Meet the Ministers

Rev. Dr. Robert Hardies, Senior Minister

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Rob Hardies has served for 15 years as senior minister of All Souls Church Unitarian. 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 2004, he testified at Senate and House hearings against congressional attempts to pass a so-called Federal Marriage Amendment to the United States Constitution. 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.

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

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, Theologian in Residence

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Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, the Minister of Adult Spiritual Development and Pastoral Care, and as Theologian-in-Residence, has initiated All Souls’ new series, the UU4Core, helps guide covenant groups, preaches and leads worship, and supports our shared ministries of pastoral care and our commitments to multi-racial, multi-cultural Beloved Community.

An influential feminist theologian, theological educator, social activist, and a seasoned minister and musician, she previously served for 25 years at president and professor of theology at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, at the Graduate Theological Union. She was named President Emerita and Professor of Theology Emerita in 2014.

An ordained United Methodist minister who holds dual ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, Dr. Parker has long been engaged with LGBTQ issues, racial justice and countering white supremacy, eco-justice, resisting sexual and domestic violence and protecting women’s rights, and more. Rebecca is married to her beloved friend and heart’s joy, Joanne Braxton, and they are the proud parents of one daughter.

Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton, Consulting Minister

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Beginning July 2018, the Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton is a half-time consulting minister at All Souls, with responsibilities for pastoral and spiritual care and adult spiritual development. Dr. Braxton is a published poet and a scholar, a gifted pastoral care-giver, spiritual director, and a student and teacher of contemplative traditions and spiritual practice. She is a long-time meditator who has studied mindfulness with Saki Santorelli and narrative medicine with Rita Charon. Fresh from the completion of a unit of clinical pastoral education in 2015, Dr. Braxton started attending All Souls Church regularly during her 18 months as David B. Larson Fellow in Spirituality and Health at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center, where her research centered on African-American well-being. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and advanced degrees in Spirituality and Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion, and from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Both Unitarian Universalist and an ordained United Church of Christ (UCC) minister, she joined the Unitarian Universalist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1989.

Dr. Braxton is no stranger to the All Souls pulpit, and she has preached at Cedar Lane and at the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalist Church as well as the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California, among other churches and William & Mary’s historic Wren Chapel. Dr. Braxton has spoken on her original concept of “Organic Universalism” at the UU General Assembly, powerfully impacting younger UU scholars. As her current research and writing bridges spirituality and health, she continues her relationship as community faculty at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she occasionally co-teaches with medical faculty. Her consulting clients have included not only All Souls Church, but the University of Virginia Nursing School, Duke University, NIH, NEH and the Unitarian Universalist Association, among others. From time to time, you might even hear her on National Public Radio or CSPAN.

Dr. Braxton also wrote the Daily Practices section of the extensive UCC “Honoring the Body” curriculum. She is married to her soul-mate and friend of more than 30 years, Rebecca Ann Parker, and she is the mother of one adult child, a proud UU.

Rev. Rob Keithan, Minister of Social Justice

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Rev. Rob Keithan (aka, “RK”) is the half-time Minister for Social Justice Ministry at All Souls, meaning that he supports the church’s many issue groups and works to bring effectiveness and spiritual depth to the social justice ministry overall. In his other consulting, RK specializes in reproductive health, rights and justice, intercultural communication, and congregational social justice programs. He recently worked as a consultant on faith engagement with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Director of Public Policy at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Washington Office. RK lives with his wife Mandy, and their young daughters Eleanor and Clara, in Washington, DC.

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