Second Presbyterian Church Newsletter - January 2022
Diverse ✶ Inclusive ✶ COMMUNITY ✶ Engaging ✶ Passionate
FROM YOUR PASTOR
A recent report in the New York Times showed a spectrum of all the Google searches recorded in 2021. Promoted by Google, this piece doesn’t give the full story, but only gives the positives. Some of the positives included are:
How to Heal—searched for more than ever before
How to Cure Burnout (5000% over the previous years)
How to Comfort Someone
How to Ask for Help
How to Help the Environment
Family Caregivers (highest in a decade)
How to Overcome Challenges and Find Your Purpose
How to Use Less
Vegan Food Near Me—a break-out search
How to Find a Therapist and Black Therapist Near Me (doubled over last year)
If Google searches yield trends, these are positive signs that the human race is evolving in our cooperation with each other, in connecting to the community, in celebrating diversity and working more closely together to overcome some of our vaunted social problems.
As disciples of Jesus, we believe in the broad concept of God’s kingdom on earth. We believe that our speech, our actions, our votes, our budgets and governmental priorities, even the knowledge we seek, can contribute toward building a society which increasingly reflects the values of the common good. As individuals, we want to nurture every trend that can grow the fruit of empathy, kindness and compassion. We want to applaud and increase every sense of momentum of redistributing wealth and overcoming generations of racial inequality bringing about a higher standard of justice.
What movements and trends will you participate in this year? What ideas and values will you nurture and move forward? This is the year to concentrate our focus. With the wise men (and wise women) it all begins with the star we follow, the journey we seek, the hope that fills our courage.
Jesus said: “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Ask, seek, knock—three good action words to put at the top of your google search as you begin the new year!
In the Spirit,
WORSHIP CONTINUES DURING COVID-19
The Session is continuing worship with singing during this time of uncertainty, and the transmission of Covid-19 and its variants. We require all in attendance to wear their masks properly, covering your nose and mouth. While all are welcome to our church, we ask that those who are not yet vaccinated or who are showing any symptoms to worship at home through online participation in our service. Help us as we seek to keep our sacred place a safe space.
Go to our website at 2ndPresbyterian.org to view our services online.
SERVICE OF ORDINATION AND INSTALLATION
On Sunday, January 9th, we will hold our annual service of ordination and installation. On that morning, we will ordain and install Deneen Marie Bryce, Eugene Leonard, Jeremy Nichols and Anthony Ochiabutor, Sr. as Elders; and Rowena Balogun, Erik Flom, Flea Parker and Madison Vanderbilt as Deacons. The Reverend Dr. Robert Reynolds, retired pastor and former executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Chicago, will preach. We will pray for the spirit of God to anoint our ordained officers and guide them in leading us in the way of Jesus Christ. Please join us online or in-person for this important service!
NEW MEMBERS CLASS
An Inquirers’ Class for those considering membership will be offered on Sunday, January 16th, at 9:30 am. This one-hour lesson is the only class that is required to become a member. The class will go over Presbyterian worship, theology and polity. It will also detail opportunities to be involved as an active member of Second Presbyterian Church. The class will meet in the pastor’s study. For more information, or questions, please contact Pastor Neff (312) 225-4951.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CELEBRATION
We will celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a special service of worship on Sunday, January 16th, at 11:00 am. The Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver will preach and talk about his experiences in working for civil rights and economic empowerment with the Kings. We will conclude our service by singing “We Shall Overcome.”
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
As Presbyterians, we promote ecumenical dialogue and inter-church relationships as part of Christ's desire for unity. During the week, you are invited to pray for
Monday-- Roman Catholic Churches
Tuesday-- Orthodox Churches
Wednesday-- Anglican and Episcopalian Churches
Thursday-- the Lutheran Churches
Friday-- the Reformed Churches (Presbyterian, United Church of Christ and Christian
Saturday-- the United Methodist and Wesleyan Churches
Sunday-- Baptist Churches and COGIC Churches
We also pray for independent Bible churches and Pentecostal churches, that they may be part of the diverse conversation of ecumenical dialogue. Jesus taught a spirit of unity and prayed “that we all may be one as God is one.”
SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Charlotte Ward Parr, the daughter of John and Emily Parr, will be presented for the sacrament of Baptism. Born on September 21st, Charlotte is the sister of Easton Parr. Charlotte's grandparents are John and Sherrie Parr, and Mark and Annalee Ward. The scripture lesson is Luke 4:14-21, "the calling of the disciples." The service will focus on the joy of baptism and the call to follow Jesus.
CHICAGO BEARS GAME JANUARY 2nd
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION AND CORPORATION
The 180th Annual Meeting of the Congregation and Corporation will be held on Sunday, January 30th, at 12:30 pm. The Annual Report will be distributed the prior week. The meeting will last approximately one hour. All officers and committee chairs will be available for questions, concerns and comments. Please join us for this important meeting!
Each year, Second Presbyterian Church pays a “per-capita” apportionment on each member of the church. This goes to support the mission and ministry of the larger church, including the Presbytery of Chicago, the Synod of Lincoln Trails and the General Assembly. Your gift of $36 per person helps the church fund its annual obligation dues to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Please submit your per-capita offering and consider making a gift to help others in our congregation that may find it difficult to give.
ELECTION OF NEW OFFICERS
At our Zoom Congregational Meeting on November 28th, the following servant-leaders were elected:
Elders: Deneen Marie Bryce, Eugene Leonard, Jeremy Nichols, and Anthony Ochiabutor Sr.
Deacons: Rowena Balogun, Erik Flom, Flea Parker, and Madison Vanderbilt
Nominating Committee: Karen Ashley-Bowman, Michael Brown, Dawn Chubb, Denise Conway and Chioma Ochiabutor
THANK YOU TO OUTGOING OFFICERS
We are grateful for our outgoing Elders and Deacons for their distinguished service. Outgoing Elders include Karen Ashley-Bowman, Dr. Cliff Crawford and Vicki Reynolds. Outgoing Deacons include Catherine Soberekon and Denise Conway. We thank our outgoing elders and deacons for a job well done!
MLK DAY CONCERT *TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE*
Time: Sunday, January 16th, at 9:30 am.
Join Zoom Meeting: Click Here or Call: (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 868 6496 0108
WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE
During the winter months, we collect coats, sweaters, hoodies, shirts, gloves, socks, caps, scarves and mittens to be distributed to our Lunch Bag Program guests. Please drop your donations in the North Parlor Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Your gifts of warm clothes will go directly to our neighbors in need.
SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE CLASS
The Adult Bible Study meets Sunday mornings at 9:30 am to discuss the Present Word Curriculum. The group is currently working through the study of the biblical prophets.
During January, the theme of our Bible Study is “God, the Source of Justice.” Each week's study will focus on:
January 2, Justice, Vengeance and Mercy ~ Genesis 4
January 9, Hagar and Ismael Not Forgotten ~ Genesis 21
January 16, The Laws of Justice and Mercy ~ Exodus 23
January 23, Justice, Judges and Priests ~ Deuteronomy 16-19
January 30, Justice and the Marginalized ~ Deuteronomy 24
All are welcome to join in-person or by phone. The phone in number is (312) 248-0036.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON BIBLE STUDY
Dr. Joel Tolliver continues to lead a lively and informative Bible study on the book of Hebrews each Tuesday at 1:30 pm. In January, they will continue on with the epistles. All are welcome to join in!
The phone number is (312) 248-0036
SECOND TIME AROUND BIBLE BOOK GROUP (Previously Alpha to Omega)
Alpha to Omega completed its goal of reading the bible cover to cover. Now we have set a new goal of reading the bible one chapter per day, following the events in chronological order rather than by books. Hence, the new name “Second Time Around Bible Book Group."
We start January 10th and meet by phone from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Rather than study chapter and verse we discuss the chapters by sharing our thoughts about what we read in an open and supportive environment. We meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month.
If you are interested in receiving the reading list and joining our group, please reach out to Flea Parker at (210) 861-6988 or Flea@golden2.net.
BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP BIBLE STUDY
Pastor Neff will renew his Biblical Leadership Bible Study meeting on the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 am. The theme of the six-month class is entitled “Rebuilding the Temple, Renewing the Church.” Each session will explore important aspects of leadership in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra and Nehemiah present the most detailed history of the exiles' return from Babylon and the initial steps in rebuilding the Second Temple. How did the leaders rebuild the temple? How did they reconstitute the religious leadership of society upon returning home? How can we participate in the renewal of the church and the rebuilding of society? The first class will be Saturday, January 15th, at 10:30 am.
All are welcome.
CORE for Men
The passion behind CORE is to create safe spaces where men have permission to be real. No matter what happened in your past, God cannot only restore you but also use your story for his glory. In this video Bible study, you will hear stories from some well-known men who have been broken, and experienced forgiveness and renewal.
You are invited to join other men as we create a safe space together, to show up just as you are without judgement, be open about our struggles, and find freedom to discover who God says you are.
Regardless of where you are at in your faith journey or stage of life, you are welcome to join us. We also encourage you to invite someone.
Who: Men of all ages
Location: Second Presbyterian Church Library
Length: 5 Weeks
Time: 8:30 am to 10 am
Dates: Saturday, January 29th, to Saturday, February 26th
Cost: $10 - Discussion Guide - Personal Study
Breakfast will be provided
Sign up / questions: Send email to email@example.com
MEMORY CARE CAFE, THURSDAY, JANUARY 13th, 3:00 PM
The South Loop Village Memory Care Cafe will meet on Thursday, January 13th, at 3:00 pm. The theme of this meeting is "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." This popular song by Nick Ashford is a story about overcoming obstacles, trials and tribulations to choose success. Janie Urbanic is the presenter. Learn the true meaning of this song!
All are welcome.
READING DANTE IN THE NEW YEAR
Members of the Old St. Mary's Church and Second Presbyterian Church book discussion group will read Dante Alighieri in January and February. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 9:30 am. We will read The Divine Comedy, translated by Dorothy Sayers, with a focus on Part III Paradisio. The discussion willl be led by Dr. Paula McQuade, associate professor of Renaissance Literature at DePaul University.
All are welcome.
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
Congratulations to Amazing Osazuwa, who won three debate prizes at Chicago Debates for Middle School students. Amazing won the Teamwork Award (with a friend), the Speaking Award and the Encouragement Award. Congratulations Amazing!
Congratulations to Tracy Maria Allen, who received the Lucille Byrnes Christian Educational Scholarship as she pursues her nursing degree.
1 - Davina Ochiabutor
6 - Clifford Crawford
13 - Dawn Chubb
13 - Paula Kelso
18 - Mary Moss
18 - Sabrina Boykins
21 - John Parr
23 - Marco Alberto
28 - Argie Johnson
Happy Birthday to all!
GOING OUT FOR COFFEE
The dead-of-winter months and the spreading Omicron variant together may make for isolation in the New Year, but we can all still get together by "Going out for Coffee" via Zoom. Grab your own cup of coffee and join your church friends on Wednesday, January 5th, at 9:00 am by clicking the Zoom link below. We will have fun sharing favorite holiday traditions or celebrations and a New Year's Resolution each.
Join Zoom Meeting Click Here.
SACRED PLACES AND SAFE SPACES CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
So far, we have total pledges of $386,000, of which $182,000 has already been received, for our Sacred Places and Safe Spaces Capital Campaign. We have received other donations totaling $361,000 which means we now qualify for the full $250,000 NFSP Grant.
The first payment for $125,000 of the NFSP Grant was received on August 26th. We also have
approval from the City of Chicago to receive a second grant of $250,000 from the City's Adopt-a-Landmark Program.
The Campaign has raised in grants, donations and pledges $1,103,000 to date. We need $197,000 more in additional gifts and pledges over the next two years to meet our full $1.3 million project cost.
December 27, 2021
Treasurer’s Report for Year to Date to November 30, 2021
In the year to October, we have generated an Operating DEFICIT of $3,534.94 including Loan Repayments of $13,821.18.
Total Operating revenue YTD to 30th Nov 2021
Total Expenses, including Loan installments
Overall Surplus YTD
Member Giving is $10,744.01 over plan, $1,500 of which is because some Members chose to make their contributions annually in advance. Non-member giving is $1,122.49 above plan. Building Use Revenue is at about 50% of plan. The shortfall is equally shared between Parking, Gym and Other Building Revenue. Weddings were at about 50% of plan.
Compensation is $28,000 below plan $18,000 of which relates to the resignation of our Pastoral Assistant and $9,900 less than plan being spent on Building Aides, with the building closed for large parts of 2021.
Facility Expenses are $20,700 better than plan. Utility Expense and Repairs have been lower than forecast.
HELP NEEDED WITH CHURCH RECYCLING PROGRAM
We are asking for volunteers to come pick up the items to be recycled on Sundays after the Church service, and bring them to the collection area located at 16th and Clark. Congregation members interested in volunteering for our recycling program should email Karen Ashley-Bowman at KABwords@gmail.com.
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.