The Recorder

Second Presbyterian Monthly Newsletter - September 2017


From the Pastor

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg

Church Door. They were a protest concerning the church run by clergy, as

well as a daring affirmation of the priesthood of all believers. That symbolic

beginning marks a vision that every congregation aspires to attain-- an ideal

of the people of God in mission—yet to be realized.

The reformers believed in the spiritual vision of a congregation run by an

educated and informed laity. As the Gutenberg Press made mass printing of

bibles accessible—and as Luther translated the Bible into German and

Tyndale translated the Bible into English—the hope was that the people in

the pews would grow in faith and become inspired teachers and leaders.

We Presbyterians are people of the book. We believe that the knowledge of

God’s self-revelation first and foremost comes through our understanding of

scripture. Luther wrote, “the Bible is the only book where the Author is

continually present.” We believe that God continues to speak through the

words and experiences of the Bible. As we add our own reason and scientific

knowledge—and add our own sacred experiences—God addresses us as

individuals, as communities of faith—and the entire world.

This fall, we are starting a new model for our worshiping community.

Instead of separating the children from worship, all children and young

people will be included in worship. From 9:30—10:40 a.m. we will have

church school for every age. A wide variety of classes will be offered for all.

This change is a daring affirmation of the Reformation that began five

hundred years ago! The goal is to attain information that will lead to our

transformation. The hope is that through education, we will become more

spiritually equipped to extend the mission and ministry of the church. As we

grow closer to God through communion with God’s word—God becomes

more real and alive to us through communion with others.

I invite you to join us for bible study and education for all ages at 9:30 every

Sunday morning!

In Christ,

David M. Neff, Pastor

Tutoring Program to Begin September 13!

The Second Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program will begin with an Open House for parents and students on Wednesday, September 13 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 and math, and receive help with homework and studying for 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

Inquirers’ Class September 24

The Inquirer's Class is offered the fourth Sunday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the pastor's study. If you are interested in learning more about the church’s theology, beliefs and history, please come to this informative and fun discussion about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A,). Discover opportunities for spiritual growth, fellowship and service at Second Church.

If you would like to be part of the next class, contact Dr. Neff at (312) 225-4951 or by e-mail at

September 24th is Friends and Family Sunday

Our annual Family and Friends Sunday is a special time of worship and fellowship. The service will include music by the Youth Choir. Dr Neff’s sermon is entitled “A Circle Game”. The sermon will be based on the parabale of the sower and the seed in Matthew 13. After the service, a special reception will be offered for all friends, family members and guests, hosted by the Congregational Life Committee. Invite your friends and family members and neighbors to join us for this service of joy!

September 27th A lecture "On the Trail of William Morris"

Howard Tiffen will present a lecture "On the Trail of William Morris" on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Tiffen will present a multi-media glimpse of Morris, his homes, his internal conflicts and his windows. Learn how Morris came to influence the design and decor of Second Presbyterian Church.

The lecture will be preceded by tours and a reception at 6:00 pm. Admission is $10. Hosted by Friends of Historic Second Church.

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October 15th Cropwalk

Sunday October 15th will be a busy day at Second Presbyterian. Sanctuary tours will be hosted at the church for Open House Chicago; and, simultaneously, the church is also hosting theChurch World Service CROP WALK.

The CROP WALK program and kick-off will take place in the church parking lot beginning at 1:00 p.m. on October 15. The Walk is a 10K, leaving from the church and winding down to the Museum Campus, back north up the lake to Harrison, through Printer’s Row and return south to the church. You may support the CROP Walk in 3 ways: volunteer to help the day of the Walk, register to participate in the 10K walk and solicit financial contributions from friends and family in support of your efforts, or contribute by simply writing a check payable to the Chicago CROP WALK.

CROP Hunger Walks are interfaith events that build community while raising funds to end hunger in our own community as well as globally by supporting hunger-fighting organizations. The CROP WALK also supports global Church World Service development projects and disaster assistance, provides access to safe drinking water, and tools and training to help families grow the food they need.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Howard Tiffen, Vicki Reynolds or the church office. Join us as we help to end hunger one step at a time!

Spirituality Book Discussion Group

The Contemporary Spirituality Book Discussion Group. The group will meet on October 13th to discuss Waking Up White: Finding My Story in the Story of Race by Emily Jeffrey. All are welcome to the group,

led by Father Paul Huesing and Pastor David Neff. The first meeting is at

Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Avenue.

Sunday Morning Parking and Bears Games

The church provides the Ada S. McKinley parking lot for parking on Bears’

game days. The church also provides a limited number of Bears’ parking

passes for street parking (provided by AldermTan Dowell). The parking lot

will be open and in use:

September 10 and 24

October 8 (Chicago Marathon), 15(Crop Walk) and 22 (Bears)

November 12 and 19

December 3 and 24

The Ada S. McKinley parking lot is located at 1863 S. Wabash. Sunday

parking hours are 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m


1. Every child needs parents who are at home with their faith, who feel

comfortable with God language, reading the Bible and praying with

their children.

2. Caring adults who help children make connections between faith and


3. Participation as a family in the life of the congregation, making

commitments to keeping Sabbath. Honoring the Sabbath as a day of

rest, helps children learn about the rhythms of life, work and rest.

Sabbath can be observed in simple ways such as doing things together

as a family, like going for a walk or eating a family meal.

4. Parents who can support connections between church school, worship

and the life of faith at home by re-telling Bible stories and saying

prayers. Ask your children’s leaders what went on in class each week;

ask your older children what they prayed about in worship. See with

the eyes of faith throughout the day. Practice makes this easier.

5. Children need experiences with other faithful adults. The reality of

many people today is that they live apart from their extended families.

Seeing relatives across the lifespan often happens only occasionally.

Inviting adult friends from church, the neighborhood or work to be

involved in the life of your child is a benefit both to the child and to

the adult.

6. Opportunities for experiences with people from other cultures and

faith traditions. Growing up experiencing and appreciating

differences--- rather than shutting oneself off from difference—is

essential for living in this new century. Seek out opportunities to

interact with people from other cultures and faiths—for you and your


7. Keeping and living the faith at home, following the liturgical

calendars, honoring seasonal rituals of faith and learning. Making a

home for faith assumes that practices and meanings of the church year

can be reinforced at home.

8. Books to be read and to be read from.

9. Time and space for questions, wonderings about the mystery of God,

and opportunities for creative expression—music, art and works.

10. Always strive to communicate faith, hope, patience and unconditional

News from the Pews

Congratulations to Kacie Annolino and Alan Ferguson, married by Reverend

Theola Jones here on September 23rd!

Congratulations to Patricia Milton and Peter Osborn, married by Dr. Neff at their home in Frankfort on September 24th!

Congratulations to Pastoral Assistant Leslie Deslauriers on passing

her theology exam as she becomes a candidate for ordination in the

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Remodeling Project Needs Your Support

As a congregation we have an opportunity to make a much-need improvement in our aging building that will provide a tangible benefit for each of us. Your help is needed to raise $10,000 for this effort.

As most of us know over three years ago we closed the restroom adjacent to the kitchen. With leaking pipes and fixtures the bathroom became simply unusable.

Thanks to several gifts already received we are positioned to be able to undertake a remodeling project that will address our bathroom situation. Earlier this year we received a grant of $25,000 from the Retirement Research Foundation. The grant is earmarked for remodeling the bathroom, making it an accessible, ADA-compliant restroom.

Other resources are also in place. We received a $15,000 grant for the project from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The Men’s Association had pledged $5,000 for the project. Previous contributions to the Giving Tree Fund totaling $5,000 are also committed to this effort.

In addition to remodeling the restroom this proposed $60,000 undertaking will replace the sagging floor in the bathroom and the kitchen; and, also allow us to modestly remodel the kitchen itself.

Your help is essential! We need to raise an additional $10,000 to complete funding for the project. Members and friends of the congregation are asked to consider a special gift, earmarked for the restroom project. Please give generously towards this effort.

Click to Donate

Click to donate to construction fund


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 directors

Mark Veselack and Doug Walters for their energetic and passionate musical

leadership. Members of the Summer Choir include: Ann Belletire, Juliette Carlson, Leroy Conley, Tracy Daily, Cathy McAlister, Gary Schuetz, Howard and Jane Tiffen.


Second Church will host the Presbytery of Chicago assembly on

Saturday, December 2, from 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. Approximately

250 commissioners will attend the church for worship, education

and Presbytery-business. A Task Force has been formed to host the

event. We need ushers, greeters, servers, and a wide array of other

workers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Dr. Argie

Johnson and Jane Tiffen.

Future Dates for your Calendar

October 1 - Celebration of Africa Sunday (World Communion)

October 7 - Blessing of the Pets (12pm)

October 8 - Chicago Marathon Sunday

October 14 & 15 - Open House Chicago

October 15 - Cropwalk (hosted by Second Presbyterian Church)

October 29 - Reformation Sunday

November 5 - All Saints' Day

November 19 - Board of Deacons' Thanksgiving Dinner

Pastors Office Hours

Pastor Neff keeps regular office hours each week. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, he is in the study from 9:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. On Friday,he is in the study from 9:00 a.m. until noon. On Wednesday morning, he works from home. He is available for pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and prayer during office hours, on Tuesday and Thursday nights and also on weekends. If you have a need for pastoral care, please contact him at the church office (312) 225-4951 or his cellphone (312) 315-9959