The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - June 2020

Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.


The Aspen Group has formulated a new program in its work with congregations. Called ReLaunching Church, the program is not about the nuts and bolts of running church. It is more about re-thinking the whole concept of church. With widespread changes in society these past few months, we anticipate even more changes to come. How should churches respond? What should c do to anticipate the changes and be at the forefront in managing change? How should we equip ourselves so that our ministries will reach the most people?

How should we re-envision church

Under Governor Pritzker’s plan, we know that the church will be reopened gradually, as certain benchmarks of medical conditions and public health are achieved. When it is safe to meet, we probably will be limited to 50 in attendance. Despite our cavernous sanctuary, many changes in our Sunday morning worship services will be practically necessary. Should we have two services? Should we omit hymnals? What about Church School for our children? Coffee Hour and fellowship after the service? There are many decisions to make as we slowly move through the process toward re-opening the church.

The larger questions hold as much substance as the practical question.

How will COVID-19 change our culture?

How do we get our message out to those who are unable—or won’t attend-- our church services?

How do we interface with each other—in new ways-- on Sunday mornings and throughout the week?

How do we involve more volunteers and give them opportunities for leadership and service?

How do we open our building up to the community in order to achieve our mission of becoming a community church?

I am thankful for our Elders who are thinking creatively and thoughtfully about these questions. Our Elders would do anything to help the church grow! Our elders are faithfully seeking answers and praying through practical solutions that involve the physical and spiritual health of everyone; as well as position our church for the future.

I am also thankful for our Deacons who are faithfully making phone calls and reaching out to members and friends. Through their calls and cards and caring, they are fulfilling Christ’s call to love others as Christ has loved us!

Thanks especially to all members and friends of the church who extend the love of God to others in myriad ways. You are making a real difference in the lives of others!

Please continue to submit your prayers—either online—or through calling the church office (312) 225-4951. Please continue to keep our elders and deacons and church staff in your prayers, that our decisions and actions may be faithful to God during these intense times.

This is a time to articulate new hopes and dream new dreams, believing that God will give us the vision we seek. In these uncertain times, we are learning to walk by faith and not by sight; trusting in the Lord.


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.


On Sunday, June 1st, 1842, the Second Presbyterian Church was organized and chartered, observing its the first worship. Twenty-six members transferred their membership from First Presbyterian Church to begin Second Church. In September, the church dedicated its first building—a wood frame meeting house at the corner of Randolph and Clark. Happy178th anniversary to Second Presbyterian Church!


The Ghanaian Presbyterian Church and Second Church meet virtually to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. The service is streamed online at beginning at 10:55 a.m. All are welcome to have bread and wine (or grape juice) on hand and join us for this holy meal of Christian unity.


On Sunday, June 21st, we will celebrate the Gifts of Men Sunday. We will honor all boys and men during this special Father’s Day celebration. Student Pastor Kjirstin Almos will preach. Happy Father’s Day to all who are celebrating!


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. Congratulations to all our graduates and families!

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The Second Church Quartet will continue singing through the summer months! Sherry Watkins, Sadie Cheslak, Steven Michael Patrick and Vince Wallace will continue to offer their inspired music ministry of worship leadership and artistry. Thanks also to music director Michael Shawgo for his dynamic contributions each Sunday!

A special thank you to all who provide flowers for the sanctuary! Recent donations of flowers have been beautiful and contribute to the aesthetics of worship each Sunday. If you would like to order flowers for Sunday morning, please contact Barbara Floyd. Two full bouquets cost approximately $50. Thank you for providing beauty for all our online worshipers!

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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


The 224th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will meet virtually on June 19, 26 and 27. You can watch the debates and motions of the General Assembly livestream on Facebook or follow the Assembly at A summary of actions taken will be shared in the weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. Please keep our elected commissioners in your prayers!


Marian Liataud and Pastor Neff invite you to join Zoom for a Circle of Prayer at noon each Thursday. The format will include a time of prayer for all who need prayer, asking God to hold and bless every situation. “Prayer holds the key to heaven” (James Weldon Johnson).

Thursday Circle of Prayer 12:00 p.m.

Meeting ID is 166 736 982

Password: 151691


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 Sunday 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 church needs your gifts more than ever in this difficult time! Please keep current in your pledge and consider increasing your gift. Send in your checks or go online and complete the online donation form. Your regular and one-time offerings are needed! As you call to mind God’s generosity and goodness, please respond by giving faithfully and cheerfully!

The Session




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 does theology respond to crises of civilization? How does the church respond to the injustices of society? Pastor Neff and Student Pastor Almos will teach a weekly Zoom course during June and July. The course will be for one hour each Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. We will study the book Quest for the Living God. written by Catholic theologian Elizabeth A, Johnson. Each chapter comments on the major Catholic and Protestant theological movements of the 21st Century. A weekly study guide will be offered. Topics are:

June 10 ~ How Do We Do Theology?

June 17 ~ Response to Science and Secularism: Theology of Mystery

June 24 ~ Response to the Holocaust: Theologies of Suffering and Hope

July 1 ~ Response to Extreme Poverty and Privilege: Liberation Theology

July 8 ~ Response to Racism: Black Theology and Black Power

July 15 ~ Response to Sexism: God Acting Womanish

July 22 ~ Doing Theology Latinamente

July 29 ~ Response to Environmental Exploitation and Abuse: Eco-theology and Eco-justice

August 5 ~ Response to Pluralism: Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue

Whether you read the book or not, please join us. All are welcome. The Zoom link will be publicized.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 883 6562 0431

Password: 141973

One tap mobile

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)


Adult Bible study is offered every Sunday morning from 9:30—10:30 a.m. with the Present Word curriculum and informal discussion. The Bible Study conference call number is (631) 270-1376 and the ID number is 7582750. You can simply call in on your phone to be part of the discussion.

All are welcome!


First Corinthians is being studied each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Taught by the Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver, we are going chapter by chapter in Paul’s Letter to the people of Corinth, studying insights for personal discipleship. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary. The number to call in is (631) 270-1376 and the ID number is 7582750. Just call in on your phone to participate. 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 Psalms but you can join anytime. Each discussion takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. If you would like to participate, please contact Flea Parker at


Second Book Group will be meeting on June 21st at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. The book will be The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

Upcoming books are:

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon July 19th

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich August 16th

King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild September 20th

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.


The OSM/ Second Presbyterian Church book discussion group will meet on Tuesday June 16th to discuss the book The Shattered Lantern by Ronald Rohlheiser. Each group will convene at 9:30 a.m. For more information, please contact the church office.


The Lunch Bag Program of Second Presbyterian Church received a $1500 COVID-19 Food Assistance Grant from the Greater Chicagoland Food Depository.

Special written commendations were given by the Session to Marco Alberto, for major repairs performed at the church physical plant; and for Adam Deslauriers, for recording each Sunday’s worship services and posting them online.


Second Presbyterian Church has a wonderful tradition of beautiful flowers adorning our altar for Sunday worship. The flowers will be displayed during our streaming service on Sundays. Make a donation in memory of a deceased loved on or in thanks for an anniversary, birth, etc. Donations can be mailed or contributed online. Please contact Barbara Floyd or the church office if you're interested in donating.

Thank you!


Even with Covid 19, but with the support of the government through the Cares Act and the Payroll Protection Program, our dedicated staff and a bevy of volunteers, we have been able to keep the building open for essential services AND keep our permanent staff, musicians and building aides employed.

Marco has been able to maintain the cleanliness of the church and we have continued with the Lunch Bag Program and South Loop Community Table on a Grab n Go basis since the stay at home orders were introduced in mid-March.

In addition to his routine duties, Marco has been able to use his time at the church to undertake a MAJOR clear out of several parts of the building. His room has been transformed; the North East Room in the balcony has also been re-habbed and will become clean and safe storage for Friends of Historic Second Church and a tidy, organized home for our Christmas decorations; the basement has been cleared out, (BUT we seem to be missing about 50 folding metal chairs…does anyone know where they have gone?); the south storage area is clean and tidy and we now have lighting and interim flooring in the HUGE space under the Sanctuary which we can also use for “deep” storage.


We have well over 1,000 views of our YouTube Channel and regularly see 70 participants in our live-streamed service. We have begun to investigate a permanent camera and sound installation which will permit livestreaming of all our events and worship services as a constant part of the way we allow congregants to participate in the life of the church.

Meanwhile we are SO grateful to Adam Deslauriers for his ingenuity and willingness to operate every Sunday our live stream, camera and sound as we have combatted the issues raised by the stay at home orders.

Re-Habbed North East Room in Balcony

North East Room in Balcony


The South Loop Village continues to host its monthly Memory Café on Thursday, June 11th via Zoom. Piano music will be performed by recording artist Keith Weber. Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. All are welcome. 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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The South Loop Farmers’ Market has begun its virtual market. Go online to, register your name and address, then pick out your items to order. Your purchases can be picked up in the north parking lot on Thursday from 2:00—6:00 p.m. The regular Farmers’ Market will begin on June 11th. Facemasks are required; strict social distancing will be observed.

Updates from the RIM (Recreation and Interest Ministries) Committee

1. The RIM committee is in the process of developing a group trip to explore the Civil Rights Monuments and Museums in the Montgomery and Selma, Alabama areas. We are excited to share the following information with you in the hopes that you will wish to participate. Based on current health circumstances we cannot set a specific time yet but we are looking at late Fall 2020 or Spring/Fall 2021. Please express your interest in the Civil Rights Trip to the RIM Committee by emailing to We will keep you updated as further information can be developed.

WHAT: 2nd Presbyterian Civil Rights Trip

Fly to Birmingham, Alabama.
Travel by CHARTERED BUS to Montgomery & Selma.
Visit the Peace & Justice Museum, Dexter Baptist Church, Selma bridge and other museums & highlights as time allows.
Led by a Civil Rights expert.

WHO: 20-30 2nd Presbyterian congregants (and friends as space allows)

WHEN: 4 days & 3 nights, Fall or Spring as circumstances allow

WHERE: Hotel in downtown Montgomery AL

COST: Estimated $800 - $1,000 including flight.

2. RIM has also tentatively scheduled a bus/van trip on Saturday, July 25 to visit the Holocaust Museum in Skokie before the special exhibit on Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves on August 16. This trip will cost $35 per person and includes van rental and box lunch at the museum. Currently the museum is closed. We will update you when we can develop more solid information.


For the year to April 30, 2020 on an Operating Basis, we have generated a Deficit of $1,336.22, including PILP Loan Repayments of $4,329.44. This compares to a forecast Budget Deficit YTD of $10,676.84. YTD does include building usage income from Friends of Historic Second Church and Historymakers and some member contributions for the full year.

Total Operating Income YTD to April 30 2020


Total Expenses, including Loan installments


Overall Deficit YTD


Offerings are about $4,500 over budget, but this is more than accounted for by some members fulfilling their full year commitment in January. Bearing this in mind, Member Giving is roughly on plan and Non-

The Covid-19 crisis has affected us in several ways. Weekly giving is down and building usage is minimal. Easter is typically one of the largest dates for giving. If the church is closed for 8 Sundays including Easter, we are likely to lose $20-25,000 in revenue.

On a positive note, we have asked for and been granted a moratorium on Principal payments on our PILP loan for two months. This is protecting cash by just over $1,000 for May and June 2020.

We have received through Wintrust a forgivable loan under the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program of $37,910. Provided we continue to employ 14 people until the end of June,(which is highly likely) this loan will be forgiven. It will become a grant. As a result, even with the impact of Covid 19, our projected deficit should not increase materially.

May 25, 2020


Please join us the first Sunday of each month for Zoom Coffee Hour! You can come say "hi" to all of your church family by clicking this link immediately after worship. Your bulletin each month will also have the link.

We will be continuing this virtual Coffee Hour until we are able to worship together again.


Our committees are still working and meeting and they still need YOU to join! All committees are working to meet virtually either through conference calls or video meetings. If you would like to be involved, the following information will help you:

Facilities Committee: Chair---Howard Tiffen until a new chair can be found Meets 2nd Sunday (usually) of the month at 9:30 a.m.

Development Committee: Chair--Howard Tiffen

Recreation & Interest Ministries Committee: Chair--Ann Belletire Meets 2nd Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Children & Young Adult Education Committee: Co-Chairs--Amy Haack & Dr. Lisa Henry-Reid

Community Outreach: Chair--Vicki Reynolds Meets 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Communications: Co-Chairs--Eric Annafi & Amy Haack Meets 1st Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

Stewardship: Chair--Howard Tiffen

Hospitality: Chair--Argie Johnson Meets 4th Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Worship & Music: Chair--Darlene Pollard Meets 5th Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

Administration & Personnel: Chair--Dr. Cliff Crawford

EVERYONE is welcome to join a committee whether you are a member of the church or not. As we work to fulfill our Vision Statement, we need your help in accomplishing this task. If you would like to contact one of the Committee Chairs but don't have that person's information, please contact our Office Administrator Ashley McLean.


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.