DOING LIFE WITH GT

Greg Taylor (GT) is the Lead Minister 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.

December 3, 2019

Last Wednesday, well over 300 gathered in the Main Auditorium for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service. The worship gathering was a collaborative effort, with Stephanie Spangler and Adam Singley working together on our No Matter What service, inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. The late Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message, translates this text as follows: “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.


Terry Goodwin, Dale DeNeal, and I each shared briefly on the importance of JOY, PRAYER and THANKFULNESS in the life of the Christ follower! I’m really thankful for our team at 2CC and truly enjoyed working with so many on our Thanksgiving Eve service!


Sunday began Christmas at Second 2019, and this year our series is entitled the Songs of Christmas. Each Sunday in Main Auditorium services we will consider the message behind one of the songs/hymns of Christmas. Week one brought a message on anticipation and the power of learning to WAIT well on the Lord, inspired by the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” As someone that rarely “waits well,” just writing this message brought all sorts of struggle and conviction! I loved how our service ended, with the reading of Isaiah 40:31, and the song Everlasting God!


This Sunday, December 8, our hymn is “What Child is This,” taken from a poem written by William Dix in 1865, the year the Civil War ended. Dix struggled with illness and severe depression and found himself bedridden for much of that year. While out of commission, he devoted his life to the reading of God’s Word and experienced a spiritual renewal.


After reading Matthew 2:1-12, he penned the words to The Manger Throne, which in 1871 was put to the traditional English melody of “Greensleeves” and became one of our most treasured Christmas hymns. Listen to these words:


“What Child is this who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing. Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the son of Mary.”


Dix asks the question, “What child is this?” and many in 2019 are still struggling with the question of Jesus. This Sunday we will consider reactions to Jesus in the first century and reactions to Jesus today. See you Sunday at Second!


This week, the office will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the Second Church of Christ staff retreat. We have a really good team at 2CC, and I’m looking forward to studying, dreaming, and praying together as a team this week. Will you join me in praying for our church and especially our staff this week? Thanks in advance!


Here are five events or requests related to the life of our church:


Christmas Eve 2019 at Second – Plan now to join us at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. in either the Main Auditorium or the Next Gen Auditorium for Christmas Eve services at Second! People not connected to a local church are more likely to attend a Christmas Eve service than any other service during the year, so who are YOU inviting this year?


• Christmas Eve 2019 at Second – We need your help for Christmas Eve 2019! Could you, your family, or even your connect group assist Kenna Osborne in Kid’s World at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.?


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! I am excited to be able to teach at CR tonight, December 3 on CONFESS. I can’t wait! If you have never attended CR, consider this your personal invitation!


Angel Tree – All 250 tags were claimed! PTL! Prison Fellowship makes an enormous impact on the families of incarcerated loved ones, and we are excited to partner with them for Angel Tree 2019. Please make sure if you took a tag to return the presents by this Sunday, December 8! Please connect with Adam Singley if you have questions or if you can help with the December 14 Angel Tree event at 2CC.


Pastoral Care – We need your help. We want to provide pastoral care to those who are in need. If you know anyone who is currently in the hospital or becomes ill or has passed away, please let us know. You can call Tonya Ward in the church office at (217) 442-7306 or reach out to me!


I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! Don’t stop telling others about Second! Spread the word. Invite your friends. See you on Sunday at Second!


GT


november 26, 2019

We are just a couple of days away from Thanksgiving Day 2019, and I have truly been blessed this Thanksgiving season at Second! Yesterday brought a pulpit swap as Kiley Garrison spoke in Main Auditorium services and I had the blessing of speaking in Next Gen services. I was reminded once again what a good preacher Kiley is and how personally thankful I was for his message about choosing gratitude in our lives.


Kiley’s text from Luke 17:11-19 and the healing of the 10 lepers is considered one of the classic Thanksgiving passages in the New Testament, and it was a blessing to study it! I won’t soon forget the challenge to be a hummingbird and not a vulture, especially this week! I also LOVED the drama. Well done to everyone involved! And to think I was surprised that Tim Holycross had thespian skills! Thank you, Stephanie Spangler, for making the skit happen!


I spent most of Sunday in Next Gen and had the blessing of sharing the Jar of Mercy message from Luke 7:36-50. Both Next Gen services were full, and it was a true joy to stand in the back and watch so many worship the Lord without reservation. Adam Singley does a really good job planning and leading worship in Next Gen, and I am thankful he is a part of the team at 2CC! I love the DNA of our church and also look forward to opportunities to share in our Next Gen services!


Saturday night at Second brought the All For Love coffee house/fundraiser, and the evening was really special. High School students Rebecca Garrison and Emily Skovran were given a challenge at CIY this year to raise money for foster care, and Saturday evening was the culmination of this vision. $1,200.00 was raised through the auction of 45 homemade pies and donations, and everyone who attended was blessed by our HSM worship band! I’m thankful for Tyler Russell and the impact HSM is making in the lives of so many! And thank you, Tyler, for teaching at Oasis today so I could attend a family funeral in Missouri!


This Sunday begins Christmas at Second 2019, and each Sunday in Main Auditorium we will consider the message behind one of the songs of Christmas. What is your favorite Christmas song? Why is music so deeply connected to Christmas? This week our song is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, a hymn with roots all the way back to the ninth century, articulating the anticipation of the Messiah by God’s people. Listen to these words:


“O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel. Shall come to thee, O Israel!”


Christmas is a season of anticipation, and I can’t wait for Christmas at Second 2019 to launch this Sunday! Enjoy this Thanksgiving week, and we will see you Sunday at Second!


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


• Thanksgiving Eve Service 2019 – Join us in the Main Auditorium THIS Wednesday evening, November 27, for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at 6:15 p.m. and find out what NO MATTER LIVING is all about! Spread the word that all are welcome (regardless of church affiliation) as we thank God for all that He has done!


• Thanksgiving Offering 2019 – This past Sunday, November 24, we collected our annual Thanksgiving Offering, and this year the offering is designated for both the Women’s Care Clinic and the Danville Rescue Mission. Our goal for this offering is at least $15,000.00. Your generous giving allowed us to surpass that goal with a total of $16,685.95! It is NOT too late to give toward this special offering if you missed worship on Sunday!


• 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. If you have never attended CR, consider this your personal invitation! All are welcome, so please spread the word!


• Angel Tree – Did you take a tag on Sunday? If not, there is still time for you to grab a tag and bless a family this Christmas season. Prison Fellowship makes an enormous impact on the families of incarcerated loved ones, and we are excited to partner with them for Angel Tree 2019. Please connect with Adam Singley if you have questions or if you can help with the December 14 Angel Tree event.


• Christmas Eve 2019 at Second – Plan now to join us at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. in either the Main Auditorium or the Next Gen Auditorium for Christmas Eve services at Second!


I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! Don’t stop telling others about Second! Spread the word. Invite your friends. See you on Sunday at Second!


GT


NOVEMBER 19, 2019

Sunday brought week two of our three-week study in Thanksgiving, and it was encouraging on so many different levels! I had the chance to share about the late Wade Lowery of Ozark Christian College and his final, four-word Facebook post from May of 2012, where he simply shared that he was “THANKFUL FOR THE DAY.” This simple post from seven and a half years ago continues to have a positive ripple effect all over the USA. Although I didn’t know Wade well, the few personal encounters I had with him always made a mark, and his lasting legacy of being thankful has both endured the test of time and inspired so many to always be Thankful for the Day! So this week, I want to share my heart of Thanksgiving . . .


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the HSM Worship team led by Miranda Prichard that led worship in Main Auditorium on Sunday! I’m excited to see what God will do in the lives of these high-school students in the years to come.


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the impact of the JHM fall retreat at Hanging Rock Christian Camp this past weekend! 102 Junior High students from 2CC, along with several sponsors, studied all weekend long about Jesus and how Jesus is always worth it!


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the ministry of GriefShare, and the special one-time gathering last Thursday evening Surviving the Holidays. There were 27 who participated in the two-hour gathering. Special thanks to Linda Abbott and Marsha Wilkinson for leading this important ministry!


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of Step Up Vermilion County and the impact this growing group of women and men continue to make on our community! Step Up was recently awarded Honorable Mention for the Governor’s Hometown Award – Way to go Step Up!


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the many monthly Mission partnerships our church is blessed with! Each mission and organization is making a difference for Jesus, and our mission team does a great job encouraging and supporting! This past weekend was ICOM – the International Convention on Missions – in Kansas City and several from our church were in attendance. ICOM 2020 will take place in nearby Indianapolis.


• I’m Thankful for the Day because Second Church has a heart for those in need of prayer and facing Nursing Home or Hospital stays. Friendly reminder: Please contact Tonya Ward in our office and let us know about pastoral care needs so we can both pray and make pastoral visits.


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the impact of our 2019 Food Drive! 518 boxes were donated and promptly given to ten different churches and/or organizations in our area that feed the hungry! Last Thursday, led by Kiley Garrison, 50-55 boxes were donated to each of the following groups: Community food pantries in Hoopeston, Oakwood, Georgetown and Covington, Salvation Army, Danville township, Crossroads Christian Church, Antioch Baptist Church, St. James United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church. Welldone, Second Church! Thanks to Nathan Campbell for providing the truck and thanks to Tim Holycross, Marv Johnson, and Tyler Russell for assisting in delivery!


• I’m Thankful for the Day because of the staff and leadership at Second Church. Everything rises and falls on leadership, and I’m blessed beyond what I deserve with the team here at 2CC! Thank you, Second Church, for welcoming the Taylor’s with open arms!


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


• Thanksgiving Offering 2019: – THIS Sunday, November 24, we will collect our annual Thanksgiving Offering, and this year the offering is designated for both the Women’s Care Clinic and the Danville Rescue Mission. Our goal for this offering is at least $15,000.00. Please plan now an “above and beyond regular giving” generous gift for our Thanksgiving Offering 2019!


All For Love – Coffee House is THIS Saturday, November 23, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. right here at Second Church. This special evening is being organized by several of our high school students to raise money for Foster Care ministries and organizations. Plan to join me for an evening of music from our students and delicious coffee, sweets and conversation with others. Come with your friends or come by yourself. All are welcome!


• 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!


• Operation Christmas Child –This Sunday, November 24, is the final day we can collect boxes. Call the Second Church office if you have questions.

• Thanksgiving Eve Service – What is “No Matter What” living? Join us in the Main Auditorium on Wednesday evening, November 27, for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at 6:15 p.m. and find out! Spread the word that all are welcome as we thank God for all that He has done!


I love Second Church, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! Spread the word. Invite your friends. See you on Sunday at Second!


GT


November 13, 2019

Walking in a winter wonderland . . . on Veterans Day? It was not exactly my idea of ideal mid-November weather, but that is the great thing about Illinois: if you don’t like the weather, just wait a day or two and it will probably change! Unfortunately, this week we were forced to cancel both Tiny Tots Tuesdays and the Oasis Bible Study due to extremely cold weather and ice-covered roads. My hope is the bad weather stays away on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays moving forward! If you are ever wondering if a Second Church service or event will be cancelled due to bad weather, one very easy step to take is to check out the Second Church of Christ Facebook page.


We are right in the middle of Thanksgiving at Second 2019, and last Sunday’s service on Mercy is still fresh in my mind. I was thankful for Bean Hohn and his unique but powerful way of honoring our veterans at Second while connecting the choice of mercy. I was so thankful for worship songs that reminded of our call to choose mercy. I was so thankful for Scriptures that revealed the merciful heart of Jesus. I was so thankful for the powerful living illustration of Brandt Jean and his choice of love and forgiveness instead of anger and judgment. I am reminded of my call to be a Messenger of Mercy each day when I see my Jar of Mercy.


• “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” - Matthew 5:7


This Sunday, November 17, the Main Auditorium worship services will study Psalm 100 and 1 Chronicles 16 as we continue our Thanksgiving series at Second. I am super excited that our HSM Worship team led by Miranda Prichard and featuring several of our high school students will be leading worship! I can’t wait! We have SO much to be thankful for, and I cannot wait to share the sermon, “Thankful for the Day.” I hope you can join us this week as we look at ALL of the ways the Lord has blessed our church!


On Sunday, November 24, we will collect our annual Thanksgiving Offering, and this year the offering is designated for both the Women’s Care Clinic and the Danville Rescue Mission. Our goal for this offering is at least $15,000.00. Please plan now an “above and beyond regular giving” generous gift for our Thanksgiving Offering 2019!


Tomorrow, several of us led by Kiley Garrison will be delivering the food boxes that were given during our Food Drive to multiple different ministries and organizations in our area that serve the hungry. Thank you, Second Church, for donating over 500 food boxes this year!


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


• GriefShare Surviving the Holidays: – Tomorrow night, Thursday, November 14, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall, GriefShare is providing a one-evening seminar to help you handle this time of the year while grieving the loss of a loved one. You do not need to be enrolled in the GriefShare program to attend. Everyone is welcome, and you can enter our building through Door 3.


• Young at Heart is next Friday, November 22, and will feature the music of the New Jerusalem Singers from Auburn, IL. This will be the final gathering of Young at Heart for 2019, and all are welcome! Reservations for the catered meal ($5) are due this Sunday, November 17, to Sue Gibson at (217) 442-7555.


• All For Love – Coffee House is scheduled for next Saturday, November 23, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. right here at Second Church. This special evening is being organized by several of our high school students to raise money for Foster Care ministries and organizations. Plan to join me for an evening of music from our students and delicious coffee, sweets and conversation with others. Come with your friends or come by yourself. All are welcome!


• 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!


• Operation Christmas Child – If you are looking for a great way to try and help bless a child in need in another part of the world, OCC is for you! If you would be interested in filling a shoebox for a child this year, come to the table in the Commons this Sunday to get a box to fill and all of the appropriate details. This Sunday, November 17, is the final day we can collect boxes.


• Thanksgiving Eve Service – What is “No Matter What” living? Join us in the Main Auditorium on Wednesday evening, November 27, for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at 6:15 p.m. and find out! Spread the word that all are welcome!


What a true joy to be connected to a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! See you on Sunday at Second!


GT


NOVEMBER 5, 2019

This weekend at Second Church was one to remember as we celebrated Drew, Judy, and Dee Mentzer and their 22-½ years of ministry at our church. I have felt for quite some time that you have an exceptional staff at 2CC, and that was evident both Saturday and Sunday. Special thanks to Stephanie Spangler for tapping into her creative juices and planning a service that was perfect for the occasion! She has been working on this service for over two months. Great job, Stephanie! Darrell Paddock and Ben Smith handled the tech side of things with excellence, as usual, and allowed for an overflow viewing area in Next Gen that was used during both 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. Sunday brought a worship gathering that gave honor to whom honor is due but ultimately glorified God first and foremost! I was honored to be handed the baton (literally) from Drew Mentzer and appreciated so much his heart for our church and his confidence in all of us. I look forward to serving Second Church for years to come!


Even though I have only been on staff for three months, I had the opportunity to speak about the Mentzer family at the end of the service. I was thankful to be able to share about Drew’s passion for the Word of God, his character relationally, his availability to one and all, his prioritizing of the ministry of Celebrate Recovery, and his personal relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for 2019 in many different ways but at the top of the list is the opportunity to meet and work alongside Drew Mentzer!


I’m also thankful for Judy and Dee Mentzer and their lasting impact on our church. Judy’s impact on 2CC truly came to light during the song, “Tell Me the Story” on Sunday, as dozens of children and adults ascended to the stage to say, “Thank you, Miss Judy, for telling ME the story.” What a legacy Judy leaves us through her passion and involvement in children’s ministry. That is only a fraction of her impact on our church.


And what can I say about Dee? She was always a bright light on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the office. I’ll miss hearing her shouting out, “Gregory Edward,” and I’ll miss her jokes that always made me laugh. I’ll miss her M&M’s and Hot Tamales, but most of all I will miss her joy!


I asked several long-time staff at Second to share a paragraph about Drew and the Mentzer family this week. Enjoy!


Executive Minister Dale DeNeal: “The first time I met Drew Mentzer was at a Christmas Eve Service in 1998. At that time, Donna and I were serving at a church in Lancaster, OH, and we were in Illinois visiting family for the holidays. I remember how impressed I was with Drew at our first meeting. There was an instant connection. A few months later, Drew reached out to me and we began a conversation about the possibility of me joining the staff at Second Church. I was intrigued by the idea; however, the timing wasn’t good. About a year later, my situation changed and I started thinking about the possibility of working with Drew at Second Church. I reached out to Drew and we began again the conversation of joining the Second Church staff. In July of 2000, I arrived Second Church as the Executive Minister to help Drew with the administration, staff, and strategic development. The past 19 years of working with Drew have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding years in my 36 years of fulltime Christian ministry. Drew is one of the finest men I’ve had the privilege of working with. His work ethic, character, faith, wisdom, and humility have profoundly impacted my life and the lives of so many people at Second Church of Christ. When you think of Drew, you also have to think of Judy! She too is an incredible phenom. The familiar saying, “behind every good man is a great woman,” was written about the Mentzers. Now, add Deedra Kay’s warmth, vitality, laughter, and hugs to the equation, and you have what I call the Mentzer phenomenon—a special, one of a kind ethos that Second Church of Christ has had the unique honor, privilege and blessing to experience! Thank you, Drew, Judy, and Dee! Our lives have forever been changed by your leadership, faith, and love!”


Next Gen Minister Kiley Garrison: “There is so much I could say about Drew and Judy’s impact on my life through their faith, humility, encouragement, wisdom and friendship, but one of the greatest gifts Drew and Judy gave to me and Chel in our first year at Second was permission to be parents who were present. As a minister, it’s easy to burn the candle at both ends in church-world. When we moved here in 2003, our girls were less than 2 years old. Drew and Judy both admonished us to always prioritize our family first, teaching us, if we led other people to Jesus but made our kids resentful toward God and the church in the process, we would have failed. For a guy who felt the pressure to prove myself in a new job, that was incredibly freeing. It made me a better husband and father, and I’m forever grateful. It has been a tremendous honor to do Kingdom work alongside the Mentzers for the past 16 years.”


Worship Minister Stephanie Spangler: “My work with Drew and Judy began in 2002 when my husband became a staff member here at Second and I volunteered with children’s choir and adult choir and led worship occasionally on a volunteer basis. I have witnessed Drew’s consistency in all those years. Since working on staff since 2014, I have grown to rely on his rhythm in his preaching as well as his rhythm in how he interacts with the staff. It is almost like an old familiar song. In my most difficult of days over the past few years, Drew has been a steady and loyal friend who knew details about my life that I would not ever truly want to share with anyone, but I knew I could trust him. Many times, he sat across from my desk while I sobbed. He did not offer advice. He just listened and then promised to pray, and I know he did.


I have always admired and still do admire Judy’s work ethic. She is a beast, and I mean that as a compliment! I have so enjoyed our work together on the various ladies’ events over the years. Her sense of humor is unmatched! It is dry and wickedly funny! Her soft-spoken voice has told many a humorous story at those events and brought laughter to many women over the years. It truly is good for the heart to be around Judy Mentzer.


Deedra’s beautiful personality touched my heart just like she touched yours. Her jokes and her music will be missed around here for years to come. She was a light to everyone she communicated with. Sunday, November 10, will certainly be different. As I look out on the congregation, I’ll miss Drew sitting in his seat on the right with his Bible and his notes. I’ll miss seeing Judy sitting beside him during second hour and Deedra Kay sitting with her special friend, Karen. There are three spots that will be empty and will probably bring a lump to my throat for a few weeks as we all adjust to life without the Mentzers. The lyrics from “For Good,” from the musical Wicked, appropriately apply to how I feel about Drew, Judy, and Deedra: ‘Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.’”


Children’s Minister Kenna Osborne: “When I think about what the Mentzer family has meant to me, I find myself with a huge smile on my face and a heart filled with gratitude. I have always been amazed, humbled, and grateful for the love they shared, the confidence they had in me, and the friendship that was more like family they gave to me. When I hired in as Second’s new Children’s Minister in February of 1998, the outpour of support and encouragement given to me by the Mentzer family was unconditional and unending. I will forever be grateful for the love they shared with Matt and me but especially for the love and support they have given to our sons, Corey & Cole. Thank you for showing our family what Christian ministry, family, and grace look like.”


Facilities Director Tim Holycross: “As I reflect on the 22-½ years I’ve spent working with Drew as he has ministered here at Second Church, I realize he has taught me so much about being humble and being available to others. His work ethic has been impeccable. He is highly respected by people within the church and in the community, but he is down to earth and never makes you feel he is any way superior to you. He always makes you feel comfortable when you talk to him. His advice and words are evident that he relies on God. He is very community oriented and is always willing to help in whatever way he can whether that is through prayer, talking to someone, or helping someone do something. No job is ever too menial for him. He has changed my life for the good, and it has been a privilege to have been able to have spent all this time working with such an upstanding man. Drew said from the start of his ministry that he and Judy were a team, and words cannot express how I feel about that sweet lady and their awesome daughter, Dee. We are friends for life, and I love them all!”


Connections Minister Terry Goodwin: “Drew, Judy, and Deedra have been such a blessing to us here at Second Church. Some of my favorite memories are kind of unusual, though. I had the opportunity to play basketball with Drew for many years, and there is nothing like driving to the basket and kicking the ball to Drew to hit a 3. This is a lot like things have been here at church too. Drew was the finisher. We would prepare things. We would get things ready, and then Drew would step in and take care of the rest. He was so reliable. We could always count on him. Judy and Dee, the love that you showed while working in the office or lining up meals for people who had a need meant so much. You had a way of knowing what each person needed at just the right time. I have to say that my favorite thing about the Mentzers, though, is a little different. As they have prepared to leave Second Church and move to Tennessee, they have prepared us to continue making Christ-centered disciples. Their work will not be in vain if we continue to move forward in the mission Jesus Christ gave us. Thank you for investing in us!”


Audio/Visual Director Darrell Paddock: I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be a part of the Mentzer’s ministry at Second Church. Such amazing examples of what it means to serve and love people. Thank you for leaving an amazing impact in so many lives, including mine.


Honor to whom honor is due! Thank you Drew, Judy, and Dee! You are loved! You will be missed! Blessings to the three of you on life in Tennessee!

And blessings to you, Second Church of Christ! Thank you for truly being a Grace Place! Marla and I are so thankful to be a part of the 2CC team!


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


• 14th Annual Food Drive – We are in the home stretch of the Food Drive and will be collecting food one final Sunday morning – this week, November 10. You may drop off your boxes at the container in the front parking lot this Sunday between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


• Community-wide Worship Night is scheduled for THIS Saturday, November 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church. Multiple churches, including both staff and ministry team members from 2CC, will be leading this 90-minute time of worship, bringing Christ followers from all over our area together to celebrate what we have in common: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


• 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!


• Operation Christmas Child – If you are looking for a great way to try and help bless a child in need in another part of the world, OCC is for you! If you would be interested in filling a shoebox for a child this year, come to the table in the Commons this Sunday to get a box to fill and all of the appropriate details. The last day we can collect boxes is Sunday, November 17.


• Thanksgiving Eve Service – Join us in the Next Gen Auditorium on Wednesday evening, November 27, for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at 6:15 p.m. and spread the word that all are welcome!


What a true joy to be connected to a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! See you on Sunday at Second!


GT


OCTOBER 29, 2019

Time change weekend is upon us, and if you are like me, you enjoy the opportunity to “fall back” and gain an extra hour of sleep once a year! I don’t really enjoy less sunlight in the afternoon, but such is life. Don’t forget to set your clocks back before going to bed on Saturday evening, November 2, and get ready for the dreaded sunset before 6:00 p.m. as our new normal. 


We have a huge weekend planned at Second Church, and I really hope you will make the most of it to thank and encourage Drew, Judy, and Dee Mentzer for their 22 years of ministry at 2CC! Please make sure to attend the Mentzer Farewell Open House, if at all possible, from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 2, here at the Second building. I personally could not be more thankful for how Drew and Judy have blessed my family and helped make this transition process smooth and encouraging for Marla and me!


Do not forget about our Service Time Change for this Sunday, November 3. The Mentzer family’s final Sunday at Second Church will be this Sunday, November 3, and due to all that will be happening that morning, we are changing our services times for Sunday, November 3 ONLY. On November 3 only, Next Gen will join with Main Service in the Main Auditorium, and the service times will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Kid’s World, JHM, HSM and ABF will not meet on Sunday morning, November 3. Only nursery and preschool will be available on Sunday morning, November 3.


I was really blessed on Sunday to spend the morning with our Junior High Ministry team and share with over 70 Junior High students as guest teacher. Jake and Jamie Weece are doing a great job, and I am so thankful to have them as part of our ministry team here at 2CC! Jake announced yesterday that 73 JHM students are signed up for the JHM fall retreat at Hanging Rock Camp on November 15-17, and this Sunday is the final day for students to sign up. Please make sure your Junior High student does not miss out on this great growth opportunity!


Please be in prayer for faculty, staff and students at Cincinnati Christian University following the news of their upcoming closure. CCU announced on Monday that they will cease to offer accredited degree programs following the Fall 2019 semester. Dozens of faculty and staff are losing their ministry positions, and hundreds of students are in the difficult position of trying to find another school to attend. This is heartbreaking news for so many connected to this longtime Restoration Movement educational institution.


Finally, Brandon Allen and Sandra Lathrop from our staff have blessed us with the opportunity to purchase our own Second Church t-shirts, sweatshirts, and stocking caps. I have taken advantage of 2CC clothing and caps. Have you? Check out the online store at https://www.2ccstore.org.

Blessings, Second Church of Christ! I am so thankful to be a part of the 2CC team and look forward to where the Lord leads us in the months and years ahead!


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


• 14th Annual Food Drive – Hopefully, you have taken a box or two from The Commons and are in the process of filling the box(es) with non-perishable food items and returning the box(es) to Second over the next two weeks. We will be collecting food on Sunday mornings through November 10. You may drop off your boxes at the container in the front parking lot on Sunday mornings between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Community-wide Worship Night is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church. Multiple churches including both staff and ministry team members from 2CC will be leading this 90-minute time of worship bringing Christ followers from all over our area together to celebrate what we have in common: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


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!


Operation Christmas Child – If you are looking for a great way to try and help bless a child in need in another part of the world, OCC is for you! If you would be interested in fill a shoebox for a child this year, come to the table in The Commons this Sunday to get a box to fill and all the appropriate details. The last day we can collect boxes is Sunday, November 17.


HSM Parent Preview Night – This Sunday evening, November 3, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Student Ministry building all parents are invited and encouraged to come out and see all that is happening with the 2CC High School Ministry! Talk to Tyler Russell if you have questions.


Thanksgiving Eve Service – Join us in the Next Gen Auditorium on Wednesday evening, November 27, for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at 6:15 p.m. and spread the word. All are welcome!


What a true joy to be connected to a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! See you Saturday and Sunday at Second!


GT


October 23, 2019

Fall Break 2019 is over, and our area schools are back in session. Hopefully, this past week was a blessing for you! Marla and I certainly enjoyed our time away, especially the time spent with our son, Peyton. As October draws to a close, I am reminded our church is entering into a very important season. Let me share four quick suggestions this week for all of us at Second Church:


First, make the most of the next two weeks to thank and encourage Drew, Judy and Dee Mentzer for their 22 years of ministry at 2CC! This Sunday, October 27 will be Drew’s final “full” sermon, and I would love to see the Main Auditorium full to encourage the Mentzer family. Please make sure to attend the Mentzer Farewell Open House if at all possible from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2 here at the Second building. I personally could not be more thankful for how Drew has blessed me and helped make this transition process wonderful for Marla and myself!


Second, please remain faithful in both worship attendance and study group attendance and also in your financial giving. We live in a busy society and it is easy to get out of the habit of worship, study, and stewardship. These are exciting days at 2CC, so don’t miss out on all God is doing at and through our church!


Third, remember to invite those in your life who are not currently connected with a local church or are living outside the grace of God to join you at 2CC. There is always room for one more! We are entering a really difficult season of the year for people living through the storms of life. Make sure your eyes and ears are wide open to those who are hurting or seeking. Who’s your ONE?


Finally, PRAY! Pray for your church. Pray for the leadership of your church. Pray for the staff and ministry team leaders of your church. Pray for our monthly mission partnerships. Pray for our community and for continued opportunities to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in east central Illinois and west central Indiana!


Blessings, Second Church of Christ! God is good all the time. Let us make sure we live our lives each day with this perspective in both our minds and our hearts!


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


JHM Family Night – This Friday night October 25 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. ALL families with Junior High students are welcome to join Jake and Jamie Weece on the new patio of the Student Ministry building for fun games, delicious snacks and great fellowship. You don’t need to sign up, just show up!


• 14th Annual Food Drive – Grab a box or two from The Commons, fill it with non-perishable food items, and return the box to Second over the next several weeks. We will be collecting food four consecutive Sunday mornings through November 10. Over 625 boxes were picked up on Sundays October 13 and October 20 – way to go 2CC! You may drop off your boxes at the container in the front parking lot on Sunday mornings between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Community-wide Worship Night is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church. Multiple churches, including both staff and ministry team members from 2CC, will be leading this 90-minute time of worship bringing Christ followers from all over our area together to celebrate what we have in common: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


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!


Operation Christmas Child – If you are looking for a great way to try and help bless a child in need in another part of the world, OCC is for you! If you would be interested in filling a shoebox for a child this year, come to the table in The Commons this Sunday to get a box to fill and all the appropriate details. The last day we can collect boxes is Sunday, November 17.


Service Time Change for Sunday, November 3 – The Mentzer family’s final Sunday at Second Church will be Sunday, November 3, and due to all that will be happening that morning, we are changing our services times for Sunday, November 3 ONLY. On November 3 only, Next Gen will join with Main Service in the Main Auditorium, and the service times will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Kid’s World, JHM, HSM and ABF will not meet on Sunday morning November 3 (although HSM family night WILL happen on Sunday evening November 3 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) Only nursery and preschool will be available on November 3.


What a blessing to be part of a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! See you Sunday!


GT


OCTOBER 16, 2019

It is always good to get away with the one you love, and that is exactly what this week has brought for Marla and I: a short trip to beautiful Giant City State Park near Carbondale. For the first time in her teaching career, Marla has a fall break, and we made the decision to get away for three nights and enjoy places like Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock Trail, Cave in Rock State Park, Bald Knob Cross and much more. Of course, the highlight of the week has been spending time with our son, Peyton, who is in his sophomore year at SIU-C. As a result of this trip, the blog this week will be shorter and is hitting the website a little later than usual. Thanks for your grace!

 

It was a blessing on Sunday to teach all three Adult Bible Fellowship classes! What a special and unique group each ABF has proved to be. Each ABF meets in Hallelujah Hall at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. respectively. Here is the best part of each class/group: there is room for more, so if you are not currently a part of a Bible Study class/group, why not give an ABF a chance? I am pretty sure you will be blessed!

 

Although I was never blessed to meet him, my family and I offer heartfelt condolences to the family of Gary Morning, former Senior Minister of our church, who passed away in Indiana on Friday, October 11, at the age of 81. Gary led our church during the time when the decision was made to sell the Bowman Avenue building and move to a somewhat remote location at the corner of Lynch and Voorhees, and what an impact our church has had in the almost 40 years since! I’m so thankful for men and women of vision who were unwilling to settle for the status quo 40 years ago! We are blessed because of their sacrifice and commitment!

 

Mark your calendars now: A Community-Wide Worship Night is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church. Multiple churches, including both staff and ministry team members from 2CC, will be leading this 90 minute time of worship, bringing Christ followers from all over our area together to celebrate what we have in common: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Join us on November 9th! I cannot wait!

 

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

 

  • Mentzer Farewell Open House – The leadership of 2CC will be hosting an open house celebration for the Mentzer family from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2. Please take advantage of this opportunity to thank Drew, Judy and Dee for 22 years of ministry at 2CC!


  • 14th Annual Food Drive – Grab a box or two from The Commons, fill it with non-perishable food items, and return the box to Second over the next several weeks. We will be collecting food four consecutive Sunday mornings from October 20 through November 10. Over 450 boxes were picked up on Sunday October 13 – way to go 2CC! You may drop off your boxes at the container in the front parking lot on Sunday mornings between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


  • Little Galilee Christian Camp’s Senior Saints Day is Wednesday, October 23, and I would love to have you join us! I am part of the planning team along with Hank Sanford from CU Church and Jeff Mayfield from Le Roy Christian Church. Our keynote speaker for the day is our own Drew Mentzer! YOU are invited to join us for this all day gathering that features great preaching, really good gospel worship, and a delicious lunch!


  • 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!


  •  SCC benevolence ministry - We are looking for women and men to join our benevolence ministry team and assist once or twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. If you are interested, please use the bulletin tear off. If you would like more information, please see Dale DeNeal, Kiley Garrison or myself.


  •  Service Time Change for Sunday, November 3 – The Mentzer family’s final Sunday at Second Church will be Sunday, November 3, and due to all that will be happening that morning, we are changing our services times for Sunday, November 3 ONLY. On November 3 only, Next Gen will join with Main Service in the Main Auditorium, and the service times will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Kid’s World, JHM, HSM and ABF will not meet on November 3. Only nursery and preschool will be available on November 3.

 

That’s all for this week my friends but never grow tired of spreading the word about 2CC! Invite your friends! What a joy to be part of a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

OCTOBER 8, 2019

Sunday was a rare day for me, as I had no preaching or teaching responsibilities and had the opportunity to spend the morning floating around the 2CC building, and what a great morning it was! I was blessed to hear not one but two really good sermons as we began our series Rich Toward God. Kiley Garrison preached in the Main Auditorium, and Drew Mentzer preached in Next Gen services, and both men helped us better understand how to Trust God with all we have been blessed with.


A major takeaway from the study on Sunday morning was the idea of what stewardship really is and what it means to be a good steward with all God has provided. So many of us are so very blessed, and the temptation is to buy the lie that it is all about our individual greatness and our individual efforts. Notice how many times in the parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21 he speaks of all HE has and what HE is planning to do with HIS good fortune. It is truly a case where in his worldview it is all about HIM and HIS grain. Don’t miss the point: It is HIS stuff.


What if instead we looked at everything we have been blessed with, our money and material possessions, as direct blessings from God? What if we seriously considered how we might use these blessings from God for his glory and for his kingdom? What if we committed to truly trusting God as our provider? Augustine said it like this: “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.” Well done, Kiley and Drew! Don’t forget to read chapter 2 of the book Rich Toward God this week prior to worship on Sunday! If you didn’t get a copy of the book, you can still get your free copy in the church office or at the welcome center.


One of the things about Second Church of Christ that I love is the number of ministry service opportunities in the life of our church. This month, we are excited about a new area of ministry impact we are currently reinventing: the SCC benevolence ministry. We are looking for women and men to join our benevolence ministry team and assist once or twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. If you are interested, please sign up on the bulletin Connect Form this Sunday. If you would like more information, please see Dale DeNeal, Kiley Garrison or myself.


Let me share several “quick hits” this week:


- Great job to everyone involved in the Hope Heals Expo Thursday night at the Second building featuring Kevin Hines! 540 were in attendance and it was truly a great team effort. Special kudos to Ashton Greer from OSF and Jim Russell from the 708 Board! And great job Phil Goija on the video! Well done!


- Kid’s World is open as of Sunday and so much work took place to make this happen! Thank you to everyone involved! I’m thankful for Kenna Osborne and her team of children’s ministry servants that never tire of telling the future generation of our church about Jesus on Sunday mornings, Tuesday mornings, Tuesday evenings and Wednesday evenings!


- Congratulations to Dr. Silas McCormick on his appointment as the 8th President of my alma mater, Lincoln Christian University beginning June 1, 2020. Current President Dr. Don Green has been a great blessing to LCU and I’m thankful for his almost six years of ministry as President at LCU and his lifetime of service at Lincoln!


- My final assignment with Little Galilee Christian Camp near Clinton, IL involves their Senior Saints day on Wednesday October 23. I am part of the planning team along with Hank Sanford from CU Church and Jeff Mayfield from Le Roy Christian Church. Our keynote speaker for the day is our own Drew Mentzer! YOU are invited to join us for this all day gathering that features great preaching, really good Gospel worship and a delicious lunch!


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


Mentzer Farewell Open House – The leadership of 2CC will be hosting an open house celebration for the Mentzer family from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2. Please take advantage of this opportunity to thank Drew, Judy and Dee for 22 years of ministry at 2CC!


14th Annual Food Drive – Grab a box or two from The Commons, fill it with non-perishable food items, and return the box to Second over the next several weeks. We will be collecting food four consecutive Sunday mornings from October 20 through November 10. You may drop off your boxes at the container in the front parking lot on Sunday mornings between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


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!


Oasis – Each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., dozens gather in Hallelujah Hall for a one-hour Bible Study, usually led by Drew Mentzer. This group is currently studying the book of 2 Timothy, and EVERYONE is welcome! Just show up on Tuesday’s at 10:00 a.m. We would love to see you at Oasis!


Junior High Fall Retreat at Hanging Rock Christian Camp – 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.”


Service Time Change for Sunday, November 3 – The Mentzer family’s final Sunday at Second Church will be Sunday, November 3, and due to all that will be happening that morning, we are changing our services times for Sunday, November 3 ONLY. On November 3 only, Next Gen will join with Main Service in the Main Auditorium, and the service times will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Kid’s World, JHM, HSM and ABF will not meet on November 3. Only nursery and preschool will be available on November 3.


May God bless each of you! It is a great season for Second Church of Christ! Spread the word. Invite your friends. What a joy to be part of a church that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!


GT


OCTOBER 1, 2019

Today we begin the final quarter of 2019. We have just three months left before the New Year! Early on this Tuesday, I had the opportunity to walk through our building and reflect on all that God is doing through the ministries of our church – God is certainly good!


Here are a couple of things to celebrate and give God the glory for:


This Sunday morning Kid’s World will be meeting in their brand new Children’s Ministry building! There is still a lot to do over the next five days (right Kenna Osborne?), but it is exciting to see the new carpet and new paint and to begin to envision young girls and boys learning about Jesus! Shortly, dozens of preschool children will arrive for week 2 of Tiny Tots Tuesdays! So much good is happening through our Kid’s World ministry!


Not far from the new Children’s Ministry building is the new Student Ministry building, and we have much to celebrate in Student Ministry at 2CC! On Sunday, Jake Weece hosted a worship team from Lincoln Christian University for both the 9:20 a.m. small group meetings and the 10:45 a.m. JHM worship service. I personally love seeing Bible College students connecting with our students at Second, and I hope more and more Second students will end up as students at places like Lincoln Christian University and Johnson University and Ozark Christian College! One more thing: JHM students – don’t forget to sign up soon for the fall retreat in mid-November at nearby Hanging Rock camp!


Last Sunday evening, HSM had a record attendance for Sunday evening worship! Praise the Lord! I am thankful for Tyler Russell and his commitment to our High School students at Second and look forward to seeing God move in HSM. I asked Tyler why the numbers are so strong, and his answer was simple: more and more students are inviting their friends to attend HSM on Sunday night from 5-7 p.m.


I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the dozens of women and men who serve as ministry leaders in Kid’s World, JHM and HSM. We literally could not do what we are able to do without this army of servants who are pouring into the future generations! Thank you to each and every one of you!

Later on my morning walk, I found myself in the Next Gen auditorium, our most used space at Second. Tonight in the Next Gen auditorium, Celebrate Recovery will meet beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a time of worship led by Stephanie Spangler, and tonight a testimony will be shared and everyone will recite together important steps and my favorite part of the evening, the Serenity Prayer. If you have never been to CR, come on out tonight for the large group worship service, you will be blessed!


My last stop this morning was the Main Auditorium, where this Thursday evening, October 3, we are hosting the Hope Heals Expo featuring Kevin Hines from 6-8 p.m. Kevin is one of just 35 survivors of a suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and is using his second chance at life to share a message of hope! Kevin will literally be all over our county on Thursday in local schools, and you will NOT want to miss Thursday evening at Second! Huge thanks go out to OSF and Step Up for making this event become a reality!

There is so much to be excited about at Second Church of Christ! God is so good; let’s make sure to give Him ALL the glory! Have a great week and we will see you Sunday at Second!


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


     • Rich Toward God – We begin a new sermon study in both Main Auditorium and Next Gen this week and we have a special gift for each family (or

       individual) at Second. Dr. Kregg Hood wrote a really good but short book entitled Rich Toward God where he looks at the parable of the Rich Fool in

       Luke 12:13-21 and helps us tackle important Christian life principles such as Trusting God, Giving Generously, Building God’s Kingdom and

       Finding Contentment. If you did NOT get a copy of the book, we have ordered 200 more and you can get your copy Sunday morning! If you did get

       your book, please read chapter 1 if possible prior to Sunday morning at Second.


     • Walk for Life – The annual walk for life fundraiser for the Women’s Care Clinic was last Saturday at Lincoln Park and at last word, over $43,000.00 has

       been raised! Special shout out to Dee Mentzer for raising over $5,500.00 herself! Here is the best news of all: if we can reach the $50,000.00 mark, an

       anonymous donor will then triple this money! Let’s make this happen for one of the really important para-church ministries in our area!


     • 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!


     • Tiny Tots Tuesdays are back at Second Church! Each Tuesday morning from 9:15 – 11:15 a.m. Kenna and her incredible team of volunteers help our

       most precious generation begin to learn and grow in the faith! 41 are signed up at this point and there is room for your “potty trained” preschooler at

       TTT!


     • Oasis – Each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., dozens gather in Hallelujah Hall for a one-hour Bible Study, usually led by Drew Mentzer. This study

       group is currently beginning the book of 2 Timothy and EVERYONE is welcome! Just show up on Tuesday’s at 10:00 a.m. We would love to see you at

       Oasis!


     • Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock Christian Camp – 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!


GT


September 24, 2019

Today marks the official beginning of fall, although another 80-degree day feels more like summer! It is hard to believe the blog next week will be an October blog. I’m so thankful for the leadership of Second Church and the intentional manner that this Lead Minister transition has brought to our church. I have been blessed to work side by side with Drew Mentzer these past six and a half weeks and have so much appreciation for the 22 years of ministry the Mentzer family has led in Danville. I am honored to be able to follow in Drew’s footsteps, but no one can “replace” Drew!


You will have an opportunity on November 2 to show your love and appreciation to Drew, Judy and Dee for all the blessings of their ministry at Second. The leadership will be hosting an open house celebration at Second from 2-6pm on Saturday, November 2 and we are encouraging everyone to come out and thank them personally for their ministry. Sunday, November 3 will be the Mentzer’s final Sunday at Second, and yet due to the tight Sunday morning schedule, you will probably NOT be able to enjoy an extended conversation with Drew or Judy that Sunday. So . . . please take advantage of the reception on Saturday the 2nd!

Also, please make note of service time and location changes for Sunday, November 3. This is a one-time change for November 3 only: EACH service will meet in the main auditorium only and the service times will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Again, this is a one-time only change to allow for an extended service as we thank and honor Drew, Judy and Dee Mentzer on Sunday, November 3.


Last week brought my first Step Up meeting on Friday the 20th and what a great morning it turned out to be! So thankful for the vision and leadership of the Step Up team, and I was inspired to get an actual presentation of the Step Up team’s presentation earlier in the week in Springfield for the Governor’s Hometown award. Thanks to Mike Hulvey, Deana Witzel, Seth Miller and Dale DeNeal for traveling to the Capitol city and making the presentation. So much good is happening in Vermilion County, and I’m thankful for men and women that are telling our story! Well done!


Also last Friday during the Step Up meeting, I learned that October is Mental Health Awareness month. Frankly I had no idea, and that is part of the problem. For far too long, we as a society and even we as a church have not talked enough about mental health, and that needs to change. Next Thursday, October 3, our church is blessed to host the Hope Heals Expo featuring Kevin Hines from 6:00-8:00 p.m.


Kevin is one of just 35 people that have survived a suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge. As a result of his “second chance,” Kevin speaks regularly all over the country about his story and the reality of hope. His story chronicles an extraordinary will to live mentally well in the face of mental illness. I hope you can make it to Second Church on Thursday evening October 3!


Marla and I were blessed to be a part of the Membership class the past two Wednesday evenings – Kiley Garrison and Drew Mentzer did a great job leading the class, and as a result, 34 people are now new members of Second Church of Christ! Praise the Lord! If you are interested in knowing more about membership or are aware of someone who is curious, please let Terry Goodwin or myself know, and plan now for our next membership class in early 2020.


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


     • 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!


     • Walk for Life – This Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Lincoln Park. This annual fundraiser is a great blessing for the Women’s Care Center

       and everyone can participate! If you are looking to sponsor a walker with financial support, let me recommend Dee Mentzer!


     • Tiny Tots Tuesdays are back at Second Church! Each Tuesday morning from 9:15 – 11:15 a.m., Kenna and her incredible team of volunteers

       help our most precious generation begin to learn and grow in the faith! 41 are signed up at this point and there is room for your “potty

       trained” preschooler at TTT!


     • 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!


      Oasis – Each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., dozens gather in Hallelujah Hall for a one hour Bible Study, usually led by Drew Mentzer. This

       study group is currently beginning the book of 2 Timothy and EVERYONE is welcome! Just show up on Tuesday’s at 10:00 a.m. We would

       love to see you at Oasis!


     • Junior High Retreat at Hanging Rock Christian Camp – 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.”


I hope to see you Sunday at Second as we conclude our September series “what you don’t know can hurt you.” This week our text is Romans 10:1-10 and a message entitled “How to be right with God.”


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!


GT


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