Second Presbyterian Church Newsletter - April 2022
Diverse ✶ Inclusive ✶ COMMUNITY ✶ Engaging ✶ Passionate
FROM YOUR PASTOR
The British theologian Leslie Weatherhead attended a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His father accompanied him. As was the custom, the audience stood for the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. While the choristers were singing “King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” The theologian glanced at his father and noted tears trickling down his cheeks. As he began to dry them, his father turned to him and said: “That’s my Savior they are singing about!”
Each Easter Sunday, we celebrate with harps and lilies, choral anthems and hymns. We perform baptisms and give children new outfits to wear to church. This day of resurrection is different. After nearly two years apart, after worshiping in an empty sanctuary, the conditions have become safe and healthy enough to allow us to worship in-person. Looking back two years ago, we can see risen Christ invisibly walking along side us (Luke 24: 13-35). Huddled in fear, with our doors closed to the world, we can see Christ breaking through the barriers of our fears (John 20: 19-29). We have seen Christ’s nail wounds and spear wounds in the bodies of all who have suffered and died of Covid-19, along with the frustration and compassion of their care-givers. The risen Christ is always the wounded Christ--- his resurrection shows us his victory—and the victory of our faith.
Weatherhead’s father knew that the heart of faith is always personal; close to the heart, intimate to our minds; a personal experience of joy. Weatherhead wrote:
In Christ’s resurrection, we are promised that God will also raise us from the dead and lead us to eternal life. But the full message of the resurrection is not adequately contained in the wondrous assurance of the afterlife. Christ’s resurrection also transforms this life. God is at work in all the changes of our lives, leading us from death to life, from darkness to light, from sin and sorrow to salvation and joy. God is at work, making all things gloriously new!
Theologian Jane Williams writes that:
“What is released from the action of Jesus at Easter is the massive burst of life and energy we call the resurrection. We cannot make it happen because it is more than we are capable of. But we can co-operate with it. We can begin to believe in the possibility of transformation, because we did the worst we were capable of on Good Friday, but Jesus suffered it for love of us and gave us back our true selves, made in the image of God, made to create and re-create out of love, just as God does…”
As we contemplate the miracle of the empty tomb and missing body, we also hear the angel’s message.
“He is not here, he is risen!” The good news begins its connecting work and brings us into worship and fellowship and transforms us into a community of the resurrection. Because the resurrection of Jesus is personally apprehended, we are an Easter people. As we come together—and sing out of the joy of the resurrection, the risen Christ himself and sends us out to love and serve—and proclaim the good news..
On Easter Sunday, may we sing and say from the depths of our hearts: “That’s our Savior we are singing about!
In the Spirit,
David M. Neff, pastor
MASKS OPTIONAL WORSHIP
Our new guidelines for worship and congregational life are:
Wearing a mask in worship is optional. The passing of the peace will be offered by approaching those who are physically comfortable engaging with you. As for singing, one should wear a mask if anyone around you is not part of your household or in front of you within twelve feet. Please respect the space between you and others in the sanctuary as you sing and pass the peace of Christ. As always, if you are exhibiting any Covid-19, flu-like or cold symptoms, please consider worship through our livestream portal.
APRIL 10th - PALM SUNDAY PROCESSION OF PALMS
We will meet in Fellowship Hall at 10:45 a.m. to renew our Palm Sunday Procession of the Palms. After a prelude and announcements, the Second Church Quartet and children will lead us in procession down Cullerton Avenue. We will pause for prayer, then enter the sanctuary singing the entrance hymn “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” Dr. Neff will preach on the theme “Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday?” based on Luke 23: 1-49.
All are welcome to join us for in-person worship or online at 2ndpresbyterian.org
DEDICATION OF THE ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING ON PALM SUNDAY
The One Great Hour of Sharing is a great Lenten tradition in the Protestant Churches. In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) our offering goes to three different agencies:
Presbyterian Hunger Program
Presbyterian Disaster Relief
Self-Development of People
Every dollar given goes directly toward helping people in need and helping people help themselves. In a tragedy or crisis, your gifts provide a physical presence in working to alleviate suffering and repair a sense of hope. Members and friends are encouraged to give online (2ndpresbyterian.org) or through the envelopes in the pews or through the fish boxes provided. The Confirmation Class students will be collecting the Fish Boxes and bringing them forward during the Doxology.
APRIL 15th - GOOD FRIDAY SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST 6:00 P.M.
On Good Friday, we will return to our tradition of presenting the Seven Last Words of Christ by Dubois. The Second Church Quartet and guests, under the direction of Michael Shawgo, will perform this moving musical reflection of the last words cried out by Jesus in his death upon the cross. With each word, a candle is extinguished. Our worship concludes in silence and darkness. The service begins at 6:00 p.m. The service will also be available online (2ndpresbyterian.org). Please join us for this moving remembrance of the death of our Lord.
THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Matthew 27:46)
This day you shall be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43))
Woman, behold your son. (John 19:26))
I thirst. (John 19:28)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
Into thy hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:44).
It is finished (John 19:30).
APRIL 17th - EASTER SUNDAY-- THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
As lilies open up to show their beauty, on Easter Sunday, we will sing the joyful music of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The service will begin with prelude music by harpist Nicole Luchs at 10:40 a.m. The Second Church Quartet, under the direction of Michael Shawgo, will offer solos and anthems of triumph and celebration. Dr. Neff’s sermon is entitled “From Disciples to Apostles” based on Luke 24: 1-12.
Please join us on Easter Sunday as we seek to continue to become a Community of the Resurrection
GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 15th - SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST
A PRAYER FOR EASTER JOY
Jesus Christ, we greet you! Your hands still have holes in them, your feet are wet from the dew. With the memory of our names undimmed by three days of death, you meet us risen from the grave. We fail to understand how. We puzzle at the reasons why. But you have come: Not to answer our questions but to show us your face. You are alive, and the world can rejoice again. Alleluia!
Today, fill your people with joy and your Church with celebration; that the world may know that your holy child Jesus is not a dead hero we commemorate, but the living Lord we worship. Amen.
The Book of Common Order
The Church of Scotland
RENEWAL OF COFFEE HOUR
The Session has renewed our practice of Coffee Hour after the service. There is a sign-up board and calendar in Fellowship Hall to pick a date and provide refreshments to share on Sunday morning. Please sign up and share in our ministry of hospitality and fellowship!
APRIL 16th - THIRD SATURDAY: LEADERSHIP BIBLE STUDY
Dr. Neff will be teaching about the importance of church revitalization as he concludes his study of the book of Nehemiah. Participants are asked to read Nehemiah 5-12 beforehand. We will look at the role of church leadership today. How does the church renew itself? Who takes the lead? What are the goals of leadership? All are welcome to the class on Saturday, April 16th at 10:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.
APRIL 23rd - PRESBYTERY OF CHICAGO YOUTH EARTH DAY EVENT
Hello Young Presbyterians,On April 23rd, we cordially invite you to join us at First Presbyterian Church (6400 S Kimbark Ave, Chicago, IL 60637) in celebration of Earth Day. We will plant flowers, play some games, eat lunch, and simply enjoy each other’s company! This event will be from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.
Anyone aged 10 through 18 is welcome. Please RSVP here by April 16th.
Second Presbyterian Church
DEMOCRACY FORWARD POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Democracy Forward Postcard campaign each Sunday until May 6.
In coordination with the outreach committee, each Sunday we will be completing postcards to drive voter turnout. Democracy Forward is an organization that reaches out to states before their upcoming election to encourage voters to make their voices heard. We have 500 postcards to fill out before May 6th and are asking for assistance in writing the postcards. We will have a table at coffee hour for people to come over to write a prepared request to vote. The postcard does NOT tell people HOW to vote. Flea will provide a home baked goodie for every person who writes at least 10 postcards. Don’t want to fill in a postcard? Donate $5 for postage.
This is the statement. "Hello, thank you for your previous/first vote. How you vote is private; the act of voting is priceless. Vote May 17th”. Postcards and pens will be provided.
There are empty tombs in all our lives still,
places where death did not conquer us
because faith entered in to fill the dark spots.
We have each risen from the dead
and Christ has risen in us.
Yes, this Easter season is about more than the
Resurrection of Jesus.
It is just as much about the resurrection of
everyone around him because of His own.
Mary Magdalene rose again, this time a disciples.
The apostles rose again,
this time with courage and purpose.
The little people for whom Jesus' whole ministry
had been spent rose again,
this time with new conviction and certainty.
Rising again is the central message of the
Sr. Joan Chittister
ORGAN TASK FORCE FORMED
Did you know that our current organ was installed in 1874? And that the most recent renovation of the organ occurred in 1917? Accordingly, the Session has formed an Organ Task Force. Their goal is to review the needs for our current organ and explore the possibilities for a new organ. Members of the task force are meeting on a monthly basis. Members include: Mark Veselack (chair), Fred Hairston, Jr., Scott Vandermyde, Deneen Marie Bryce (elder) and Jeannine Warner. Stay tuned for future news about the organ!
Second Presbyterian Church Book Group: We will not meet in April since the third Sunday is Easter. On May 15, we will discuss People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck. Rev. David Neff will lead the discussion
Please email Ann Belletire if you would like to join this very lively discussion group at email@example.com.
Time: Sunday, March 20th at 9:30 am
Join Zoom Meeting: Click Here Or Call: (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 868 6496 0108
SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE CLASS
LECTIONARY READINGS FOR THE SEASON OF LENT
Fifth Sunday of Lent—Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Phillipians 3:4-14; John 12: 1-8
Palm Sunday-- Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29; Phillipians 2: 5-11 and Luke 19: 28-40
All are welcome! The class meets every Sunday morning at 9:30 am in-person and by telephone at (312) 248-0036.
SUNDAY MORNING ADULT EDUCATION BIBLE STUDY
April 10 - The Passover with the Disciples -- Matthew 26:17-30
April 17 - The Paschal Lamb Lives! -- Matthew 28: 1-10
April 24 - Freedom in Christ Jesus -- John 8: 31-38
If you would like the curriculum e-mailed to you, please contact the church office. The call in phone number is (312) 248-0036.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON BIBLE STUDY
Dr. Joel Tolliver continues to lead a lively and informative Bible study on the book of James each Tuesday at 1:30 pm. All are welcome to join in!
The call-in number is (312) 248-0036.
I know this happiness
the looming presences—
great suffering, great fear—
into peripheral vision:
but ineluctable this shimmering
of wind in the blue leaves:
this flood of stillness
widening the lake of sky:
this need to dance,
this need to kneel:
LYRIC OPERA STAGE ARTISTS - APRIL 30th, 7:00 PM
APRIL 14th, SOUTH LOOP VILLAGE - MEMORY CARE CAFE
5 - Eric Annafi
13- Andy Ochiabutor
18 - Eric Flom
21 - Howard Tiffen
22 - Ashley McLean
24 - Denise Conway
25 - Michael Belletire
27 - Dr. Glenda Manley Ashley
Happy Birthday to all!
CHURCH MEET-UP - ART AND RACE MATTERS: THE CAREER OF ROBERT COLESCOTT
On Wednesday April 13 from 12:15-1:00, there is a free lecture by the exhibit curator on Colescott at the Cultural Center. All are welcome. If you plan to attend, please contact Barbara Chasnoff (email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 847-401-8067.) She will save a group of seats. After the gallery talk, we will tour the exhibit together. https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/colescott.html.
TOO BEAUTIFUL NOT TO BE TRUE
Too Beautiful Not to Be True: Religion and Spirituality in the Art of Edward Burne-Jones on Thursday, April 14, 2022, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, both in-person and via Zoom.
A child once asked Edward Burne-Jones if the Three Magi actually made the journey just to give gifts to a child born in a manger. Burne-Jones had a ready answer: The tale was “too beautiful not to be true.” Hardly conventional in his spiritual views, the Pre-Raphaelite painter had faith in beauty, and he celebrated it wherever it could be found. This talk will explore Burne-Jones’s fascinating and deeply personal interpretation of biblical subjects in paint, print, tapestry, and stained glass.
Debra N. Mancoff is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Newberry Library and a long-time friend of Second Presbyterian Church and Glessner House, both of which possess works by Burne-Jones. Her newest books are Dante Gabriel Rossetti:Portraits of Women and Secrets of Art: Uncovering the Mysteries and Messages of Great Works of Art. Copies of the Rossetti book will be available for purchase and signing.
The event will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 6:00pm, during which time guided tours of the National Historic Landmark sanctuary will be offered. Ms. Mancoff’s presentation will begin at 7:00pm.
This event is co-sponsored by Glessner House and Friends of Historic Second Church.
$12 per person / $10 for members.
NOTE: THIS PROGRAM WILL BE OFFERED BOTH IN PERSON AND ONLINE.
* All members must sign-in to our Neon database to receive member discounts. Member discount codes are no longer viable with check out. Try to create a login first and if you continue to have questions regarding setting up an account please email email@example.com.
SACRED PLACES AND SAFE SPACES CAPITAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Your Gift Matters!
We how are only $175,000 away in new pledges or donations to meet our target of $1.3 million for Second Presbyterian Church’s capital campaign. Your generous financial gift will fund vital building functions to ensure our Church can continue to thrive and grow for generations to come.
As you prayerfully consider your part in the “Sacred Places and Safe Spaces” Capital Campaign, please know, every gift or pledge you make today will have an enormous, measurable impact on the campaign. Though raising $1.3 million may feel out of grasp, together, we are nearing our goal. Whether you make a pledge to contribute over the course of the next two years or offer a gift to the campaign now, your generosity will make a difference!
It's Time. Be an Angel and please make your pledge or donation to our capital campaign today!
TREASURER'S REPORT FOR YTD TO FEBRUARY 28, 2022
Treasurer’s Report for Year to Date to February 28, 2022
In the year to 28th February 2022, we have generated an Operating SURPLUS (see Budget v Actual Report) of $11,168.78 including PILP Loan Repayments of $2,579.45, compared with a Budgeted surplus of $16,207.22.
Total Operating Revenue
Total Expenses, including Loan installments
Member Giving was $2,600 under plan. Non-member giving was $3,300 under plan. Building Use Revenue was $800 above plan. Overall revenue was $5,627.89 below plan.
Compensation was close to plan. Facilities expenses were $2,600 over plan with higher gas and snow clearing expenses than budget.
The market disruptions so far in 2022 mean that our unrealized gains in our investment portfolio are lower by about $70,000 compared with the end of 2021
March 4, 2022
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.