Thanksgiving Service

Nearly every year since 1928, there has been a Thanksgiving Day service at Rockefeller Chapel. The event was started by the Council of Hyde Park Churches and Synagogues, which later became the Hyde Park & Kenwood Interfaith Council. We love having this event each year, and have had amazing speakers over the years! A full list of speakers (since the beginning) can be found on the bottom of this page.


YEAR NAMEORGANIZATIONPRESENTATION TITLE
2019Rev. Dr. Maurice Charles Rockefeller Chapel Grateful Service
2018Rev. Dr. Elizabeth DavenportRockefeller ChapelListen to Them Grow
2017Eboo PatelInterfaith Youth CorePrejudice, Pluralism, and the Promise of America
2016Dr. Robert HendersonBaha’i Community 
2015Rabbi Frederick ReevesKAM Isaiah IsraelAuthentic Voices in Respectful Multicultural Settings
2014Dr. JoAnne Marie TerrellChicago Theological SeminaryThe Gift of Each Other
2013Taigen Dan LeightonAncient Dragon Zen GateThe Synergy of Thanksgiving
2012Reverend Freddy WashingtonSt. Ambrose Catholic Church 
2011Reverend Shanta PremawardanaUrban Pastoral Education 
2010Reverend Celeste A. FrazierPower of Oneness Spiritual CenterMore than Meets the Eye
2009Rabbi Batsheva AppelKAM Isaiah IsraelServing God with Gladness
2008Reverend Deborah DerylakSpiritual Care, University of Chicago HospitalsSeeds of Hope and Change
2007Ken DunnResource Center 
2006Reverend Calvin MorrisCommunity Renewal Society 
2005Reverend Leroy SandersKenwood United Church of Christ 
2004Eboo PatelInterfaith Youth CoreSaving Others, Saving Ourselves
2003Reverend Daphne BurtRockefeller ChapelLove One Another
2002Reverend Nina GreyFirst Unitarian UniversalistOur World is One World
2001Rabbi Elliot GertelRodfei Zedek 
2000Swami VaradanandaVivekananda Vedanta Society 
1999Rabbi Caspers C. Funnye, Jr.Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken 
1998Reverend Susan ThistlewaitePresident of Chicago Theological Seminary 
1997Rabbi Arnold Jacob WolfKAM Isaiah Israel 
1996   
1995Father Jack FerrySt. Thomas the Apostle School 
1994Dean Bernard O. BrownRockefeller ChapelAlways Having Before our Eyes, our Commission and our Community
1993Rabbi Daniel I. LeiferHillel Jewish CenterGiving Thanks: Keeping Company with Jacob on the Road to Israel
1992Reverend David RamageParliament of World ReligionsLooking for a Rainbow!
1991Father John BoyleArchdiocese of ChicagoLiving Thanks
1990Thomas ChulakUnitarian Universalist AssociationThanks Giving
1989Reverend Susan B.W. JohnsonHyde Park Union ChurchYet Shall We Tread Upon High Places
1988   
1987   
1986Susan Lockwood WrightCornell Baptist ChurchRemembering Where We Came From
1985Dean W. Clark GilpinUniversity of Chicago Divinity SchoolQuiet Revolutions
1984Vernon KurtzNorth Suburban Synagogue Beth El 
1983Dean Bernard O. BrownRockefeller ChapelConnections
1982C. Harvey LordVilla Park Christian ChurchOur American Experience of Grace
1981Joseph StitlerUniversity of Chicago Divinity SchoolReflections on Being Thankful
1980   
1979   
1978   
1977Reverend Charles Shelby RooksPresident, Chicago Theological Seminary 
1976Reverend Gordon A. HumphreyShiloh Missionary Baptist Church 
1975Reverend Emery A. PercellUnited Methodist Church 
1974Jack MendelsohnFirst Unitarian Church 
1973Rabbi Philip N. KranzTemple Sinai 
1972   
1971Reverend James V. LylesUnited Methodist Church 
1970   
1969Reverend Thomas J. FitzgeraldSt. Thomas the Apostle 
1968Reverend Edgar H.S. ChandlerChurch Federation of Greater ChicagoThe Lord’s Song in a Strange Land
1967Rabbi Hayim Goren PerelmuterKAM Isaiah Israel 
1966Reverend Jack A. KentFirst Unitarian Church 
1965Reverend Joseph A. BucklesHyde Park Methodist Church 
1964Rabbi Ralph SimonRodfei ZedekWhat is an Authentic Thanksgiving?
1963Reverend Samuel L. GandyKenwood Ellis United Church of ChristCovenant and Renewal
1962Rabbi Samuel E. KarffSinai TempleThe Grounds of Gratitude
1961Reverend Keith L. PearsonAugustana Lutheran ChurchThanksgiving: Symptom of Symbol
1960Rabbi Bernard MartinSinai TempleThe Grateful Heart
1959Dean E. Spencer ParsonsDean of Rockefeller ChapelThe Grace of Gratitude
1958Reverend David Bryan Lest We Forget
1957Rabbi Hayim Goren PerelmuterKAM Isaiah IsraelThanksgiving Formula: Gratitude Plus Attitude
1956Reverend W. Douglas LarsonAugustana Lutheran ChurchIn Community We Thank
1955Reverend William D. McLean Jr.St. Michael’s Episcopal ChurchThe Grace of Gratitude
1954Rabbi Jacob WeinsteinKehilath Anshe MaarivThanksgiving: For What and To Whom?
1953Reverend E. Jerry Walker For This, We Are Thankful
1952Reverend Paul L. Higgins  
1951Rabbi Ralph SimonRodfei Zedek 
1950   
1949Reverend Wallace A. Robbins The Liberty to Be Thankful
1948Rabbi Louis L. Mann When Other Virtues Cease
1947Reverend Jitsuo Morikawa A Dangerous Trust
1946Rabbi Jacob WeinsteinKehilath Anshe Maariv 
1945Reverend F.R. SteigerFirst Baptist Church 
1944Reverend Leslie T. PenningtonFirst Unitarian Church 
1943Lieutenant Julius MarkUSNR Great Lakes Naval Training Center 
1942Reverend Irvin E. LungerUniversity Church Disciples of Christ 
1941Rabbi Morton M. Berman Values that Cannot Fall
1940Reverend J. Richard DreesHyde Park Methodist ChurchA Thanksgiving Pastorale
1939Reverend Thomas W. PenderSt. James Methodist Episcopal ChurchThank God and Take Courage
1938Reverend George M. GibsonUnited Church of Hyde ParkThe Ancient Faith and the Modern Mood
1937Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman A Threefold Faith for a Confused World
1936Reverend F.C. Benson Bells Trust in God
1935Reverend Thomas W. PenderSt. James Methodist Episcopal ChurchGuidance of God
1934Rabbi Gerson B. Levi The Thanksgiving of the Spirit
1933   
1932Reverend Norriss L. Tibbits In God We Trust
1931Reverend Douglas HortonUnited ChurchThe Dimensions of Thanksgiving
1930Reverend Albert W. PalmerPresident, Chicago Theological SeminaryHow Far Right Were the Puritans?
1929   
1928Reverend Alfred Lee WilsonKenwood Church