The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - June 2019

Second Presbyterian Church - We are a diverse and inclusive community bringing people to Christ through the power of service, education, hospitality, and compassion.


This Church

We don’t pretend to understand the mystery

of what goes on in God’s Church.

We just know we feel a pervading spirit of love

that reaches into the niches of all of us

and pulls us out into the open,

free and alive and belonging.

We believe this spirit of love exists because

God’s spirit lives within this Church,

this unity of people trying

to be the Good News.

We see this Church as a circle of persons

holding hands . . . and dancing . . .

supporting each other, accepting each other,

loving each other.

Each person in this dancing circle

is facing outward . . . reaching into God’s world,

listening to the whimpering,

watching for the hurting,

willing to offer a cup of cold water

in His name.

Sometimes they need the water;

Sometimes you need the water;

Sometimes I need the water.

Being a part of the Church

means knowing that

the cup is always filled

In His name.

Ann Weems

Journeying toward Jerusalem


On Sunday, June 2nd, we remember the ascension of our Lord (Luke 24:44-53). Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers will preach. We will celebrate the 177th anniversary of Second Presbyterian Church. With the Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship, we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The first Sunday is also our monthly first-Sunday potluck. Bring a dish to share with members and friends.


The South Loop Farmers Market will begin on Thursday night June 6th and continue through September. From 4:00-8:00 p.m. a wide array of vendors will sell fresh bread, fruit, produce, ice cream, meats and cheeses. The popular Dixie Mudcats will play each week. Docents from Friends of Historic Second Church will be offering tours of the sanctuary. Barbara’s Basement Resale Shop will be open. Second Presbyterian Church will host a booth, sell root beer, flowers, dog treats and Amazing Grace cookies.


On June 9, we will remember the miracle of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-21) and the congregation will welcome Madison Vanderbilt as an active member in the church. Dr. Neff’s sermon is entitled “Building a Life of Faith”. Other young people will recommit to being full and active participants of the church. Please wear an item of red to signify your commitment to living in the Spirit! A special reception will be held after the service to welcome our new member.


Let every Christian pray, this day and every day,

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Was not the church we love commissioned from above?

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

The Spirit brought to birth the church of Christ on earth

To seek and save the lost:

God never has withdrawn, since that tremendous dawn,

The gifts at Pentecost.

Only the Spirit’s power can fit us for this hour:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Instruct, inspire, unite, and help us see Your light:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Fred Pratt Green


On Father’s Day, the Presbyterian Women celebrate the men of the Church. On this day, women will serve as ushers, greeters and liturgists. Women also host a special reception after the service in honor of the boys and men.

Thank you to all the Presbyterian Women who so joyfully serve!


Each year in June, we celebrate Baccalaureate Sunday, in which we honor all our graduates. If you have a son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter or member of your family that has graduated from 8th grade, 12th grade, college, graduate school or vocational/technical school, please contact the church office (312) 225-4951 with your graduate’s name and place of graduation. All graduates are asked to be present for the service as they will be recognized during worship. Congratulations to all graduates and their families!


Are you interested in joining Second Presbyterian Church? There is a two-week course for inquirers on Sunday, June 23 and 30 at 9:30 a.m. in the Pastor’s Study. Taught by Pastor Neff and Pastoral Assistant Deslauriers, the course will focus on Reformation theology, Presbyterian worship and polity and the history of Second Presbyterian Church. The class will also offer several opportunities to get involved in the work and ministry of Second Presbyterian Church. For more information, please contact Pastor Neff or Pastoral Assistant Deslauriers.

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The essence of last year’s Strategic Plan was to become a vital part of the community and to address barriers to growth. We are located in one of the fastest growing parts of the city. We have a reputation for being diverse, inclusive, passionate and engaging. While our Sanctuary brings a spiritual quality to the lives of all who enter, it is sometimes hard to “love” our infrastructure, our meeting spaces and just getting in to the building.

We have just learned that we are one of 33 congregations selected from among 220 applicants who will have the opportunity to compete to be one of 12 grantees for a grant from Fund for Sacred Places. Our application is for $250,000. We will have to match this over the next 2-1/2 years with a further $500,000+, but such an amount will be the financial platform from which to launch accessibility ramps, upgraded electricity, modernized HVAC on the third floor and a complete rethink of our offices, Fellowship Hall and meeting spaces. We can make our Parish House a space people will clamor to get into.

Please share this exciting news with your friends and neighbors.


The Session of Second Presbyterian Church adopted the Mission and Vision Statements below. As we move forward with our Strategic Plan and larger vision for the church, we hope that you will find both of these statements to be truly representative of who we are as a church and a community.

Mission Statement: We are a diverse and inclusive community bringing people to Christ through the power of service, education, hospitality, and compassion.

Vision Statement: 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 Tutoring Program has concluded a successful year of assisting students with homework. Approximately 25-30 students attended our Wednesday night program on a regular basis. Special thanks to Kids in the Kitchen, who provided nutritious snacks and education about healthy eating. The Approximately 20 Junior League tutors were directed by Kara Goodbrand, Jennie Oliver, Kristin Olson, Necia Williams and Maggie Brown. Tutors from Second Presbyterian included Ramon Smith, Annette Adams, Anne Calcagno, Erik Flom, Brian Reed and Helen Smith. Community tutors included Fran Horn, George Augustyn, Maryamma Smith and Officer Jamal Williams from the 3rd District. A special thank you to Denise Conway who served as building aide and program administrator!


Second Presbyterian Church will once again enter into partnership with Fourth Presbyterian Church to provide an urban ministry context for work with our children and youth. Each Wednesday afternoon, a different work group will provide gym activities, storytelling, bible discussion, arts and crafts and music for our children.

June 19 First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte NC

June 26 Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee, WI

July 10 First Presbyterian Church, Chalney, NY

July 24 Park Ridge United Methodist Church

July 31 Harbor View Presbyterian Church, Charleston SC

This program will be staffed by Pastor Neff and Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers.

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Pastor Neff will be taking two weeks of study leave from May 23rd to June 4th. He will be traveling to Cairo, Egypt. Part of his leave will be exploring the historic mosques and meeting with an Imam during the month of Ramadan. He will also visit the ancient Coptic churches in Cairo and meet with a professor of the Evangelical Protestant Seminary. A day trip will include visiting Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s monastery, the site of the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Mount of Transfiguration. Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers will be “on call” and serve as pulpit supply in his absence.

Thank You, Quartet Members!!

On Sunday, June 9th, the Second Presbyterian Church Quartet will sing their final songs for the season. We want to extend a HUGE thanks to Sherry Watkins, Marysa Abbas, Michael Patrick, and Vince Wallace for magnifying our worship services week after week with their introits, anthems, solos, and sung responses to prayer and the benediction. You will still be able to hear their beautiful voices throughout the summer. And thank you to Michael Shawgo for his hard work finding amazing music pieces that have amplified and supported our worship themes and Scriptures.


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/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.


The South Loop Village will begin hosting a monthly Memory Café starting August 8. The meetings will be held on the second Thursday of the month from 2:30 – 4 PM at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 60616

The South Loop Memory Café is a monthly social gathering for persons living with dementia and their care partners, Attendance is free. Registration is recommended. For questions or to register, please contact the South Loop Village

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Tai Chi is still going strong and meeting every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. All classes are $10 and it is open to anyone and everyone!


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.

We meet in the fellowship hall on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 9:30am or the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:00pm. Listed below are the dates and themes for the readings for Alpha to Omega Club for the first half of the year. We hope you will join us.

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On Friday, June 21st from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., we will be having our second Open Mic Night. We are asking for $5 donations at the door and we will have beer, soda, popcorn, and TONS of fun! All talents are welcome (singing, dancing, poetry, spoken word, comedy, etc.). For more information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers or Eric Annafi.


The 2019 calendar is now available for you to sign-up to host the next Coffee Hour! Do you want to celebrate a birthday or anniversary? Hosting a Coffee Hour is a GREAT way to do that! If you want to bring warm/hot items, we have chafing dishes with warmers below to keep that food at the desired temperature. Check out the sign-up board in Fellowship Hall to see all available dates!

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The Community Outreach Committee has been busy organizing activities and reaching out to the community.

  • The Spring Market was held in the parking lot May 18 where 16 vendors gathered to sell their wares. Second Church had a variety of both indoor and outdoor plants for sale, books, popcorn, honey, maple syrup and collectibles from Barbara’s Basement. Other vendors were selling pastries, cookies, coffee, lotions and soaps, pet supplies, vintage collectibles and information regarding college entrance exams. If you weren’t there, you missed a great event and the weather was beautiful!

  • The Sunday evening Community Table meal which began at Second Church in January has been a huge success They are taking a vacation for the summer, but will be back in the fall. If you haven’t experienced a Community Table meal, you must plan to attend as there is lots of energy, enthusiasm, music and excellent food.

  • The Lunch Bag Program has several new volunteers and includes volunteers not only from Second Church, but from Old St. Mary’s and the community. Our guests are enjoying meeting new faces as well as wonderful meals.

  • The seventh and eighth graders from Old St. Mary’s have come to Second Church the first Thursday of each month this school year to help pack lunches, sort clothing and books and participate in a Bible study with Pastor Neff. On May 10, they also organized a delicious meal (prepared by Firehouse Restaurant) which was served in our Fellowship Hall for people from the church and community. Western Springs Presbyterian Church has delivered 200 bag lunches containing non-perishable items for the Lunch Bag Program.

  • The Farmer’s Market begins June 6 and continues each Thursday through the end of September from 4:00-8:00 p.m. in the church parking lot. This is always a fun time with a variety of vendors, music and meeting and greeting people from the community. Volunteers are welcome!

  • Beginning Thursday, August 8, Second Church will begin hosting the South Loop Memory Café once a month. Second Church is partnering with the newly organized South Loop Village and UIC in this endeavor. The Memory Café is a program designed for people with memory issues and their caregivers. Volunteers are encouraged to participate.

  • The Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk is September 7 in Jackson Park and Second Church is planning to organize a team to participate in the Walk. If you are interested in joining in, please contact Vicki Reynolds (312-203-4933). The more walkers we have, the more credits we earn at the Chicago Food Depository to help sustain our Lunch Bag Program. Registration opens in June so please watch for announcements in the Sunday bulletin.


The Greater Chicago Food Depository reports that one in six Cook County residents — more than 812,000 people — is food insecure. These folks do not know where their next meal will come from, or when they will get it. We also live in a world of deep division where those who exclusively shop at Whole Food and those who can’t afford Aldi are not supposed to be in community together. We know that hunger and division are not what God dreams about. God dreams of a world where justice flows like a never ending stream, inclusion in the norm, and all people flourish.

Every Sunday at South Loop Community Table (SLCT), we try and create a small expression of this world God is inviting us to co-create. Hosted here at Second Pres and sponsored by two campus ministries -- Inclusive Collective (Presbyterian/Methodist) and South Loop Campus Ministry (Episcopalian/Lutheran) -- this ecumenical ministry gathers around 80 college students, members of local congregations and the community, and people experiencing homelessness and hunger around a common table for a shared meal. Our society says these people should not interact, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ says otherwise. We learn names, celebrate birthdays, engage in deep conversation, and even sing karaoke. Once a month, Chicago Street Med doctors help folks with their health issues, a barber provides fresh haircuts, and a lawyer gives legal advice. Each week, an organization called Humans for Hope brings clothes, toiletries, art supplies, books, other items for people experiencing homelessness. We are more than a simple soup kitchen; we are a community trying to care for one another. And since we started in January, we’ve served nearly 1,300 people; people who have shared a meal together.

Sponsored by two campus ministries, SLCT has also become a laboratory for young adults to practice leadership in volunteer management, community service, and public speaking. We are proud that many of these emerging leaders are people whom have traditionally been marginalized and kept out of church leadership. Here’s what two students have to say:

  • “I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life and I’d never seen any organization help the homeless beyond the occasional clothing drive and soup kitchens until I joined the South Loop Campus Ministry. SLCT is exactly what it says: it is a community table. It gives our homeless neighbors the chance to sit in a comfortable place for a good meal with music, conversation, and fun. It gives college students like me the chance to help the people that I walked past everyday. I can’t afford to feed everyone I see on the streets but SLCT give me the opportunity to do my part in helping them at least for a single night. I spend my weekdays in the South Loop for school and I spend my Sunday nights in the South Loop for SLCT.” —Raye, South Loop Campus Ministry

  • “As a student, my entire life has been centered around myself— my grades, my career. It’s difficult to find spaces in which to practice real servant leadership— an other-centered lifestyle. I don’t come to Second Pres on Sunday evenings to fulfill a requirement or boost a resume— I come because I want to support a community that serves each other the rare respite of mutual humanity. At Second Pres, we have built ourselves a little citadel in God’s Kingdom, and I feel so blessed to be welcomed through its gate. They have taught me God’s many faces reflected in our city, and continue to inspire my calling to do His work here in Chicago, my home.” —Caleb, the Inclusive Collective

We are grateful to you, Second Pres, for hosting us and showing us such grand hospitality. We are able to provide meals, inspire our students to be servant leaders, and create a healing community because of you. We take a break June-August, but we invite you to join us when we start again in September! There is always room for you at our table.

Rich Havard

Pastor and Executive Director

The Inclusive Collective | A Christian Movement


June 3: Recreation and Interest Ministries (RIM) 5pm in Fellowship Hall

June 3: Communications 6pm at Kroll’s South Loop

June 9: Facilities 9:30am in Fellowship Hall

June 9: Board of Deacons’ Meeting 12:30pm in the North Parlor

June 11: Community Outreach Meeting 2:45pm in Fellowship Hall

June 23: Hospitality Committee 9:30am in Fellowship Hall

June 23: Children and Young Adult Education 12:45pm in the North Parlor

June 30: Worship Committee meeting 12:45pm


On Wednesday, June 26, there will be a group leaving the church at 9:45am to go to the Block Museum in Evanston to view the exhibit “Caravans of Gold” then going over to the Baha’i Temple to view the inside and the gardens. Cost is $25. If you are interested, please see Cliff Crawford, Ann Belletire, Howard Tiffen, or Leslie Deslauriers. Space is limited so don’t think on it too long!


Adult Bible study is offered every Sunday morning from 9:30—10:30 a.m. with a curriculum and informal discussion. All are invited to attend!


The book of Acts will be our Bible study each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Taught by Dr. Joel Tolliver, we are going chapter by chapter in the book of Acts, studying insights for personal discipleship. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary. All are welcome.


Did you know Second Presbyterian Church has a Book Group? This group meets monthly on the 3rd Sunday in the 2nd Floor Office at 9:30am. The summer book schedule is as follows:

Sunday, June 16: Educated by Tara Westover

Sunday, July 21: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Sunday, August 18: Why Religion? A Personal Story by Elaine Pagels

All are welcome to come and participate in these amazing discussions.


Congratulations to Lovie Annafi who won fourth place in the triple-jump competition at the state meet. Her 4x1 relay came in 3rd in state Class 3A.

Ramon Smith stars in the play No Se Vende at the Aguijon Theater from May 17th—June 9th. The play is performed and supertitled in Espanol and English.

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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.

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Year to date on an Operating Basis, we have generated an Operating Deficit of $6,936.79 including PILP Loan Repayments of $6,820.95. This puts us about $8,500 behind Budget.

Please look at your giving to the church, bearing in mind all the wonderful things our church does for our community. The stock market has been very kind to our Endowment this year. Unrealized Gains in our portfolio are about $60,000 YTD. Of course, these gains are all on paper until we sell our investments.


One of the reasons we are behind plan is because of our snowy winter. We have a reliable snow clearing service. Each time we have more than two inches of snow, the service clears snow from the parking lot and the sidewalks around the church. We have already spent $4,000 more than budgeted for the full year.

Building rentals and Weddings are close to plan. Please promote rentals of the building and using the church for weddings among your friends, business associates and acquaintances.

We have done a lot of work on the building this year. Work on roof on the north and south sides of the building was finished in March. Masonry work was undertaken in May. This is part of our continuing programs to keep the building safe and sound. We will always have to budget funds to manage our nearly 145-year old building.

The funds due to us from the Adopt a Landmark grant have been deposited in escrow and should be paid to us in the next few weeks once documentation is complete. We will be using the proceeds to pay for the repairs recently completed and to make a significant repayment of our loan from PILP, taken to complete the bell-tower repairs in 2016. This will be very positive progress for us financially.


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.