From the Archives

The 1918 Pandemic at All Souls

A few months back, a woman called in to the church office to let us know that she had uncovered a book of old photographs from All Souls and would we like to have them. We said an enthusiastic “yes!”, and a few weeks later a book of pictures arrived in the mail. The book contains photos from All Souls’ events from about 1918-1929 including one picture (featured above) from the 1928 influenza epidemic and the entire church congregating outdoors with masks on! So, we called in Thomas Burcham, our church Archivist, to take a look and write up a piece on what he knew about this era of All Souls. What follows is what he wrote. I’ve put all the photos from the book in a digital album, which can be viewed by clicking here. The quality is not great on a lot of them, and I did what I could to edit them so they could be more easily viewed. 

~Emily Hansen Curran


Just before the end of World War I, another of the four horseman of the apocalypse descended upon the All Souls’ community as well as the rest of America and the world – the great influenza epidemic of 1918. It is estimated that one fifth of the world’s population became infected and 20 to 40 million died. Just as the children’s rhyme “Ring around the rosie…” was born out of the Black Plague, the 1918 influenza epidemic likewise produced a children’s ditty:

“I had a little bird

Its name was Enza.

I opened the window,

And in-flu-enza.”

As this crisis developed, the vicar, the Reverend W.R.H. Hodgkin was still away with the Y.M.C.A. working with soldiers in their camps, and the Reverend Dr. Herbert H. Powell was serving as interim. By government decree, everyone was required to wear a gauze mask covering the nose and mouth when in public, and public gatherings in general were discouraged. The Rev. Dr. Powell could not conduct the service or preach through his mask, so he let it hang from one ear. Because health authorities banned indoor meetings, and the weather was too severe for outdoor services, All Souls suspended Sunday services for three Sundays from October 20 to November 3, 1918. On November 10, 1918, the entire congregation

, all masked, were able to meet again in the vacant lot, which is now the courtyard, with The Rev. Mr. Hodgkin present in his Y.M.C.A. uniform and the Rev. Dr. Powell preaching. It was a Thanksgiving service in more ways than one. An Armistice was imminent. The Rev. Dr. Powell instructed the choir to sing the “Te Deum” immediately if the siren announcing the armistice should sound during the service. But it was not to be, news of the armistice did not arrive until midnight.

All Souls was able to resume regular Sunday services on “Victory” Sunday, November 17, 1918, with the congregation still wearing masks. At this midnight service, aisle candles were used for the first time at All Souls. Because the Rev. Mr. Hodgkins was ill, the officiants were the Rev. D. Powell and the Rev. Richard M. Trelease, later vicar and the first rector of All Souls. 

~Thomas Burcham, Church Archivist

From The Senior Warden

A Not-So-Quiet Summer

Since I’m a teacher, it’s no big surprise that Summer is my favorite time of the year. Time for rest and reflection is a gift I never take for granted. As a parishioner and Vestry member, I have also cherished the “quiet time” that Summer at All Souls usually brings. Except, on both terms that I have served as Senior Warden, Fr. Phil has gone on sabbatical during the Summer. And this Summer has also marked an important time of regathering and resuming worship and formation in person. Still, this kind of not-so-quiet Summer has been a blessing, and a time of reflection of what will come next.

For the Vestry, with services resuming in person, and Jordan Court moving along with the construction, we have spent some time in conversation about our ministries at All Souls, focusing on how to best support our ministries during this time when so much has changed and continues changing. We have been trying to listen to how ministries are doing, and what their dreams and challenges are during this time. We want to continue supporting the ministries that each Vestry member serves as a liaison to in practical ways, but also, following Emily’s Pathfinder article on July 15th,  we want to invite deeper conversations about ministries’ core purposes, and reasons for being and doing things the way they have so far. Why does this ministry exist? What is its main purpose in the overall mission of All Souls? Has this purpose changed after the pandemic? What are our core practices? How have they shifted?  What is needed in this shift? How can Vestry support this ministry? We have engaged in some of these questions during our last Vestry meetings, and we hope to solidify a collaborative relationship between the Vestry and all ministry areas.

As Summer ends and this pandemic continues, with so much still uncertain, it is my hope that we can individually and collectively keep asking the questions that bring us to the core of who we are as a community of faith, and how we embody Christ’s love and hope in a time of despair.

 In Christ,

Toni Martinez-Borgfeldt

Senior Warden 

New Mask Mandate from the CDC

Due to the new CDC mask mandate, masks are required for all indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status. 

(Pictured: All Soulsians in masks in 1918 during the Spanish influenza)

Save the Dates

(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)

August 12, 6:30pm: Young-ish Adults Gathering

August 22: Movie Night

September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game

September 17-19: Parish retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch

Weekly Worship

Sunday Mornings: Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person. At this service masks are not required, but we do ask that you keep 3-4’ of distance between you and others who are not in your family or pod.

Or (and!) join us indoors for the 11:15 service or on the live stream at 11:15a, which can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. At our 11:15 service, masks are required.

Wednesday 9am Service

Join the Zoom call here, or join us in person in the Nave at 9a. Password: 520218. Masks are required for this service as it is indoors.

Adult Formation

Adult Formation Class this Sunday

We have three class offerings this Sunday: (masks required at all groups if meeting indoors)

  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, to join that Zoom call.

  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a in the Chapel, or contact Daniel Prechtel,, to join that Zoom call. 

Summer Book Group @ 10:10a in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (here), with the book A Time for Everything by Karl Ove Knausgaard.  July 25 (pp. 7 – 136), August 1 (pp. 137 – 241), August 8 (pp. 242 – 334), August 15 (pp. 335 – 499)

Children, Family & Youth News

Children’s Ministry

Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the fall and Children, Youth, and Family programming at All Souls! In order to help us plan the best and most holistic programming for children, youth, and families, it is important to know a little bit about the children, youth, and families we’re hoping to serve. To that end, please fill out this form to help us get to know you and what sorts of programs you and your family may be interested in. Please submit one form per family, and all families with children from babies through high school age are encouraged to participate using this same form. Not only will this help us get some feedback about the types of programs you’d like to see, but it will also serve as a sort of registration for fall programming, so the contact information you provide here will help us get information to you in the fall about upcoming programs and events.

If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote ( for more information.

Other News & Notes

Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements

Check out Season 4: Episode 3 of the Soulcast!


August 12, 6:30pm: Young-ish Adults Dinner 

August 22: Rally Sunday + Evening Movie in the Courtyard + later night Youth Group Movie in the Courtyard

September 10, 6:30pm: Oakland A’s Game

September 17-19: Parish Retreat

September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game

We’re heading to an A’s game together and tailgating before the game on September 10th. Sign-up with Don Gates ( to get a spot for the game. Sign-up soon as we need a head count sooner than later.

Stephen Ministry: Christ Caring for People through People

That’s the motto of Stephen Ministry. The Stephen Minister’s role is to bring God’s love into the lives of people who are going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis. What do Stephen Ministers do? They listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential, one-to-one, caring relationship, God’s healing love comes pouring through.

If someone you know is facing a crisis—large or small—and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, talk to Rev. Maggie Foote ( or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (  Our Stephen Ministers are ready to care for you!

Ongoing Canned Food Drive

In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn,

Meal Train

If you are able to help provide some meals for parishioners in need, please contact Cathy Goshorn to help out! We are in great need at this time to help care for each other––please consider helping other All Soulsians in need by providing meals or gift cards for meals. You can reach Cathy at

AA Groups Have Resumed

If you or someone you know is interested in AA Groups that meet here at the church, check out our calendar for the times.

Applications for Jordan Court go live this week!

Here’s the latest from SAHA: “Applications will be due within one week of going live. If you know of specific seniors who have been interested in living at Jordan Court, please make sure they have subscribed to SAHA’s housing interest notification list so that they get an email when the application goes live (if they haven’t already.) This is the same process that has been posted in all the FAQs associated with the project since we started, so neighborhood stakeholders should already be subscribed. When the application goes live, all of those who have subscribed will get an email from SAHA with instructions on how to apply, including a link to the streamlined County portal. A lottery will be used to select eligible households with a preference to those who live or work in Alameda County.” Applications will go live here: