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Bicentennial Celebrations, November 2019

and December 2019


For earlier events in 2019, see All Souls, 1969-2019.



The All Souls Bicentennial week kicked off on November 13 with a lecture at The New York Society Library by Dr. Linn Cary Mehta.  She spoke about Catherine Sedgwick and Herman Melville, both of whom were members of both All Souls and the New York Society Library.

On November 15, the actual 200th anniversary of our congregation, the Bicentennial Gala took place.  Congregants enjoyed catered dinners in 17 homes, and then all converged at Reidy Hall for desserts and dancing.  The ticket price, $200, provided funding for the entire weekend of activities, and also made a donation to the capital campaign.  Additional funds were raised through two auctions and the sale of mementos.


Saturday, November 16 was Family Day with a variety of activities, including a dramatic reading of “We Are …” by Larry Reina.


On Anniversary Sunday, November 17, the sermon was given by the President of the UUA, Susan Frederick Gray.  Members celebrating 25 and more years of membership were honored.  Bill Bechman was commended for his exceptional work on the Bicentennial Steering Committee.  A skit, “Heroic Women,” was narrated by Miles Chapin and Marilynn Scott Murphy with the Community Choir. Laura Pedersen wrote and narrated “William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878): First Citizen” with David Rockefeller Jr. playing the roles of Bryant, Abraham Lincoln and Henry Whitney Bellows.

​​On November 22, the eminent composer Joan Tower, whose great grandfather was our second minister, Henry Whitney Bellows, gave the annual Bellows Lecture.  She described her inspirations and family memories in conversation with Peggy Kampmeier.  


Christmas Eve Services were held at Temple Shaaray Tefila, E. 79th and 2nd Avenue, due to continuing construction of our sanctuary.

Eileen Macholl retired, and Nadira Shiwram-Singh began work as the Director of Finance and Administration.

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