Families in the Garden (FIG)
Wednesdays, May 23 - June 27, 5:30-7 p.m.

Families in the Garden (FIG)

Families and Friends Service and Devotional Time


Families In the Garden (FIG) gather to share a devotional for talls, smalls, and all. Then, they work with community garden volunteers to help grow food for the food pantry. Fill the bird feeder, clean the bird bath, pick fresh produce, or other independent and/or self-guided tasks help you to tend the garden of God’s love for all people. Families help stock the pantry on rainy days. Be part of the folks who “go and do likewise.” Join your friends and family in the garden.

Ice Cream Social and Church Community Sale
Saturday, June 2, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ice Cream Social and Church Community Sale
Saturday, June 2, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ice Cream Social & Church Community Sale
FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 4:30 - 7:30 PM

Come join your church friends for some refreshment and enjoy shopping before the big sale day! A variety of frozen treats will be for sale. All are welcome.

Public Sale

We invite our neighbors into our church to shop rooms and rooms of gently-used donated items. All proceeds go to local, national and international mission and outreach programs.

There are many opportunities through the week and during the sale to volunteer. To see how you can help, please view the opportunities and help us serve our community on Sign Up Genius or contact Debbie Slack or Maura Hoff.

Donations are always needed, and shopping is strongly encouraged! Please bring your donated items to the northeast entrance of the church (under the awning).

VBS 2018
Monday-Friday, June 25-29
(Kick-Off: Sunday, June 24)

Vacation Bible School - 2018

Stories from the Faith Family Tree

Vacation Bible School is about making friends, playing games, singing songs, painting pictures, sharing snacks, helping others and sealing God's story in our hearts. What a joyful way to add our own stories to the faith family tree!

"May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith as you are being rooted and grounded in love." Ephesians 3:17

Join us for a week-long summer adventure as we dig our roots deep into God’s love and grow strong in our faith.

Questions: contact Rev. Caroline Dennis, at (317) 253-6461 or CDennis@SecondChurch.org.

VBS Kick-Off Worship, Ice Cream Social and Open House

Everyone is invited to join us for worship in McFarland Hall at 4 p.m. During the week, please pray that this will be a safe, happy and meaningful week for our children, families and volunteers.

Vacation Bible School

Register VBS Participants

for children Age 4 (by 9/1/2018) – (rising into) Grade 6

Cost: $30 per person
Early bird discount is available. Pay $25 when you register before May 31.

Registration closes June 10, 2018

For families needing a longer day of enriching experiences …
VBSXtended Day
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM and NOON – 5:00 PM

Cost: $30 for AM; $150 for PM per person
Early bird discount for VBSXtended Day is available. Pay $25 for AM; $125 for PM per person when you register before May 31.

Registration closes June 10, 2018

Extend your VBS day by adding on VBSXtended Day. Children and Family Ministries offers an early morning and/or afternoon of loving care for VBS Particpants. Children have lunch time with a meal brought from home, take a rest, enjoy arts and crafts, quiet and active games, and outdoor play.

Volunteer for VBS

Register to Volunteer

VBS volunteers range from rising 7th grade to mid-nineties! There is a job for everyone, from classroom teachers to technology assistants, snack preparers to craft creators. We hope you can volunteer with us all five days but we welcome your help on as many days as you may be available. The gift of your time and creative energy will plant seeds of faith that will grow though the life of a child (and your own!).

VBS Volunteers must plan to attend one VBS Volunteer Orientation & Teacher Training Session, spend 2 hours on Classroom Setup and Decorating, and stay for Clean-up Friday afternoon (6/29). 

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to registration, all NEW Volunteers need to complete the Second Presbyterian Church Volunteer Application Form and Background Check. Find a link to this form in your registration confirmation email. Previous volunteers will be notified if a new background check is needed.

A VBS experience for young children of VBS volunteers...
VBS Jr - Childcare

Register for Childcare 

While you volunteer, your children who are under 4 years old may participate in age appropriate VBS activities while receiving tender care (& a t-shirt) in our nursery.

Please note: VBS Jr Childcare is available to volunteers, for their children under 4 years old, only on days when they are volunteering.

Questions: contact Rev. Caroline Dennis, at (317) 253-6461 or CDennis@SecondChurch.org.

Summer Sale Volunteers Needed
Saturday, June 1 & 2

Summer Sale
Volunteers Needed


It takes many volunteers and many hours of sorting, organizing, and arranging throughout the year to accomplish these large sales. We need those willing to spend a couple of hours working in the different areas, collecting money, bagging purchases, and welcoming & guiding visitors around our church.
  • We need you! You may offer your services by adding your name to Sign Up Genius. Workers will receive a call from a booth chairman within a week to confirm your participation.
You may offer your services by adding your name to Sign Up Genius using the link here, or by contacting Debbie Slack or Maura Hoff.

Summer Service Trips
July 2018

Summer Service Trips

July 2018

The Summer of 2018 will be amazing with two service trips. Sign ups for both will begin on Sunday, April 1.

Middle School Service Trip - July 9-13
Crawfordsville, IN

Register Now

We will be staying at Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church and will work with several local organizations. A day of fun will also be planned. Spaces are limited for students who will have completed 6-8 grades.

High School Service Trip - July 22-28
Chicago, IL

Register Now

We will be staying at Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago. We will take public transportation throughout the city to work with a wide variety of service organizations. Spaces are limited for those who have completed 9-12 grades.

Each trip will feature work days, small group reflections, worship, fun excursions, and plenty of surprises. If you would like to learn more about our philosophy of trips, click here.

We hope every student will take advantage of this lifechanging opportunity to travel and give and grow in faith.

Welcome Picnic - Save the Date
Sunday, August 26

Welcome Picnic

Save the Date


"They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."  Acts 2:46-47

Mark your calendar to join the church community in welcoming Rev. Chris Henry, Rev. Sara Hayden and their sons. 

Worship services on Sunday morning, August 26 will be at 8:15 and 10 a.m.

Music • Food • Games • Activities • Fun • Fellowship 

The Future is Now
Wednesday, June 13, 11:30 a.m.

The Future is Now

Jim McClelland, "Drug Czar of Indiana"

Please join us for a light lunch and a very informative program about the “Opioid Epidemic.”
Jim McClelland, member of Second and Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement will discuss this devastating crisis in our society. He was appointed by Governor Holcomb in 2017 and is charged with coordination, aligning and focusing the relevant work of a wide array of state agencies that affect abuse issues.
Reservations are needed, so please sign up via online, at the Sages Reservations Table in McFarland Hall on Sundays, or at the Front Desk during the week. Cost per person is $8.00.
Registration Deadline: Monday, June 4, Noon.

Tai Chi for Health
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. (June 5 - July 17)

Tai Chi for Health

TUESDAYS: 5:30-6:30 PM (JUNE 5 - JULY 17)

Tai Chi is a mind-body exercise based on a series of movements shown to improve health and well-being. Tai Chi for Health is a form of Tai Chi modified to be a safe exercise practiced by a wide range of ages and fitness levels. Classes offered through CenterPoint Counseling and led by Ingrid Ritchie, Certified Instructor, Tai Chi for Health Institute.

Six Week Class: Tai Chi for Beginners: $60/Person, (June 5 - July 17— No meeting June 26) Registration required. Call to register (317) 252-5518. 

Exhibits in McFarland Hall
Spring/Summer 2018

Exhibits in McFarland Hall

“Art is truly a reflection of God’s creative spirit. Through the creation and perception of beauty, we praise and celebrate the creative power of God. Art is, in this respect, an aspect of worship. The struggle to build harmony in music, beauty on a blank canvas, or implement a creative idea is more than an act of faith—it becomes a quiet act of love” — Martha Sando, member of Second Church and the Fine Arts Advisory Team

The Fine Arts Advisory Team encourages everyone at Second to experience a sense of wonder and joy by these acts of love in the following upcoming exhibits:

Works of Randall Harden

Randall Scott Harden dedicates his being to creating art - it is his lifestyle. He sees the world through an artist’s eyes - as patterns of color, shapes, and light. At an early age, Randall felt the need to use art as a tool to interpret the world as he knew it.  He was tutored by local talent and continued to study throughout his life in workshops, museums, studios, and en plein air (outdoor painting) alongside his awardwinning peers. Today, he has a successful career bringing his vision to others through his paintings and workshops.

Watercolor Society of Indiana

The Watercolor Society of Indiana (WSI) hosts its annual Membership Show in McFarland Hall. The goals of WSI are four-fold: promote a strong awareness of, and interest in Indiana watercolor painting; to further the interest of painters in watercolor by sponsoring programs and competitive exhibits; to encourage the study of watercolor by art students and others engaged in the visual arts; and to establish the highest aesthetic standards in the field of watercolor painting.

Works of April Willy, Susan Mauck, and Jerry Points

Three prominent area artists share traditional, impressionist, and modern expressions of the timeless oil-on-canvas medium.

Jazz in June
Sunday, June 17

Jazz in June

"Jazz at Second" by Gary Walters, Jazz Pianist

Second’s Jazz Trio will provide festive musical leadership. Come and lift your voice with this unique musical offering!

Jazz at Second Presbyterian has a great history. The late Jack Gilfoy collaborated with Rev. Dr. Bill Enright to establish the Second@Six service with the intent to create a worship environment more casual in appearance but every bit as reverent as the more traditional services found at Second and other Presbyterian churches. I’m honored to help carry on that tradition with Erin Twenty Benedict, Chris Pyle, and Jack’s first choice for bass, Steve Dokken.
Many fine jazz musicians have established a connection between the art form they love and their belief in God. The great Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington composed both short form pieces, including Come Sunday and Heaven, and long-form works including Black, Brown & Beige and his three separate Sacred Concerts, the first of which was recorded at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. The legendary pianist Dave Brubeck (Take Five), composed several different sacred works including his cantata The Gates of Justice, which mixed biblical scripture with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as a full mass setting titled To Hope! A Celebration (a Mass in the Revised Roman Ritual). Many other jazz artists have used their talents to participate in the sacred music of their church and composed music that was important to their spiritual practices. 

Second Calls New Senior Co-Pastor

Second Calls New Senior Co-Pastor

On Sunday, April 8, the congregation voted to call Reverend Christopher A. Henry to be senior co-pastor. He begins this new role in June 2018, serving with Dr. Lewis Galloway, who has served as Second's senior pastor for 14 years and who plans to retire this summer.

Below is a playlist of short videos to help you get to know Chris and his family a little better:

Rev. Chris Henry comes to Second from Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, where he has served as Senior Pastor for seven years. He is a graduate of Duke University (B.A. in Religion) and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He has served the wider church in a variety of capacities, currently serving as a member of Columbia Seminary’s board of trustees, the advisory board of NEXT Church, and on the board of the Alliance for Christian Media.

Chris has a passion for preaching that both inspires and challenges all to faithful living in complex times. He believes that churches have the capacity and the mandate to be places of transformation in the lives of individuals, the surrounding community and the world.

His wife, The Rev. Sara Hayden, has served since 2014 as Ministry Associate for the 1001 New Worshipping Communities movement of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The couple has two sons, Samuel (age 4) and Benjamin (age 1).

Letter from Rev. Chris Henry:

Dear Friends,
Though we have not yet had the opportunity to meet, you have been in my heart and mind for several months now. I am filled with hope and anticipation for the journey that is ahead of us, and I am deeply honored to be nominated to serve as your next Senior Pastor. In conversation with friends, mentors, and colleagues around the nation and particularly in exploring this potential call with the faithful and gifted members of your Pastoral Nominating Committee, my vision of Second Presbyterian Church has grown in clarity and depth. I know that to serve as your pastor means building on an extraordinary foundation of Christian witness, worship, mission, and discipleship. I know that to join in your ministry means becoming part of one of our nation’s most vibrant and gifted congregations. Your contributions to the city of Indianapolis, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Christian Church around the world, are truly remarkable. I am humbled and I am grateful.

I have been deeply blessed by the privilege of serving for seven years as Senior Pastor of Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. We have experienced wonderful growth and have seen the power of God at work in broad and deep ways among us. I continue to find my ministry at Shallowford both rewarding and challenging, and the congregation has been a community of grace for our family. Still, from my first conversation with your PNC co-chairs, I could sense that God’s Spirit was on the move. With the eyes of my heart, I could see the possibilities ahead. Since that time, you have not been far from my mind or my prayers. As others came and went, this potential call remained like a steady drumbeat that began to sound like God’s own voice. I am convinced that God was, and is, calling me to Second Presbyterian Church.

My partner in this journey of life and ministry, and the most spiritually-centered person I know, is Sara Hayden. We will celebrate our tenth anniversary in August. The greatest joy of our life together is the gift of being parents to Samuel and Benjamin. Sam is a wise and kind four-year-old who loves to be exploring outside or listening to a good story. Ben, who turned one on March 10, is on the verge of walking and loves to follow his big brother around. We join you as a family and look forward to making Second our church home.

From my earliest memories to my most recent worship experience, church has been the place where I have met God. In congregations of faithful believers who gather regularly to be sustained and sent out, I have witnessed the risen Christ. In strangers who become sisters and brothers, I have seen the Spirit weave the fabric of community together in profound ways. In the power of sacred words read and shared, I have come to believe in a living God who is still speaking. My prayer is that our ministry together will be a testimony to God’s grace at work in the world. I can’t wait to get started!

With gratitude and joy,

Pastoral Nominating Committee: Karen Buttrey, Co-Chair, Jerry Hallett, Co-Chair
Beth Bedwell, Carolyn Dederer, Bob Getts, Shadreck Kamwendo, Bud Melton, Eric Mercer, Anne Nobles,
Bill Sando, Kristine Seufert and Cindy Swider

Who is Chris Henry?

I cannot think of a greater blessing for Second Presbyterian church than to have Chris Henry step into the role of your soon-to-be Senior Pastor. Your storied congregation will soon discover that you have called one of the most gifted Christian leaders of this generation. Chris is a rare combination of high intellect and warm-heartedness. He preaches a message that challenges the mind, nourishes the spirit, and encourages discipleship. He also has a swell sense of humor and genuinely enjoys every aspect of ministry. He is beloved by centenarians, babies in the nursery and everyone else in between. He loves them all right back.

Chris and I have known one another since he came to work as seminary intern at a church I served as pastor in Atlanta. The congregation immediately fell in love with him. When he graduated from seminary (at the top of his class), he was ordained as our Associate Pastor, a job he fulfilled as if he already had twenty years of experience under his belt. He was a great colleague from the start. After he became pastor of his own congregation in Atlanta, his tenure there was soon marked by strong numerical and spiritual growth on the part of the membership, a flourishing children and youth program, and broad, effective outreach into the community.

You will love Chris and his wife Sara Hayden, an especially gifted minister herself who knows more about new church development than anyone else around. Their family is filled with love and delight, and their splendid little boys, Samuel and Ben, will soon steal your hearts.

All of this is to say that the Second Presbyterian Pastoral Search Committee has found for you a genuine treasure. I have no doubt that Chris will lead you well into a new tomorrow and a deeper life in Christ.

To God be the glory!

Rev. Dr. Joanna M. Adams 
Pastor Emerita, Morningside Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA

I am thrilled that Chris will be the next pastoral leader for Second Presbyterian Church. I have always found Chris to be a person of high integrity and humility. He is an excellent leader who is authentically himself both in and out of the pulpit. I look forward to what happens in the next season of Second Presbyterian Church’s life.

Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner
Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL

From the day I met Chris Henry as a freshman at Duke, I knew that God had given us someone very special. As a student, Chris always took the most demanding courses and pushed himself to prepare as best he could, because of his great respect for the mission of Jesus Christ and the part he was to play in that mission.

After watching him thrive in seminary, I got to see Chris dive into pastoral leadership. Testing himself in a variety of church situations, Chris showed what good judgment God had used in calling and equipping someone like Chris to lead the church.

And now Chris has been called to one of the grand congregations in his denomination. Chris Henry is just the right person to lead Second Presbyterian into the future. Hey, Second Pres, hold on to your hats. With Chris Henry as your pastor, you will end up miles from here!

Will Willimon
Former Dean, Duke University Chapel, United Methodist Bishop, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke University

Q&A with Chris Henry

1. Why are you considering the call to come to Second?

Because I truly believe that God is calling us to join in ministry together. While I have never experienced God’s call as a flash of lightning or thundering voice from the heavens, I believe God does speak to us in palpable ways. For me, this has most often come in conversations with those who know and love me best and in the subtle but steady form of experiences that point the way forward. Since last summer, I have seen and heard God’s call to consider this unique ministry opportunity.

2. What intrigues you about our congregation? What opportunities most excite you?

Second Presbyterian Church is, without a doubt, a leading congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and of mainline Protestantism. I am intrigued and inspired by the incredible history of this congregation and its vital role in shaping the future of faith in our nation. The vision and leadership capacity of Second Presbyterian can be a catalyst for renewal both within this congregation and far beyond. I am also excited for opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue and action on the issues that face Indianapolis and the wider culture. I believe that God has gifted this church in such a wide variety of ways, and I believe that God’s gifts always come with a call to use them in the service of others.

3. What leadership positions have you held?

In addition to serving as senior pastor of a growing congregation for the last seven years, I have had the opportunity to provide leadership to the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta through its Coordinating Council and Examinations Commission. I have also enjoyed serving our denomination and am now a member of the Board of Trustees at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia and on the Advisory Board of the NEXT Church movement.

4. What would you say have been your greatest accomplishments at your current church?

The Shallowford congregation has really experienced remarkable growth over the last seven years. We have increased from a membership of 717 to a membership of 1,048 in that time, and our annual budget has increased by 61%. Among those who have joined the Shallowford congregation in that time, many are young families or have young children. This has contributed to a sense of renewed energy and vitality in the church. Still, I think perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our time together has been the genuine sense of intergenerational community that has emerged. I love serving a church with active members at every stage of life, and particularly enjoy watching relationships form among those representing different life stages. Shallowford has grown deeper and wider in our time together.

5. What is your favorite thing about being a pastor?

Baptisms! Also, the amazing privilege of walking with people and communities through every joy and sorrow that life can bring, and representing the presence of God with them in each moment. I continue to be astounded that God has called me to serve in this way. Astounded, and grateful.

6. Why did you feel called to ministry?

Church has always been home for me. When I was a freshman at Duke University, I began to sense that God was calling me into ministry. I considered whether that might be mission work, academic pursuits, or a ministry of advocacy. And then, I felt called back home to the place where my call was formed. In the intervening years, I had fallen in love with the power of the spoken word. And so, I discovered the gift of preaching and the joy of serving congregations…it was a perfect fit!

7. What appeals to you about being part of PC(USA)?

The PC(USA) is my theological home because it has shaped my faith and my life. I was born nine months before reunification, and so I am roughly as old as the denomination, which seems fitting. I love being part of a denomination that takes the Bible seriously, that honors different and even divergent perspectives, that believes God calls us to live faithfully, and that trusts in God’s sovereign love.

8. What is your favorite Bible passage?

Honestly, it depends on the situation! For me, the letters of Paul have been formative and instructive. I am especially drawn to his letter to the Romans. I am challenged by his instruction at the end of the letter, Romans 15:7, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” What would it mean to welcome others just as Christ has welcomed us?! How might that bring glory to God?

9. Tell us about your family.

I grew up as the second of four children and am the son of a Presbyterian minister and a clinical psychologist. Since August of 2008, I have been married to Rev. Sara Hayden, who is on our denomination’s staff as part of the 1001 New Worshipping Communities movement. We have two sons—Samuel is four and Benjamin is one. We are loving the energy of two young sons and missing some of the sleep that once came so easily!

10. What do you enjoy in your free time?

A few years ago, I decided to become a runner. I hated it for three months, then I fell in love with it. Now, I try to carve out time for running, which is good for body, mind and spirit. I love watching college basketball (mostly Duke basketball), eating out with friends and reading a good biography or novel.

11. What is your favorite food?

Is coffee a food? If so, I’ll go with that. If not, I would say that Indian cuisine is a current favorite—I love the spices and preparation methods of good south Asian food.

12. Who are your favorite sports teams?

I was fortunate enough to experience a men’s national basketball championship my freshmen year at Duke. As one who had been a fan since I was seven years old, that was a highlight of my college years. I still try to get back for a game or two each year. While I follow professional sports, my allegiance is somewhat thin. I do like the Carolina Panthers (growing up in NC) and the St. Louis Cardinals (where my brother lives)…but I guess I should say Colts and Pacers, right?


Five Good Books: Christian Theologies

Five Good Books for May

Christian Theologies


  1. James Cone, God of the Oppressed, revised edition (Orbis, 1997)
  2. B. A. Gerrish, Christian Faith: Dogmatics in Outline (Westminster John Knox, 2015)
  3. Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding, third edition (Eerdmans, 2014)
  4. Kwok Pui-lan, Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology (Westminster John Knox, 2005)
  5. Delores Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, 20th anniversary edition (Orbis, 2013)