All Souls At 200

Bicentennial Celebrations: buy your tickets at by Nov. 3rd.

Lucy Channing Russel was one of our founding members

Friday, November 15th, 2019 is the actual date that marks our 200th birthday. That evening begins the Anniversary Weekend, with a gala gathering with dinners in private homes and culminating in Reidy Hall with dessert festivities. Saturday, November 16th will be All Souls Family Day, and will include activities and presentations. Sunday worship will include historic tributes.

Everyone is welcome and needed to help us envision and produce a fitting Bicentennial celebration.  Please join us!

Bill Bechman and Chris Goodwin, Co-Chairs of the Bicentennial Committee

Art Auction

We are delighted to present our amazing collection of fine art, assembled by Theresa Bartol.

Click here to view the catalog. The pieces will be available by virtual auction until Sunday afternoon, November 24th at 3pm. To place a bid, email Bill Bechman at, indicating the title of the painting, your bid amount, and your contact information.

Bicentennial Weekend Events

Friday, November 15th

  • Gala Dinners in Congregants’ Homes, 6 – 8pm.  ($200, includes Gala Reception – your dinner tickets help to make our weekend possible)
  • Gala Reception with Desserts & Dancing in Reidy Friendship Hall, 8 – 11 pm ($50, reception only)
  • Champagne Toast to the Church, 8:30pm
  • Child care will be available at All Souls for ages 2-12 at no charge, between the hours of 5:30pm and 10:30pm.

To purchase tickets, visit, or pay by check or credit card at Coffee Hour.  Checks should be made out to: All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue, NYC 10075.

Saturday, November 16th – Open House (free admission)

  • Potluck Lunch in Reidy Friendship Hall, 12 – 1:30pm: old family recipes welcome!
  • All Souls Trivia Contest
  • Open-Mic for All Souls Appreciations
  • Games and Activities for All Ages, 1:30 – 2:30pm
  • Barn Dancing, 2:30 – 3:30pm
  • We Are… by Larry Reina, 3:30pm: a multi-generational reading
  • Celebrating the Heroic Women of All Souls, 3:45 pm: an open rehearsal for the tableaux vivants to be performed on Sunday.

Sunday, November 17th, Anniversary Sunday (free admission)

Henry Whitney Bellows, the minister of All Souls from 1839 to 1882, organized the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the precursor of the American Red Cross
  • Worship Services in Reidy Friendship Hall at 10 and 11:15am
  • Sermon by Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President
  • Festive Bicentennial Coffee Hour, 12:15 – 12:45pm
  • Celebrating the Heroic Women of All Souls, 12:45pm: tableaux vivants with costumes and narration
  • William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878): First Citizen, 1:30 – 2:30pm: by Laura Pedersen (Narrator) and David Rockefeller Jr. as William Cullen Bryant, Abraham Lincoln and Henry Whitney Bellows.

Throughout the weekend (bidding ends Sunday at 3 pm)

  • Bicentennial Boutique with Commemorative Items
  • Silent Auction featuring Unique Experiences and Opportunities from All Souls Members and Friends

Bicentennial Journal

The Journal will be the keepsake souvenir of the Bicentennial Weekend, and will include an array of congratulations and dedicatory messages from individuals and organizations helping us to celebrate our Bicentennial.

Are you interested in placing a Tribute in our journal?  Tribute prices range from $100 to $1000. Please contact

Bicentennial Books

We’ve published three books in 2019:

All Souls at 200: Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, Shape the Future, a beautiful coffee-table book commemorating the first 200 years of All Souls history in words and pictures.
The Senior Ministers of All Souls: The First Two Hundred Years by Mary-Ella Holst
Safely Onward: A History of The Unitarian Church of All Souls, Vol. 3 by Walter Kring (a reprint of the 1991 book)

To order the books, email

Bellows Lecture 2019

Sunday, November 24th

35th Annual Henry Whitney Bellows Lecture by Joan Tower in Reidy Friendship Hall, 1:15pm.

Walter Donald Kring, the minister of All Souls from 1946 to 1977, was a prize-winning ceramic artist and made this beautiful stained glass altarpiece.

Joan Tower, renowned composer and great-granddaughter of Rev. Henry Whitney Bellows, will be in conversation with Ed Harsh. She has been commissioned to write a major composition for All Souls which will be performed at the re-opening of the sanctuary in Spring 2020.

The Bicentennial Website has more details

For more information about Bicentennial events, an illustrated historical timeline of the church, and an album of stories, art and memories commemorating our 200 years, please visit the All Souls Bicentennial Website,