The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - March 2020

Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.


Many people give up something for the season of Lent. Many people take on something. I would encourage you to think creatively about your needs for self-denial and self-emptying as well as the urgent needs of our world for healing.

We are living through an environmental crisis oblivious to the disruptions occurring around us every day. The temperature at Antarctica was warmer yesterday (64 degrees) than the temperature in Chicago. As the ozone layer is thinning, one church recommends giving up plastics for Lent. Plastics includes single-use water bottles, plastic bags, plastic ware and plastic containers.

Another congregation is urging its members to sign up for an online support group called “Addiction to Excess”. Participants believe that our material affluence is an addictive process that affects every area of our lives, driven by consumer marketing forces. To practice letting go of our many material things in order to create space in our lives for meditation and spiritual reflection is a priority.

The Poor People’s Campaign has been encouraging “meatless Mondays” for several years. Synagogues and temples are urging their members to undergo a “Tech Shabbat” one day a week; to do “digital detoxification” and cleanse one’s mind to get in touch with one’s holy longings for communion with God.

Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit of God for 40 days and 40 nights-- to fast and prepare himself to enter into his mission and take on his ministry. What can we give up and take on—for the healing of our souls as well as our society?

All God’s spiritual blessings during this journey of Lent!

David 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, March 8th, the Presbyterian Women host their annual Women of the Church Sunday. Women will serve as ushers, greeters, liturgists and serve a special coffee hour reception afterwards. The Reverend Mary Ann Daniels will be our guest preacher. All are encouraged to attend this special service.


If you are interested in joining the church or inquiring about membership, please join us for New Members classes on March 22 and 29th. Two one-hour classes are required for membership. The classes meet at 9:30 a.m. in the pastor’s study. The first class is on the worship, theology, polity and mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). The second class is about getting involved and sharing your gifts and talents in the church’s mission and ministry. For more information, or to register, please contact Pastor Neff or Pastoral Assistant Deslauriers.


We celebrate the sacrament of Baptism as Ashton Wilson Martin, son of Christelle Noumbissi and Zachary Martin, is baptized into the body of Christ. Ashton was born on April 7, 2019 at Northwestern University Hospital. His grandparents are Josephine Lea Mafogue, Jean Paul Noumbissi, Gern Martin and Mark Martin. The sponsor is Floyd Martin. We welcome Ashton into the Church Universal and the family of Second Presbyterian Church!


O God, we pray this day:

For all who have a song they cannot sing,

For all who have a burden they cannot bear,

For all who live in chains they cannot break,

For all who wander homeless and cannot return,

For all who are sick and for those who tend them,

For those who wait for loved ones and wait in vain,

For those who live in hunger,

and for those who will not share their bread,

For those who are misunderstood

and for those who misunderstand,

For those who are captives and for those who are captors,

For those whose words of love are locked within their hearts

and for those who yearn to hear those words.

Have mercy upon these, O God.

Have mercy upon us all.

Ann Weems

Kneeling in Jerusalem


Adult Bible study is offered every Sunday morning from 9:30—10:30 a.m. with the Present Word curriculum and informal discussion. The theme for March is God Requires Justice. Lessons include:

March 8 A Prayer for Justice Habakkuk 1

March 15 Consequences for Injustice Habakkuk 2

March 22 Corrupt Leaders Micah 3-6

March 29 Leading Justly Malachi 2-3

All are welcome!

BASIC BIBLE STUDY ~ Letter to the Romans

The Book of Romans continues to be our Bible study 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 Romans, studying insights for personal discipleship. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary. 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.

We meet in the Second Floor Office (Leslie and Ashley's office) on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Flea Parker.

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Second Book Group will be meeting on March 15th at 9:30 a.m. in the 2nd floor office. The book will be Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

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


Congratulations to Austin and Antoinette Ashmore on the birth of their son Jude Anselm Ashmore, born Monday, February 10th. Big brother James is head-over-heels in love with his little brother!

Congratulations to Anthony Ochiabutor Jr. on the recipient of a student-athlete football scholarship to Trinity International Christian University in Deerfield, Illinois.

Thank you to Ms. Phyllis Holmes, Madison Vanderbilt and Andy Ochiabutor for reading poems for Black History Month.


Dr. Joel Tolliver will be leading a nine-day tour of the Holy Land June 1st through 8th. Cost include round trip airfare, all meals and entrance fees, and seven nights of accommodation. 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.


On Sunday, March 15, the Children and Young Adult Education Committee is launching a new Sunday School initiative. Our goal is to get as many children to attend classes and enjoy activities such as arts/crafts, music, bible studies and refreshments. Children and youth will be invited to leave worship after the Children's Sermon to attend Sunday School. On the first Sunday of the month, there will be no Sunday School so that everyone can participate in the Lord's Supper together. We will be meeting some children in the lobby of Long Grove House (kitty-corner to the church) and escorting them to the church at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday mornings. All children ages 2-12 are welcome to attend so spread the word!

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The Children’s Choir will be directed by Lisa Armstrong this year. The children will rehearse immediately after worship on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. All children are invited to sing and “make a joyful noise to the Lord” (Psalm 100:1)


The confirmation class for grades 6 and above meets on the first and third Sunday of each month at 12:15 pm. Join us on this journey to discover, nurture and develop your faith.

For more information and a registration form, please contact Eugene Leonard.


Are you wanting to serve on a committee but don't know when they meet or who is the chair? Have you been wanting to bring your ideas to the congregation but weren't sure how? Hopefully the following information will help you get involved:

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.


Join the South Loop Village for the South Loop Memory Cafe on Thursday, March 12th from 2:30 p.m.--4:00 p.m. This gathering is for anyone who is living with Alzheimer's or Dementia and their caregivers or loved ones.


The Highlanders Little League Baseball Team is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, March 14th from 1:00 p.m. -- 6:00 p.m. at our church! This team of 7,8, and 9 year olds was gifted a building to revamp into a year-round training facility for their baseball team. The players include Chicago Police Officers' children and low-income children from all over Chicago. The Brick by Brick Fundraiser will feature a silent auction with certified authentic autographed items from players for the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox (jerseys, bats, baseballs and more). You may purchase a $30 ticket, which enters you into a raffle to win a 55" t.v. by contacting Leslie Deslauriers.


On March 21st, Glessner House and Friends of Historic Second Church have put together an incredible way to celebrate Women's History Month with a Women Owned Business Market and special programming commemorating 100 years of the suffrage movement. The doors and market open at 10:00 a.m. The lecture will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the market continues from 11:45 until 1:00 p.m. Admission is $10.


Tai Chi will meets every Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Your first class is FREE and all additional classes are only $10! All ages and experience levels welcome!


BARBARA’S BASEMENT having a HUGE sale! All items (excluding jewelry) is marked down 50-75%!! Don't miss out on this opportunity to shop for all of the South Loop’s greatest finds Tuesdays & Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 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.


Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers’ email address has changed. Her new email address is please update your contacts as she will no longer be checking the studentpastor email.