Update from Rev. Chris Henry - August 1, 2020

Hello Second Family,

I’m writing to you after having spent some intentional and important time with my family – remembering to reflect, make new memories, look ahead, listen and look for God’s presence in stillness and beauty, through laughter and tears. I thank God that we are on this journey together. I thank God for scripture’s clear call to cling to faith, hope, and love through each peak and valley we encounter.

We have an update to share on in-person worship at Second – something that is deeply important to each of us. Our hope had been to gather for in-person worship, with new protocols and processes, as early as August 9. However, current increases in COVID-19 cases and warnings against returning too soon make it clear that we must carry this hope further down the road. For now, we will continue to worship virtually only through at least Sunday, September 6. We've developed a list of helpful Q&As to keep you updated and informed on these decisions. And to help you stay engaged as we continue to carry out our mission!

Mitigating the known risk of the spread of COVID-19 within large, confined gatherings, and maintaining our steadfast commitment to the health and safety of our full congregation and the greater community make this the right decision for Second Presbyterian Church. To offer more insight behind this decision, I’ll share a video conversation with Chandy John, MD, MS, and Ryan White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease Global Health at Indiana University School of Medicine, as early as next week. A regular worshipper at Second and a leading voice in the area of infectious disease, Chandy has been a wise and thoughtful counselor each step of the way. I want to share his perspective with you. Also through at least Sunday, September 6, the work and operations within our building will remain mission-centric only – like our efforts to assemble back to school kits for Washington Township students or our volunteers working within Northside Food Pantry – with registration, masks, social distancing, and careful planning required, and all state and county guidelines followed. 

For some of us, this decision will be a source of comfort and relief; for others of us, this decision may bring disappointment, even disagreement. I understand. While these decisions are never easy, and while a unique part of our strength at Second is our breadth of perspective and opinion, I do pray that each of us will be guided by the values of our faith as we engage in conversation in these trying times. I hope and believe that we can continue to model the unity of Christ’s church and above all else, reach out to those within our congregation and beyond with compassion, hope, and care.

Even in the uncertainty of these days, I am absolutely convinced that God is calling us to be faithful to Christ in this moment. On Sunday, March 15, we began living into this call in a new way. And you, the community of disciples that is Second Presbyterian Church, have responded to this call. You have supported exponential growth in the work of the Northside Food Pantry and other local outreach; you have connected and served in new and creative ways without hesitation; you have cared for one another through grief and struggle; you have enabled us to expand our ministries and deepen our commitments. In short, you have proven in word and deed what we have always known—the church is the movement of those faithful souls called by God to serve Jesus Christ in the world. God is building the church in powerful ways and equipping us to join in that vital work. Keep following this path of service, stay up to date on events and happenings, dive deeper into worship and ways to grow your own faith journey. Let us always carry out our mission as a welcoming community of faith where Jesus Christ transforms lives.

Second, this is our time to lead as ambassadors of Christ’s love and faithful work. No distance of time or space will separate us from this mission. We have much more to do and many pages yet to write. Do not grow weary in doing what is right. Trust the promise of faith.

Much more to come.

With peace and grace,






A welcoming community of faith where Jesus Christ transforms lives 

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