Monthly Newsletter

Monthly Newsletter

Find out what is going on at Second in the monthly newsletter available online or throughout the church building.

February Sermon Series
Sunday, February 24: "The Root of All Evil"

February Sermon Series

Into the Fray

SUNDAYS, 8:15, 9:30, 11 AM

Sometimes, it feels like what holds us together is unraveling. Divisive issues, tense and charged rhetoric, complex topics, the constant blurring and news and noise, strained relationships. In many ways, the ties that bind and unite us are frayed. How are we, as the Body of Christ, called to respond? Our faith calls us “into the fray” in ways that honor God and seek reconciliation with others.

This month, we are exploring what it means to be the church in troubled times. Join us for honest and authentic engagement with tough topics as we look to God’s word for signs of hope and promises of restoration.

FEBRUARY 3: “Sticks, Stones, Words” | PDF

"The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  (James 3:6)

This week, we begin our series with a focus on the power of words. The scriptures of our faith challenge us to recognize and respect the impact that our words have on others, to speak wisely and to choose our words carefully. As we encounter rhetoric of division and despair, how might the words we speak offer a healing balm in the world?


"Until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:13)

This Sunday, we’ll explore the role of the church in a time when many describe themselves as “spiritual, but not religious” (SBNR). The Christian movement has long struggled with temptation to seek a private spirituality that avoids the messiness of human community. But the message of the incarnation (the Word became flesh) calls us to a deeper commitment, more challenging, and, ultimately rewarding, life of faith in the real world. Join us this week for a challenging and nourishing message!

FEBRUARY 17: “Red God, Blue God” | PDF

“Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” (Matthew 22:21) 

This Sunday, we continue our “Into the Fray” sermon series focused on complex questions facing people of faith. In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked whether it is right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar. It is a trick question, and Jesus evades the trap with a provocative response: “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and give to God the things that are God’s.” 

The proper intersection of Christian faith and political engagement is an area of disagreement and debate. How can we engage in significant conversations in the public square while honoring our Christian faith and those who disagree with us? What belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?

Join us Sunday for an important and timely message.

FEBRUARY 24: “The Root of All Evil” | PDF

“ in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”  (1 Timothy 6:10) 

This Sunday, we continue our “Into the Fray” sermon series focused on real world issues facing people of Christian faith. This week’s topic is the proper role of money and wealth in our lives. Jesus spoke often of the difficulty we humans have keeping God in the center of lives that are filled with possessions and minds that yearn for more. Our faith calls us to contentment with enough. Our faith invites us to the joy of generosity, which can transform our lives and open us to God’s presence in new and powerful ways. Join us Sunday for an inspiring message on a timely topic.

How to use playlist below: In the top left corner of the video, you can toggle between sermons. They are listed in chronological order.  

Sundays, 5 p.m.


Sundays, 5 p.m.

Together@5 provides an engaging worship experience in McFarland Hall that includes space for interaction during and after the service, a diverse variety of sacred music, a meaningful message, and time for reflection. The relaxed style of the service offers a worship opportunity for families and individuals of all ages who are not able to attend our morning services or are looking for something different. We also continue and renew the traditions of weekly communion, consistent worship leadership, and a time of food and fellowship following the service. Join us on January 6, 2019!

Dear Friends,

Worship is at the heart of everything we do at Second Presbyterian Church—the place where we gather in community, offer our praise and thanks to God, hear and share the gospel message, and receive nourishment and strength for the journey of faith. I am grateful for the gift of worship that equips, inspires, and sends us as disciples of Jesus Christ.

It is a joy for me to share plans for a new Sunday evening worship experience at Second Presbyterian Church. Beginning on Epiphany, January 6, 2019, you are invited to "Together@5", a new worship service held in McFarland Hall on Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

Together@5 will be relaxed in style, lively in spirit, and relational from start to finish. I look forward to sharing more details about Together@5 as January draws nearer.

As we build enthusiasm and make plans for this new worship experience, we want to be good and faithful stewards of our resources. The discernment process which resulted in a vision for Together@5 also led us to decide to bring our other Sunday evening worships services to a close. Families@Five will hold its final service in the chapel on November 25th. Second@Six will hold its final service in the Sanctuary on November 11th. Both have provided wonderfully meaningful worship for many years, and in the weeks ahead we will give thanks and celebrate the good gifts received and shared through the communities built in those services.

Together@5 will, in many ways, highlight the best parts of Second's past Sunday evening services. The space of McFarland Hall will also give us freedom to worship in completely new ways. I hope you will join me at 5:00 on January 6 when we, as a community of faith, begin this new thing together.

With peace and grace,

Chris Henry

Theology on Tap
Tuesday, February 26

Theology on Tap

A Deeper Conversation About Faith, hosted by Young Adults

Theology on Tap is hosted by Young Adults, but is for any person who wants to attend. We meet (generally) the fourth Tuesday of the month for conversation and catch up, as well as for deep conversations about theological topics. Some of our previous topics have centered around the Bible, resurrection, grief, and faith. The speakers vary on a month by month basis. There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, as well as snack foods. 

All are welcome to come and share in the rich conversation. 

February 26: Justice
Lake Fellows

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Rev. Meagan Findeiss or Rev. Owen Gray

March 26: Mercy and Forgiveness

April 23: Love
David Berry

May 28: Wisdom
Chris Henry

Florence Price Symposium
March 8-10, 2019

Florence Price Symposium

Explore the music, life and legacy of a prolific African-American composer

          In a letter written by Florence Price to the Boston Symphony’s music director, Serge Koussevitzky, in November 1943 --- "Unfortunately the work of a woman composer is preconceived by many to be light, frothy, lacking in depth, logic and virility; Add to that the incident of race – I have Colored blood in my veins – and you will understand some of the difficulties that confront one in such a position.”

The Florence Price Symposium Weekend, March 8-10, recognizes and celebrates the music, life and legacy of a prolific composer. We will hear her music, learn her story, and discuss how these things might inform our present and future.

As a community of faith where Jesus Christ transforming lives, we are called to praise and glorify God, embody God’s love in service to the world, listen for God’s word, express gratitude to God and love and care for each other.

This weekend provides community space for listening and talking to and with each other, learning and growing together.


Organ Music of Florence Price | Dr. John Allegar, organ



Studio In Bloom with String Quartet and Children's Choirs - Live chamber music experience curated for ALL AGES to explore the folk settings of Florence Price with Children's Choirs from Second Presbyterian and Greenbriar Elementary.

11:45 a.m., COMMUNITY ROOM

Lunch and Learn - Interactive Multimedia Presentation about the Music and Life of Florence Price | Dr. John Allegar, lecturer. Cost: $10

Register for Lunch & Learn


SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 9:30 & 11 a.m., SANCTUARY

Music in Worship by Sanctuary Choir and String Quartet | Dr. Michelle L. Louer, conductor


Vocal & Orchestral Music - Art Songs and Spirituals with Mezzo-Soprano Marietta Simpson; Symphony No. 3; Mississippi River Suite | Dr. Michelle L. Louer, conductor

  • Mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson has performed with many of the world’s great conductors and with orchestras throughout the U.S and Europe including the Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, etc. Ms. Simpson has made many recordings and television appearances, including the Covent Garden production of Porgy and Bess.
  • Themes in Mississippi River Suite are from four spirituals – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Stand Still, Jordan, Go Down, Moses, and Deep River.
  • Symphony No. 3 was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration's Federal Music Project during the height of the Great Depression. The composition is Price's third symphony, following her Symphony in E minor—the first symphony by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra.


All events are free and non-ticketed, with the exception of Saturday’s Lunch and Learn, $10 each.  

CHILD CARE AVAILABLE for events with advanced registration.

 For more information, contact 317-253-6461 x309;

Sunday School Offering
Sunday, February 24

Sunday School Offerings

Umoja Project in Kenya


Children’s Offerings for December, January and February are going to sponsor a child’s school fees through our Umoja project in Kenya. Our current collection totals $154.57. Every penny counts! This Sunday, February 24 is our last Sunday for this quarter’s offering. We are asking our children to help us meet our $250 goal through their Sunday School offerings this Sunday.

Docent Art Tour
Sunday, March 3, 12:10 p.m.

Docent Art Tour


Learn about the history and meaning of our Sanctuary Banners with Ginny Ort.

Meet by the Sanctuary Piano following the 11 a.m. worship service. Tour lasts approximately 15 minutes. Docent Art Tours are held on the first Sunday of the month immediately following the 11 a.m. service. Topics change each month.


Throughout the history of all religions, art has served the same purposes. Whatever the religion, whatever the artistic medium, no matter how skilled the artist, religious art serves to praise God, inspire the faithful, instruct the masses, warn the errant, soothe the suffering, comfort the fearful, focus the wayward, or increase devotion. Can you see how the art found in Second Presbyterian provides those gifts? Would you like to understand more about how those intents are achieved through the medium of visual arts?

A new program has been designed to share and explore the various art pieces found in Second Presbyterian Church. Congregational docents will guide small groups to share and explore the art you see around you. Brief tours, appropriate for all ages, will be offered after the 11 a.m. service on the first Sunday morning of each month or as scheduled programs for church groups. These short discussions are designed to explore specific mediums and religious perspectives. Tour topics will include the stained glass in the sanctuary and the chapel, statuary, textiles, portraits, religious symbolism, paintings, architecture, carvings, and contemporary art.

What questions do you have about the art we see throughout the building? Where are the rose windows? What is significant about Tiffany glass? What is the meaning of the banners hanging in the sanctuary? Where are Meghan’s etched panels? Where are the two statues of Jesus? What themes are illustrated in the stained glass windows on the side aisles of the sanctuary? What do the carvings in the top of the arches in the sanctuary mean? Who are the people in the oil portraits lining the halls of the church? What art is found elsewhere in the building? Who creates the artwork we see in McFarland Hall? Could my artwork be displayed in Second Church?

Join us the first Sunday of each month. We’ll meet in front of the chapel at 12:10 and spend 15 to 20 minutes learning more about what inspires, warns, teaches, soothes, comforts, focuses, and occupies us through the use of paint, glass, fabric, limestone, marble, wood, and plastic. As you would expect from Second, where excellence is always the intent, the art in our worship spaces and halls is wonderful! 

Sages Luncheon
Tuesday, March 12, 11:30 a.m.

Sages Luncheon

at the "New" Old Spaghetti Factory


Join the Sages for lunch at The "NEW" Old Spaghetti Factory in Carmel on March 12 at 11:30 a.m. The new address is 918 S. Rangeline Rd. in Carmel. 

In honor of Presidents Day we will be having a quiz on the Presidents and giving prizes to the top 4 winners. Join in the fun. 

Seating is limited to 25, so make your reservations early. Starting on February 17, sign up during coffee hour on Sundays or at the front desk during office hours. We will order from the menu and pay individually. If you have any questions, call Sally & Bob Bratton (317) 846-1844.

Deadline for reservations is March 4 at noon or as soon as we reach 25 reservations (whichever comes first)! 

Revival Breakfast Gathering
Third Saturday each month, 8 a.m.


Breakfast Gathering of Men@Second


Saturday, March 16

Please RSVP to Bob Getts.

A unique monthly breakfast gathering for all Men at Second to grow our relationships and hear how God has been at work in the lives of those men next to us in the pew.

We will continue to meet on the third Saturday of each month. Come be revived!

Whitewater Valley PW Retreat Day
Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Whitewater Valley PW Retreat Day

God's Promises: I Am with You Always
Genesis 28:15

Retreat Leader: Sharon Garlough Brown, Sensible Shoes author

Download Registration Form

Gathering Mission Project: Second Presbyterian Food Pantry
Please donate diapers or feminine hygiene products. The offering will also go to the church food pantry.

Childcare is available by reservation at Please reserve by March 16.

The Future is Now Luncheon
With Dr. David Chaddock
Wednesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m.

The Future is Now

Luncheon with Dr. David Chaddock

Transitions: The Joys and Challenges
With Dr. David Chaddock

Please join the Sages for lunch and a wonderful program on Wednesday, March 20 at 11:30 a.m. in the Community Room. The cost is $8 per person.

Dr. David Chaddock is the Director of CenterPoint Counseling and he will talk about the various transitions that we experience in life, some are joyful, some are challenging, and some are both.

Please make your reservations and non-refundable payments via on-line, in McFarland Hall on Sundays, or at the front desk during office hours.

Deadline for reservations is Tuesday, March 10 at noon.

Power & Promise
Tuesday, March 12

Power & Promise
Christian Theological Seminary



An Evening Honoring Phil Gulley and Progressive Spiritual Writing with Dan Wakefield.

Visit for details. Admission is $25. (Students are free but need to register.)

And check out Writing for Your Life, Spiritual Writers’ Conference, March 13-14 at St. Luke’s UMC.

Colorful Connections Art Exhibit
February 3 - March 23

Exhibits in McFarland Hall

Colorful Connections Through a Child's Eyes

“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:

“Colorful Connections Through a Child’s Eyes”

This exhibit features works by Greenbriar Elementary students and is presented by the Fine Arts Advisory Team. Second partners with Greenbriar Elementary to provide volunteers who mentor and tutor students, support teachers, and help with PTO events. For more information, contact Jan Millholland.

Interfaith Hospitality Network
Because Every Child Deserves a Home
April 14-21

Interfaith Hospitality Network

Because Every Child Deserves a Home

PLEASE NOTE: Due to remodeling on the 3rd floor at Second, all IHN activities in February will take place at THE INDIANAPOLIS HEBREW CONGREGATION (6501 N. Meridian Street.)

Register Now

Along with Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis, we are committed to helping homeless families in our community. During hosting week, we provide a safe and comfortable space for families of two (2) to eight (8), including breakfast, dinner, activities and recreation, and transportation to and from the Day Center where adults receive case management services to be able to secure meaningful employment and safe permanent housing.

Volunteers are needed to spend the night, drive the van, and play with kids. You can make a difference in transforming families lives. Stop by McFarland Hall or email

Future Hosting Weeks in 2019 will be:

  • July 21-28
  • October 13-20


Kevin Trager 2019 Men@Second Fly Fishing Trip
June 6 - 9

Kevin Trager 2019 Men@Second Fly Fishing Trip


Register Now

This year we will be headed back to the White River in beautiful Arkansas, home of world record Brown Trout and miles and miles of trophy tailwater! We have a large, rustic cabin with beds for 16 just a few feet from the famous North Fork of the White River, knowledgeable guides who can help us float the world-class White River, and faith-filled discussions to enrich your souls and deepen your faith. 


Here is the plan:

Thursday, June 6
•    Depart Second Presbyterian Church, 5:30 a.m. (8 hour drive)
•    Settle into cabin in the afternoon / wade fishing in the evening

Friday, June 7
•    Half or full-day guided trip from river boats (Guides are optional but highly recommended.)
•    Fish at leisure in the afternoon / wade fishing in the evening

Saturday, June 8
•    Optional half or full-day guided trip
•    Fish at leisure

Sunday, June 9
•    Church service in the morning at the cabin
•    Fish at leisure in AM if you want to
•    Leave for Indy any time from 10-noon.
•    Arrive at Second by 6-8 p.m.

Spiritual Development: Besides excellent trout fishing, the purpose of the weekend is to provide opportunities to deepen our faith and get to know each other better.  The team will be leading inspiring faith discussions throughout the weekend.  

Meals:  We will cook our own food in the cabin and bring food to eat streamside. Full-day guided trips provide lunch.

What to bring:  Waders, fly rod & reel, fly vest. We will purchase a selection of flies online ahead of time (very cheaply). If you are interested and don’t have gear, please let us know.

Cabin: The River Ridge Inn is a premier resort for fisherman nestled along 1.5 miles of shoreline of the North Fork of the White River near Norfolk, Arkansas. The North Fork is a very wadable stream.  It is a “tailwater” so it’s rises and falls with the power generation schedule. Other options include the White River which is just 5-10 minutes away.

Guides are totally optional but highly recommended so you get the most from your experience. Full or half day float trip options are available on Friday and Saturday.   

Costs: Estimate $250 - $300 for the trip. If you’d like a guide, add $175 / person + tip for ½ day and $225 / person + tip for a full day. To reserve your spot for the trip, $200 deposit is required by Wed, April 15. Final group expenses will be tallied and split evenly based on actual expenses. Payment in advance for your guide service is due by April 15. Space is limited to 16 people. Father/ son combos are fine for mature high school or older kids. Make checks out to Second Presbyterian with “fishing trip” in memo line. You can also register online

Questions? Contact Steve Haigh (317) 459-8562 or Jim Riley (317) 432-6644


River Ridge Inn

Guide Service
North Arkansas Troutfitters  

Videos from previous trips:

About Kevin Trager: Many of you knew Kevin, who attended our trips to Arkansas and North Carolina. Kevin was an avid fly fisherman, wonderful dad and father, friend and all around great guy. We lost Kevin in 2016 and want to keep him close in our hearts as we fish together this spring. 

Hope to see you there!

5 Good Books for February
Recommended by John Franke

5 Good Books for February

The History of Christianity

Recommended by John Franke

  1. Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, 2nd edition (HarperOne, 2010)
  2. Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day, 2nd edition (HarperOne, 2010)
  3. Paul Johnson, History of Christianity (Simon & Schuster, 1979)
  4. Dairmaid MacCulloch, Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (Penguin, 2011)
  5. Robert Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (Yale 2013)


Rehm Guild Luncheon
Tuesday, March 26, Noon

Rehm Guild Luncheon


Disaster Response
Speaker: Allison Curts, Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church

Please make a reservation no later than noon on the Thursday before to Jane Williams, by email at: or (phone 317-726-7227).

Tuesday, April  23

Children’s Christian  Music
Speaker: Karen Archbold, Director and Composer

Please make a reservation no later than noon on the Thursday before to Jane Williams, by email at: or (phone 317-726-7227).

Rev. Christopher Henry
Senior Pastor

Rev. Christopher Henry

Rev. Christopher Henry
Senior Pastor


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

Rev. Chris Henry came to Second from Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, where he 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, 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 and Benjamin.

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?

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