The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - September 2020

Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.


This fall is unlike any other! So many questions, so much uncertainty? Will Chicago and Illinois be able to contain the Covid-19 virus? Will other states? Will the nations of our world? Will scientists find a vaccine that can be produced and administered to billions of people in time? Will our government take the steps necessary to correct racial injustice and systemic wrong? Will our elections process vote in leadership that will address our needs for the present, as well as our country's long term needs for the future?

After the Russian revolution and the advent of Communism, the Church experienced 70 years of persecution. Churches were shuttered and closed, monasteries and convents converted into bureaucratic offices, religious art and icons were destroyed, clergy and parishioners were arrested for meeting to worship and pray. The church adapted and found a way to survive and even thrive under harsh persecution.

The Church has always thrived in difficult times and places. That's what God's people do! We become creative and resilient. We find an alternative way to make things work. We are the Body of Christ. We are Christ's voice, Christ's hands and feet! We keep pushing forward in our mission. We reach out to others even while we shelter in place and stay home.

As our church opens its doors, I hope you will never take worship for granted. Worship is divinely ordained by God. During this time, people need worship even more, whether online or in person. As we continue as a church to be a people in mission, I hope you will redouble your efforts to continue witnessing your faith and being there for others. Our work goes on-- feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly, reaching out to the community, teaching children, providing care and counseling to all in need.

In this newsletter are many programs and opportunities for your spiritual uplift and renewal. Most of them are by Zoom or Conference Call. Please join us and say “yes!” to participation. You’ll be enriched and blessed, and others will be blessed because of your involvement.

The church is here for you. . . Jesus Christ is here for you. “ In the world you shall have tribulation. But take courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Reverend Dr. 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 sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated on Sunday, September 6. The Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship and Second Church will come together to celebrate the feast of Christian unity. The sermon by Dr. Neff will focus on “A Meal of Redemption” based on Exodus 12: 1-14, the story of the first Passover. All are welcome to the Lord’s Table. All are welcome to share in the communion elements at home.


We will open the church on Sunday, September 6th and renew in-person worship. The sanctuary will open at 10:30 a.m. Everyone in attendance must wear a mask, receive a temperature check, answer a few posted health questions and sign a contact tracing form. A package communion wafer and cup of juice will be picked up with a bulletin. Worshipers are invited to bring their cellphones and download the bulletin. Ushers will direct you to your pew, honoring strict social distancing. Other changes in worship include no singing, no passing of the peace and omission of responsive readings. Because we need to keep our sacred space safe, there will be no mingling before or after the service. With these guidelines, we invite you to join us for worship! Fully honoring these restrictions, we commit ourselves to God and commit ourselves to care for each other.


* Everyone must wear a mask

* Temperature check at the doorway

* Hand washing and sanitizer

* Sign-in for contact tracing (online registration available at church website)

* Ushers will seat individuals and families for social distancing

* No Greeting or Passing of the Peace

* Hymnals and Pew Bibles will be removed

* No Congregational Singing (silent recitation only)

* No Mingling before the Service

* No Coffee Hour

* No Mingling after the Service

* Sanitizing the Sanctuary afterwards

* Sanctuary opens at 10:30 a.m.

If you have been sick or under the weather the previous two weeks, or are feeling a fever or have traveled recently from a quarantine state, remember to stay home and take care of yourself. Protect others by taking care of yourself!

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During this time of pandemic and social distancing, members and friends of the church are asked to compose prayers for the people of God. Please send your prayer compositions. We will publish them as they become available. You may also submit your prayer requests by completing this form


Covid-19 has affected each of us in different ways. If you would like to share your experiences, pray with others who are suffering, or mourn the loss of a loved one, a friend, a job, or our world please join us each 2nd Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m. There will be an opening and closing prayer but otherwise will be an open dialogue for anyone who would like to join us. Pastoral Assistant Leslie will be facilitating the support group and you can email her at if you have any questions.

To join the group, please click this link Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 836 2975 1318
Password: 673212

Or you can call in on your phone!

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,83629751318#,,1#,673212# US (Chicago)


The Adult Bible Class meets via conference call each Sunday morning from 9:30—10:30 a.m. to study the Bible the and explore its relevance to our lives and our world. The class focuses on a different bible passage each week. In September, the theme is “Struggles with Love”. Passages include

September 6 - Issues of Love - Genesis 37

September 13 - God Rewards Obedience - Genesis 41

September 20 - Love Versus Guilt - Genesis 42

September 27 - God's Plan Revealed - Genesis 45

The curriculum will be e-mailed to you. All are welcome. Please call in (312) 248-0036 at 9:30 a.m.


Dr. Joel Tolliver continues to lead a bible study on Second Corinthians..We proceed chapter by chapter as we continue through the early history of the church in Corinth. The call-in phone number is (312) 248-0036. Join us each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for an inspiring and contemporary bible study!


Old St. Mary's Catholic Church and Second Presbyterian meet monthly to share in a spirituality book discussion group. The first meeting is Tuesday, September 15 at 9:30 a.m. We will discuss Job and the Mystery of Suffering by Richard Rohr. On October 20, we will meet to discuss Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, works with prisoners on death row to overturn wrongful convictions. The group is led by Father Brad Schoeberle and Pastor David Neff. All are welcome to join us.

Topic: Spirituality Book Discussion Group

Time: Sep 15, 2020 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 527 029 8656

Passcode: 865126

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,5270298656#,,,,,,0#,,865126# US (Chicago)

+13017158592,,5270298656#,,,,,,0#,,865126# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 527 029 8656

Passcode: 865126

Find your local number:


The discussion group meets the second and fourth Thursdays. The conference call phone number is (312) 248-0036. No PIN is required. For more information, please contact Flea Parker at flea@golden2net or (210) 861-6988,


Second Book Group will be meeting on September 20th at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. The book will be The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. All are welcome to participate!

Upcoming books are:

King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild October 18th

To join in on the meeting, you can use your computer (as long as it has a microphone and camera) or your telephone. Simply follow these instructions:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 166 736 982
Password: 151691

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,166736982# US (Chicago)

If you would like to make a book group suggestion, please see Howard Tiffen, Ann Belletire or Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers.


Join us on Friday, September 25th at 6:30 p.m. for the Second Movie Group. We will be discussing the movie American Factory available on streaming services. All are welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 3025 7932
Password: 602018
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,87830257932#,,1#,602018# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,87830257932#,,1#,602018# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 878 3025 7932
Password: 602018
Find your local number:

Thank you to gardeners Amy Haack, Karen Dalal and Darnell Grayson for weeding and beautifying the Garden of Angels.


We are pleased to have a seminarian for the 2020-2021 school year. Brian Louis is a middler at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Originally from Wisconsin, Brian received his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota. He has worked for thirty years as a journalist, most recently for MT Newswires and Bloomberg News. A member at Fourth Presbyterian Church, he recently became an inquirer for ministry with the Presbytery of Chicago. Brian's duties will include worship leadership, committee work, church school teaching and learning pastoral administration.

Please welcome Brian!


The Session is requesting five people to serve as a support team to Seminarian Brian Louis. The committee will meet once a month with Brian (probably through Zoom) from September through May. Members will get to know him, providing friendship and feedback, affirming his gifts and call to ministry.

If you would like to serve in this nine-month commitment, please contact Clerk of Session Darlene Pollard or Pastor Neff.


The 2020 Nominating Committee will begin meeting in September. It's task is to present a slate of Elders and Deacons for the coming years. It also submits names for the 2020 Nominating Committee to be voted on at the Congregational Meeting in November. Please keep the members of our Nominating Committee in your prayers!

Members are:

Elders: Darlene Pollard and Eric Annafi

Deacon: Mary Tibbs

Congregation: Ann Belletire, Michael Brown, Tracy Cargo, Lee Jenkins, Chioma Ochiabutor

National Fund for Sacred Places $250,000 Grant…One Million Dollars in Projects

Last October we learned that we were one of 10 congregations nationwide selected from over 200 applicants to receive a Grant of $250,000 from the National Find for Sacred Places (NFFSP). Since last Fall, the Development Committee and others from the Facilities Committee and Friends under the leadership of Mike Belletire have been hard at work refining the scope of the project and working with our architect Chris Lee of Johnson & Lee to define our project scope and develop design ideas.

Our application envisaged

· Modernizing our electrical system, increasing our capacity and rewiring what remains of the installation form 1901!

· Providing reliable heating and ventilation to the gym and boutique room

· Provide permanent handicap accessible entrance to the building.

· Rebuilding the Cullerton lobby and restrooms and installing new venting

· Making the office spaces on the south side of the building on the first, second and third floors more useable for a variety of church and rental functions

· New windows, lighting, flooring and ceiling in Fellowship Hall

· Provide additional washroom facilities

· Redecorate Fellowship Hall, North Parlor, School Rooms and Library

The goal of all of these enterprises is to make our building safe, increase its utility, facilitate more educational opportunities and add to our rental income potential. How can Second use its strategic location to become an even more vital community asset?

There are additional projects which we will have to consider in the next phase of what will probably become a Ten Year Plan.

The next phase in our program is to undertake a Feasibility Study to see from where we would raise the additional $750,000 we need to complete these projects. Session has asked Partners for Sacred places to conduct this study for us. To do this, they plan to interview members of our current and past leadership, community members, political leaders and friends. .They will then provide us with a log defining where, when and how we will approach our Capital Campaign.

The following is a letter f form Partners talking about their plan.

If they ask to speak to you, please give them your time and participate in this important project.

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HUNGER IS EVERYWHERE! So is the 2020 Chicago CROP Hunger Walk

In order to keep everyone healthy this year, the CROP Hunger Walk is going virtual. Walk wherever you are: Pick a date before October 18 get your steps by walking at home on your treadmill or walk alone, with immediate family or in small groups--walking a safe distance apart.

This year, the need is greater than ever. Due to COVID-19, nearly 50 million people in America are hungry including 18 million children. One out of every seven people in the world suffer from hunger.

The Lunch Bag Program at Second Presbyterian is a recipient of CROP Hunger Walk funds again this year so please support this important event to draw awareness to hunger and work to alleviate it.

Watch for more information in the bulletin and on the church website regarding the virtual CROP Hunger Walk in the coming weeks

Virtual Classes and Discussions and Live Streaming Services

Since the Covid outbreak reached pandemic proportions in March, we have been live streaming our services and offering Zoom and Conference Call facilities for education classes, meetings of Deacons, Session, and Coffee meetings on first Sundays.

For live streaming, initially we were blessed to be able to tap into Adam Deslauriers' (THANK YOU AGAIN ADAM) expertise and creativity to be able to broadcast our services. Session then approved an investment in a two camera system which will enable us to broadcast clearly the spoken word from the pulpit while watching clear images of our Quartet and the church interior. We plan to continue to live stream after the congregation returns to the pews. We have found that among the thousands watching our services live or on YouTube, we have had an audience across the United States and as far away as Africa and Europe!

We continue to work with the engineers to produce the best quality Sanctuary sound we can. We know we still have some challenges. Please be patient while we fine tune the equipment and install the second camera.

Meanwhile, the Zoom, Conference call and Audio Visual installation have cost us nearly $13,000. As a result of our appeal to date, we have raised about 30% of this amount.



The workers in Barbara's Basement have been preparing for fall with seasonal decor reflecting the colors of autumn. Pumpkins, lanterns, mirrors, paintings, wall hangings and small houseplants. They also offer an elegant display of fine jewelry. The shop includes fine glassware, kitchen items and table settings. All proceeds go to underwrite the mission and ministry of Second Presbyterian Church.

The shop is open Tuesdays 10:00 a.m.-- 1:00 p.m. and Thursdays during the Farmers' Market 3:30--8:00 p.m.

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Friends of Historic Second Church has three fall programs for all to enjoy. You may register online by clicking below for any/all of these programs.

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Marktown Walking Tour - The Architecture of Howard Van Doren Shaw
Saturday, September 5, 2020
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Architect, Nate Lielasus will lead the tour of the community of Marktown, a former industrial town designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1917 to house workers of the Indiana Harbor Works of the Mark Manufacturing Company. Marktown represents a rare example of town planning by Shaw. The tour will focus on the history of the community; the original, only partially realized master plan; building typologies; and repeated design elements throughout the community. With several of Marktown's buildings already demolished, and the increasing threat of demolition of additional structures by the BP Whiting Refinery, this is a valuable opportunity to see one of Shaw's most significant late-career projects.

Meeting place to be determined. An email will be sent to attendees with information before the event.

$20 general admission/ $18 members

On the Way to Suffrage: Chicago Women and Politics, 1865 – 1920

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

How did Chicago women win suffrage for themselves and other women? Who were these politicians and activists, and what did they accomplish on the long path toward suffrage from the years after the Civil War until passage of the Nineteenth Amendment?

Join us for this very special online presentation in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, co-sponsored by Glessner House, the League of Women Voters of Illinois, and Friends of Historic Second Church.

Our speaker will be Rachel Bohlmann, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, American History and American Studies Librarian, and Gender Studies Librarian at the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. She previously served as Director of Public Programs at the Newberry Library.

This program is generously funded by a grant from Wintrust. The program is free of charge but advanced registration is required.

Shaw in Hyde Park - an Architectural Walking Tour

Saturday, September 19, 2020
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

The prolific and talented Howard Van Doren Shaw designed more than 20 houses in the Hyde Park neighborhood, as well as a church and a club house. The buildings span his full career from the 1890s through the 1920s and display the variety of styles in which Shaw was proficient. This walking tour, led by architect, Nate Lielasus will go past many of the surviving houses, with attendees learning about both the architecture and design and the families for whom they were built.

Meeting location to be determined. An email will be sent to attendees with information before the event.

$20 general admission/ $18 members

Alice Paul: a Suffragist and the Women's Vote

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Actress and Scholar Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., performs in this living history portrayal of suffragist Alice Paul. Paul was one of the most enigmatic leaders in the fight to win votes for women. She arranged parades, organized the first picketing demonstrations outside the White House, lobbied politicians, and endured imprisonment for women’s suffrage. She inspires us still in the struggle for equal rights.

This event will be online. Before the event, an email will be sent to attendees with details on how to login into Zoom or another online platform.

General admission $10/Member $8

Glessner House and Friends of Historic Second Church are partnering for this event.

This program is generously partially-funded by a grant from Wintrust.



Supporting our church’s mission, especially through these trying times is as easy as 1-2-3 With GivePlus Mobile. Our congregation can express it’s generosity in the moment — right from the palm of your hand. Even though we are unable to gather on Sunday's, your giving helps support our efforts in the community and mission of our 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 zipcode 60616 and select Second Presbyterian Church

3. Give!

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

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How many churches realize that community is one of the greatest gifts the church has to offer. We offer a new fellowship, a new brotherhood, a new sisterhood, a new way of belonging. We offer friendship, prayer, peace, love, fidelity, affection, ministry with those in need-- these offerings create and sustain lasting relationships. Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive-- not for ourselves, but for one another.

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey


The Second Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program will offer a dual program this fall. A limited number of students will be able to come to the church with masks, temperature checks, hand washing and strict social distancing. Other students will be tutored online on a shared platform (developed by National Teachers Academy). Tutoring will occur every Wednesday night from 6:00—7:30 p.m. Tutoring is free and open to all students in grades 2-8. Led by women of the Junior League, assisted by members of the South Loop community, all students are- welcome. A registration form is required. Please see our church website (online) or call the church office to register your child.

If you would like to volunteer for online tutoring or in-person tutoring, please call the church office (312) 225-4951 or contact Pastor Neff.

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The South Loop Farmers’ Market has begun. Go online to, register your name and address, then pick out your items to order for the virtual market. Your purchases can be picked up in the north parking lot on Thursday from 2:00—6:00 p.m. The regular Farmers’ Market has also begun! Face masks are required; strict social distancing will be observed.


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.