the wave of voter suppression in our nation.

Rob received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Cornell University, a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry, and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary. He lives in DC with his husband Chris Nealon, a poet and professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, and their seven-year-old son Nico.