The Record

Second Presbyterian Church Newsletter - November 2021

Diverse ✶ Inclusive ✶ COMMUNITY ✶ Engaging ✶ Passionate


With the solstice comes the blustery north wind, the swirling of leaves, the settling in of chill and cold. As geese fly south, we get out our warm clothing, put plastic around the windows and test the fireplace. Another season has come upon us and with it, an appreciation of time.

November is my favorite month. It is a season of gifts. Before all the consumer hype of the holiday shopping season, November offers us a month to contemplate all we have been given. We are gifted with time in the calendar to pause and recollect the many blessings in our lives. We are given days to reflect upon where we have been in the past years, and think about where we are in the present moment. For many whose lives are a whirlwind of daily duties and non-stop demands, even one hour set aside to be still can make a real difference.

Local author Barbara Mahany has written a book entitled Slowing Time. She has 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 springtime, summer, autumn and winter. Through the rituals of family time enacted within the larger rhythms of the seasons, she grows to rejoice, celebrate and exult in each and every moment. This exulting and celebration “is the very act which makes us human.

This is the quintessential attitude of both spirituality and religion: to cherish each material blessing of life; to be fully alive and experience all the senses; to be appreciative of each person and grateful for 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 and gracious gifts, we become more aware of the Spirit, the source of all that makes us fully alive. We become more open to sharing more and more of ourselves, so that we pass our many blessings on in that same spirit of generosity.

Our days on this planet are numbered. May November become a season of cherishing the gifts you have been given, a holy season of slowing down time, to give thanks for the joy of being alive, and give praise for the miracles you experience every day. God's love is at the center of every gift. This is a time to rejoice.

In the Spirit,

David Neff



The Session is continuing worship with singing during this time of uncertainty, and the transmission of Covid-19 and its variants. We urge 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 worship at home through online participation in our service. Help us as we seek to keep our sacred place a safe space.

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Confirmation class begins on Sunday morning, November 7th, at 9:30 am. Taught by Elder Eugene Leonard, the class will meet two Sunday mornings each month. The class will include biblical foundations, exploration of one's personal faith journey, development of spiritual practices, and a growing understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Students will serve the church in a variety of ways, including as liturgists. The class will continue through early June when the confirmation students will be received as active members of the church. For more information or questions, please contact Eugene Leonard at or call (773) 990-0058.


On Sunday, November 7th, we celebrate the saints in heaven and the saints on earth. We remember those who have died in the past year and now rest from their labors, and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper will be celebrated. For those watching online, please have bread and wine (or grape juice) on hand to join in our communion.

On Sunday, November 7th, we will also dedicate our pledges. Members and friends are asked to pledge both financial gifts, and gifts of talent, service and time, to support the ministry and mission of the Church. Please give prayerfully and generously.


Daylight saving time ends early Sunday morning, November 7th, at 2:00 am.. Remember to set your clocks back one hour!


On Christ the King Sunday, November 21st, the last Sunday of the Church calendar year, seminarian Brian Louis will preach. His sermon will be on Psalm 132 and John 18:33-37.

How did King David use his power to reign Israel with justice and love?

How does God give us power to act responsibility for others?

On this Sunday, we will also recognize our Lunch Bag volunteers for their incredible ministry.

Please join us as we give thanks on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.


The following Lunch Bag Program volunteers will be recognized during the worship service on Sunday, November 21st. The volunteers prepare lunches, consisting of a sandwich, fruit, snack, water and a sweet treat, Tuesday through Friday. Approximately 100 guests are welcomed each week with friendly smiles and enthusiastic conversation. During this season of thanksgiving, we are grateful for the dedicated commitment of these volunteers:

Christine Arden 👍 Baylee Moss

Carol Bailey 👍 Julie Pfeiffer

Rowena Balogun 👍 Darlene Pollard

May Barakat 👍 Barb Psimoulis

Genevieve Bernard 👍 Gus Psimoulis

Colin Brandt 👍 Sam Psimoulis

Sylvia Bridges 👍 Vicki Reynolds

Michael Brown 👍 Danielle Scruggs

Barbara Floyd 👍 David Vallejo

Amy Haack 👍 Beth Vogel

Lisa Henry-Reid 👍 Gray Williams

Eileen Holloway 👍 Rain Williams

Stephenie Lazarus 👍Christine Leonard

Rachael Lowe 👍


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Liam's Table is in its 9th year. On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, guests will receive two full bags of groceries. Because of Covid, no hot meals will be served..

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


The Tutoring Program began on Wednesday night, September 15th.

All tutors, from the Junior League of Chicago and the community, are required to show proof of vaccination, take a temperature check, wear a mask and keep a 3-foot distance from the students. Students also must be fully masked and sit 3-feet away from other students and tutors. For safety and distance, a limit of 15 students per session is enforced.

Students receive help with homework and complete grade-appropriate worksheets in a structured atmosphere of fun and caring. Students include Al'nira Emery, Al'mira Emery, Hope Anderson, Anijah Emery, Laila Townsend, Anivah Emery, Devonte McNulty, Ayannah Mims, Kenyon Harris, Shadell Holbrook, Cruz Conzalez, Christopher Gontish, Deziyah Banks, Giselle Cavin and Mario Maxie.


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. All are welcome. The call-in number is (312) 248-0036.


Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver teaches a Bible Study class every Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 pm. Please join for an hour of stimulating bible study and discussion.

The conference call in number is (312) 248-0036



The Alpha to Omega Discussion group is now studying the New Testament. Meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 6 pm. We are covering the book of John. Participants will be on a conference call; no computer is necessary. The call-in number is: (312) 248-0036 (No pin is required). For more information contact Flea Parker at or call her at (210) 861-6988.

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Our Sing-Along Messiah will be held on Sunday, December 12th, at 3:30 pm. We continue this annual tradition and give our neighbors a musical event to remember! This year's conductor is Tony Krempa. The 18-member South Loop Orchestra will accompany the chorus, backed by organist Michael Shawgo. Soloists include Sherry Watkins, Corinne Hale-Wallace, John Concepcion and Ron Watkins. A festive reception will be held after the concert.

We need your help! Stacks of Messiah flyers are in the narthex. Could you post a Messiah flyer in your building or invite someone you know to join us? For more information, or additional flyers, contact the Church Offices at (312) 225-4951.

All visitors 12 and up will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they are able to attend this event.

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Second Presbyterian Church will be hosting its annual winter coat drive beginning Sunday, November 21st. Please donate new or gently used winter coats, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks. Winter outer wear items can be dropped off in the North Parlor.


The Congregational Meeting will be Sunday, November 28th, at 1:00 pm. The meeting will be conducted via Zoom. The Zoom link and phone call-in number will be provided so that all can fully participate. Business items to be discussed include:

Report of the Nominating Committee

Report of the Capital Campaign Development Committee

Changes in Pastoral Compensation

Presentation of the 2022 Budget

Any Trustee Items to Come Before the Corporation

Please join us for this important meeting! A notice about the meeting and letter with the information will go out two weeks prior.


The theme of the November Memory Café is Giving Thanks. The program will consist of music, movement, craft activities, a Thanksgiving-based quiz, fellowship and snacks. The date is Thursday, November 11th, at 3:00 pm. All are welcome.

If you need additional information, contact the or (312) 225-4406.


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Our next book for discussion is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. The story is set in 1955 India. We will meet via Zoom on Sunday, November 21st, at 9:30 am.

If you would like to join this lively book group, please email Ann Belletire with your email and she will add you to the list of readers that receive updates and Zoom links.


Thanks to William Tyre and Michael Shawgo for an excellent presentation of “The Great Chicago Fire in Music and Story!”

Congratulations to Alison Rowan and Logan Miller, who were recently married by Pastor Neff in the sanctuary!

Thank you to our gardeners, Amy Haack, Karen Dalal, and Howard Tiffen, for beautifying the Michigan and Cullerton Avenue flower beds and pots! Thank you for your artistry as well as your hard work!

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1 - Barbara Smith-Avery

1 - Geraldine Jackson

4 - Osaretin Osamwanze

5 - Bianca Reeder

6 - Michael Allen

7- Yolanda Streeter

11- Adesowa Osamwanze

14- Sharon Tolliver

21- Vera Dix

22 - Tru Annafi

28- Amazing Osazuwa

Happy Birthday to all!!


Despite our congregation not having fully returned to in-person worship, there is a continued need for members to help with our recycling program.

We are asking for volunteers to come and pick up the items to be recycled on Sundays after the Church service. These items are then taken to the collection area located at 16th and Clark. Congregation members interested in volunteering for the recycling program should email Karen Ashley-Bowman at

Thank you!



Supporting our Church Missions is as easy as 1-2-3 With GivePlus Mobile. You can express your generosity in the moment, right from the palm of your hand.

Your giving helps support our efforts in the community and all the Mission of the Church. Please try our new app and let us know how your experience was!

1. Download the app GivePlus Church through the App Store and Google Play. Search for “GivePlus Church” to download the app, then be sure to allow access to location services if you’d like to use the app’s Find Churches Near Me feature.

2. Find our Church. Search under zip code 60616 and select Second Presbyterian Church

3. Give!

GivePlus Mobile supports donations via all major debit and credit, as well as ACH donations.

Thank you very much for your time and donation.

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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.