The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - November 2019

Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.


November is the season of thanksgiving. Before the consumer hype of the holiday shopping season assails us, November is set aside to give us time to contemplate all the gifts that we have been given. To pause and reflect upon all God’s good and gracious gifts doubles our sense of blessing. To give thanks for the choicest and best individually-wrapped gifts that God gives to each one of us personally—is the heart of our faith.

Local author Barbara Mahany has written a book entitled Slowing Down Time. Written it as a “field guide to wonder and wisdom. . . of beholding the everyday miracles, of wrapping our arms around the Holy Within and the Holy All Around.” She records her life through the rituals of family time enacted out within the larger rhythms of the seasons. As fall moves into winter, she grows to rejoice, celebrate and exult in each and every moment.

This moment-by-moment celebration “is the very act which makes us human”. To cherish each material blessing of life; to be fully alive experiencing all our senses; to appreciate each person and cherish each relationship; to become attentive in noticing all the good things that come our way; to be reverent in praising God from whom all blessings flow.

As we thank God for all God’s good gifts, we become more aware of the Spirit, the source of all goodness. We become more aware of the abundance that centers our lives in blessing. We become more alive and open to sharing ourselves, so that we pass our gifts on in the same spirit of generosity.

May November become a season of thanksgiving for you, a holy season of slowing down time, to give thanks for the joy of being alive, and rejoice in all the miracles we experience every day that live. “Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).”

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.


The Session has called a meeting of the congregation for Sunday, November 17 immediately after the service. The report of the Nominating Committee will recommend its slate of new Elders and Deacons. The Nominating Committee for 2020 will be voted upon. Any changes in pastoral compensation will be considered. The 2020 budget will also be presented for questions and comments. All are urged to attend this important meeting!


This year, the Men’s Association will host the Thanksgiving Dinner after the service on November 24th. Carry-outs will also be available to go. Dinner tickets may be purchased from any member of the Men’s Association for $10 adult and $5 for children. All donations of food and cash contributions are welcome!

Please join our congregation in this special meal and a time of giving thanks!

Turkey, dressing and gravy Ham
Green Beans Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes Desserts
Macaroni and Cheese


The Hanging of the Greens is Saturday, November 30th. All helpers are needed to decorate the sanctuary and church for Advent and Christmas. Please join us at 10:00 a.m. to bring out the bows and evergreens and prepare the church for Christmas. A light luncheon will be served. The workday will conclude by 1:00 p.m.


GivingTuesday is a somewhat new social media movement meant to inspire millions of people around the globe to give back to causes and issues that matter to them. The goal of GivingTuesday is to create a massive wave of generosity that lasts well beyond that day, and touches every person on the planet. This year, GivingTuesday will be Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Second Presbyterian Church will participate in GivingTuesday by asking members of the community, and world, to give to our many youth programs like Tutoring, Adventure Club, Christian Education Hour, Vacation Bible School, Summer Camp, and Youth Choir. We are NOT asking for our dedicated givers to go above and beyond financially—we are simply asking that you will follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and be sure to share our posts daily to YOUR followers. You can make a difference by helping us spread the word about the great things that Second Presbyterian Church does on a daily basis to help make an impact on the youth of our church and our South Loop community.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers at


Join us on Saturday, December 7th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a Christmas Market. Stocking stuffers, handmade Christmas gifts and more will be available for purchase. Help us celebrate this most wonderful season and see the church decorated for the season! For more information, please visit our website or email Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers at


Our annual Sing Along Messiah will be on Sunday, December 8th at 3:30 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public. Bring your own Messiah score or purchase one at the door. A free-will offering will be taken to support the music ministry of Second Presbyterian Church. Following the event, there will be a free reception in Fellowship Hall. For more information, please visit our website


On Thanksgiving Day, Jovon and Harpreet Milam and friends will host a free Thanksgiving dinner for all. The meal, in honor of the birth of their sons, will feature a traditional menu. All are welcome to come to the dinner at 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. and join in the fellowship of the holiday season. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Harpreet Milam at The Nail Social by calling (312) 583-9903.


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.


On Sunday, October 20th, nine new people joined as full, active members of Second Presbyterian Church. Being received were:

Pastor James Acquaah ~ Letter of Transfer
Lisa Armstrong ~ Letter of Transfer
Paula Kelso ~ Letter of Transfer
Deneen Marie Bryce ~ Reaffirmation of Faith
Roslynn Gully ~ Reaffirmation of Faith
Emily Parr ~ Reaffirmation of Faith
Sharon Singer ~ Reaffirmation of Faith
Ramon Smith ~ Reaffirmation of Faith

Leah Smith ~ Reaffirmation of Faith

Please welcome these new members into the life and fellowship of the church!

What This Church Means to Me and Numerous Kids ~ By Emwanmwosa Amazing Osazuwa

The church is a place of fellowship and worship, where my Spirit is being fed with the word of God, and we are being built Spiritually to become more like Christ. And also, where we interact with other believers. The church brings Christians from all over the world to come and praise God as a family. The church is a place where people from all works of life, races are brought together and they are made members of the same family by the saving blood of Jesus Christ through his love for us. It is a place where there are no discriminations, where we see each other as one, where love is being demonstrated.

The church should be like Heaven on Earth, where Christians encourage and help one another, where the weak are being helped by the strong and the poor by the rich. It should be a house of peace, love, and joy. Where there is no quarreling, hatred, bitterness, jealousy and fighting, prepared for the second coming of Christ. I believe that what the church means to me is the same as other kids.

Thank you.


During the month of October, letters and pledge cards were sent out to approximately 150 members and friends. The letter invites each person and family to make a pledge or “commitment to give” to support the mission and ministry of Second Presbyterian Church. A pledge is not a contract, but an aspiration. A pledge can be altered at any time, depending upon changing circumstances. Please turn your pledge in today! Thank you for your commitment and generosity!

The Session

Big picture


Street parking is free every Sunday, except for Bears’ home games. One day parking passes for Bears’ games are available in the church office. Ushers also have one-day parking passes. The following dates are for Chicago Bears’ home games.

November 10 - 12:00 no street parking without a pass

November 24 - 12:00 no street parking without a pass

The north parking lot 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.


The Adult Bible Class is discussing the book of Exodus this fall. “God’s World and God’s People”. Taught by members of the group, the texts and topics are relevant for today, providing a word of inspiration for living. All are welcome.


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 Book of Acts, chapter by chapter. All are invited to attend and bring a friend.


The Contemporary Spirituality Book Discussion Group is a joint project between Old St. Mary’s Church and Second Presbyterian Church. On November 10th, the group will discuss The Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen. The group is led by Father Brad Schoberle and Pastor David Neff. Meetings are held at Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Avenue at 9:15 a.m. All are welcome.


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 Ruth but you can join anytime.

Our final meeting of 2019 is November 13th and we will be reading the Book of Psalm 126-150. The theme is PRAISE. The discussion group will meet again Wednesday, January 8th.

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.


Join Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers as she takes a deeper look into the prayer, meditation, worship, and community life of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, the Baha’i faith, and Sikhism. All classes will meet on Wednesday evenings October 16-November 20 at 6 p.m. in the Church Library. All are welcome to these classes and there are no materials needed! If you want further information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers at


Second Book Group will meet Sunday morning, November 17 at 9:30 am to discuss Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. Looking ahead to December, we will discuss Toni Morrison's Home on Sunday, December 15. We meet in the upstairs office and all are welcome (even if you didn't finish the book).


The Amazing Grace Holy Land Tour will be conducted by Dr. Joel and Sharon Tolliver from June 1st to June 9th, 2020. Cost of the trip includes round trip air fair, seven nights of lodging at tourist class hotels, deluxe air-conditioned coach service and all meals. The tour includes holy sites in Galilee, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Masada and Jerusalem. For more information, contact Dr. Joel Tolliver at (312) 842-1971.


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 12:1 5 p.m. For more information, please contact Eugene Leonard.


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 Wednesday Night Tutoring program has begun its sixth year of ministry. 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 prepared by the group Kids in the Kitchen, 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.


Tai Chi is still going strong and meeting every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The final class of 2019 will be on Thursday, November 21. Your first class is FREE! All additional classes are $10 and it is open to anyone and everyone! We will resume classes after the holiday break on January 9.


The next South Memory Café will be on Thursday, November 14th from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. For more information or to register, please email


The LUNCH BAG PROGRAM is grateful and sends thanks to Western Springs Presbyterian Church for donating 200 bag lunches to the program last month. They enjoyed the intergenerational project of shopping, bagging and delivering the lunches; and our Lunch Bag guests greatly appreciate the variety of lunches they are served.


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.


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.


Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers’ email address has changed. Her new email address is please update your contacts as she will no longer be checking the studentpastor email.