The Record

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - September 2018

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


With vacations and recreational activities, many churches take a break over the summer. Not Second Presbyterian! This summer has been a strong season for our congregation to go forward in mission and ministry.

· Under the direction of Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers, our ministry to children and youth increased. We hosted five different groups from the Fourth Church Urban Mission Camp. Each conducted an afternoon of summer camp activities for our children. Plus, we offered our own high-quality week of Vacation Bible School.

· We began a Summer Reading Club. With anywhere from 2-14 kids, a core of dedicated volunteers helped the students improve their reading skills--- to comprehend and enjoy what they read. A new library was created-- over 1000 pages were read by our children!

· Our church physical plant has been restored significantly with the completion of the kitchen restoration project. Currently, we are seeking donations for Gary’s Garden, a project to repair the roof so that we can establish a garden in memory of church leader Gary Schuetz. When all the gifts are in, this work will be done in October.

· The installation and dedication of the Peace Window is a highlight of the summer. Its radiant light and artistic beauty draw more and more people into our sanctuary.

· The South Loop Farmers’ Market has been a season of joy—as we have provided space for our community to grow together. Vendors and strangers become neighbors and friends. Our hospitality is showing!

· The greatest good news has been an influx of newcomers, who join us for worship, then return again. We have received more blue visitors cards this summer—than in an entire year. People are finding our worship and music meaningful and inspirational. Our worship service is becoming a touchstone of spiritual faith and hopeful living.

It is an exciting time at Second Presbyterian Church! We are offered an invitation-- to “be rich in good works” and “to take hold of the life that is really life” (1Timothy 6:19).

Welcome to the month of September!

David M. Neff



The Contemporary Spirituality Book Discussion Group will convene its first meeting of the fall on Tuesday, September 11 at 9:15 a.m. to discuss St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate by biblical scholar Karen Armstrong. The group will meet on October 9th to discuss Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet by Matthew Fox. Fox is founder of the Creation Spirituality Institute in Oakland, CA. The group is led by Father Brad Schoberke and Pastor David Neff. The first meeting is at Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Avenue.


The Second Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program will begin with an Open House for parents and students on Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m. Tacos, salad and refreshments will be served. Tutoring is free and open to all students in grades 2-8. Students are assisted in reading, geography, math and other subjects, and receive help with homework and exams. Led by women of the Junior League, assisted by members of the larger South Loop community, all students are welcome. The Tutoring Program meets every Wednesday night from 6:00-7: 30 p.m. Registration forms can be found on our church website and on the literature table in Fellowship Hall.

If you would like to volunteer for tutoring, please contact Pastor Neff at


Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 20th for our Annual Pet Blessing. At Second Presbyterian Church, we know the relationship between pet and owner is a sacred and blessed relationship. We invite all pet owners to bring their (leashed) pet or a photo of their pet to the front steps of the church between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for a special blessing from Pastor Neff and Pastoral Assistant Deslauriers.


The Reverend Dr. Sue Krummel, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Chicago, will be our guest preacher on Sunday, September 23. Sue has been a pastor and a synod executive for many years. She has also served on the staff of General Assembly. Her message is “Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So!” based on Esther 7: 1-6.


On Sunday, September 30th, we will be celebrating all of the folks who have volunteers at Second Presbyterian Church as ushers, greeters, Communion servers, liturgists, tutors, Lunch Bag Program helpers, teachers, and meal servers.


Street parking is free every Sunday, except for Bears’ home games. Please park in the Ada S. McKinley lot (1863 S. Wabash) on

September 30

October 7, 21 and 28

November 11 and 18

December 9 and 16

The parking lot opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes promptly at 1:30 p.m. One day parking passes are available in the church office.

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.


Christian Education is an important part of the spiritual development of all Christians, especially children. Here are 10 benefits of your children attending Sunday school:

1. Age Targeted Teaching: Where else can your kids get Biblical instruction that’s focused toward their developmental abilities?

2. Friends: In Sunday School, your child will build positive friendships with their peers by discovering God’s Word together.

3. It’s Fun: Sunday School is not Disney Land, but our teachers do work hard to teach the Bible in ways that are relevant and fun for kids.

4. Spiritual Mentors: A dedicated teacher can be a Christian role model who supports you and helps inspire the faith of your child.

5. Systematic Bible Learning: Our curriculum is designed to give a broad foundation, so children will understand how all the parts of Scripture point to Christ.

6. Praying Teachers: Our teachers consistently pray for your child’s faith to grow. Coming to Sunday School gives another occasion for God to answer those requests.

7. Big Reward for a Small Investment: If you’re already coming to church, just come a little earlier. That one change will equal over 800 hours of additional Christian teaching before your child graduates.

8. Send the Right Message: Making Sunday School a priority shows your kids that God’s Word really does matter more than pillow-time.

9. Adult Bible Fellowship: While the children enjoy their class, you can fellowship with other adults in your own Bible study group.

10. You’ll Be On Time: Families who come to Sunday School always get to worship on time. It’s the easiest way to avoid being late.


The Children and Young Adult Education Committee is looking for volunteers for the 2018-2019 Sunday School year! We are looking for substitute teachers, volunteers for activity days near Christmas and Easter, and volunteers to help provide snacks and supplies from time to time. If you are able to help in any capacity (supplying needs or giving time), please contact Elder Eric Annafi ( or Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers ( or you may call the church office.

CE CLASSES (I'm not sure what CE stands for...)

There will be 3 classes offered for children and youth. Kindergarten-6th grade will meet in the middle Sunday school room (through the kitchen) and explore God’s interaction and love in the world. Confirmation class is for all youth 7th grade and up who have not yet been confirmed into the church. This class will meet jointly with the Post-Confirmation class until January then they will split off and meet regularly. Eugene Leonard will be teaching both the Confirmation class and the Post-Confirmation class. The focus of both classes during the fall will be building up Christian characteristics and values.


A special thanks to all who shared their faith, their time and their voices this summer for our worship services. Special thanks goes to choir director Mark Veselack for his energetic and passionate musical leadership. Members of the Summer Choir include: Ann Belletire, Barbara Crawford, Leroy Conley, Helen Smith, Brian Reed, Howard and Jane Tiffen. Thanks also to Michael Shawgo, accompanist.


Second Presbyterian Church hosts the Farmers’ Market every Thursday night (rain or shine) from 4:00 –8:00 p.m. Approximately twenty vendors sell fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits and other items. Three vendors sell meals. “Tinny Tunes Studio” provides musical activities for children. The church hosts a booth and sells flowers, bottled root beer and Amazing Grace cookies. Friends of Historic Second Presbyterian Church provides free, docent-led tours. Free parking is provided at the Ada S. McKinley lot 1863 S. Wabash. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Elder Vicki Reynolds or Deacon Jane Tiffen.


We are also taking up donations for The Safe Haven Network. This organization provides dedicated housing options for domestic violence victims and their pets by placing the pets in shelters and foster homes while the victims stay in domestic violence shelters. By providing a dedicated service for domestic violence victims to escape abuse with their pets, The Safe Haven Network offers the safety options, support and the peace of mind that your pet is free from abuse as well. All donations can be brought to the church September 15-October 31. Items needed include: pet food, cat litter, personal hygiene products for women (shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, tampons, etc.). Please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers if you have any questions.


The Adult recreation and interests ministries committee is tentatively organizing a Tai Chi class to begin the first week of October. It will be a six week series, meeting once a week on Monday's evenings and will last one hour. Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise that provides benefits for maintaining balance, reducing stress, improving symptoms of arthritis and also improves flexibility. Please reach out to Flea Parker regarding your interest or any questions.


Recreation and Interest Ministries next meeting is Sept. 20 at 2:30pm.

Children and Young Adult Education: Sunday, September 23rd 12:45 p.m.

Worship: Sunday, September 30th 12:45 p.m.

Recreation and Interest Ministries:

You do NOT have to be a member of Second Presbyterian Church to serve on a committee! We need input from as many folks as possible so that we are offering service, ministry, and education to as many of you as possible. Remember, just because you serve on the committee does not mean that you have to volunteer for everything the committee does!


Youth Summer Reading Club Volunteer Opportunity

The Community Outreach Committee is planning to offer a Youth Summer Reading Club for youth in the neighborhood. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Vicki Reynolds, 312-203-4933 or the church office.

Farmer’s Market Volunteer Opportunity

The Farmer’s Market begins June 14 and runs through September 27 and is held in the church parking lot. Volunteers are needed for set-up, take-down, hosting the Second Church booth and helping with the Kids Zone. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jane Tiffen, Vicki Reynolds or the church office.

Lunch Bag Program

Volunteers are always needed to help with the Lunch Bag Program which Second Church hosts each week Tuesday through Friday. Volunteers are needed between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Volunteers are also needed to pick up food donations at Panera Bread and Pret A Manger early mornings or evenings Monday through Thursday. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Vicki Reynolds, 312-203-4933 Substitute volunteers are also needed.


The Men’s Association has tickets to the Chicago Fire soccer game on Sunday, September 16th. The Men (and all who have tickets—ladies and children are allowed) will be leaving from the church that day and heading over to the soccer field where they will tailgate until kickoff at 4 p.m. If you are interested in going to this game, please see Eric Annafi or Howard Tiffen for tickets.

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Calling all volunteers who work with children! We will be offering our annual Child Protection Policy Training on Saturday, September 8th at 10:30 a.m. at the church. If you interact with children at Second Presbyterian Church, you need to attend this important training. Please contact Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers if you have questions or cannot attend the training but work with children.

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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, September 15, 2018: Second Presbyterian and the South Loop: A Century of Perspective

10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Join architect Nate Lielasus for a tour of Second Presbyterian's South Loop. The tour will focus on contextualizing the church in the neighborhood and looking at how Howard Van Doren Shaw was involved in the neighborhood's change from a high end residential enclave to a bustling industrial district.

Tour limited to 20 people. Admission is $20. Meet at the church. To make a reservation, contact Friends at

Tuesday, September 25, 2018: Rediscovering Chicago's Legendary Artist Edgar Miller

A presentation by Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy. Lecture at 7:00 pm preceded by reception and docent-led tours at 6:00 pm. Edgar Miller's legacy as an American artistic maverick deserves attention. He came to Chicago in 1916 to study briefly at the renowned School of the Art Institute and then went on to have a storied career. A master craftsman as well as a conceptual artist, he was able to translate his ideas into nearly any medium and is often referred to as a "Renaissance Man."

This lecture is co-sponsored by Glessner House Museum and Friends of Historic Second Church. It is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide celebration of the city's art and design legacy spearheaded by the Terra Foundation. $10 per person/ $8 for members. To purchase tickets, go to

Sunday, October 28, 2018: The World's Columbian Exposition in Music and Story

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Step back in time 125 years to relive the grandeur and majesty that was the World's Columbian Exposition. The Fair was attended by 27 million people and secured Chicago's place as a world-class city. This special performance will feature musical selections related to the fair, performed on the church's historic 4 manual Austin organ by Music Director Michael Shawgo. October 28th also marks the 125th anniversary of the assassination of five-time Chicago mayor Carter H. Harrison, Sr. Commentary by William Tyre during the performance will provide a rich variety of stories about the Fair, its impact on Chicago and the world, and how Chicagoans honored their fallen mayor as the Fair drew to a close.

Doors will open at 2:00 pm for docent-led tours of the sanctuary and a reception featuring selected food items introduced at the Fair, including Bertha Palmer's brownies. A small exhibit of Fair memorabilia will be on display. This event is co-sponsored by Glessner House Museum and Friends of Historic Second Church. $25 per person/$20 for members. To purchase tickets, go to


The Adult Bible Class meets each Sunday from 9:30—10:30 a.m. to study the Bible the and explore its relevance to our society. The class focuses on a different bible passage each week. In September, the theme is “God’s World and God’s People.” The scripture passages are:

September 2 ~ God Created Heaven and Earth Genesis 1:1-13

September 9 ~ God Created Plants and Animals Genesis 1:14-25

September 16 ~ God Created People Genesis 1:26-2:7

September 23 ~ God Created the Family Genesis 2:18-25

September 30 ~ God Creates, Humans Sin Genesis 3


The Alpha to Omega club is off and running. This group is specifically designed to help people reach their goal of reading the Bible cover to cover and provide an opportunity to share their excitement. This is not a replacement of any bible study group but rather an informal discussion group. September's goal is to read the book of Exodus. The theme is "Deliverance and how this message impacts us in modern times." The group offers two meeting times. The second and fourth Wednesday at 6:00pm and second and fourth Sunday at 9:30am.


Congratulations to Linda Johnson, whose son Oscar Johnson IV was ordained on August 8th as an elder in the Church of God in Christ by Bishop Marshall.

Congratulations to Jillian Bowman, daughter of Dr. Steven and Karen Bowman. Jillian worked on a medical mission trip to Cusco, Peru sponsored by the University of Chicago.

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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.