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Serve In Our Community

Second has numerous mission and outreach programs that serve the Indianapolis community.

You can help with these activities at our church or in our community:

Hunger Ministry Team

Hunger Ministry Team

The goal of this team is to bring awareness to the issue of hunger and work to eliminate it in our neighborhood, state, country, and world. 

Bread for the World/Offering of Letters
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Each year the Hunger Team encourages church member participation in the Offering of Letters, an opportunity for our members to be advocates to our governmental leaders on behalf of our neighbors, local and global, who are food insecure.

Souper Bowl of Caring
Part of a grass-roots national hunger awareness program, each January and February the Hunger Team hosts a church-wide Souper Bowl of Caring fundraiser and food collection drive to support the Northside Food Pantry and the Westminster Food Pantry.


Crop Walk
Sponsored by the Church World Service, the annual CROP Hunger Walk in October in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood raises awareness and money for hunger relief on a local, national and worldwide scale. The Hunger Team recruits walkers who solicit individual support for participating in the walk. 

Donate or Join Our Team

Ongoing Food Collection
Our church continually collects non-perishable food and various sundries. The collected items are divided between the Northside and Westminster food pantries. Food collection baskets are located in the atrium next to the church offices. Volunteers are needed to sort donations and deliver food to Westminster.


Interfaith Hospitality Network

Interfaith Hospitality Network

Consider the term, “HOMELESS.” We have all had hard times but have you ever wondered where you would sleep tonight…where your children would sleep tonight…where the food to fill their stomachs would come from? 

In this land of plenty, “Homeless” doesn’t just mean “no house or apartment” it means no “HOME,” nowhere that provides security, roots, comfort, or a solid foundation. Many homeless families face a daily struggle to survive that creates feelings of helplessness, anxiety, suffocation and desperation. Second Presbyterian is among more than 25 congregations and synagogues who partner with the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) to provide meals and a place to spend the night for up to four homeless families. IHN Day Center’s staff helps families find long term solutions: permanent housing, employment, educational opportunities and other resources to regain their independence. The IHN receives referrals from individuals, community resources, and the 211 Connect 2 Help line which provides human service resources.

We are beginning our fifth year of commitment to helping homeless families in our community by providing a safe and comfortable bedroom for families of two to eight, breakfast and a nutritious dinner, activities/recreation for children of all ages, and transportation to and from The Day Center where adults receive case manager services to be able to secure meaningful employment and then safe and affordable permanent housing. This is an opportunity for each of us to welcome the stranger and show the Love of Christ.

All of this doesn't happen though without many volunteers during the week who give generously of their time whether preparing a meal, playing with children, driving the van, or spending the night. Join Second's efforts to brighten the lives and lighten the load of families who struggle each day to keep going forward. 

Learn more:

Call or e-mail Dianne Berry at (317) 848-5715 to volunteer or click the Sign-Up Genius logo above to volunteer.

Northside Mission Ministries
Food Pantry, Community Garden, Utilities and Rent Assistance and Partnership with Greenbriar Elementary School

Northside Mission Ministries

Northside Mission Ministry envisions holistic enduring change that liberates individuals, rebuilds families, and revitalizes the community in order to break the cycle of poverty in Washington Township. By following Christ’s example, Northside Mission Ministry seeks to care for the poor and those experiencing hardship in Washington Township by building relationships with them to develop food security, to work toward economic stability, and to participate fully in the life of the community.

This mission and vision is carried out by four main initiatives that are housed under the Northside umbrella. These programs have experienced incredible growth in recent years: growth in needs, growth in relationships, growth in compassion, and growth in impact!
The Northside Food Pantry is located on the northeast end of the church building. From inside, walk down the hallway past the library. The hallway will dead end into the food pantry. From outside, enter the building through the covered entrance on the northeast corner. Once inside, turn right through the double doors.
The Northside Food Pantry began with the vision of a small group of church members. It has evolved throughout the years from a closet that handed out a few food staples to the current grocery store-like environment that it is today. Not only has the pantry expanded and grown, it has streamlined its policies and procedures and drastically reduced the cost of providing food for each household. An average of 532 households visited the pantry each month in 2016.
The Northside Community Garden has transformed from six raised beds to the cultivation of a large tilled portion of land. The garden’s growth has been the direct result of a small group of committed volunteers, as well as guidance from groups like the Indy Urban Acres Farm. For a period of time, the garden did not have a locally available water source. When there was little rainfall, volunteers would water the plants with water they physically carried to the garden in gallon jugs! The garden has come a long way from raised beds without a water source. Wood structures including the garden shed were built by two SAWs volunteers. Production has gone up from 300 pounds of produce in 2014 to around 1000 pounds in 2015 to nearly 1,100 pounds in 2016. The garden is not only productive – it is beautiful, featuring flower beds, a seating area, and a prayer garden. The garden is currently managed by Jeff Reese.
Northside’s partnership with Greenbriar Elementary School began about five years ago and has been largely organized by Jan Millholland. In the years since, Northside’s relationship with Greenbriar has been a process of learning what the needs are and how we can best offer support. Northside works collaboratively with Presbyterian Women and other friends of Greenbriar to provide volunteer support for classrooms and school events, snacks for afterschool tutoring, Teacher Appreciation events, and the donation of school supplies and other specially requested items.
The Utility and Rent Assistance Program (URAP) is currently the only dedicated assistance program of its kind in Washington Township. Since its inception, URAP has sought to have a positive impact on families by offering financial intervention in a moment of need. In these ‘gap’ situations, a little assistance goes a long way, often preventing a family from losing their housing or having their power shut off. As URAP has evolved, we have increasingly partnered with the Washington Township Trustee and the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township in order to work with integrity and efficiency.
Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers and supporters of Northside Mission Ministry.
Thousands of our Washington Township neighbors have benefited from these programs because
of you!

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

Second is a steadfast supporter of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Our church has built or refurbished at least one home each year and over the past 20 years has donated more than $2 million to Habitat. Second has participated in several interfaith builds for Habitat. 
If you would like to volunteer with Habitat around the city of Indianapolis, sign up on their volunteer hub today. 


Working together to build wheelchair ramps


Handicapped individuals confined to a wheelchair are truly captives in the walls of their homes when no ramp is available.

SAWs is a group of ecumenical volunteers (men and women) that work together to build wheelchair ramps for the elderly, disabled and infirmed that can not afford to have the ramp built. These individuals are identified through social agencies as unable to financially provide a ramp.

Learn more at the SAWs website.


Second and SAWs Through the Years
Written by Rik Hagarty

The concept of building hundreds of wooden wheelchair ramps every year never crossed our minds in 2003. That spring Reverend Berry suggested, “There are Presbyterian men in Fort Wayne building ramps for low income people with disabilities and those who struggle with the effects of aging. Maybe there is a need for ramps in Indianapolis.” We had to go looking for our first clients so we thought this would be maybe a few projects each year.
From the very beginning the Second family stepped up and supported the effort with funding and volunteers to drive the screws and cut the boards. Without a clue what they were getting into, volunteers showed up on a frosty November morning and spent their entire Saturday building that first ramp.
The Second Mission Committee paid for most of the materials during our first few years, but as the requests increased, members of the church came forward to lend their financial support. Presbyterian Women have been extremely generous, and we have been supported by Rehm Guild, church staff members, and even the children of the church. Volunteers to do the building came from almost every segment of the congregation.
The requests continued to increase until between 2007 and 2008 when our projects doubled from 15 annually to more than 30. At this point we needed a shop where we could prefabricate the parts for the ramps, and Second gave us the use of the implement shed at the north end of the parking lot. The church enclosed the area surrounding the shop to enhance the security of the materials we stored there. That was our home until March of 2015 when we moved into our present home on the Northwest side of Indy.
Our Second family has supported, most importantly, with prayers, encouragement and expertise everywhere we needed it.

Westminster Neighborhood Services

Westminster Neighborhood Services

This facility on the near East side of Indianapolis is a vital center of hope and love for the local children and families. Westminster Neighborhood Services is operated by Whitewater Valley Presbytery. Members of Second, along with other churches in the Whitewater Valley Presbytery, assist with:

  • Food pantry – We provide food and basic necessities for the Thursday morning food pantry, which is visited by approximately 200 to 300 families each month. Also, over 100 hot meals are served each week in the Soup Kitchen with food provided by Second Helpings. Clothing, shoes and household goods are also available.
  • Mentoring – Westminster hosts some 50 children daily in its After school program, and these children would really appreciate a mentor to help them with homework in reading, math, science, language arts or just have someone to talk to on a weekly basis. Westminster’s goal is to have one mentor for each student. Various church groups volunteer on different days weekly to mentor/tutor students. If you have an hour to spare between 4 and 5 pm on any weekday, contact Westminster.
  • General Volunteers - If you prefer to work behind the scenes, Westminster has a variety of needs for general office work, stocking pantry shelves and more. Summer Program - Volunteers are always welcome for the very active summer program.
  • Second Saturday – On the second Saturday of each month, volunteers converge on the Westminster building to repair and renovate the aging facility.
  • Free Health Clinic — Westminster hosts a free clinic for area families each week between 9 and 11 a.m. during food pantry hours. The Gennesaret Clinic is staffed by a nurse, doctor and pharmacist on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, please contact Westminster Neighborhood Services. You can call Westminster at (317) 632-9785.


Second and Westminster Through the Years

Our mission partnership with Westminster began in 1982 when the Dr. Bill Enright was our pastor. Seeking to fulfill “Christ’s call to bring hope to the people of God, Westminster Neighborhood Services envisions a transformed community where generational poverty has been eradicated and all residents live in dignity and peace.” Inspired by that vision, Westminster “provides basic human necessities and educational opportunities to support and empower at-risk children and families on the near eastside of Indianapolis.”
Westminster provides a continuum of services for families, including preschool, after school, mentoring, tutoring and summer programs. A food pantry, soup kitchen, clothing closet and medical clinic address immediate needs. A prayer chapel, part-time chaplain, and Bible study provide spiritual support.
Over the last ten years, we have been involved in every point along this continuum. Presbyterian Women, Deacons, and the Mission Committee of Session have provided mission grants to
support programs and staff.
Volunteers have served as tutors and mentors. We’ve taught Bible classes and led Holy Week festivals. We’ve worked in the food pantry, community garden, and assisted with basic maintenance of the building. We’ve gathered school supplies, backpacks, and food for the pantry.
Through our 175th Anniversary Campaign, we contributed $2 million toward the construction of a new, 16,000 square foot Adult and Family Services Center. This new center significantly increases the pantry and medical clinic. The new class rooms, computer lab, private counseling rooms and large community room have led to a major expansion of adult education opportunities with classes in cooking and nutrition, basic math and reading, parenting, anger management, job readiness, resume building, financial literacy and English as a Second Language. Adults can also earn their GED/HSE, as well as certification in a number of occupations.

Fall & Summer Sale
Next sale: November 3 & 4

Fall & Summer Sale

NEXT SALE: Friday, November 3, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, November 4, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

More than 17,000 square feet of clothing, home and garden, housewares, china, toys, books and more!

Please bring your donated items to the northeast entrance of the church (under the awning).

New this year: Progressive Dinner!
While you are checking out the dozens of booths, stop by food stations for salad, potato bar and dessert. Please purchase dinner wristbands by Sunday, October 29 ($15 per person or $45 per family).

Register for Progressive Dinner

PW's most significant activity is the annual Fall Bazaar and its sister event, the Summer Sale. These events raise tens of thousands of dollars, which support mission projects locally and abroad. We invite you to get involved with these fun and worthwhile events, whether you donate goods, organize a booth, volunteer on sale day, or just shop! It’s a great way to glorify God while getting to know other women in the church.

Purpose: To raise dollars that PW then gives for projects in our church and thoughout our city and the world. To build a caring community that works together to carry out the two events.

Committee meets monthly in the fall. Booth chairs meet with their committees as needed. Help on both sales can be given throughout the year or only during the Fall Sale or Summer Sale. Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year except the week before the Fall Sale and Summer Sale and between the Fall Sale and January 1.

There are many opportunities through the week and during the sales to volunteer. So see how you can help, please view the opportunities and help us serve our community on Sign-up Genius.

Upcoming sales are:

2018 Summer Sale - Saturday, June 2, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
2018 Fall Sale - Friday, November 2, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, November 3, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.


Christmas Benevolence
Frequently Asked Questions

Christmas Benevolence FAQs

Christmas Benevolence 
Living Our Faith

Frequently Asked Questions

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. (Mark 25:35-36, 40)

What is Christmas Benevolence and what is its mission?
Christmas Benevolence is one of the oldest mission traditions of Second Church. It is a church-wide project sponsored by the Deacons. Christmas Benevolence carries the Good News in the form of practical help to families in our community in need of assistance. It provides Bibles, food, clothing, personal items and gifts. It brings Christian love, encouragement and support to people identified by social service agencies.

When and how did it begin?
Christmas Benevolence started over 35 years ago when three women of Second Presbyterian Church who, during a particularly brutal winter, heard about some inner-city children who were not able to go to school because they didn’t have any warm clothing. The three women collected coats, hats, mittens, scarves, and boots for those youngsters. They also gave each child a wrapped present – a toy or a book or other non-essential – because they believed everyone should receive a special gift at Christmastime. They had no idea that their simple idea would become what we know today as Christmas Benevolence.

How many families and people are impacted?
In 2016, the church plans to serve and impact approximately 700 individuals in 144 families. That is a 15 percent increase over 2015. There are also plans this year to improve the way the church serves those families with more food, clothing and personal items.

Christmas Benevolence also impacts those who serve. It gives members of our congregation an opportunity for living their faith and seeing firsthand the impact it has on our neighbors. Delivery day and clothe shopping brings those who want to live their faith in direct contact with our neighbors in need.

How are the families selected?
Social workers are given criteria for whom to select, primarily families with children and with financial and physical needs are chosen.

How can people participate?
People can volunteer their time during the month of December and/or provide financial support. Both online giving and volunteer opportunities can be found at the following links: and Members can also sign up in-person in McFarland Hall on Sunday mornings through December 4th.

How many volunteers are needed?
In 2016, organizers project there will be approximately 800 volunteer slots available throughout the month of December. We have set an inspiring new goal of attracting over 50 first-time volunteers in 2016. Some volunteer opportunities, like delivery day drivers, allow entire families to sign up and serve together.

What do volunteers do?
With approximately 800 volunteer slots, there is literally a volunteer opportunity for everyone. Although some volunteer opportunities require some heavy lifting and physical endurance; many entail general set up, organizing food/clothing items, wrapping gifts, and working directly with families.

  • Box Transfer – Help move boxes from the storage shed into the multi-purpose room on set-up day
  • Clothing Set-up – Help set up the multi-purpose room to resemble a used clothing store
  • Clothing Selection – Work one-on-one with client families to help select outfits from racks and tables of used clothing in the multi-purpose room. Knowledge of Spanish helpful on Saturday the 12th
  • Wrapping – Wrap new gifts, clothe-a-child items and other clothing items
  • Box Packing – Move items from clothing selection and wrapping areas and pack boxes
  • Food Selection Shopper – Select food for families using pre-printed lists in the multi-purpose room “grocery store”. Great for families!
  • Food Selection Bagger – Bag groceries and organize by family in the multi-purpose “grocery store”
  • Food Selection Transporter – Transport bags of groceries from multi-purpose room “grocery store” to various designated areas
  • Food Selection Box Breaker – Help keep all items on display in the multi-purpose room “grocery store” and break down boxes
  • Christmas Card Artists – The children of Second make a Christmas card for every family we serve
  • Delivery Day Drivers – Drive a carload of boxes and bags to a family’s home and interact as you present the items for their Christmas. Great for families!
  • Delivery Day Loaders – Help load cars with boxes and bags

When and how do I sign up for volunteering?
Beginning on Sunday November 6 thru December 4, the Christmas Benevolence volunteer display will be set up in McFarland Hall between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Deacons will be available to answer your questions and help you register as a volunteer. In addition, we will also be reaching out to those attending the Families@Five and Second@Six worship services.

You can learn more at where you will find a helpful link to Sign-Up Genius, the church’s online volunteer sign-up portal. You can also sign up sign up in person in McFarland Hall on Sunday mornings in November through December 4th.

What can I expect when I volunteer?
Those who have volunteered and served throughout the years have received in return the joy of knowing that they have been, for a little while, the hands and feet of Christ.

Volunteering is fun for individuals and families! You will meet an army of engaged, friendly and faithful people of all ages. Children can help with their parents and make Christmas cards. Teens can also help with many of the activities.

Volunteering will impact your life and your family. There are hundreds of personal stories from people just like you who “light up” or get very reflective when sharing about their positive experiences.

What is the schedule of volunteer opportunities?

Here is the schedule for 2016:

Saturday, December 3
Set Up Day and Box Moving
Multi-Purpose Room 9:00 a.m.
Pizza Lunch 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, December 4
New gifts & Clothe-A-Child items are due

Monday, December 5
Clothing Selection in Multi-Purpose Room 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Gift Wrapping in Common Room 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Child Care by Appointment

Tuesday, December 6
Clothing Selection in Multi-Purpose Room 9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm
Gift Wrapping in Common Room 9 am-12 noon
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm
Lunch 12 noon
Child Care by Appointment

Wednesday, December 7
Clothing Selection in Multi-Purpose Room 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Gift Wrapping in Common Room 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 1-4 pm and 6-8:30 pm
Child care by appointment

Thursday, December 8
Clothing Selection in Multi-Purpose Room 6-8:30 pm
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 6-8:30 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 6-8:30 pm
Child care by appointment

Friday, December 9
Clothing Selection in Multi-Purpose Room 9 am-12 noon, 1 pm-4 pm, 6-8:30 pm
Gift Wrapping in Common Room 9 am-12 noon
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 9 am-12 noon, 1 pm-4 pm, 6-8:30 pm
Child care by appointment
Lunch at Noon

Saturday, December 10
Clothing Selection 9:00 am – Noon, Noon – 2:30 pm
Box Packing in Mission Suite 9:00 am – Noon, Noon – 2:30 pm
New Clothing in PW Room (230) 9:00 am – Noon, Noon – 2:30 pm
Child care by appointment
Kids Party Lunch 11:30 – 1:00

Sunday, December 11
Ham Drop-Off before each service

Monday, December 12
Pack up Multi-Purpose Room 9 am-noon
New Clothing PW Room (230) 9 am-noon
Set Up Multi-Purpose Room for Food Delivery 7-8 pm

Tuesday, December 13
New Clothing in PW Room (203) 9 am-noon
Gift Wrapping I Common Room 9 am-noon
Food Unloading and Set Up 9 am-noon, noon-3 pm
Lunch at noon

Wednesday, December 14
Food Selection 6-8:30 pm
Child Care by appointment
Supper at 5 pm

Thursday, December 15
Food Selection 6-8:30 pm
Child care by appointment
Supper at 5 pm

Friday, December 16
CB deacons complete boxing tasks
Help set up for Delivery Day

Saturday, December 17: DELIVERY DAY
Unload freezer 6:30 am
Coordinators’ meeting at 8 am
Deliveries 9 – 11 am
Chili/Hot Dog Lunch 11 am – 1 pm

What is the goal for financial support in 2016?
Christmas Benevolence’s annual fundraising goal is $62,000. This outstanding annual fundraising tradition directly pays for food, clothing, coats, bedding, and other project supplies. It maintains the excellence and impact of Christmas Benevolence. Without financial support from the members of Second Presbyterian Church, Christmas Benevolence can’t exist.

What are “tags” and what do I do with them?
Tags represent gift items that can be purchased for our Christmas Benevolence families by members of the congregation. The gifts range from clothing to toys to kitchen items to hams. The tags are available at the sign-up table in McFarland Hall. Each tag represents one gift item and includes specific instructions that will guide the shopping process. For example, the tag might say something such as a “toy for a 5 year old boy” or “a size 6 pair of pants for a young girl.” When you take a tag, you will purchase the item and return it to the church unwrapped. The gift will later be wrapped by members of the church. The tags and the purchased gift should be returned to the church by Sunday December 4.

Is childcare available for volunteers?
Yes, parents must register their child at the church's web page at

What do I call the individuals and families that we help?
They are our neighbors and friends. Someday they may help us, just as you have helped them. Internally, we refer to them as Christmas Benevolence families.

How can I stay up-to-date about the latest Christmas Benevolence news and happenings?

Christmas Benevolence clothes sizing
(year round)

Christmas Benevolence clothes sizing
(year round)

The third Monday of each month (excluding January, July and December) donated clothing is organized by size by volunteers. The clothing is then given to needy families in our community at Christmas.

  • Each meeting begins with dinner and fellowship at 6:00 pm in the Youth Suite followed by sorting in the Missions room.
  • Childcare is not provided.

Thank you for your donations!

Kairos Prison Ministry

Kairos Prison Ministry

Trained volunteer teams of men and women conduct a three-day weekend program described as a short course in Christianity. The program takes place in the prison and is led by an interdenominational group of clergy and laypersons. Kairos also includes a coordinated follow-up program.

You can join more than 20,000 Kairos volunteers worldwide addressing the spiritual needs of incarcerated men and women, as well as their families. For more information, visit or contact member Charlie Frick.

Young Adult Volunteers

Young Adult Volunteers

Indianapolis is a new site for this PC(USA) program.

IndyYAVs will be a part of the vibrant interfaith community in this large, Midwestern city. Living in community in the city, these volunteers will work with several local and international non-profit agencies that bring together Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Christians to serve God's world.


Indy YAV participants will experience deep engagement and cooperative work with people of diverse religious identities. YAVs will learn to help the community live faithfully with difference. This work will help to broaden understanding of the interfaith and ecumenical landscape of the Indianapolis community and the world.

Indianapolis has transformed from a sleepy Midwestern town to a vibrant, international city. Known as “Crossroads of America,” Indianapolis is a city of religious and cultural diversity, where faith groups work together to address issues of reconciliation and poverty. 


The annual Festival of Faiths celebrates the city's diversity and spirit of cooperation.

Festival of Faiths 2014

To learn more about the YAV program, visit the YAV section of the PC(USA) website. To find out more about IndyYAV, contact David Berry.

This video focuses on the YAV program at Second:

To learn more about Indianapolis, watch this hour-long documentary created when the city hosted the 2012 Super Bowl.

How to use SignUpGenius

How to use SignUpGenius

Please set up an account on SignUpGenius to participate in serving opportunities. Here's how:

1. Visit and select “Login/Join.”  

2. Enter your name, email address and password. Then select “Register Now.”  

3. The next screen shows Sign Ups you have joined, been invited to or created.  

4. If your Sign Up is not on the list, follow the link from an e-mail or the Second website.  

5. The Sign Up includes a description of the service opportunity.  

6. Scroll down to the list of opportunities and select “Sign Up” for the one you want.  

7. Enter your name and contact information. Select “Sign Up Now.”  

8. That’s it! You can easily add this event to your calendar.  

9. Next time you login, this Sign Up will appear in the list on your account screen.  

10. Click on the Sign Up if you need to edit, swap or delete your commitment.​

Find opportunities here.