The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - April 2019

Second Presbyterian Church is building a Christ-Centered Community Through Inspirational Worship, Education Ministry and the Power of Service.


In 604 A.D., the Catholic Church set up a liturgical calendar based on the Roman calendar year (based on the sun and, to a lesser extent, the moon.) Church leaders set up the liturgical season of Easter to coincide with the return of the sun and the beginning of springtime. For people in northern climates, it became a time of rejuvenation and warmth, the return of green grass, the budding of trees and the bloom of flowers.

For Christians everywhere, the season of Easter is a powerful visual and sensual reminder that the joy of the risen Lord is with us. While we go through seasons of darkness, the light of God found in Jesus Christ illuminates our moments and days. While we go through experiences of cold gray dreariness (especially in Chicago!) the warmth of God’s love renews us.

During the months of April and May, I invite you to join us in worship as we celebrate the surprise of the resurrection with a special emphasis on becoming “a community of the resurrection”.

Resurrection people are “can do people.” We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phillipians 4:13).

Resurrection people are filled with love that is warm, intentional and inclusive. Our love goes all the way back to the love that Jesus modeled for his disciples. We have experienced that there is no limit to God’s extravagant mercy, forgiveness and grace.

Resurrection people are creative dreamers. We believe that all possibility thinking is based on the miracle of God’s resurrection power. We trust that because God has ordained the church to be an instrument of the good news, we believe a way will be provided, even when every avenue and option seem closed. We practice faithful hope.

Resurrection people believe that with God, nothing is impossible. Each one of us has encountered everyday miracles and shared breakthrough moments. We live in a confident awareness that God will continue to break the framework of our everyday expectations and give us more than we could ever imagine!

As we enjoy the arrival of springtime, may we refocus our faith on celebrating the risen Christ. We are an Easter people! Praise God for the glorious possibilities of the resurrection in our midst!

David M. Neff


On Friday, April 5th, the South Loop community is invited to an ecumenical Stations of the Cross, followed by a soup supper at Old St. Mary’s, Church. All are invited to join our community of churches for this solemn remembrance of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus. The service begins at 6:00 p.m.


Do you have a special talent or love to sing, dance, recite poetry, or play an instrument?! Then the Second Presbyterian Open Mic Night is THE night for you! On Friday, April 5th from 7 p.m.—9 p.m., we will be celebrating the many gifts and talents of those in our congregation and community with our first ever Open Mic Night. More information to come but be sure to reserve the date and begin working on your presentation! Cost for this amazing and fun fundraiser will be $5/person. Included in your cost is a night of fun, laughter, popcorn, soda, and local brews.


Palm Sunday is also known as “Passion Sunday”. We will begin Palm Sunday worship by meeting in Fellowship Hall, then processing into the sanctuary, waving palm branches. Led by the Second Church Quartet, we sing “All Glory, Laud and Honor” and remember Jesus' entrance into the old city of Jerusalem. The sermon by Pastoral Assistant Deslauriers will be based on Luke 19:28-40. Please bring your fishbanks to dedicate on this day! Our offering for the One Great Hour of Sharing will be received. The service will conclude with the traditional singing of “Lift High the Cross.” Please join us for this stirring remembrance which begins Holy Week.


Second Presbyterian Church will continue its annual tradition of “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by Theodore DuBois. Featuring the Second Church Quartet soloists sopranos Sherry Watkins and Isabel Davis-Velazquez; altos Marysa Abbas and Corrine Wallace-Crane; tenors Michael Patrick and , Stan DeCwikiel; basses Vince Wallaceand Ron Watkins, this dramatic musical arrangement will be accompanied by organist Michael Shawgo. Scriptures read include the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth on Golgotha’s hill. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to this solemn remembrance of the death of Christ


We will celebrate the resurrection of the Lord with lilies and Easter bonnets, festive organ and choral music, preaching and celebration! Harpist Nichole Luchs will begin the service at 10:40 a.m. Reverend Neff's sermon is entitled “The Empty Tomb and the Missing Body” based on Luke 24: 1-13. The Second Church Quartet will sing, and organist Michael Shawgo will play the glorious music of Easter. All are welcome to join in the acclamation of the early church: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

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The vitality of God be mine this day

the vitality of the God of life.

The passion of Christ be mine this day

the passion of the Christ of love.

The wakefulness of the Spirit be mine this day

the wakefulness of the Spirit of justice.

The vitality and passion and wakefulness of God be mine

that I may be fully alive this day

The vitality and passion and wakefulness of God

that I may be fully alive.

J. Philip Newell, Celtic Benediction

Join Us for Easter Worship Opportunities

Palm Sunday:

Sunday, April 14th

Palm Processional begins in Fellowship Hall at 10:45 am

Good Friday:

Friday, April 19th at 7:00 pm

Seven Last Words of Christ

Easter Sunday:

April 21st

Service begins at 10:45 am

We are accepting contributions of $15 to decorate the Sanctuary with Lilies on Saturday, April 20th. You can make the donation online at indicate Easter Lilies in the comment section

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As Presbyterians, we are committed to being "our brothers' and sisters' keeper" *Genesis 4: 9) by extending our helping hands through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance fund, the Presbyterian Hunger Fund and the Presbyterian Self-Development of People fund.

All of the above funds are made possible through our generous gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing.

This year's dedication of the One Great Hour of Sharing will be on Palm Sunday, April 14th. But you don't have to wait until that date! Please make your donations or gifts as soon as you can, use the enclosed envelopes in your bulletins or note "OGHS" on your check's memo line.

As our love attracts the community, our blessings will extend to the community we love and profess.

As the need for our assistance increases, so does our commitment to assist. Please consider giving a little extra this year and be assured that you will be rewarded abundantly.

Yours in Christ's service,

The Stewardship Committee


Each week after the worship service, a committed group of volunteers stays to count and deposit the morning offering. Thank you to the following counters for a job well done:

First Sunday - Lee Jenkins, Shirley Powell

Second Sunday -Eugene Leonard, Darlene Pollard

Third Sunday - Ann Belletire, Argie Johnson

Fourth Sunday - Barbara Crawford, Marlene Heath

Fifth Sunday - Calvin Heath and Tracy Cargo

The director of accounting is Rowena Balogun.

Thanks to all!


Congratulations to all who gave your per-capita offering! As of March 19, we were able to raise the full amount! This apportionment will go to fund the administration of world-wide ministries through the Presbytery of Chicago, Synod of Lincoln Trails and General Assembly. A special thank you to the Second Church Quartet, Michael Shawgo and Howard Tiffen for composing and contributing the creative chant to worship on February 24th!


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.

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Thanks to your generous giving we were able to provide the following services in March!

  • Fed 500 individuals in the Lunch Bag Program
  • Tutored 25 children per week
  • 100 people worshipped with us
  • Children and adults enjoyed Church School
  • Hosted community events and meetings
  • Distributed coats and clothing to those in need
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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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We have begun putting all of our announcements on the television screen during Coffee Hour. Please be sure to pay attention to these announcements so that you don’t miss out on the great opportunities that we offer!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! The Spring Sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, rain or shine. This is our annual plant sale, book sale and opportunity to shop Barbara’s Basement. We are planning to include more vendors in this sale so watch for more information which will be available in the April Newsletter.


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!


Dr. Joel Tolliver will be leading a nine-day tour of the Holy Land June 3rd through 11th. Cost include round trip airfare, seven nights’ accommodations, all meals and entrance fees. The group will visit the Sea of Galilee, the fortress of Masada, the Dead Sea, the Shrine of the Book, the Via Dolorosa, the Knesset, the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock. Brochures are available on the literature table. For more information, please contact Dr. Joel Tolliver (312) 842-1971.


The Contemporary Spirituality Book Group will meet on Tuesday, April 9th to discuss Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril by Catholic theologian Elizabeth Johnson. On May 12th, the group will meet to discuss We Need Each Other by Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche community. All meetings begin at 9:15 a.m. at Old St. Mary’s Church.


Book Group:

Our Book Group will meet once again on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the Church Library.

The May book will be The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America by Ethan Michaeli. This discussion will be on Sunday, May 19th at 9:30 a.m.

All are welcome to participate in our monthly Book Group. If you have suggestions for our book group, please sign up on the sheet outside the kitchen


Lenten study series will start at 6:15 p.m., Pastor David and Pastoral Assistant Leslie will co-teach a Lenten Study Series on Loving Your Neighbor and Loving Yourself. The schedule will be as follows:

April 3: Spiritual recharge

April 10: Safe spaces and reprocity

April 17: Discernment

This class will meet in the Church Library and last from 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m. and all are invited to join us as we discover the many ways in which God speaks to us and through us. For more information, please see either Pastor Neff or Pastoral Assistant Leslie


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 gospel of John continues to 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 John, studying insights for personal discipleship. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary. All are welcome.


Congratulations to Dr. William Ashley upon his retirement from medicine in December. From 1972—2018, Dr. Ashley served the medical field and patients with knowledge, distinction and compassion. A special coffee hour will be served in his honor on April 14th.


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.


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.