Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - May 2023
Diverse. Inclusive. Community. Engaging. Passionate.
FROM YOUR PASTOR
In the last year, two members of our church made bequests to the church in their wills. Robert Wasmund was a member for over thirty years, Ruth Patricia Foley a member for ten years. The vitality of worship and music of the church made them more spiritually alive. The fellowship and friendship of the church overflowed into their personal lives and gave them companions for life—and support through difficult times. Bob believed that the church was the best thing in town. We teach people to pray and praised God. We teach people to be grateful and thankful—and generous. Pat believed that the best thing about the church is our work with children and youth. In teaching bible stories, instructing children in the great stories of faith, the church teaches youth to become kind and caring, and models the example of being responsive to human need—needs right before their eyes as well as around the world.
Both Robert and Pat lived out their faith by investing in the church’s future.
For those who believe in the church—and for those who have hope for our church’s mission-- there is work to do. The church is touching and changing lives. We support this work by praying for our church’s ministries, supporting its programs, encouraging elders, deacons and staff, offering our time and talents to the church’s service, and planning for our future mission by supporting Second Presbyterian Church financially.
I believe the church’s language is not about money, but about memory. We remember those whose contributions made a difference. We are grateful for those who invest in the church and made commitments which showed the belief in our future.
Theologian Miroslav Volf in his book Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most asks “Where should we set the horizons of our hopes?” To leave a legacy the provides for our future as a church. To honor God with our material gifts and blessings. To plant seeds of the compassion and care, understanding and enlightenment that will bear fruit for many generations to come.
Would you consider leaving the church a bequest in your will? Or make a planned gift or charitable trust to grow our ministry?
We are only planting seeds which will grow into a great future . . .
In the Spirit,
David M. Neff
MAY 11 - SOUTH LOOP MEMORY CAFE
Join us for our next in person Memory Café on Thursday, 5/11/23. The theme is "Honoring our Veterans". The meeting will be held at the Second Presbyterian Church at 1936 S. Michigan from 3 - 4PM. Come and join us for a fun relaxing event. The South Loop Memory Cafe' is a social gathering for persons living with dementia and their families, friends and caregivers.
MAY 14th - MOTHER'S DAY
Our tradition of Mother’s Day will be renewed on Sunday, May 14th. Seminarian Stephen Kariuki Apollo will preach by final sermon before returning to Kenya for the summer. His sermon is “The Comforter Has Come” based on John 14: 15-21. The Men’s Association of the church will provide ushers, greeters and liturgists for the service.
After the service, there will be a luncheon in honor of all girls and women hosted by the Men’s Association. There will also be a raffle for gifts and flowers.
All are welcome to join us on this special day.
MAY 14th - THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
On Sunday, May 14th, we will celebrate the sacrament of baptism in worship. Being baptized is John Ago Butler, son of Dr. David and Wendy Butler. John was born in Mercy Hospital four years ago. Grandparents are Nena Ago, the sponsor of god-parent is Gilda Owens. We welcome John into the body of Christ and the Church Universal!
MAY 20th - SOUNDS OF SOUTH LOOP CONCERT
MAY 21st - INQUIRER'S CLASS FOR NEW MEMBERS
An Inquirer's Class will be offered on Sunday, May 21st at 9:30 a.m. The class is for anyone interested in joining the church. The class will go over Presbyterian worship, theology and polity, as well as ways to get involved in the life and ministry of Second Presbyterian Church. For more information, please contact Pastor David Neff at (312) 225-4951.
MAY 28th - THE DAY OF PENTECOST
We celebrate the birthday of the church on Sunday, May 28th. All are invited to wear an item of red clothing, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The day of Pentecost celebrates the great multiculturalism of God's rainbow diversity of faithful people-- and their ability to find a common vision and a unifying language. Dr. Neff's sermon is entitled “The Church God Intends” based on Acts 2: 1-21. Let the Church say Amen with spirit on the day of Pentecost!
JUNE 6th - GRAND OPENING OF BARBARA'S BASEMENT RESALE SHOP
Barbara's Basement will be opening for the season on June 6th 10:00am - 1:00pm. Barabara is so excited about the new items and inventory that sneak peek pictures will be coming soon.
QUOTATIONS ON LIFE-LONG STEWARDSHIP
Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves, but for one another.
To set our hearts on the kingdom therefore means to make the life of the Spirit within and among us the center of all we think, say or do.
The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited resources and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God. Therefore, true ministry must be mutual.
ROBERT STONE, JR-- WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION
We recently had a memorial service for Robert Stone, Jr. who died last week. Bob was the son of a Presbyterian pastor and a devoted Christian mother. He attained a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. He taught history at the high school and college level. As a member at Second Presbyterian Church, he participated in several Bible study groups, where he intellectual curiosity and questions shined through each discussion. He sat on one of the front pews for worship, and particularly enjoyed coffee hour and fellowship. He was a good friend to all, always helping others in need. Church was family to him; he was well-known and well-loved by all. The family has designated Second Presbyterian Church for any memorial gifts.
ROBERT WASMUND--WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION
Robert Wasmund was a lifelong detective for the Chicago Police Department. A member for over 30 years, he and his wife Dolores participated fully in the life and ministry of the church. Bob was here-- for every worship service, every educational opportunity and fellowship hour. He worked with youth in the church. He gave to everyone in need. He enjoyed the people of the church. In his last years, confined to a nursing home, his caregiver, Jackie gave him rides to church. He was overjoyed to be in the house of the Lord and with people he has known for decades. We give thanks for his joyous and generous faith in witness to the resurrection hope of Jesus.
COMMITTEE UPDATES FOR MAY 2023
ADULT BIBLE STUDY GROUPS
The Sunday morning Adult Bible Study meets at 9:30 every Sunday in the North Parlor. The Living Word curriculum is used. If you would like to join by phone, the call-in number is (312) 248-0036.
The Tuesday afternoon Bible Study is led by Dr. Joel Tolliver at 1:30 p.m. The current book is 2nd Timothy. The call in phone number is (312) 248-0036.
SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BIBLE STUDY GROUPS
We invite you to join our Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon Bible Study Classes. If you would like the curriculum, please email us at SecondChurch1936@comcast.net.
The conference call-in number is (312) 248-0036
♰ Sunday Morning Bible Study: 9:30 am
♰ Tuesday Afternoon Book of Romans: 1:30 pm - The current book is 2nd Timothy
with Dr. Joel Tolliver
THIRTY MINUTE PRAYER CIRCLE
Thirty Minute Prayer Circle: Thursdays, noon to 12:30 pm. Join us for a short, online, lunchtime prayer circle. We meet by Zoom, share quick prayer requests and praises, and take turns praying out loud or listening to each other’s prayers. All are welcome!
Time: Thursdays at 12:00 noon
Join Zoom Meeting: Join through the zoom app or call: (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 858 7377 4596
SECOND TIME AROUND BIBLE BOOK GROUP
We are reading the Bible one chapter per day, following the events in chronological order of events rather than by books. Hence, the name “Second Time Around Book Group.” Rather than study chapter and verse, we discuss chapters by sharing our thoughts about what we read in an open and supportive environment.
We meet by telephone on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
The call-in number is (312) 248-0036. For more information contact Flea Parker at Flea@Golden2.net or (210) 861-6988.
FELLOWSHIP AND FRIENDSHIP COMMITTEE
Potluck Sunday continues on the first Sunday of every month. We ask that you bring prepared dishes ready to be placed on the buffet table and served.
Coffee Hour: Hosts are needed. Please signup to host a coffee hour on the signup board in the Fellowship Hall.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH MINISTRY
Baccalaureate Sunday, June 25th : The Children and Youth Ministry will be recognizing all member and non-member students (active and involved in the life of Second Presbyterian Church) during a special worship service on Sunday June, 25th 2023. Please complete the enclosed information form by Sunday May 28th. You may reach out to Elder Eugene Leonard at EL0058@gmail.com for additional information.
Children Story Hour: All children, up to age 7, are invited to join the Children Story Hour, every Sunday (except the first Sunday) at noon in the Sunday School Room for Bible storytelling, arts and crafts, singing and other activities. This group is lead Faith Osazuwa and Esther Frimpong.
RECREATION AND INTEREST MINISTRIES (RIM) COMMITTEE
SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BOOK GROUP
Recreation and Interest Ministries (RIM) Committee
Our next book for discussion is Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe. Kathie will lead that discussion. If you would like to join this lively book group, email Ann Belletire at AnnaBelle620e@aol.com.
Time: Sunday, May 21st at 9:30 am
Join Zoom Meeting: LINK https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85873774596?pwd=cnV5aFNSTERJRkxCdEFNVHdaemcwQT09#success Or Call: (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 858 7377 4596
South Loop Farmer's Market Organizational Meeting: Second Presbyterian Church will once again participate in the South Loop Farmers' Market this summer. Our first organizational meeting will be on Sunday, May 7th at 12:30 pm. We need lots of volunteers to participate in our outreach of faith, friendship and fun. Please join our first meeting and help with the planning. For more questions or information, please contact Peggy Robinson (773) 934-3156 or Christine Arden (708) 829-2618.
Conservation Work Continues: All the crown chandeliers are now cleaned, rewired and restored along with their angel brackets. The next phase of the work includes cleaning and rewiring the six under-balcony light fixtures on the south side of the sanctuary. Additionally work will be done to update the narthex by cleaning, rewiring and restoring the large light fixture. While the fixture is removed, the ceiling and walls will be repaired and painted. The work will be completed by early May. These projects are funded by Friends of Historic Second Church.
COVID Update: When the COVID-19 public health emergency ends in the U.S. next month, people will still have access to a many tests but...for the first time, may have to pick up some or all of the costs, depending on insurance coverage and whether the tests are done at home or in a doctor’s office. Some private insurers may continue to cover all or some home tests, but there will be no longer be a nationwide rule. One exception is for those enrolled in the government Medicaid program who will continue to receive free tests until September 2024.
Session, Trustees, and Deacons. What are their roles in the Presbyterian Church?
There are four categories of church government. On the congregational level there are the Session, Deacons, Trustees, and the Pastor.
Session – is made up of elders, who are elected by the congregation. The pastor is the moderator or the chair. Responsibilities of the Session include:
Evangelism – inviting new people who attend the church into the new life of Christ and with receiving them into membership when they are ready to join.
Community Outreach – lead the congregation in participation in the mission of the whole Church in the world. It is not only limited to our community.
Worship – Lead the members of the church in the way they worship. The pastor selects the Scriptures and hymns and decides what the sermon will contain, the Session exercises overall control of the time and order of worship, scheduling of the Sacraments and the music program. Major changes cannot be made in the way a congregation worships without the approval of session.
Education – provide an educational program that is consistent with Reformed teaching about the Scriptures and presents the good news of Christ in the most innovative and engaging ways possible.
Stewardship – directed to challenge the people of God with the duty and the privilege of sharing their time, money, and talents.
Finance – establish the annual budget of the congregation, determine how mission money will be allocated and how and when offerings will be taken for outside groups. Providing full information to the congregation about its decisions in spending.
Administration – supervising, evaluating, and recommending the hiring of church employees.
Trustees – to receive, hold encumber, manage and transfer property, real or personal, for the congregation, serve as liaisons between the Presbytery and the congregation on financial matters, assist with developing the annual budget, signs contracts that deal with property. At Second Church the elected Session serves as the Trustees.
Deacons – minister to members and nonmembers who need special pastoral care and welcoming new members. They may assume other duties delegated to them by the Session.
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
Congratulations to Rowena Balogun on being recognized for 20 years of tax preparation services with H.R. Block!
Would you like to provide flowers for the sanctuary? Your gift of flowers for birthdays, anniversaries and memorials will add meaning to our service and beautify our sanctuary. To provide flowers for an upcoming date, please contact Barbara Floyd (312) 485-0362 or email her at BarbFloyd36@gmail.com.
Don't forget Potluck Sunday's continues on the first Sunday of every month. We ask that you bring prepared dishes ready to be placed on the buffet table and served.
CONCLUSION OF CLOTHING DRIVE
Our Winter Clothing Drive started in November and concluded the last week of April. Numerous donations of sweaters, coats, hoodies, gloves, socks, shoes and other items were given by church members and residents of the community. In addition, medical hygiene products and food items were distributed to our guests. Special thanks to coordinators Barb Psimoulis and Josh Latour for their ministry to those in need!
FREE TOURS OF SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Please enjoy a free tour of the art and architecture of Second Presbyterian Church immediately following the Sunday service. A docent will meet you at the from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Tours are given by trained docents from Friends of Historic Second Church
MAY BIRTHDAYS - JUNE BIRTHDAYS
1 - Barbara Floyd
1 - Amy Haack
7 - Lloyd Carter
8 - Barbara Jacobs
11 - Doug Walters
11 - Georgene Acquaah
11 - Suzan Rayner
12 - Emily Hendel
15 - Deneen Marie Bryce
17 - Nate Battle
20 - Delia McVoy
21 - Ramon Smith
23 - Bill Tyre
25 - Brian Louis
26 - Percy Moss, III
26 - Raquel E. Ashley
28 - Uyioghosa Osazuwa
Happy Birthday to all!
TREASURER'S REPORT APRIL 30th, 2023 - YTD
- · Net Income is $9,532 better than plan. Giving is behind plan, but expenses are ahead of plans.
- · Member Giving trails plan by $16,500 as two or three larger donors have not completed expected Giving in the first quarter. Non-Member Giving is $7,800 over plan. If Member Giving was on plan, Net Income YTD would be around $20,000 over plan. We still have about $1,000 of our Per Capita Levy to collect.
- Special Music will be accounted for this year through the Balance Sheet and should be ignored as a Budget Item. This is because income and expense from Seven Last Words and Messiah are treated as “Restricted”, i.e., donors expect gifts to be used for a specific program only.
- Net income for the three months of the year is $9,106, $10,205 ahead of plan.
- Building Use Revenue is $1,517 above plan. We have agreed with Historymakers that they will pay us $3,000 for the use of the parking lot this year as they return to work in their offices.
- Facilities Expenses are $5,597 ahead of plan as Utility bills and Snow Clearing expenses were below expectations.
· On 10th March 2023, Segal Bryant (SBHIC) after detailed research, invested from the Education portfolio $1,694.55 in shares of First Republic Bank (FRC) following the collapse of Silicone Valley Bank. FRC suffered serious deposit withdrawals in the following days and its share price continued to decline. SBHIC sold our entire holding on 17th March for $452.29, a loss of $1,542.26, (1.44% of the portfolio value). The portfolio had always owned a small number of equity positions, mainly in highly capitalized companies in growing industries. Now the entire Education Portfolio is invested in diversified mutual funds and Money Market Accounts. I have sought but have not received an explanation from SBHIC as to why they thought FRC was a suitable investment for a portfolio such as the Education portfolio which seeks to protect capital and generate income from which to make scholarship awards. Over several years, they had conducted detailed research into FRC and judged that their close understanding of it, its management and business enabled SBHIC to invest in FRC on behalf of its clients with successful outcomes. The only good news in this episode is that the holding was small and the impact on our portfolio also was small.
In t In the time I have been monitoring SBHIC’s performance, this is the only time I can recall an event such as this. I believe their approach to managing our portfolio remains generally sound and I would not advocate seeking an alternative manager.
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.