The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - November 2018

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


What is a saint? A saint is just an ordinary human being, a woman or man like you or me, without pretense to perfection. A saint is a forgiven sinner, a “most everyday” believer. A saint is someone who feels God’s tug to say more and do more and be more . Some think saints are “fools” or “squares” or “holy-rollers.” become a “fool”. A saint is someone who tries to love God a little more each day. When God’s love fills one’s soul, the saint cries out with Job “Oh God, who am I that you should magnify me? Who am I, that you set your heart upon me and call me to come aside?” (Job 7:17 ).

Saints are referred to in the New Testament as the whole people of God. Saints are always mentioned in the plural, not the singular. Still, we remember those stirring saints who seemingly live on a higher plane and become ambassadors of God.

A saint listens for and responds to the call of God, and in the process becomes transformed (however gradually) and transparent with others. It’s Mary saying, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” It’s Peter, the fisherman, preaching good news. It’s Paul, the tent-maker, establishing churches. It’s John Woolman, the cobbler, emancipating slaves. It’s Harriet Tubman, a slave, guiding slaves to freedom along the underground railroad. It’s Albert Schweitzer, a physician, pouring out his skills in Africa. It’s you and me-- making a pledge of self and substance, meeting a need, sharing a suffering, belonging more and more to the God who calls us in Jesus Christ.

As we celebrate All Saints' Day on Sunday, November 4, may we hear the words of Frederick Buechner:

“To be a saint is to be human, because we are created to be


To be a saint is to live with courage and self-restraint, to live not with hands clenched to strike, to grasp, to hold tight to a life that is always slipping away the more tightly we hold it; it is to live with hands stretched out both to give and receive with gladness.

To be a saint is to weep for the broken and suffering of the world, but it is also to be strangely light of heart in the knowledge that there is something greater than the world that mends and renews. Maybe more than anything else, to be a saint is to know joy.

In Christ,

David M. Neff


We celebrate our belief in the communion of saints on Sunday, November 4th. As Presbyterians, we believe the whole people of God are “saints.” Through faith, each believer is continually sanctified by God and consecrated in ministry. On All Saints’ Day, we remember those who have died in the Lord this past year and ring a chime in their honor. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. Please join us for this sacred remembrance of those who have passed from “the Church Militant” to “the Church Triumphant” on Sunday, November 4.


On Sunday, November 11th, the church will celebrate the sacrament of baptism as we baptize sisters Esther and Blessing Odoi and their cousin Nehemiah Mensah. Please join us on this special celebration of God’s gracious love!


Second Presbyterian Church will join with the parents and children of Old St. Mary’s School to offer a free meal for all on Saturday, November 17th from 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. All lunch bag program guests as well as neighbors and friends are invited to this festive meal, served by the students of OSM. A program of music and testimony will be follow the meal. All are welcome.


This year, the Men’s Association will host the Thanksgiving Dinner after the service on November 18th. Carry-outs will also be available to go. Dinner tickets may be purchased from any member of the Men’s Association for $10 adult and $5 for children. All donations of food and cash contributions are welcome!

Please join our congregation in this special meal and a time of giving thanks!

Turkey, dressing and gravy


Green Beans

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes


Macaroni and Cheese


On Thanksgiving day, Jovon and Harpreet Milam and friends will host a free Thanksgiving dinner for all. The meal, in honor of the birth of their sons Liam and Henderson, will feature a traditional menu. All are welcome to come to the dinner at 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. and join in the fellowship of the holiday season. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Harpreet Milam at The Nail Social by calling (312) 583-9903.


The Session has called a meeting of the congregation for Sunday, November 25 immediately after the service. The report of the Nominating Committee will recommend its slate of new Elders and Deacons. The Nominating Committee for 2019 will be voted upon. Any changes in pastoral compensation will be considered. The 2019 budget will also be presented for questions and comments. All are urged to attend this important meeting!


On Saturday, December 1st from 10am-12pm, all children and youth are invited to Second Presbyterian’s Advent Workshop. Advent activities and crafts will be made, the tree will be decorated, hot chocolate will be consumed, and Christmas carols will be sung! If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers ( (615) 630-2495).


Hallelujah the time has come! Our Annual Sing Along Messiah will take place on Sunday, December 2nd at 3:30pm with a reception to follow. Featuring solos from Michael Patrick, Sherry Watkins, Ron Watkins, and Marysa Abbas; organist Michael Shawgo; and conductor Tony Krempa. As always, this event is free to attend but is not free to host. We are now accepting financial donations to help pay for our musicians. Help us to keep the music flowing this Christmas Season by making your donation today!

Please join us and invite your family, friends and neighbors.

Donations to help finance this event are appreciated.

Sponsorship Levels

Bronze Level – Up to $25

Silver Level - $26 - $50

Gold Level - $51 - $99

Platinum Level - $100 – Up

To make donations online visit click on the donate button donate to the general fund *indicate Messiah in the comments section


Christmas Eve Evening Service – December 24th 7:00 pm Reception begins at 6:00 pm


We no longer have access to the Ada S. McKinley parking lot on Bears' game days. If you park on the street, you will need a one-day game parking pass.. Please ask an usher for a parking pass, or contact the church office or Pastor Neff in advance to receive your one day pass.

November 11 and 18

December 9 and 16

The north parking lots is available for parking on Sunday worship. We encourage those whose mobility permits to part on the city streets, so as to leave parking lot space for those with more limited ability.


The Winter Coat Drive begins November 18 and continues through February. We will be partnering with Kroll's Restaurant again this year to provide winter outerwear for our Lunch Bag guests. You will receive a 20% discount off your meal if you donate a coat or mitten/glove, scarf and hat set at the restaurant. You may also leave winter wear in the box in Fellowship Hall.


What is #GivingTuesday? #GivingTuesday is global movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

Why #GivingTuesday? We have two days for getting deals—Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. Together, people are creating a new ritual for our annual calendar. #GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season. Also, every act of generosity counts and each act means even more when we give together.

What do WE hope to accomplish on #GivingTuesday? Second Presbyterian Church has been committed to feeding the hungry in our community for decades. After our long-lasting relationship with Pret A Manger ended, we have been put in a position where we are not able to provide the same quantity and quality of food that we have in the past. With the money that we bring in, our hope is that we will raise enough funds to not only feed the hungry but to help guide them to resources to become stable once again.

During the month of November, you will see lots of posts on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) regarding #GivingTuesday. This campaign is not only for our church member and friends but for the global community. When you see a post about #GivingTuesday, please share it with your followers so that we can spread the word about the amazing work that we are already doing and hoping to accomplish in the future!

For more information, please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers ( or (615) 630-2495) or click on any of our social media outlets below.


On Friday, October 5th, stewardship letters and pledge cards were sent out to approximately 130 members and friends. The letter invites each person and family to make a pledge or “commitment to give” to support the mission and ministry of Second Presbyterian Church. A pledge is not a contract, but an aspiration. A pledge can be altered at any time, depending upon changing circumstances. Please turn your pledge in today! Thank you for your commitment and generosity!

The Session


Sunday school is such a special time for children to learn about Biblical themes and stories. It is through Sunday school 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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Tai Chi Six Monday Classes began on 15th October 6:00pm. The sessions have been well supported by members of the congregation and friends form the community. Please come along and bring your friends and family. Suggested donation $10 per session.


Mindfulness in Motion Helen Smith will lead a series of Monday evening floor and chair yoga sessions beginning on 26th November. Poetry and meditation techniques will be part of this series.


Alpha to Omega A year-long project to read the entire Bible through the lens of particular themes in each book. This will allow participants to look at the Bible from original, manageable perspectives. Group meets second and fourth Sundays at 9:30 am and following Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Our themes over the next few weeks on 11th and 14th November we will look at Joshua and “Conquering”. On November 25th and 28th, Deterioration and Deliverance in Judges will be discussed.

Ruth and Redemption will be on December 9th and 12th. We will pick up our journey again in the New Year.


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!


Barbara Avery - November 1

Geraldine Jackson - November 1

Osaretin Osamwanze - November 4

Bianca Reeder - November 5

Michael Allen - November 6

Yolanda Streeter - November 7

Adesowa Osamwanze - November 11

Rashaad Whittington - November 12

Edem Okudzeto - November 13

Marjorie Barbour - November 15

Vera Dix - November 21

Tru Annafi - November 22

Amazing Osazuwa - November 28

Katie Topazian - November 30


December 2nd

December 9th

December 16th

December 23rd


The Wednesday Night Tutoring program has begun. Thirty-five students have signed up, with approximately twenty-five adult tutors. The first hour involves help with homework, math, science and reading. Afterwards, a healthy snack is offered, followed by an arts and crafts project. The goal is to promote learning skills in a structured, fun environment. Special thanks to the women leaders of the Junior League and all community volunteers who help with this ministry. We still need tutors. If you would like to make a commitment to serve, please contact the church office (312) 225-4951.


The Community Outreach Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 2:45 p.m. at the church. We would welcome your membership on the Committee or invite you to join us as a visitor for a meeting.


The Church Development Committee is responsible for helping to fund the growth of our congregation and missions and to raise the capital needed to provide the facilities necessary for our space to become more relevant to the life of our community. In this endeavor, Development is working with Session, Stewardship, Facilities and Outreach to be sure that we share a VISION for our church, for its role in our community.

Watch for initiatives to adopt a more “generous” element to our regular giving, for the roll out of gift programs, to publicize the tax efficiency of making gifts to the church out of your IRA Required Minimum Distributions, the creation of investment programs that will pre-fund your gifts to the church, but allow you to earn a return on those gifts during your life.

Oh, and we will have some FUN ways of being able to participate in helping the church to raise capital…we promise!


An element in our Strategic Plan is to encourage the development of an array of unconventional education and recreational opportunities for small groups. Some of these have started with considerable success. Please come to our planned events and to committee meetings to share other ideas or let Leslie Deslauriers or Howard Tiffen know of your interests.


Several of our Lunch Bag Program volunteers will be away over the winter months. If you are available to volunteer one day a week Tuesday through Friday from 9:45 to 1:00 or if you are available to pick up food donations at Panera Bread at 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, please contact Vicki Reynolds

(312-203-4933) Your help will be greatly appreciated by those we serve.


The Community Outreach Committee would like to thank all those who participated in the Farmer's Market this past season. We had members who baked cookies, made dog treats, provided music, greeted neighbors, volunteered in the Second Church booth, volunteered in Barbara's Basement, worked as Building Aides, helped with set-up and take-down and ran errands. Everyone had fun and all efforts were greatly appreciated.


Book Group Third Sundays at 9:30 am. 21st October "The South Side" by Natalie Moore. This event drew a diverse group from the church and the community. We spent an hour exploring Ms Moore’s account of growing up in Chatham and Beverly and then returning to Bronzeville and Hyde Park as an adult. We talked about intentional and unintentional segregation and began to think about what concrete steps we could take to alleviate segregation and racism. Several participants mentioned how pleased they were to have a regular book group meeting on Sunday mornings.

On 18th November Cliff Crawford will moderate our discussion of "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance, a book which discusses many issues associated with inequality;

For 20th January we have chosen "Americanah” by the award-winning Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We need a moderator for this discussion and would really benefit from participation by our first and second-generation friends with connections to Ghana and Nigeria

Each discussion will be led by one of the book group participants.

Please provide suggestions for books to discuss in February and beyond. Each discussion will consider the book’s principal themes, personal experiences, possible responses to issues raised and will ask the question, “So what?”. Please see Cliff Crawford or Howard Tiffen for more information.


Our book for November is Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird. We will meet on Tuesday, November 13th at 9:15 a.m. at1500 S. Michigan Avenue.

All are welcome.


On Sunday, October 21st, we had our annual Celebration of Africa Sunday. It was a beautiful service that was accompanied by the Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship’s choir singing our offertory. Thank you to all that dressed up, prepared food, served food, or served as an usher or liturgist. Thank you for another memorable service!


The Community Outreach Committee would like to thank all those who participated in the CROP Walk whether you were a walker, volunteer, financial contributor or any combination of those. Totals for the CROP Walk have not been received, but your contributions and participation were appreciated.


Join Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers on Sunday, November 4th at La Cantina (across the street from the church) after worship for a meal and fellowship. Please let Leslie know if you plan to attend by November 1st by either calling her or emailing her ( or (615)630-2495).

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Friends of Historic Second Church invites you to Save the Date now for these three upcoming events. Ordering tickets in advance is highly recommended.


Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Presentation by William Tyre, Executive Director and Curator of Glessner House Museum This program will begin with a PowerPoint presentation discussing the team that Shaw assembled for the commission he received to rebuild the sanctuary of the church after a fire in 1900, and their work at the church. Following the presentation, Tyre will lead attendees through the sanctuary pointing out significant artistic features by the team. This special lecture and tour is being presented as a partner program with Art Design Chicago, a citywide celebration of the city's art and design legacy spearheaded by the Terra Foundation. To learn more, visit Tickets are $10. To reserve a space please go to our events page at :


The Adult Bible Study group continues on Sunday mornings with several new members. All are welcome at 9:30 a.m. to inquire about your faith and explore the Bible. Lessons for November are:

November 4 ~ A Troubled Birth - Genesis 25

November 11 ~ Jacob Receives Isaacs’ Blessing - Genesis 27-28

November 18 ~ Jacob asks God a Question - Genesis 28

November 25 ~ God Blesses Jacob and Rachel - Genesis 30


Have you ever wanted to learn about the basics of the Bible? Join us each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for a “Basic Bible Study” class. Taught by Reverend Dr. Joel Tolliver, this class focuses on the Gospel of John, chapter by chapter. All are invited to attend and bring a friend.


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.


Congratulations to Jeremy Nichols and Collette Willard who will be married on Saturday, November 3rd in New Orleans, Louisiana.


For the period to 30th September 2018, on an Operating Basis, we have generated an Operating Deficit of $25,977.73 including repayments on the loan taken to fund the major building repairs in 2016 of $15,075.75. This compares to a forecast Budget deficit YTD of $56,566.55.

Total Operating Income YTD to 30th Sept 2018


Total Expenses, including Loan installments


Overall Deficit YTD


Offerings are about $24,000 over budget. Member Giving slightly below plan and Non-Member Giving is $22,000 above plan.

We have also raised a total of nearly $50,000 towards needed roof repairs and rehabilitation of the Cullerton Garden to supplement the $75,000 committed by Gary Schuetz and others. THANK YOU to all who have participated.


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.