Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - January 2020
Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.
FROM YOUR PASTOR
We are living in tumultuous times. A weeks’ survey of the newspaper reveals that inequality in the United States is at the highest level in our history. Our democracy has become a plutocracy, as wealth governs and rules. With social media, new aggressive forms of political power are influencing the way we receive our news and the way we think about our world. Foreign influence in our elections and our national life is a foregone conclusion. In Washington, our President has used his privileged position to disseminate false information. The Washington Post keeps tabs on the president’s mistruths in his tweets and speech (15,000 and counting) causing our attention economy to be diverted and distracted from the real issues of our world.
Whatever you might believe about the articles of impeachment, it is a sign of a darkness in our land. There is a deep hostility between people and parties; a deep degree of distrust and disillusionment. All of us are in denial and no one is working together.
Into this desperate world, a child was born (Luke 2:1-20), who would throw himself fully to bring light and healing. He would courageously rail against the forces of ignorance and apathy. He would carry the light of divine truth to convert the allies of manipulation and falsehood. He would reform religion to its spiritual core of love for God, love for self and love of neighbor in one unified hope. He would seek to be a spiritual king that would transform the ways that we look at wealth and humanize the ways we use power.
This year, I invite you to light a candle for truth in our public discourse. Light a candle for the polar icecaps and the ozone layer and action to curb global warming. Light a candle for young people in our society to study and speak up and act out. Light a candle that that our politics in Chicago and Illinois to become less corrupt and more transparent. Light a candle for the spontaneous heroes, for problem-solvers and solution-bringers who create networks of support and circles of care. Light a candle for Second Presbyterian Church, that in all we offer to the community, we may continue to be a beacon of light and love in 2020.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
David M. Neff
We are a diverse and inclusive community, bringing people to Christ through the power of service, education, hospitality and compassion.
Second Presbyterian Church seeks to be a diverse, vibrant and passionate Christ-centered community of hospitality and outreach actively serving the South Loop, the city of Chicago and the world. We accomplish this through inspirational worship in our historic sanctuary, educational ministry to all ages, and the power of compassionate service to our neighbors.
JANUARY 5 ~ FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS
On the first Sunday of the new year, we hear John’s gospel of the Word made flesh (John 1: 1-18). How can God’s word in Jesus Christ help us make sense of our lives? The Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship will join in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. After the service, please bring your potluck dishes for fellowship around the table.
JANUARY 5 ~ DEDICATION OF NEW HYMNALS
We reached our goal! Thanks to everyone that answered the call to help us purchase the Glory to God Hymnals. We will dedicate them on Sunday, January 5th during worship.
If you would like a copy of the blue hymnals they will be on the table as you enter the Sanctuary, or in Fellowship Hall.
JANUARY 12 ~ BAPTISM OF JESUS
On January 12, we remember in story and song the baptism of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 3: 13-17. The sermon by Pastor Neff will focus on: Why was Jesus baptized if he was the son of God? How did the baptism affect him? How does baptism affect us? As we faithfully seek to answer these questions, we rededicate our lives to living as baptized Christians, consecrated to service.
JANUARY 19 ~ MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SUNDAY
On Sunday, January 19 we will celebrate the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in our worship service. The sermon will be given by the Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver who worked with Dr. King and Coretta Scott King in the movement for civil rights. Special music will be provided by the Second Church Quartet. The service will conclude with our tradition of singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.
JANUARY 19 ~ ORDINATION OF ELDERS AND DEACONS
One of the most exciting Sundays in the church year is the service of ordination and installation! Being ordained and installed as an Elder is Amy Haack and Dr. Lisa Henry-Reid. Being installed as an Elder is Darlene Pollard and Howard Tiffen. Being ordained and installed as a Deacon is Jeremy Nichols and Francis Osazuwa. Being installed as a Deacon will be Jane Tiffen. We welcome our new slate of officers for the new year!
JANUARY 26 ~ CHRISTIAN UNITY SUNDAY
On Sunday, January 26th, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) celebrates Ecumenical Relations Sunday. As Presbyterians we work toward the goal of Christian unity. The gospel lesson is Matthew 4: 12-23 which tells the story of the call of the first disciples. How can we further unity in the body of Christ? How can we contribute to peace and understanding in our ecclesiastical community? Join us for this special Sunday in which we celebrate our unity in Christ as the basis for shared worship and ministry.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION AND CORPORATION
The Session has called for our Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, January 26 at approximately 12:15 p.m. Annual reports will be distributed approximately one week beforehand. A time of reflection and review is planned. Please join us for this important meeting!
WHAT IS PER CAPITA?
In your pledge envelopes, there is a green envelope marked “per capita”. “Per capita” is the amount our church pays to the larger Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to help administer our mission. In the United Methodist Church, it is called “apportionment”. This per-capita amount goes to fund our national, regional and local Chicago area mission. This year, the per-capita amount per member is $ 36.00. Our Treasurer pays the “per-capita” on every active member, whether you contribute or not. Please support your church by turning in your envelope and paying your per-capita. And consider paying an additional amount for those who may not be able to pay.
THANKS TO OUTGOING OFFICERS
As new boards take over in January, we want to thank our outgoing elders and deacons for their time of service. Leaving the Session are Barbara Floyd and Rowena Balogun. Leaving the Board of Deacons are Flea Parker and Karen Ashley-Bowman. Each has made an impressive contribution in the service of the Lord and the work of the church. We thank each person for their leadership, prayers, devotion, hard work and dedication in the ministry of our Lord. Thank you for a job well done!
SUNDAY MORNING ADULT BIBLE STUDY
The Adult Bible Class meets each Sunday morning from 9:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m. to discuss the theme: Honoring God. During the month of January, we will look at the life of David and Solomon, kings of Israel’s monarchy. Themes are:
January 5 - A Place for the Ark ~ 1 Kings 8
January 12 - Solomon’s Speech ~ 2 Chronicles 6
January 19 - Solomon’s Prayer ~ 2 Chronicles 6
January 26 - Solomon’s Blessing ~ 1 Kings 8
All are welcome.
BASIC BIBLE STUDY ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON AT 1:30 P.M.
Basic Bible Study continues on Tuesday, January 14 with teacher Dr. Joel Tolliver. Please join us for an informative and spiritual look at the book of Romans. This ongoing group meets each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome.
ALPHA TO OMEGA BIBLE DISCUSSION GROUP
The Alpha to Omega Club is a group designed to help folks with meeting their goal of reading the Bible cover to cover. Rather than discussing specific verses we discuss a general theme of the overall book in the Bible. Last year we completed Genesis through Psalms but you can join anytime.
We meet in the Second Floor Office (Leslie and Ashley's office) on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Flea Parker.
SECOND BOOK GROUP
SECOND MOVIE GROUP
Congratulations to Mike and Ann Belletire on their 50th wedding anniversary on January 2nd.
Congratulations to Frank and Faith Dusek on their 50th wedding anniversary on January 26th.
I AM THE NEW YEAR ~ A POEM
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last twelve months about life.
All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me;
I am waiting for you to search it out again, and try with more determination.
All the good that you tried to do for others and did not achieve last year is mine to grant--provided you have fewer selfish and conflicting desires.
In me lies the potential all that you dreamed about but did not dare to do, all that you hope but did not perform, all that you prayed for but did not experience.
These dreams, awakened by the touch of enduring purpose.
I am your opportunity.
--Submitted by Roslynne Gully
WELCOME OUR NEW SEMINARIAN KJIRSTIN ALMOS
AMAZING GRACE HOLY LAND TOUR
Dr. Joel Tolliver will be leading a nine-day tour of the Holy Land June 1st through 8th. Cost include round trip airfare, all meals and entrance fees, and seven nights of accommodation. The group will visit the Sea of Galilee, the fortress of Masada, the Dead Sea, the Shrine of the Book, the Via Dolorosa, the Knesset, the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock. Brochures are available on the literature table. For more information, please contact Dr. Joel Tolliver (312) 842-1971.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION HOUR
Christian Education Hour is such a special time for children to learn about Biblical themes and stories. It is through Christian Education Hour that children are able to ask questions, learn more thoroughly about scripture, and connect with other children from the church.
Confirmation Class: The Confirmation Class for 2019-2020 has begun! All students 6th grade and up who have not yet been confirmed are invited to join this class that meets the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 12:15 p.m. For more information, please contact Eugene Leonard.
TUTORING PROGRAM BEGINS FOR A NEW SEMESTER
On Wednesday, January 15, the Tutoring Program will begin a new semester. Approximately 25 tutors from the Junior League and another 10 tutors from the community join in this ministry with approximately 30 students. Tutors are always needed. If you can give 90 minutes a week to help with homework, reading, math and science, please contact the church office at (312) 225-4951.
CHILDREN’S CHOIR REHEARSALS
The Children’s Choir will be directed by Lisa Armstrong this year. The children will rehearse immediately after worship on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. All children are invited to sing and “make a joyful noise to the Lord” (Psalm 100:1)
The confirmation class for grades 6 and above meets on the first and third Sunday of each month at 12:15 pm. Join us on this journey to discover, nurture and develop your faith.
For more information and a registration form, please contact Eugene Leonard.
AT THE INTERSECTION OF FAITH AND HEALING
The Chicago Teachers’ Union Foundation presents “Connect, Learn, Heal and Serve”, a workshop for community leaders on January 30th, 8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. The keynote speaker is Dr. Iva Carruthers, the General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. For questions or registration, please contact Octavia Tyson at octavia.tyson @cityofchicago.org This event is sponsored by the Presbytery of Chicago.
Tai Chi will resume Thursday, January 9th at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Your first class is FREE! All additional classes are $10 and it is open to anyone and everyone!
SOUTH LOOP MEMORY CAFÉ
The South Loop Memory Cafe is a community gathering for all who are experiencing memory loss and their caregivers. The next South Memory Café will be on Thursday, January 9th from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. There will be a special celebration of the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more information or to register, please email email@example.com
BARBARA’S BASEMENT is alive and well and open for business this fall. Stop by for all of the South Loop’s greatest finds Tuesdays & Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Donations of gently used items may be dropped off during shop hours.
FEBRUARY 23 ~ IN RECOGNITION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Black Chicago Aspires for Residential Security: Battling the Restrictive Covenant, 1927-1948
- Sunday, February 23, 2020
- 1:30 PM 2:30 PM
On December 31, 1940, a “Colored Restriction Agreement” went into effect prohibiting “any person found to have 1/8 part or more negro blood, or any person generally considered to be a colored person” from residing in an area bounded by Roosevelt Road on the north, Cermak Road on the south, the alley west of State Street on the west, and the Illinois Central Railroad Tracks on the east. These restrictive covenants were all too common in Chicago and across the country until they were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous vote in May 1948.
This PowerPoint presentation will address the impact of restrictive covenants in four parts - the promise of democracy and aspirations, institutional racism and its limited successes, institutional resistance from the NAACP movement, and the triumphs of democracy by 1948 and 1968. The talk will be given by Dr. Christopher R. Reed, professor emeritus of history at Roosevelt University, and recognized as “the Dean of Black Chicago History” for his numerous books and articles and his work within the Black Chicago History Forum.
FREE ADMISSION, reservations not required
This event, held in recognition of Black History Month, is sponsored by Glessner House, Friends of Historic Second Church, Second Presbyterian Church, and Quinn Chapel.
WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE
The Lunchbag Program is collecting used winter coats, gloves, scarves, mittens and caps; socks; sweaters, sweatshirts and hoodies. There is a receptacle for your donated items in Fellowship Hall. All donations will go directly to provide warmth and care for our neighbors in need.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the church office (312) 225-4951.
EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGE FOR LESLIE DESLAUREIERS
Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers’ email address has changed. Her new email address is PastoralAssistant.email@example.com please update your contacts as she will no longer be checking the studentpastor email.