Promoted by the World Council of Churches, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25. The sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church will be open from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. each day for those who would like to come in and pray. Pastors will be present if you would like prayers with them. Second Church will join Trinity Lutheran Church and Old St. Mary’s in an ecumenical worship service on Monday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at 1500 S. Michigan Avenue. All are welcome.
A free “Classic Movie Night” featuring Chicago’s own Etta Moten Barnett is scheduled for Friday, February 17 with a showing of Flying Down to Rio (1933). Etta Moten Barnett, an active church member for many years, was famous for her title role in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and was featured in several films in the 1930s and 1940s. This is a Black History Month Event presented in celebration of the 175th anniversary of Second Presbyterian Church. Free popcorn and soft drinks will be served.
Second Presbyterian Church was organized on June 1, 1842 and has been a functioning house of worship continuously for one hundred seventy-five years. Since the sanctuary of the church contains 175 angels depicted in murals, stained glass windows, carved wood and molded plaster, the church has chosen “In the Company of Angels” as the theme for the year-long celebration. Several community events are being planned along with a hand-made quilt featuring 175 angels and a memorial booklet. The church re-dedication service will occur on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Second Presbyterian Church is offering its annual Winter Coat Drive for neighborhood friends in need. Donations of winter coats, warm clothing, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweaters, scarves, caps, gloves and mittens are needed! Also canned goods and non-perishable items are being received for holiday grocery bags. We invite you to bring your items to the church between the hours of 9:00 a.m.– 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All donations are gratefully accepted!
The Board of Deacons’ Lunchbag Program serves around 300 people each week. Along with a meal, the Deacons offer a warm welcome, a place to sit and visit, personal friendship and care, along with articles of clothing and other useful items. Donations are sought for those in need. We need bottles of water or juice, prepackaged fruit cups, cookies, snackpacks, toiletries and personal hygiene items. If you would like to donate items, please call the church office (312) 225-4951 or come by the church, open from 9:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Thank you for caring!
Second Presbyterian Church will host a special service of worship to commemorate the church’s recent designation as a National Historic Landmark. Mrs. Susan Burian, author of the landmark proposal, will speak to the meaning of this historical award. Dr. Neff will preach on the theme “Become Like Living Stones” based on 1 Peter 2: 4-9. Reverend Dr. Kenneth Vaux, former interim pastor, will celebrate communion. Music will include “Except the Lord Build the House” by Gilchrist, “Hosanna in the Highest” by Buck and “How Love Is Thy Dwelling Place” by Liddle– all pieces that were part of the 1917 anniversary celebration. All are welcome to this 171st anniversary of the founding of Second Presbyterian Church. The service begins at 11:00 a.m.
2nd Church was recently written up in the Sun Times:
The first notes of Bach’s “Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor” pumping out of the pipe organ at the Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago hit with an ego-obliterating power, a pressure you can almost feel on your face, causing it to tilt upward, toward the four herald angel statues at the front of the sanctuary, the verdant Tree of Life and the stars painted against a deep green sky.
Second Presbyterian Church, located at 1936 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, was officially designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday March 11, 2013. National Historic Landmark status represents the highest recognition for buildings and sites that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior to possess national significance in American culture and history. Second Presbyterian joins previously designated National Historic Landmarks in Chicago including Hull House, Glessner House, Crown Hall, Robie House, the Pullman Historic District, and the Site of the First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Reaction.
A statement issued by the Department of the Interior states that “Second Presbyterian Church represents the visual and philosophical precepts of the turn of the century Arts and Crafts design movement. Its interior, the masterwork of noted architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, presents some of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts mural painting, sculpture, stained glass and crafting in metals, fabrics, wood and plaster.”
The sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church is widely regarded as one of the largest and best preserved Arts and Crafts interiors in the nation, created in 1900-1901 following a devastating fire which destroyed the sanctuary but left the exterior limestone walls intact. The design was the work of Howard Van Doren Shaw, a highly-regarded Chicago architect who studied the emerging English Arts and Crafts movement extensively and used its ideals to create an American version of the style in buildings ranging from private residences to factories. Shaw enlisted other leading Chicago craftsman to help design the interior of the church including muralist Frederic Clay Bartlett, stained glass artisans Giannini & Hilgart, and lighting designer Willy H. Lau. The sanctuary also contains a wealth of important stained glass windows including nine by the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and two rare English windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by Morris & Company.
Second Presbyterian Church, founded in 1842, has been an important cultural institution and community center since it opened at its present location in 1874, serving a multi-cultural congregation, and providing programming including After School Matters, a concert series and much more. Friends of Historic Second Church, a separate not-for-profit organization formed in 2006, has as their mission to “preserve and restore the internationally recognized art and architecture of Chicago’s landmark Second Presbyterian Church, educate a worldwide audience about its historical and cultural significance, and share those resources with the community.”
Tours of the church are offered by Friends on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00pm and on Sundays at 12:15pm. For further information on tours and the art and architectural treasures of the church, visit www.2ndpresbyterianfriends.org or call 800-657-0687.