DOING LIFE WITH GT

Greg Taylor (GT) is the Lead Minister designate here at Second Church as of August 2019. Each week, Greg will share about life at Second and look back and forward to all God is doing in the faith journey of his people.

September 17, 2019

As we begin week six on staff at Second, I continue to be both amazed and blessed by everything the Lord is doing at our church. This past week reminded me what a special place 2CC really is in so many ways! This week, I want to share about several blessings and encounters from the past seven days.


I was very thankful for the chance to get away Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning to travel with Drew to Hanging Rock Christian Camp for their annual Minister’s Retreat. It was a personal blessing to meet several of our area preachers and an even greater blessing to sit in on four sessions on ministry and preaching led by Dr. Harold Keck from Seymour Heights Christian Church in Seymour, Tennessee. Harold served just down the road in Crawfordsville, IN for several years, and my daughter Jordan attended his church in Tennessee most Sundays during her four years at Johnson University. Special thanks to Gary Baker and the leadership of Hanging Rock for providing this retreat for FREE! What a blessing!


I wasn’t able to attend the entire retreat due to a speaking assignment on Tuesday evening at Celebrate Recovery. It was a great honor to share the lesson for the large group gathering about the importance of Accepting Jesus Christ. On a personal level, it was the very most important decision I have made during my lifetime, and I hope and pray many will enter into a saving relationship with Jesus through the ongoing ministry of CR! I’m so thankful for the dozens of volunteers who make CR churn week in and week out, but there is always room for more! Why not come on out at 6:00 p.m. on a Tuesday evening and see first hand everything the Lord is doing through the ministry of Celebrate Recovery?


Thursday and Friday brought visits to Nursing Homes in both Danville and Hoopeston. I loved getting to meet and/or re-connect with several longtime 2CC members and hear about the legacy of our church through the decades. It was wonderful to listen to Maxine McElhoney, Arlene Olmstead, Don Little and Marge Hacker as they shared about our church and the impact Second has made on their lives! This was a great reminder to me about the importance of bringing encouragement and being a blessing to those women and men who have loved and served our church. To whom might you be a blessing this week? To whom might you bring encouragement today?


Finally, Sunday morning worship in the main auditorium brought a myriad of emotions. The worship songs were inspiring and I am so thankful that each song connected so well to Romans 6 and our study on sin and grace – great job Stephanie Spangler! I was personally moved to tears by the song Redeemed – Darrell Paddock hit it out of the park – so thankful for the gift of redemption! The Step Up video was powerful and helped us see all the positive results that have unfolded in the short two years since Step Up was launched in the fall of 2017. Thanks to Dale DeNeal and everyone at Second involved in Step Up.


Here are six reminders of what is happening in the life of our church:


     Special Friends Ministry – The leadership of Second Church is excited to see where the Lord leads with our brand new Special Friends

     Ministry. If you are aware of children, teens or adults who would be blessed by this ministry, please get them connected through the

     information table in the foyer on Sunday mornings or call the church office for more information.


     Step Up was featured Sunday in all five services and the next Step Up meeting is this Friday September 20 at 8:00 a.m. right here at Second

     Church. It is really exciting to learn that Step Up has been nominated for the Governor’s Hometown Award – what a blessing Step Up is for

     our community. If you missed the video on Sunday morning, make sure to take some time and watch. I will share the video link to my personal

     Facebook page later this week.


     Celebrate Recovery – CR meets each Tuesday evening at 2CC from 5:30 p.m. until around 8:00 p.m. Join us as we look at how to overcome our

     hurts, hang-ups and habits. This is NOT just a Second Church gathering – all are welcome so please spread the word!


     Special Choir for November 3 – Stephanie Spangler is putting together a special choir for Drew and Judy Mentzer’s final Sunday at 2CC on\

     November 3. Practice takes place on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. – believe it or not we are nearing the 100 mark of choir members! ALL

     are welcome! Sign up on the church app or on the church website under “Events.”


     GriefShare – Each Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., GriefShare will meet from 6-8 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall and all are welcome! This grief support

     group will provide help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend. If you know of someone that would be

     blessed by GriefShare, please make them aware of this opportunity!


     Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock – Jake Weece and his team are planning another great retreat weekend November 15-17. If you have

     Junior High students, take advantage of this great opportunity! Sign up your Junior Higher on the church app or on the church website under

     “Events.”


Blessings to each of you – it is exciting to be a part of a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! See you Sunday at Second!


GT

September 10, 2019

Wednesday the 11th is the 18th anniversary of 9-11, a day that that in many ways changed America forever. I can still remember that morning like it was yesterday! I was the Director of Admissions for Lincoln Christian College in 2001 and had a very busy day of travel on that beautiful Tuesday planned. I jumped in the LCCS school Camry and started to head east shortly after 8:00 a.m., a friend called and told me about the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. What a terrible accident we thought at the time.


All morning long, the car radio brought report after report of terrorism (not every report turned out to be correct) on OUR homeland, and for the first time in my life I wasn’t really sure about MY safety and security. What a terrible emotional rollercoaster the second week of September 2001 brought for all of us. I asked a ton of questions to myself: Why would anyone do something so evil and destructive? What would this mean for my family? What would this mean for our country?


That night, as I was grilling burgers, I began to cry. I thought I was all alone outside but unbeknown to me, my then 5-year old daughter Jordan was watching me. This might have been the first time in her short life she had seen tears coming from my eyes, and she asked a pretty simple question, “What’s wrong Daddy?” I didn’t really have an answer for her, for that is what happens when fear, anxiety and unknown slap you across the face when you least expect it. Many an American went to bed that night feeling less safe than ever before and wondering where in the world do we go from here. 18 years.


That Tuesday evening back in 2001 does bring back one positive memory for me. After putting Jordan and Peyton to bed, Marla and I turned on the television to catch up on the latest news from this day that changed so much, and we couldn’t believe our eyes: Congressional leaders from BOTH parties were standing side by side, sometimes even arm in arm singing “God Bless America.” Just the day before, Democrats had been attacking Republicans and vice-versa on a variety of seemingly important issues. Then 9-11 happened, and the arguments ceased and singing commenced. One commentator remarked as she watched Congress singing together, “today there are no Republicans or Democrats, just Americans.”


I know what you are probably thinking, “Nice history lesson. So what?” America in 2019 seems to be as divided as we have ever been. Social media platforms have allowed us to be as partisan and cutting as ever. Is there any hope for a better and nicer and kinder USA? The answer is YES, without a doubt. And it starts with YOU and ME! And it MUST start with the Church!


What if followers of Jesus lived our lives following the teaching of Jesus about what was really most important? Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment and he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love God and Love People.


What if followers of Jesus woke up every day looking for opportunities to live out Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount to be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of World? I’m guessing this week, even today, you will have multiple opportunities to do just that – to shake and shine for Jesus.

Second Church, let us always be the church! Let us make sure we are always FULL OF LIFE and there is always ROOM FOR YOU! Let us be different in the most Jesus kind of ways! Love God and love people! Be the salt of the earth and be the light of world! Let’s do this!


Here are six reminders of what is happening in the life of our church:


     • Second CC Membership Class – Kiley Garrison and Drew Mentzer will lead this class on two consecutive Wednesday evenings, September 11 and 18,

        at 6:15 p.m. This class is important if you are considering membership at 2CC. Marla and I are attending, so please join us in the Next Gen auditorium!

        Register on the church app or on the church website under “Events.”


     • Celebrate Recovery – CR meets each Tuesday evening at 2CC from 5:30 p.m. until around 8:00 p.m. Join us as we look at how to overcome our hurts,

        hang-ups and habits. This is NOT just a Second Church gathering – all are welcome so please spread the word!

        By the way, Second Church was blessed to host a P8 rally last Saturday! CR leaders from all over our area gathered at our church to encourage each

        other and learn from one another. What a great day!


     • Special Choir for November 3 – Stephanie Spangler is putting together a special choir for Drew and Judy Mentzer’s final Sunday at 2CC. Practice

        begins on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. – first practice is September 11. ALL are welcome! Sign up on the church app or on the church website

        under “Events.”


     • GriefShare – This Thursday, September 12, at 6:00 p.m., GriefShare is back and will meet from 6-8 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. This grief support group

        will provide help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend.


     • Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock – Jake Weece and his team are planning another great retreat weekend November 15-17. If you have Junior

        High students, take advantage of this great opportunity! Sign up your Junior Higher on the church app or on the church website under “Events.”


     • The REACH campaign goes over the $1 million mark in money received! Well done, Second Church of Christ! It is so exciting to see the student

        ministry building being used and students growing in their faith in Jesus! Before long, the children’s ministry building will be open as well – God is

        good!


Blessings to each of you – thank you for loving our church! I’m looking forward to sharing this Sunday in our three main auditorium worship services from Romans 6 and a message entitled “What Rules our Lives.” See you Sunday at Second!


GT


september 3, 2019

Monday was Labor Day, and for many of us, it probably meant primarily a day off work and the opportunity either to head to the lake or fire up the grill or even take in a parade. Maybe you did all three activities yesterday? Since 1894, Labor Day has been a national holiday, recognizing the power and importance of the American worker. For generations, America has been considered great by so many because of the “American” work ethic.

While sipping coffee on my porch early on Labor Day, I was reminded how important “workers” or “servants” are in the life of any church, but especially Second Church of Christ. This is one busy place – a lot is happening much of the time in the name of Jesus – and that is good news! But much of what happens wouldn’t be possible if not for the many women, men and teens that give of their time and talents week in and week out – month in and month out.


In our previous ministry at First Christian Church in Clinton, FCC launched the Neighborhood Care Center in the fall of 2017 as a ministry hub for our small community. I was pretty sure the ministry that would take place would be transformative in the lives of people who were hungry, struggling financially and/or in need of spiritual direction. And that has very much taken place through the ministries of the NCC.


What I underestimated, however, was the power of Christian service in the life of a Christ Follower to help women and men and teens grow spiritually like never before. The NCC allows a couple hundred people to serve in some capacity throughout the year, and the stories of spiritual transformation because of working hard in the name of Jesus have been both emotional and encouraging. There is just something powerful, if your attitude and heart are correct, about serving in the name of Jesus!


So . . . are you serving? If so, praise the Lord and keep on keeping on in the name of Jesus! If not, can I invite you to find a place where you can put your faith in Jesus into action? Reach out to Terry Goodwin or any of our ministry staff, and we will try and help you find your sweet spot! I love how Paul puts it in his letter to the church at Ephesus: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Amen!


Second Church of Christ is a special place, we are FULL of LIFE and there is always ROOM for YOU! And there is definitely an area of service waiting for you! From Kid’s World to JHM to HSM to CR to Hospitality to Communion to Tech to Greeters to so many other possibilities, there is a place for you! Let’s do this Second!


Each week I will share about multiple important events just around the corner.


Here are six “save the date” events to keep in mind and be apart of!


• First Step – Terry Goodwin will lead our first ever First Step gathering at 10:45 a.m. in room 202 (the old Junior High room upstairs) THIS Sunday September 8. First Step is a stand alone, one-time gathering that will inform you about Second Church and give you a chance to ask questions and better understand our church and help you get connected at Second. You do NOT have to be new to Second Church to attend First Step – all are welcome – register on the church app or on the church website under “events.”


• Second CC Membership Class – Kiley Garrison and Drew Mentzer will lead this class on two consecutive Wednesday evenings, September 11 and 18, at 6:15 p.m. This class is important if you are considering membership at 2CC. Marla and I are attending, so please join us in the Next Gen auditorium! Register on the church app or on the church website under “events.”


• Celebrate Recovery – CR meets each Tuesday evening at 2CC from 5:30 p.m. until around 8:00 p.m., Join us as we look at how to overcome our hurts, hang-ups and habits. This is NOT just a Second Church gathering – all are welcome so please spread the word!


• Special Choir for November 3 – Stephanie Spangler is putting together a special choir for Drew and Judy Mentzer’s final Sunday at 2CC. Practice begins on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. – first practice is September 11. ALL are welcome! Sign up on the church app or on the church website under “events.”


• Hanging Rock Fish Fry Fundraiser – We are blessed to have Hanging Rock literally just a couple of miles away and one thing everyone can do to help the camp is eat fish! That’s right – the HRCC fish fry fundraiser is THIS Saturday September 7 from 4-7 p.m. Donations only so plan to eat a lot and give a lot!


• Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock – Jake Weece and his team are planning another great retreat weekend November 15-17. If you have Junior High students, take advantage of this great opportunity! Sign up your Junior Higher on the church app or on the church website under “events.”


Blessings to each of you – thank you for loving our church!


GT


August 28, 2019

Exactly one month ago this morning, I preached my final sermon at Clinton First Christian Church, and later that afternoon with the help of so many wonderful friends began packing up most of our earthly possessions in three trailers, two trucks and a van in order to move 90 miles east to Danville. The past 31 days have absolutely flown by and, unfortunately, I have not spent much time writing. So thanks to my friend Brandon Allen – I am back and my hope is to begin a weekly “update” that will help you stay connected to the happenings at Second Church of Christ but also allow me to share my heart on issues and people near and dear to me.


I want to begin this week by sharing how very thankful Marla and I are for the dozens of people in both Clinton and Danville that went above and beyond during the move. We could not have made it happen without each and every of you and we are so very grateful. Hopefully we can return the favor at some point!


This is week three serving at 2CC and already I’ve discovered what a special church it is! Here are just a couple of my personal highlights over the past 21 days:


       • Global Leadership Summit at Second Church – 350 plus gathered at 2CC on the 8th and 9th for the simulcast of the 2019 GLS. I loved getting to

          know so many from Danville and Vermilion County who are committed to leadership and community impact! I personally cannot wait for the Step

          Up meeting in mid-September! If you did not attend the 2019 GLS, make plans now to join us August 6-7, 2020!


       • Celebrate Recovery – Each Tuesday evening, 2CC hosts this important ministry that helps us with hurts, hang-ups and habits. ALL are welcome!

          Supper is served at 5:30pm and the program begins at 6pm. I’m so thankful for the so many that invest in this ministry!


       • Kids World Volunteer Kickoff – On Wednesday, August 14, Kenna Osborne hosted an important evening that included great food (thanks Rick!),

          important training information and lots of prayer for the year ahead. One of the most important ministries of our church is our ministry to children,

          and I’m excited for 2019-2020 in Kid’s World! (P.S. The new building is just weeks away from being used!) Thank you to each and every Kids World

          volunteer and thank you most of all to Kenna for leading this ministry!


       • Missions Team meeting at Hanging Rock – On Sunday the 18th, I had the pleasure of traveling to Hanging Rock Christian Camp for the very first

          time, and received a great welcome and tour from Gary Baker. Then I was able to be a part of the 2CC Mission team meeting at the camp and learn

          about all the different partnerships our church is blessed with! Thanks to Charlene Mornout for leading this ministry team! By the way, the 2CC

          Mission team is hosting a prayer walk in our building on Saturday morning, September 7, at 8:30 a.m.


       • Area Church visits with Terry Goodwin – Last Thursday, Terry and I hit the road and he introduced me to sister churches and staff members in

          Veedersburg and Cayuga, Indiana and Georgetown and Catlin, Illinois. It was encouraging to hear about all God is doing. I am so thankful for each

          and every church that preaches Jesus and is striving to make a difference, and I’m looking forward to connecting with other area ministry staff and

          churches in the near future!


       • Student Ministry Building Opening – This Sunday brought a long-awaited day – JHM and HSM met in their brand new ministry space! How exciting

          it turned out to be with 90 plus Junior High students and over 120 High School students and their leaders. What a great day! Thank you so much for

          your generous giving to REACH and for being a church that understands the importance of the future generations! I’m also thankful for all the

          student ministry volunteers who pour into students, and Tyler Russell and Jake Weece – our student ministers at 2CC!


       • OASIS – I had the chance yesterday to teach Oasis. Drew was at Johnson for the dedication of their new building, the ARC, and I absolutely loved

          every minute of it! We even ran out of chairs and handouts! Join us each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. for Bible Study in Hallelujah Hall!

          So much more I could share about, but that is enough for today! Here are five upcoming dates to keep in mind and be apart of!


       • First Step – Terry Goodwin will lead First Step at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday September 8. Come learn more about our church and how to get better

          connected!


       • 2CC Membership Class – Kiley Garrison and Drew Mentzer will lead this class on two consecutive Wednesday evenings, September 11 and 18, at

          6:15 p.m. This class is important if you are considering membership at 2CC. Marla and I are attending, so please join us!


       • Celebrate Recovery – Each Tuesday evening at 2CC from 5:30 p.m. until around 8:00 p.m., join us as we look at hurts, hang-ups and habits. ALL are

          welcome!


       • Special Choir for November 3 – Stephanie Spangler is putting together a special choir for Drew and Judy Mentzer’s final Sunday at 2CC. Practice

          begins next month on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. ALL are welcome!


       • Hanging Rock Fish Fry Fundraiser – We are blessed to have a Christian camp so close to us and one way you can help is by eating fish at the camp –

          sounds like a good plan, huh? On Saturday September 7 from 4-7 p.m., come dine with others at the fundraiser Fish Fry. Donations only!


       • Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock – Jake Weece and his team are planning another great retreat weekend November 15-17. If you have Junior

          High students, take advantage of this great opportunity!


That’s all for this week – blessings to each of you!


GT