The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - December 2018

Second Presbyterian Church is building a Christ-Centered Community Through Inspirational Worship, Education Ministry and the Power of Service.


First Coming

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,

and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.

In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,

for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Madeleine L’Engle


An Inquirer’s Class for New Members will be held on Sunday, December 16th at 9:30 a.m. This one-hour class will provide basic information about Presbyterian beliefs, worship and theology. It will also offer opportunities for individuals to get involved in the education, fellowship and mission of the church. All are welcome. If you are interested in attending the class, please contact the church office at (312) 225-4951.


On the fourth Sunday of Advent December 23rd, we remember God’s redemptive love that entered our world—in a new way-- in the birth of Jesus. We light the fourth Advent candle, the candle of Love. Dr. Neff will share the Magnficat of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) and preach on “O Favored Ones!” The service includes the traditional hymns and carols of Christmas.


The twelve days of Christmas is an ancient tradition waiting to be re-discovered. Celebrated in many denominations and cultures, the twelve days of Christmas incorporates celebrating the gift of Christ’s presence with those whom we love most. Some families give gifts to each other each of the twelve days. Other families continue the ritual of gift-giving by donating time to homeless shelters, serving in soup kitchens or doing family activities together. We will celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with worship on Sunday, December 30th at 11:00 a.m.


The 2018 Advent Devotional guide “God Lifts the Lowly” is available on the literature table. Based on Mary’s song of praise (Luke 1:46-55), the daily devotions, written by Donna Jackson and Kristin Tatenhove, include scripture, poetry and personal reflections, recalling times when we were brought low, and how God lifts us up.


During the month of December, all members and friends of the church are invited to participate in the Christmas Offering. As the church's financial year ends, we invite you to consider giving a special gift at Christmas. We need your Christmas offering by December 30 to be counted toward the end-of-the year budget. Please give a gift in the spirit of the season! Thank you in advance for your faithful giving.

The Session


And when we give each other Christmas gifts in his name, let us remember that he has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans—and all that lives and moves upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit—and that all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused—and to save us from our own foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us himself.

Sigrid Unset

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On Christmas Eve, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus and welcome anew Christ’s presence into the world. A service of traditional Christmas lessons and carols is planned, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Neff will preach. We will hear the Christmas story (Luke 2: 1-20) and light the Christ candle, then conclude the service by lighting candles and singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Plan to join us for this night of holy joy!

Before the service, the Hospitality Committee will host a festive Christmas Table, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Come early and share a meal with church family and friends as we celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth!

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On Saturday, November 17th, Second Presbyterian Church hosted “A Place at the Table”, a Mexican Fiesta lunch prepared and served by the parents and students of Old St. Mary’s School. Approximately 80 guests from the Lunchbag Program were served in a family style meal. Fresh-baked cookies were a big hit for dessert! On Thanksgiving day, Jovon and Harpreet Milan of the Chicago Nail Social served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to 75 guests from the neighborhood. This is their seventh year of offering “”Liam’s Table” honoring the gift of their children. We give thanks for all community friendships and partnerships which result in ministry.

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The Lunch Bag program is holding our annual “Winter Clothing Drive” during the month of December, January and February. Please bring scarves, mittens and caps; socks, sweaters, sweat shirts, hoodies and coats. There is a receptacle in the Fellowship Hall to leave your items of clothing. All donations of clothing will go directly toward those in need.


When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To find the broken

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoners,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among brothers and sisters,

To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman

The Mood of Christmas


We no longer have access to the Ada S. McKinley parking lot on Bears' game days. If you park on the street, you will need a one-day game parking pass.. Please ask an usher for a parking pass, or contact the church office or Pastor Neff in advance to receive your one day pass.

December 9 and 16

The north parking lots is available for parking on Sunday worship. We encourage those whose mobility permits to part on the city streets, so as to leave parking lot space for those with more limited ability.


An element in our Strategic Plan is to encourage the development of an array of unconventional education and recreational opportunities for small groups. Some of these have started with considerable success. Please come to our planned events and to committee meetings to share other ideas or let Leslie Deslauriers or Howard Tiffen know of your interests.


Sunday school is such a special time for children to learn about Biblical themes and stories. It is through Sunday school that children are able to ask questions, learn more thoroughly about scripture, and connect with other children from the church.

Confirmation Class/Post-Confirmation Class: The Confirmation and Post-Confirmation classes are well under way! Eugene Leonard is leading the charge by exploring the Christian values that are prevalent in the New Testament.

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Tai Chi Monday Classes will begin again in January. Please come along and bring your friends and family. Suggested donation $10 per session.


Mindfulness in Motion Helen Smith will lead a series of Monday evening floor and chair yoga sessions beginning on December 3rd and December 10th in the Sanctuary. Poetry and meditation techniques will be part of this series. Mores dates will be posted in January.


Alpha to Omega A year-long project to read the entire Bible through the lens of particular themes in each book. This will allow participants to look at the Bible from original, manageable perspectives. Group meets second and fourth Sundays at 9:30 am and following Wednesdays at 6:00pm.


We have begun putting all of our announcements on the television screen during Coffee Hour. Please be sure to pay attention to these announcements so that you don’t miss out on the great opportunities that we offer!


The Wednesday Night Tutoring program has begun. Thirty-five students have signed up, with approximately twenty-five adult tutors. The first hour involves help with homework, math, science and reading. Afterwards, a healthy snack is offered, followed by an arts and crafts project. The goal is to promote learning skills in a structured, fun environment. Special thanks to the women leaders of the Junior League and all community volunteers who help with this ministry. We still need tutors. If you would like to make a commitment to serve, please contact the church office (312) 225-4951.


The Community Outreach Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 2:45 p.m. at the church. We would welcome your membership on the Committee or invite you to join us as a visitor for a meeting.


The Church Development Committee is responsible for helping to fund the growth of our congregation and missions and to raise the capital needed to provide the facilities necessary for our space to become more relevant to the life of our community. In this endeavor, Development is working with Session, Stewardship, Facilities and Outreach to be sure that we share a VISION for our church, for its role in our community.

Watch for initiatives to adopt a more “generous” element to our regular giving, for the roll out of gift programs, to publicize the tax efficiency of making gifts to the church out of your IRA Required Minimum Distributions, the creation of investment programs that will pre-fund your gifts to the church, but allow you to earn a return on those gifts during your life.

Oh, and we will have some FUN ways of being able to participate in helping the church to raise capital…we promise!


Several of our Lunch Bag Program volunteers will be away over the winter months. If you are available to volunteer one day a week Tuesday through Friday from 9:45 to 1:00 or if you are available to pick up food donations at Panera Bread at 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, please contact Vicki Reynolds

(312-203-4933) Your help will be greatly appreciated by those we serve.


For January 20th we have chosen "Americanah” by the award-winning Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We need a moderator for this discussion and would really benefit from participation by our first and second-generation friends with connections to Ghana and Nigeria

Each discussion will be led by one of the book group participants.

Please provide suggestions for books to discuss in February and beyond. Each discussion will consider the book’s principal themes, personal experiences, possible responses to issues raised and will ask the question, “So what?”. Please see Cliff Crawford or Howard Tiffen for more information.


All members and friends ages 21-40 are invited to the home of Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers (1130 S. Michigan Ave., Apt 3315) on Saturday, December 8th 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. for a Southern Christmas Tea! Please let Leslie know if you plan to attend by Friday, December 7th by either calling/texting her (615.630.2495) or by emailing her (


The Sunday Bible study class is beginning a new unit in The Present Word. “God Commands Our Love, Respect and Obedience”. The class meets each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome.

December 2 Love and Devotion ~ Deuteronomy 6: 1-9

December 9 Choose to Love and Serve God ~ Joshua 24: 1-24

December 16 Love and Worship God ~ Psalm 103: 1-22

December 23 Jesus: God’s Loving Promise ~ Luke 1: 26-35

December 3- Modeling God’s Love ~ Matthew 25:31-46


Have you ever wanted to learn about the basics of the Bible? Join us each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for a “Basic Bible Study” class. Taught by Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver, this class focuses on the Gospel of John, chapter by chapter. All are invited to attend and bring a friend.


Barbara’s Basement is now OPEN! Stop by for all of the South Loop’s greatest finds Tuesdays & Saturdays 10am-1pm. Donations of gently used items may be dropped off during shop hours.


Congratulations to Patricia Milton Osborn upon her retirement from the Chicago Housing Authority after many years of leadership and service.

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Federal legislation provides tax incentives for seniors over 70 ½ to donate to their favorite non-profit without triggering any federal income taxes. A person can make a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from an individual retirement account (IRA) directly to a charity rather than withdrawing the money and paying taxes on it. Seniors can plan their giving over the course of a year and avoid paying taxes on charitable giving. We hope our supporters who are seniors will keep Second Presbyterian Church in mind as they plan their minimum distributions. Please consult your financial advisor for rules and further information.


Treasurer’s Report for The Record for period ended October 31, 2018

Year to date on an Operating Basis, we have generated an Operating Deficit of $31,390.76 including PILP Loan Repayments of $16,776.73. This compares to a forecast Budget deficit YTD of $51,084.50.

Total Operating Income YTD to 31st August 2018


Total Expenses, including Loan installments


Overall Deficit YTD


Offerings are about $20,000 over budget. Member Giving is about 2% below plan and Non-Member Giving is $22,000 above plan.


Do you feel like you’re missing out on information on the church? Have you missed a worship service that you would have liked to attend? Be sure to read your monthly newsletter, check your email, read the announcements in the back of your bulletin, check the church calendar (on the website and the bulletin board outside of the kitchen, and above the water fountain) and check social media. The calendar on the church website is a google calendar and you can even sync your phone or tablet so that you’ll never miss another church event! If you’d like more information or would like to update your contact information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers ( or call the church office (312) 225-4951.