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.

September 30, 2019

I love the New England area and have felt a personal passion for this mission field for over 30 years. Let me explain why. When Marla and I were students at the then Lincoln Christian College in the late 1980s, we were required to do a week of service each school year called Week of Evangelism. Our sophomore year during the spring of 1989, Marla and I were both part of the group of over 50 from LCC that jumped on the LCC charter bus and headed east.

 

It was a wonderful trip full of memories we would not soon forget. Niagara Falls was a great stop on the way out, and touring downtown Boston was just what the doctor ordered for a history nerd like me, but the aspect of the trip that changed me forever was seeing the incredible need in the six New England states for the gospel message. At that time, there were very few Stone-Campbell churches in New England, and there was obviously a great need for Jesus.

 

Our week in March of 1989 was spent serving the Manchester Christian Church, which at the time was running 200-250 on Sunday mornings. They were the largest Stone-Campbell church in the New England area at that time. We left and headed for home, and I had a burning in my heart for New England, but then life got busy. I had two-plus years of college to finish. I was trying to convince Marla to marry me. I was spending my weekends doing ministry at the Plano Christian Church.

 

Following graduation, I began my first full-time ministry in Moweaqua, IL at First Christian Church. Our second summer in Moweaqua, we took several of our high school students to New Hampshire on a mission trip with the Londonderry Christian Church. We would do a similar trip four years later with LCC in 1997. Again, I saw the need in New England, but life seemed pretty busy, and we were just beginning to find our groove in Moweaqua.

 

In the mid-1990s, one of our favorite professors from Lincoln, Dan Clymer, made the decision to leave academia and move to New England. Dan began Restoration House Ministries in Manchester, New Hampshire. The legacy of RHM is rich, and the landscape of the Stone-Campbell movement in New England has been forever changed positively for the kingdom!

 

For 21 years, Dan led RHM, and many churches were planted, dozens of Bible College students did internships in New England, and a network of pastoral encouragement became a reality. By the way, Dan recently released a book on discipleship featuring several Christian leaders in New England that he served as general editor of, and it is really good stuff!

 

About the same time Dan Clymer was moving his family to New England, Marla, Jordan, and I were leaving Moweaqua and relocating to the Lincoln area, and I had joined the staff at Lincoln Christian College serving in Admissions for seven years. Dan invited Marla and me to be a part of a church planter recruitment weekend in October of 2008, and we once again saw the incredible need in New England. We wondered what door the Lord might open in the future for the Taylor family, but ministry was just beginning for me at LCC, and a move to New England did not appear to be in our future anytime soon.

 

During this season of ministry at my alma mater, I was a part of multiple Week of E trips to New England and also led a mission trip to NE sponsored by Little Galilee Christian Camp along with Wade Thompson and Ed Bacon. I was also able to partner with Dan and RHM in 1998 with the beginning of Disciple Days, a week-long program exposing high school students to life and ministry in New England.

 

My friend, Jason Smith, and I were part of the first two Disciple Days in 1998 and 1999. It was pretty neat when in the summer of 2012, my then 16-year-old daughter Jordan was able to attend DD at RHM! I remember talking with Jordan on the drive home from the airport and hearing her tell me God was calling her to New England. It really moved me, but I wondered if, like me, life would get in the way of this call.

 

I could go on and on, but I will cut to the chase. Last week I was back in New England to visit my daughter, Jordan, and son-in-law Jacob Vangen, and I had a lot of time to reflect. Jordan followed her passion that first ignited in the summer of 2012 and today serves along with Jacob at the Bridge Pointe Christian Church in East Providence, Rhode Island. Just seven years old, this church was running almost 600 on Sunday morning pre-COVID and is one of three thriving Stone-Campbell churches in Rhode Island. There are two other strong RHM church plants in Rhode Island thriving today: South Pointe Christian Church in Warwick and Ocean Pointe Christian Church in Middletown near Newport.

 

Today Manchester Christian Church was running over 3,000 on Sundays pre-COVID and is one of the leading churches in all of New England. East Pointe Christian Church in Portland, Maine (RHM plant in 2003) is possibly the healthiest and strongest church in all of the state. The city of Boston is being influenced by multiple churches planted by RHM including Reunion Christian Church, started by Hank Wilson in 2007, and a new church, Renaissance Christian Church, led by Drew Thurman. Thank you, Dan Clymer, for following your call in the mid-1990s!

 

So what’s the point in all of this? It is really pretty simple. The gospel is still needed in New England. So much positive has happened in the past 25 years, but so much more still needs to happen in the name of Jesus. Let’s continue to pray and support organizations like Restoration House Ministries, led today by Eric Lee and Bob Miller. Let’s continue to pray and support churches like Bridge Pointe Christian Church and new church works like Renaissance Christian Church. Let’s pray and support young adults like our own Molly Smith who is raising money to move to the Newport, Rhode Island area and do campus ministry with Sojourn. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to raise up workers for the harvest field.”

 

Let’s never forget the Kingdom of God on earth is larger than Danville and the Vermilion Valley!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

 

1. Reminder: Next Gen reopens this Sunday, October 4! We are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning in the Main Auditorium at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., and 10:45 a.m. and in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning in Next Gen at 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:20 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality.

 

Huge thanks to Drew Mentzer along with Judy and Dee for sharing with us both Sunday morning and Sunday evening! It was such a blessing to have the Mentzer family back with us!

 

929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about the book of Acts. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!

 

Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, Drew Mentzer joins Greg and Steph on the October 1 Direct Line, along with Terry and Molly Goodwin! Steph and I would love to hear any from you at directline@secondchurch.com.

 

Several groups and Bible studies are beginning to meet again, including:


Oasis Bible Study at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, in the Main Auditorium.

 

Celebrate Recovery for adults only at this time on Tuesday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Auditorium.

 

Grief Share at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays, in the Next Gen Auditorium.

 

Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays, in the Next Gen Auditorium.

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You

 

GT

September 17, 2020

Hello, Second Church! Sunday was our first week in Phase 2 of re-opening, and it was wonderful to see so many families at our in-person services at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., and 10:45 a.m. Our middle service was by far the largest in terms of attendance with over 300 people in the building at 9:20 a.m. If you are wanting to be present for in-person worship but are concerned about larger crowds, please consider either the 8:00 a.m. service or the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday mornings at Second. Just a quick reminder of what is happening with Phase 2:

 

Kid’s World is open for K – 4th graders during the 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services in our Kid’s World building. Masks are required, and Kenna Osborne has put an excellent plan into place to provide the best children’s ministry experience possible! During week one of Phase 2, our 9:20 a.m. service had many more children than our 10:45 a.m. service.

 

Jake Weece is hosting a Bible study in the Student Ministry building during the 9:20 a.m. service on Sundays, and last week 35 Junior High students were present. JHM Wednesday evenings began this week and continue on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The JHM Kickoff brought almost 90 students and adults to Second Church on Wednesday the 16th!

 

HSM is back on Sunday evenings from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. outside on the patio between the Student Ministry building and Kid’s World, and September 13 brought dozens of High School students and sponsors! Please reach out to Tyler Russell if you have questions about HSM!

 

Beginning on Sunday morning, October 4, Next Gen services will return to the Next Gen auditorium at 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and the 10:45 a.m. service in Next Gen will be online via livestream on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel. Kiley Garrison and Adam Singley are working hard already on the return of Next Gen!

 

The Oasis Bible Study began this week on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., and 22 were a part of our first study together in six months and five days! It was so good to be back to together in the Main Auditorium, and YOU are invited to join us moving forward on Tuesdays at 10 a.m.!

 

Don’t forget about our big Sunday with the Mentzer family just 10 days out! Drew will preach during our morning worship services on Sunday, September 27 and that evening, Sunday night, September 27, we are hosting an outdoor worship event on our property at 5:00 p.m. Dale DeNeal will interview Drew, who will share with us about life in Tennessee for the Mentzers! We are praying for good weather and invite you to join us!

 

Please make note of other important happenings moving forward:

 

Grief Share is back beginning Thursday evening, September 24, at 6:00 p.m. in the Next Gen Auditorium. ALL are welcome!

 

The annual Walk for Life is Saturday, September 26, at 9:00 a.m. at Lincoln Park in Danville. We need walkers, givers, and prayers to help the Women’s Care Clinic!

 

The Thursday morning Women’s Bible study returns on Thursday, October 1, at 9:30 a.m. in the Next Gen Auditorium.

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • Reminder: We are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., and 10:45 a.m. in the main auditorium. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:20 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality. The Next Gen Auditorium is set up with tables and chairs as an overflow for families with children with a video feed from the main auditorium during all three services.
  • We conclude our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, September 20, with a message from Kiley Garrison about When Hypocrisy Gets in the Way, looking at how Jesus dealt with this centuries-long problem for Christ followers. Read Matthew 23 in anticipation of Sunday if you get a chance! I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about the book of Acts. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week we visit with Miles Clark from Crossroads Christian Church, Chris Lawler from Catlin Church of Christ, and Stephanie’s mom, Marsha Wilkinson, who shares about Grief Share. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You

 

GT

September 10, 2020

It is finally here! Phase 2 of re-opening begins THIS Sunday morning, September 13! Make sure you are aware of the following information:

 

Here are the details of Phase 2 of re-opening:

  • Beginning on Sunday morning, September 13, our service times will return to our traditional schedule in the main auditorium. In-person service times at Second Church will return to 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Our livestream service in the main auditorium will view at 9:20 a.m.
  • Beginning THIS Sunday morning, September 13, Kid’s World will reopen for K – 4th graders during the 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services in our Kid’s World building. Masks will be required, and Kenna Osborne has put an excellent plan into place to provide the best children’s ministry experience possible! 
  • Beginning THIS Sunday, September 13, JHM will return! Jake Weece will host a Bible study in the Student Ministry building during the 9:20 a.m. service and will launch JHM Wednesday evenings beginning September 16 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. If you are a parent of Junior High students, look for more information from Jake Weece in the weeks ahead!
  • Beginning THIS Sunday, September 13, HSM will return on Sunday evenings from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. outside on the patio between the Student Ministry building and Kid’s World. Please reach out to Tyler Russell if you have questions about HSM! 
  • Beginning on Sunday morning, October 4, Next Gen services will return to the Next Gen auditorium at 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and the 10:45 a.m. service in Next Gen will be online via livestream on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel. Kiley Garrison and Adam Singley are working hard already on the return of Next Gen! 
  • The Oasis Bible Study on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. will return on Tuesday, September and will now meet in the Main Auditorium.

And don’t forget this nugget of great news! Drew, Judy, and Dee Mentzer will be with us the weekend of September 27, and Drew will preach during our morning worship services on Sunday, September 27! That evening, Sunday night, September 27, we are hosting an outdoor worship event on our property at 5:00 p.m. and Drew will share with us during that service as well. We loved so much the Covington worship night in mid-June and are excited to have another outdoor service on September 27!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • Reminder: We are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., and 10:45 a.m. in the main auditorium. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:20 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality. The Next Gen Auditorium is set up with tables and chairs as an overflow for families with children and others with a video feed from the main auditorium during all three services.
  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, September 13, with a message about When Racism and Prejudice Gets in the Way, looking at how Jesus dealt with the issue of race and prejudice and what the Apostle Paul teaches in the book of Galatians as well. We will also show a special video featuring three African American members of our church (Brenda Brown, RJ Davis and Pat Brownfield) sharing their perspective on race and the church in 2020. I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about the book of James. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page! 
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Bill Knight from Second Church and discuss the important topics of politics and religious freedom in 2020. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

september 1, 2020

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of summer and beginning of the school year. I realize many students have been in class for a couple of weeks already, either in-person, online, or some combination in between, but by this time next week all of our area schools will be in session. This school year promises to be one of the most challenging and difficult. With all of this in mind, I want to share five encouragements this week related to students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

 

Encouragement #1: Make the most of a less-than-ideal school year reality. I realize this is not what any of us signed up for, whether you are in-person with masks and social distancing or online via remote learning. I realize no one is excited about COVID-19 changes. I do believe, however, that God can work in any situation and sometimes does his greatest work when we least expect it. Romans 8:28 says, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Make the most of the year that is front of you! If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, ask yourself this question, “God, what are you teaching me during this season?”

 

Encouragement #2: Lean on others during this less-than-ideal school year reality. This is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black because, frankly, I don’t ever want to “need” someone else. I pride myself in doing it myself, my way, living out the Frank Sinatra song each day! Just ask my wife, Marla. She will quickly confirm this is true! That said, the 2020-21 school year will require us to re-think and re-consider the “do it alone” mantra and mindset. Don’t be afraid to turn to others for help and assistance whatever your role is. Look for opportunities to learn from others and to help others this year. Do not allow PRIDE to get in the way! I love this truth that both James and Peter share in their letters: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)

 

Encouragement #3: Never forget your primary calling IF you are a Christ follower. I am so thankful for administrators, teachers, parents, and students who are people of faith following after Jesus Christ! I think in many ways my wife, Marla (the High School Math Teacher), has more opportunities to impact her world for Jesus than I do week in and week out! Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:13-14 that we are called to be “…the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” If you are a student, ask yourself this question. “How can I be salt and light in the name of Jesus this school year?” If you are a parent, ask yourself this question. “How can I be salt and light in the name of Jesus this school year?” If you are a teacher, ask yourself this question. “How can I be salt and light in the name of Jesus this year?” If you are an administrator, ask yourself this question. “How can I be salt and light in the name of Jesus this year?” “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Let your light shine this school year!

 

Encouragement #4: Be wise with your words, especially on social media. Our words hold incredible power, whether we realize it or not. This week and next, during the 929 Daily Word, we are looking at the book of James, the brother of Jesus, and a key theme throughout his letter is the dangerous and even lethal power of our words. And nowhere in our world do we see this more toxic than on social media. It is at this point in my blog that I am no longer “sharing,” and I am beginning to “meddle.” I don’t apologize. Parents, please realize the power of your negative words especially on your most precious blessing, your children. Students, please think before you speak words or post on social media. Teachers and administrators, please realize the power of your words even during stressful and difficult situations! “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) By the way, do not forget Facebook has an UNFOLLOW option for a reason! Don’t be afraid to use it!

 

Encouragement #5: Go counter-cultural and embrace the call to become an ambassador of encouragement. I would love to see this dream become a reality, and it can begin with anyone reading this blog. Almost every one of us knows at least one student, parent, teacher, or administrator. Become an ambassador of encouragement. Look for intentional and strategic ways to lift up those in education this year! Last spring, Marla and I were sitting on our couch relaxing on a Sunday evening when our doorbell rang and there were three of her students at the door. They drove from Georgetown to our home in Denvale West to bring her “gifts” of encouragement. It blessed her greatly!

 

The power of an encouraging word makes such a difference! Twelve years ago, we had to put our then 7th-grade daughter, Jordan, in the hospital on Christmas Eve 2008 as she battled pneumonia. I had never seen her so sick, and I was scared. That is one Christmas I will never forget! Our doctor advised us to use the small hospital in Lincoln instead of the larger hospitals in Springfield, and we followed his advice. It turned out to be a wonderful experience, as wonderful as it can be when your 12-year-old is really sick. Jordan stayed four days and left feeling much better.

 

On that final Monday in December 2008, I called the Lincoln hospital and asked for the Director of Nursing and unfortunately had to leave a voicemail message. I thanked her for the excellent care we received at the hospital and especially from her nursing staff and let her know I would be sharing with anyone who asked about our great experience. She called back within 30 minutes and literally struggled to talk to me due to her emotions. She shared with me that she receives calls about hospital stays all the time but almost never receives a word of encouragement. I wonder if administrators and teachers might have similar accounts? “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25) Let us cheer up our administrators, teachers, parents, and students with kind words!

 

Blessings to everyone involved in education this year! We are all in this together!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others

  • Reminder: We are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. in the main auditorium. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:30 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality. This is our final Sunday morning with these service times! And don’t forget to check out our Phase 2 reopening plans. You can find them here: https://secondchurch.com/ministries/special-update
  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, September 6, with a message from Jake Weece about When RULES and TRADITION Get in the Way, looking at Mark 3 and how Jesus challenged the tradition of not healing or helping on the Sabbath. I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the Book of James, chapters 1-2. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Valerie Shelton, Abby Manning and Will I Am Bales from Celebrate Recovery, a Tuesday-evening ministry of Second Church. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m.

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

August 27, 2020

Sunday marked our fourth Sunday back in our building on Sunday mornings for in-person worship services, and it was also our largest attendance for in-person worship services since our return (335 total). Throughout the first three Sundays of in-person worship in August (8/2, 8/9, and 8/16), our 11:00 a.m. service was our smallest in attendance. This past Sunday, our 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. services were slightly smaller than previous weeks, but our 11:00 a.m. service was more than double in average (131 not counting those involved in the service). In fact, Stephanie Spangler and her worship team could not find seats to sit in the main part of the auditorium following their worship set and had to move to the balcony. Why was this? I have no idea, but it was great to see!

 

Sunday also brought several of you back for in-person worship for the first time and that was wonderful to see! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to gather together again and look forward to seeing more and more people return for in-person worship when they feel they are ready. Of course, our livestream will continue during our middle service at 9:30 a.m. on both Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel.

 

I’m excited this week to share with you that we will be entering Phase 2 of our re-opening beginning on Sunday, September 13!

 

Here are the details of Phase 2 of re-opening:

  • Beginning on Sunday morning, September 13, our service times will return to our traditional schedule in the main auditorium. In-person service times at Second Church will return to 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Our livestream service in the main auditorium will view at 9:20 a.m.
  • Beginning on Sunday morning, September 13, Kid’s World will reopen for K – 4th graders during the 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services in our Kid’s World building. Masks will be required, and Kenna Osborne has put an excellent plan into place to provide the best children’s ministry experience possible! 
  • Beginning the week of September 13, JHM will return! Jake Weece will host a Bible study in the Student Ministry building during the 9:20 a.m. service and will launch JHM Wednesday evenings beginning September 16 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. If you are a parent of Junior High students, look for more information from Jake Weece in the weeks ahead! 
  • Beginning on September 13, HSM will return on Sunday evenings from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. outside on the patio between the Student Ministry building and Kid’s World. Please reach out to Tyler Russell if you have questions about HSM! 
  • Beginning on Sunday morning October 4, Next Gen services will return to the Next Gen auditorium at 9:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and the 10:45 a.m. service in Next Gen will be online via livestream on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel. Kiley Garrison and Adam Singley are working hard already on the return of Next Gen! 
  • The Oasis Bible Study on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. will return on Tuesday, September 15 and will now meet in the Main Auditorium. 

One other bit of news I am excited to share with you this week: Drew, Judy and Dee Mentzer will be with us the weekend of September 27, and Drew will preach during our morning worship services on Sunday, September 27! It will be so good to reconnect with the Mentzer family and to hear Drew preach at Second Church again! Mark your calendars now!

 

That evening, Sunday night September 27, we are hosting an outdoor worship event on our property at 5:00 p.m. and Drew will share with us during that service as well. We loved so much the Covington worship night in mid-June and are excited to have another outdoor service on September 27!

 

We are so excited about Phase 2 and so thankful for Melissa Rome and the team at the Vermilion County Health Department and their advice on making our return to in-person worship a reality. God is so good even during a pandemic! Let’s make the most of the opportunities we have in front of us to grow in relationship with Jesus and influence our community for the Kingdom!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • Reminder: For the next two Sunday mornings, we are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. in the main auditorium. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:30 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality. 
  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, August 30, with a message When JUDGMENT Gets in the Way, looking at Matthew 7 and John 8 and how Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery. How did Jesus handle those who were accusing and judging? How did Jesus deal with this woman caught in sin? What lessons should we take from John 8 in 2020? I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page! 
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Dean Crandall from Second Church and discuss the important topic of WORLDVIEW in the life of a Christ Follower. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com. 
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m.

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

august 19, 2020

During the sermon on Sunday, we had the opportunity to reveal via video two nominees for eldership at Second Church: Joe Heleine and Chris Robinson. Thanks so much to Phil Gioja for another great video production, and thank you to Joe and Chris for leaning into this opportunity to serve as elders at Second Church. Both men have been through a very thorough process with our leadership including a written application and an interview with our elders. Our leadership was unanimous in their opinion that both men should begin serving as elders of Second Church.

 

We are in a two-week period of time (from August 16-30) where any biblical concerns about either Joe or Chris that would lead to disqualification from service can be received in writing with witnesses substantiating the charge. Such a written charge can be given to any elder (Erik Cisney, Dean Crandall, Bill Knight, Alan Thompson, Tim Thornsborough, or Steve Walter) or our Executive Minister Dale DeNeal. If no charges are leveled in the next two weeks, Joe and Chris will be installed as elders of Second Church promptly.

 

Please pray for your leadership and staff at Second Church. This month marks one year of service at Second Church for Marla and me, and we are so thankful for the elders and staff we are blessed to do ministry with! One of the many things that drew us to Second Church was the leadership structure and the biblical nature Second Church has embraced. Far too many contemporary churches look more like city councils and county boards in structure and function.

 

I love and am very thankful for the 3 C’s of leadership at Second Church: Character, Competency and Chemistry. I am honored to serve alongside leaders who are committed to making Christ-centered disciples! Blessings to Joe and Chris as they begin this journey! Thank you, Second Church, for your support and encouragement!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • Reminder: We are having in-person worship gatherings each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. in the Main Auditorium. Each worship service is identical, and our livestream continues on Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube Channel at 9:30 a.m. Masks are required, and social distancing is also our reality. The Next Gen Auditorium is set up with tables and chairs as an overflow for families with children and others with a video feed from Main Auditorium during all three services. 
  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, August 23, with a message about When INSIDERS Get in the Way, looking at Mark 11 and the account of Jesus turning over tables in the temple court during Holy Week. What was this all about? Why was Jesus so angry? What lessons should we take from Mark 11 in 2020? I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Nathan Lenstra and Barbara Jackson from the Hope Center in Danville and learn about the impact of this ministry located in Fair Oaks. We will also visit with Ginger Schell from Intentional Reach and GT Bootcamp. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m.

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

august 12, 2020

It has been a long almost five months since COVID-19 became a reality in mid-March for Second Church! I remain so thankful for the blessing of technology and the opportunity to livestream services on Sunday mornings and will never forget the efforts of Darrell Paddock, Ben Smith, Tyler Russell, Jason Landis, and so many others! I spent some time last weekend looking back on the Second Church YouTube channel at several of our past livestream services and was blessed all over again! Don’t forget, our livestream continues each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.

 

One of the real bummers of the past five months for me personally, and so many others, involved the suspension of Celebrate Recovery on Tuesday evenings. One of the real draws to Second Church for me 17 months ago was what I witnessed the evening of Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in the Next Gen Auditorium. I was immediately moved and impacted by CR large group and the impact this ministry appeared to be making in the lives of so many.

 

It was so encouraging and frankly infectious to see a church doing whatever they could to help so many overcome hurts, habits, and hang-ups. When COVID-19 hit, we attempted to provide a CR substitute via livestream, something we called Recovery Connect. I personally enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t the same. Something was missing: no personal contact and connection!

 

With all of that in mind, I am so excited and blessed to be able to announce today that Celebrate Recovery is back and YOU are welcome to join us on Tuesday evenings for two aspects of CR: Large Group and our Share Groups. We consider this to be Phase 1 of our CR re-opening. Now please note: We still are not providing a meal or dessert fellowship, there is no transportation, and there is no children’s or teen programming at this time.

 

The past two Tuesday evenings have brought a “soft launch,” and this week 53 adults gathered in Main Auditorium for a great large group meeting! I think all of us left large group committed to DO SOMETHING on a night we talked about ACTION! We hope and pray this is only the beginning! So what will Tuesday evening Celebrate Recovery look like while we are in Phase 1?

 

Please make note of the following regarding our CR reopening:

  • Phase 1 of Celebrate Recovery will be for adults only and will include only Large Group and Share Groups from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m.
  • The Large Group gathering will include worship, reciting the 8 Principles or the 12 Steps, teaching, reciting the Serenity Prayer, and hopefully, baptisms!
  • Many of the CR Share Groups are meeting, including Men’s and Women’s Chemical Dependency, Men’s Moral Integrity and Women’s Life Issues. We are also offering CR 101 at 7:00 p.m. for newcomers. 
  • Masks are required for the entire time you are in the building, and temperatures will be taken by our medical team as you enter our building.
  • If you are sick, please stay home. 
  • At this time, there is no transportation, no meals, and no children’s or teen programming.

To say I am excited that CR is back would be the understatement of the summer! This week, Terry Goodwin will be teaching in Large Group, and you will not want to miss it! If you have additional questions related to the reopening of CR, please reach out and call the church office at 217-442-7306 or email me at greg@secondchurch.com.

 

Spread the word! Join us on Tuesday evenings! It is SO good to be back!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, August 16, with a message about LEADING and FOLLOWING LEADERS WELL, as we introduce two elder nominees to the congregation. I am personally so thankful for the lives and faith of both Joe Heleine and Chris Robinson, and I’m excited for you to learn more about each man! I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the seven churches in Asia Minor that received word from Jesus in Revelation chapters 2-3. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page. 
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Bethany Hager from the Women’s Care Clinic in Danville and learn about the upcoming Walk for Life and so much more. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m.

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

august 4, 2020

I couldn’t sleep Saturday night. I’m pretty sure I remember 1:00 a.m., 2:30 a.m., and 3:45 a.m. Finally, about 4:45 a.m., I gave up and decided to get up. Needless to say, I was ready for a nap by 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. To say I was anxious about our re-opening on Sunday, August 2, would be an understatement! I just was not sure what to expect.

 

Sunday turned out to be a day full of blessings in many ways. I was so proud of our staff and volunteers who facilitated the re-opening of our building. Special thanks to Sandra Lathrop for going above and beyond with our large number of volunteers. As usual, I was blessed by our worship service (Adam Singley and Stephanie Spangler both do such a great job! and I thought Dale DeNeal did a super job leading us in our time of remembering Jesus through the Lord’s Supper.

 

Possibly the greatest blessing of all on Sunday, however, was the spirit of cooperation and compliance everyone embodied as we made the best of a less-than-ideal reality of our building re-opening. Thank you, Second Church members and attenders, for following our protocols to ensure the safety and health of everyone in attendance on Sunday in our building! I am so thankful and proud of you!

 

Our recent survey on re-opening revealed several families were considering returning to worship in our building but wanted to see how the first couple of weeks unfolded. There was significant concern over safety precautions and procedures and if social distancing was really possible in the Main Auditorium. On Sunday, August 2, none of our three services exceeded 100 in attendance: 8:00 a.m. service = 91; 9:30 a.m. = 95; 11:00 a.m. = 66. When you add up all of our tech and worship staff and volunteers, we estimate around 270 different people joined us in our building on Sunday morning for worship.

 

Here are a couple of comments from the world of Facebook by Second Church folks older than me who were in our building on Sunday morning:

  • “It didn’t feel nearly as weird as I thought it would. Many thanks to our awesome staff for your preparation and setting realistic expectations.”
  • “It was so good to be back today! Thanks to all who made this possible.”
  • “Great service. We were at 1st, and I believe all went well.” 

In addition, our online livestream continues on both the Second Church Facebook page and the Second Church YouTube channel, and our livestream numbers on Sunday were very strong. For the month of July, we averaged a peak of about 375-380 unique devices at one time during our services. On Sunday, our peak was 351 unique devices at one time. I continue to be thankful for this blessing of technology and guys like Darrell Paddock and Ben Smith who make this happen week in and week out!

 

Just a reminder, we have put into the place the following protocols for Phase 1 of the re-opening the Second Church building for Sunday morning worship:

  • Please wear a mask from the time you exit your car in the parking lot until you leave the building following the worship service.
  • Everyone will enter and exit the building through Door #2 at the overhang. Doors will open 15 minutes before each service (7:45 a.m., 9:15 a.m., and 10:45 a.m.). 
  • Please practice social distancing and please keep your mask on throughout the service except when taking Communion.
  • Ushers will give direction regarding seating in the Main Auditorium, and families will be asked to sit together.
  • Each service will be about 45 minutes and include 3 worship songs, the sermon, Communion via pre-packaged elements, and we are transitioning to offering boxes on the walls of the Main Auditorium. 
  • We will not have a greeting time, and the Commons will not be open for fellowship between services. There will not be coffee served on Sunday mornings at this time.
  • There will not be children’s or youth programming in the building on Sunday mornings during Phase 1 of our re-opening.
  • Following the closing prayer, you will be given instructions from the stage about dismissal. We will dismiss by rows, and you will be asked to exit the building at that time so cleaning can begin in preparation for the next service.

Here are three final thoughts this week:

 

#1 – Please remain faithful in worship, whether in person or on the live stream.

 

#2 – Please honor the protocols we have put into place for worship in our building during Phase 1.

 

#3 – Please consider joining us this Sunday for worship in our building IF you are comfortable doing so. We would love to see you!

 

Blessings, 2CC! I love you, and I’m thankful and honored to serve at Second!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • We continue our study What Made Jesus Mad this Sunday morning, August 9, with a message from Kiley Garrison on the issue of Indifference. Our seven-week series will look at multiple additional answers to this question, including Insiders, Judgment, Racism, Hypocrisy and Rules/Traditions. This series is based on the book What Made Jesus Mad by Tim Harlow from Parkview Christian Church in the south suburbs of Chicago. If you are interested in getting your own copy of this book, you can find it on Amazon. I hope you will join us this week either in person or on the livestream!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the parables of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we visit with Courtney Watson from Philadelphia Baptist Church in Danville and our own Terry Goodwin from the staff at Second Church. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directline@secondchurch.com.
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m.

Blessings to you, Second Church! I am so thankful for a community of Christ followers that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You!

 

GT

July 28, 2020

This Sunday we re-open our building for three in-person services at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. We will CONTINUE to LIVESTREAM online each week! The livestream time will now move to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. To say I am excited about re-opening is an understatement! That said, we are doing our very best to provide a safe and clean environment that has the blessing of both our County Health Department and our insurance company, so please put the following into practice IF you decide to join us on Sunday for in-person worship:

 

  • Please wear a mask from the time you exit your car in the parking lot until you leave the building following the worship service. 
  • Everyone will enter and exit the building through Door #2 at the overhang. Doors will open 15 minutes before each service (7:45 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.).
  • Please practice social distancing and please keep your mask on throughout the service except when taking Communion.
  • Ushers will give direction regarding seating in the Main Auditorium, and families will be asked to sit together.
  • Each service will be about 45 minutes and include 2-3 worship songs, the sermon, Communion via pre-packaged elements, and we are transitioning to offering boxes on the walls of the Main Auditorium.
  • We will not have a greeting time, and the Commons will not be open for fellowship between services. There will not be coffee served on Sunday mornings at this time.
  • There will not be children’s or youth programming in the building on Sunday mornings at this time. 
  • Following the closing prayer, you will be given instructions from the stage about dismissal. We will dismiss by rows, and you will be asked to exit the building at that time so cleaning can begin in preparation for the next service.

 

I realize this is not a perfect scenario. I realize this is a different reality than we all experienced back in early March prior to the shutdown. My hope and prayer is that we will all do our very best to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. I hope we can come together as a church during this time and model for our community that is watching what Christian love and unity looks like in the midst of trying times.

 

Last week, Stephanie Spangler and I welcomed to Direct Line two of our staff at Second Church, Dale DeNeal and Darrell Paddock, both of whom were infected with COVID-19 in late June. You can catch the entire interview at vermilioncountyfirst.com, but I wanted to share with you their thoughts on the entire experience with coronavirus and what lessons they learned.

 

Greg: What lessons do you think you learned through this? If you were to try to think through something that you feel like you maybe took from this, what would you say? Either one of you jump in.

 

Dale: I would say I'm not afraid of COVID. I don't think there is anything you should be afraid of or fear, but you should respect it. I think there are a lot of people who don't respect it and actually maybe have a little bit more of a cavalier kind of attitude toward it. Because of that, I don't think they often think about the potential impact they can have on other people.

 

I know there is a lot of debate about the masks, but I think if you wear a mask… For any other reason, you should wear a mask for the benefit of the other people, because you don't know if you have it. I was contagious 24 hours before I had any of the symptoms, so you don't know if you may have it or are contagious, so really, for the benefit of other people, I think you should wear a mask.

 

Greg: Darrell, what about you? Any lessons you think you learned through this?

 

Darrell: Yeah. I think I learned several lessons. I was probably one of those cavalier people or one of those people who thought, "We just have to all get this and move on." I haven't changed a lot about the way I think about COVID. I never was afraid of COVID, and I'm still not afraid of COVID, but just how we treat each other through COVID. I think that part I've changed.

 

My brother, Randy, is in South Carolina, and we had some discussion over the phone while I had plenty of time to have discussions over the phone about how I thought about COVID and the whole mask issue. Like Dale said, there is a lot of controversy over we shouldn't be forced to wear a mask, and he was able to help me, I think, with why he feels like it's okay to wear a mask.

 

I know there are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but if we call ourselves believers in Jesus Christ and we truly want that compassion Christ gave us, is a mask really going to hurt us to put it on? It's for the cause of Christ if it's to help that person not to get sick. I think it's a good reason to wear it.

 

Greg: That's great. That's great.

 

Dale: One more really quick thing. I think another learning from this was just to see how God's people respond in times of need. I mean, we were just so extremely blessed by our Connect Group and staff members and people calling and seeing how we were doing and bringing food by and meals and people offering to mow my yard.

 

In fact, one individual, Matt Goodner… I called him. That's what he does for a living. I called him and said, "Hey! I need you, if you can, to mow my yard for me." I had full intentions of paying him, and he did it twice. I said, "Send me a bill," and he said, "Don't worry about it." I appreciated that. There was just that general outpouring of love and compassion, and I was really blessed by that.

 

Darrell: Yeah. I'd like to share a final thought. Let's try not to be critical of each other with the way we think about COVID. I think the biggest thing for me and the struggle I've had is seeing friends of mine and how it has divided them on how they feel about the virus and what we should do or shouldn't do. I think we all know there is a lot of what ifs out there still about the virus. If we can do anything, it's to treat each other with compassion and not be critical of the way we think what a person should or shouldn't do with this virus.

 

Greg: It sounds like the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

 

We love you Second Church! I hope you will join us this Sunday for one of four worship options. Our online livestream service at 9:30 a.m. on the Second Church YouTube channel or the Second Church Facebook page, or you will join us in person at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., or 11:00 a.m.

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

 

  • We begin a brand new study this Sunday morning, August 2! Our five-week series entitled What Made Jesus Mad will look at several possible answers, including Indifference, Insiders, Judgment, and Rules/Traditions. This series is based on the book What Made Jesus Mad by Tim Harlow from Parkview Christian Church in the south suburbs of Chicago. I hope you will join us!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the parables of Jesus from the gospel of Luke. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we interview Second Church staff members Kiley Garrison and Brandon Allen. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

 

Finally this week, congratulations to Dale and Donna DeNeal, who were honored on Sunday for 20 years of ministry at Second Church! I’m am so grateful for all Dale does in his role of Executive Minister at Second Church, and I would encourage YOU to reach out to this special couple and personally thank them for ALL they do! They are truly a blessing!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

July 22, 2020

This week on the 929 Daily Word, it is Christmas in July, and I am loving every minute of it! No, I didn’t recently endure a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie marathon. Yes, I realize it is July and not December. In my opinion, it is always appropriate to look at the account of the incarnation from Gospel writers Matthew and Luke, whether there is snow on the ground, and we are cold, or there are people in swimming pools, and we are sweating! The truth of the birth of Jesus NEVER gets old and is certainly NOT a seasonal sensation!

 

In preparation for this week, I spent a lot of time in Matthew chapters 1 and 2 and Luke chapters 1 and 2, as well as the Old Testament books of Isaiah and Micah. If I was really good, we might even look at Revelation, chapter 12, although I’ll save that for one of our Christmas sermons this December. When I read these accounts, especially Matthew and Luke, several phrases jump out at me, and each are relevant 12 months a year! Consider some of the quotes of Christmas biblically speaking:

 

#1 – All over the Christmas narrative is this encouragement from angels: Do Not Be Afraid. Probably most memorable of all is this encouragement the Shepherds receive from the Angels as they were watching their flocks on a night they would never forget! But so many others in this narrative receive the same encouragement! Zechariah is told to not be afraid. Mary is told to not be afraid. Joseph is told to not be afraid. It is a constant command of scripture: FEAR NOT. When we study the Christmas account, we can’t miss this: Do Not Be Afraid! What a great reminder during the season of COVID-19 to Fear Not!

 

#2 – On Tuesday this week during the 929 Daily Word, Stephanie shared with us from the encounter Mary had with the angel Gabriel when she receives this unforgettable truth that is another “quote” of Christmas: Nothing is Impossible with God! I think it is pretty easy in 2020 to lose sight of this promise from God’s Word. Each morning in my office, I am reminded of this truth, that nothing is impossible with God, thanks to a small sign on my desk bearing this message. Let’s never find ourselves attempting to put God in a box. Let’s remind ourselves regularly of the GREATNESS of our God!

 

#3 – Possibly the most famous word quote of the Christmas from the Bible is Immanuel, which means “God with us.” We first see this word from the prophet Isaiah in chapters 7 and 8, but it is Matthew’s gospel and his reference to Isaiah 7:14 that sticks with most of us. I can still hear Amy Grant singing “Emmanuel.” (I guess that is a good thing.) This quote reminds us of the gift of God’s presence in our lives. The last word of Jesus according to the gospel of Matthew is a promise of presence: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The incarnation (“Immanuel, God with us”) should always remind us of the uniqueness of Christianity and the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

 

#4 – The final quote of Christmas I will share about this week also comes from Matthew 1 and involves the instruction Joseph receives related to the naming of his soon to be born son. “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Right there in the birth narrative, before Jesus is even born in a manger in the city of David, we learn the “why” of the incarnation. What is another way of saying this? Christ was born to SAVE!

 

Here’s the point from my perspective: You cannot see the cradle of the Christmas narrative without also seeing the cross of Calvary. Jesus didn’t come to simply share some cool stories and perform some great miracles. Jesus Christ was born to save! “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

So there you have it, my friends, (some of the quotes of Christmas). Great promises of hope anytime of the year. Merry Christmas in July, Second Church!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday July 26, Kiley Garrison will conclude our short three-week series entitled The  Letdown. I hope you will join us!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about Christmas in July. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we interview Bean Hohn from Hohn’s Tank Wash in Danville and Second Church staff members Dale DeNeal and Darrell Paddock share about their recent experiences with COVID-19. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

july 14, 2020

Sunday’s worship service was personally so encouraging for me on multiple levels. After a two-week absence due to a Covid-19 reality within our staff, we were back “live” on Sunday morning for our online gathering. It also marked the first worship service in our main auditorium in over four months (March 8). I had very little to do personally for the service on Sunday, and it was great to sit back and sing songs of worship and be encouraged by the words of Kiley Garrison during the sermon and Terry Goodwin during the communion devotion. It was just what the good Doctor ordered for my soul!

 

Sunday was the first of three weeks looking at the reality of disappointment and discouragement in the life of Christ followers. I think, in so many ways, 2020 has proved to be just that: a year of disappointment and discouragement. We invited the families of those involved in the worship service Sunday to join us and it was emotional and impacting for me.

 

I looked around and saw Abbey and Becca Garrison, two recent high-school graduates who lost out on so much of their senior year and are attempting to navigate what going to college is like in the season of COVID-19. I looked around and saw the Goodwin family, special friends who are heartbroken as they watch cousins they love so much deal with the terrible reality of brain cancer. Disappointment. Discouragement. The title of our series is The Letdown, and 2020 has certainly lived up to this billing!

 

Stephanie Spangler, Adam Singley, and our worship team (Justin Silver, Madi Goodwin, and Teagyn Goodwin) did a great job on Sunday leading us in songs that spoke to this reality. I guess I wasn’t paying attention much growing up, but I don’t think I ever remember singing the hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

 

This song that was written way back in 1905 was so fitting for 2020, and I loved the social media images Steph complemented the song with during our service, but maybe most touching and impacting of all for me was the song Blessings by Laura Story we sang following Kiley’s sermon. Here are the lyrics of the song Blessings by Laura Story:

 

We pray for blessings. We pray for peace.

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.

We pray for healing, for prosperity.

We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, you hear each spoken need.

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

 

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

 

We pray for wisdom and your voice to hear.

We cry in anger when we cannot feel you near.

We doubt your goodness, and we doubt your love.

As if every promise from your Word is not enough.

All the while you hear each desperate plea.
And long that we'd have faith to believe.

 

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

 

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win

We know that pain reminds this heart that this is not our home!

 

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life

is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are your mercies in disguise?

 

What powerful and meaningful lyrics that remind us this world is broken and full of disappointment and discouragement, but our God is still on the throne! When you dig deeper and learn the “why” behind this song, it brings an even richer meaning. Laura Story and her husband Martin had been married for two years when they learned he had brain cancer, and they prayed fervently that healing would ensue, and it simply didn’t happen. Laura Story shares about this tough reality:

 

“What does it look like when I spend years praying for healing for my husband that never comes? I feel like we’ve gotten to a place of having to make a choice. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances that we don’t understand, or are we going to choose to judge our circumstances based on what we hold to be true of God? I’m learning that every morning when I wake up, to choose to trust God, and that’s what ‘Blessings’ is about. It’s just considering … MAYBE THE BLESSING IS ACTUALLY FOUND IN THE ABSENCE OF THE THING THAT I’M PRAYING FOR.

"Behind The Album "Blessings" With Laura Story"FreeCCM. March 18, 2011.

 

Laura Story also talks about the importance and impact of the church during seasons of disappointment and discouragement:

 

Sometimes people think church is a place you have to show up having everything together, but that's the very reason we go to church. Because it's the one place in life we can let our hair down and say, ‘No, I don't have it all together. I need Jesus, and I need Jesus in the form of the body of Christ.   I need Jesus' hands and feet to come around me, love me, and really help me through this.” That's one of the things we were reminded of so clearly through Martin's diagnosis—that we were never created to walk through life alone.”

"Laura Story on the Healing Power of Community"Today's Christian Woman. December 1, 2013.

 

“What if the trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the darkest nights, are God’s mercies in disguise?” A reminder once again that for followers of Jesus this world is not our home; we are just passing through! I pray these next five and a half months of 2020 are full of joy and happiness and gatherings! But regardless, let us never forget what ultimately matters most: saving faith in Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstance. Let us never forget how much we need each other and the difference Christian community makes!

 

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

 

Blessings, Second Church, in a “Laura Story” kind of way!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, I am blessed to share a message on the reality of discouragement and disappointment in the life of Elijah the prophet from 1 Kings 19 as we continue a short three-week series entitled The  Letdown. I hope you will join us!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the book of 1 Peter. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we interview Deanna Witzel from Vermilion County McDonalds and several folks from the leadership of The Vermilion County Step Up Initiative. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please! 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

JULY 9, 2020

One of the blessings of my first year of ministry at Second Church has been the weekly radio show Direct Line. I’m so thankful for the leadership of Second Church and their willingness to launch this show that looks at the events of our world and our community through the lens of faith. I have been blessed to have several great partners in this journey each week.

 

Stephanie Spangler agreed to serve as show co-host early on and has been an excellent partner in this venture. I cannot imagine doing DL without Steph! Ben Smith has served as our audio technician in recording the show weekly since the beginning of Covid-19, and Darrell Paddock has also been invaluable on the tech side of the show.

 

Understand, without Ben and Darrell, there would be no Direct Line at this point week in and week out. I am so thankful for their help in everything! Dale DeNeal embraced the role of securing sponsors for Direct Line and simply excelled from the very beginning in assuring we have a full lineup of sponsors! To say I am thankful for these four would be an understatement!

 

This week brought show #19 (that is hard to believe) and the first two author interviews for Steph and me. Tyler Smith from Crawfordsville, Indiana recently wrote a book entitled Searching for Seven: The Journey of Seeking God Seven Days a Week and Granda Lea Chambers from Veedersburg, Indiana, wrote a book entitled Together We Cried. I highly recommend both of these books, and I want to share briefly this week about each author.

 

I first met Tyler Smith back in 2004 when I was serving as Director of Admissions at Lincoln Christian College (now University) and Tyler enrolled as a student from Crawfordsville. I had the opportunity to lead a Spiritual Formation Group Tyler was a part of that first semester, and it is a reminder to me of the many students who are serving God today in meaningful and powerful ways from that era at LCC!

 

Tyler is currently the Youth Minister at New Hope Christian Church in Crawfordsville and also is blessed to spend time both coaching basketball in the area and writing about the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Hoosiers for indysportslegends.com. Tyler’s book tackles the challenge every Christ follower faces: following Jesus each and every day. Far too many fall in the trap of trying to simply “DO” church. I highly recommend this book, and it was so good to reconnect with Tyler this week on Direct Line!

 

Granda Lea Chambers wrote about the journey her son Bryan Chambers endured after being severely injured as a United State Marine in 2007 during the Iraqi surge. I read this book on Friday and Saturday (the 4th of July) last week and found myself crying tears of sadness during much of the first part of the book and then fighting back the emotion of anger during much of the second part.

 

I am so thankful for the men and women who have and do serve our country in the Armed Forces. Freedom isn’t free, and this book was a personal reminder of how precious each and every life is and how much collateral damage unfolds when a soldier is injured. It was heartbreaking to read about the intense heartbreak this family endured as their son struggled to survive and also frustrating beyond words at the obstacles they faced during his recovery at three different hospitals that exist to serve our injured heroes. This book was also so good for soul, full of so much spiritual encouragement from Granda, her husband Craig, and their daughter Holly via Caring Bridge entries shared during the darkest of days. I highly recommend Together We Cried!

 

Both books can be found on Amazon, and if you need assistance finding these books, just reach out to Stephanie or me and we will get you pointed in the right direction. Don’t forget to listen to Direct Line each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 WDAN (or catch the livestream) or catch the replay at the Direct Line link on vermilioncountyfirstcom. Steph and I also link articles and resources for DL on the Direct Line Facebook page. We would love to hear any feedback about the show!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, we are blessed to have Kiley Garrison share a message on the sad reality of discouragement and disappointment in the life of a Christ follower as we begin a short three-week series entitled The  Letdown. I hope you will join us!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a ten-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the book of 2 Corinthians. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, we interview two authors from the state of Indiana, Tyler Smith from Crawfordsville and Granda Lea Chambers from Covington. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

 

july 1, 2020

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

 

On this week 244 years ago, these words written by Thomas Jefferson were agreed to by 57 men from the 13 American colonies and changed the course of history forever. These beginning lines of the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776, two days after a 12-0-1 vote for the resolution for independence (New York abstained) by the Continental Congress, set in motion a seven-year war that resulted in a new country: the United States Of America. I am so thankful for our founding fathers and their willingness to risk everything for the cause of freedom.

 

In fact, this is the final long sentence of the Declaration of Independence: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Commitment. Courage. A Calling. Reading this document still gives me goose bumps and brings tears to my eyes. Every. Single. Time.

 

I realize in 2020, it is not “cool” or “fashionable” to write about patriotism or love of country. I absolutely acknowledge that in 2020 we are a deeply divided nation in many ways. That said, I am so incredibly thankful to be an American. I still believe without question America is a great country, and I’m thankful for the men and women, both past and present, who have worked and labored and even died for the blessing of freedom. I have traveled to other countries and each time I am away from the USA I am reminded how truly blessed we are in America!

 

The question then must be asked, “What is a healthy balance for a follower of Jesus who lives in the United States of America when it comes to issues of patriotism and faith?” I have thought a lot about this question lately, and I would like to share three answers I have arrived at. I would also like to recommend an article by Ed Stetzer from Wheaton College entitled The Patriotism and the Church. https://influencemagazine.com/theory/patriotism-and-the-church

 

GT’s Three thoughts:

 

First, I am proud to be an American, but my primary citizenship is in heaven. The apostle Paul said exactly this to the Christians at Philippi: “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20) I will never cease to be thankful for those who have gone before me for the cause of freedom, but I am, and always will be, first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

Secondly, I am proud to be an American, but my first and most important commitment is to the Kingdom of God. One of the troubling aspects of the Ed Stetzer article mentioned above involved the results of a LifeWay research study of 1,000 Protestant clergy in the USA. Pastors were asked to either agree or disagree with this statement: “Our congregation sometimes seems to love America more than God.” Results showed 53 percent of those surveyed agreed with this statement. If you are a follower of Jesus, understand this reality is unacceptable. Jesus was crystal clear: No one can serve two masters.

 

The apostle Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 2:9-10 when writing to Christ followers: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Amen!

 

Finally, I am proud to be an American, but will never grow tired of proclaiming that ultimate freedom is found ONLY in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am so thankful we live in the land of the free. I am thankful for the blessings of religious freedom and liberty. Even when I personally disagree with certain actions, like kneeling for the national anthem or burning the American flag, I am thankful we live in a country where freedom allows such behavior.

 

But I believe the ultimate and enduring freedom in this life (and the next) is found only in Jesus Christ. This spiritual freedom from the sting and stain of SIN and spiritual DEATH is an eternal blessing for anyone and everyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! The apostle Paul articulated this truth well in the last verse of 2 Corinthians 5: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 

Have a great week, and by all means, please celebrate the 4th of July! I certainly will, but never lose sight of our highest calling and great blessing as followers of Jesus!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, I am blessed to share a message entitled “Let Freedom Reign.” I hope you will join us!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a six- to seven-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the books of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, our good friend and fellow staff member Terry Goodwin joins us for all four segments, as we look at patriotism and the church, as well as Serve Together 2020. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

June, 25 2020

It is really hard to believe one week from today begins the second half of 2020! What a year 2020 has proved to be thus far! Dare I predict that the final six months of 2020 will be an improvement over the craziness of the first six? Or maybe not?

 

This week I want to write about law enforcement and share my personal perspective and also leave you with some spiritual encouragement to ponder. Understand I have never been involved in the world of law enforcement, but I was blessed and considered it an honor to serve as chaplain for the DeWitt County Sheriff’s department my final three years at Clinton FCC.

 

My perspective: I am personally so very thankful for the men and women who have committed to serving in law enforcement. Sadly, we live in a world that is broken and troubled in so many ways, and it is both humbling and encouraging to think we have people who make a career of running toward trouble and not away from it. My son was contemplating a career in law enforcement for a time, and I must confess my heart was truly conflicted. In my opinion, we are a better community, state, and country as a result of the vast majority of the men and women in law enforcement!

 

One more reality that defines my perspective: I have never had a bad experience with law enforcement. Ever. Even when I have found myself encountering law enforcement because of speeding or otherwise, I have always been at fault and I have always been treated fairly. That is my experience. I realize this has not been the perspective of everyone.

 

In no way am I attempting to minimize or dismiss the experiences others have had. In no way am I saying there have not been mistakes or even worse made by men or women in law enforcement. I am sure there are law enforcement personnel who do not do justice to their profession and have behaved unacceptably.

 

I know that is true for my profession and my wife Marla’s profession, but here is a reality for you to consider: Most people do not say we should do away with preachers or teachers because of the moral failure or criminal activity of a preacher or teacher (thankfully). It literally sickens my stomach when I learn about the bad behavior of a fellow preacher or teacher, but never once have I thought the answer to this bad behavior is to simply eliminate an entire ministry staff or an entire teaching faculty. From my perspective, this seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water so to speak.

 

Spiritual encouragement: What is the answer for people of faith? What are we called to do during our present reality? Let me suggest three action steps:

 

First, we MUST PRAY for our law-enforcement professionals. Especially during times like we are experiencing in America in 2020, we must make this a matter of prayer. If you are reading this blog and you are frustrated with law-enforcement professionals for whatever reason, I encourage you to pray.  If you are heartbroken over the difficult reality law-enforcement professionals are facing, I encourage you to pray. If you personally know law-enforcement professionals, please pray for them by name and let them know you are praying for them.

 

Second, we need to ENGAGE RELATIONALLY in the name of Jesus with law-enforcement professionals. This is pretty easy for me to share because I have never had a negative experience. Here is the thing. A law-enforcement professional is a person. They are a son or a daughter, and in many cases, they are a husband or a wife and a father or a mother. One reality of a majority of law enforcement is that they regularly see people at their very worst, one way or another. We should encourage the men and women in law enforcement in our communities in the name of Jesus!

 

Finally, when needed, SPEAK TRUTH in LOVE. It is important as Christ followers when we hear of gross infractions and bad behavior to speak truthfully about bad behavior. Last fall, as I prepared to share a video illustration during a sermon on forgiveness and mercy that showed a black man forgive the white female former police officer who killed his brother in an unacceptable manner, I reached out to a local law-enforcement leader to let him know of my intentions. I expected him to ask me to not amplify the reality that the shooter was an off-duty police officer. I was somewhat surprise, and very thankful, for his response: “Please don’t soft-sell it! What she did was completely unacceptable and makes all police look terrible. I don’t know anyone who would support such terrible behavior.” Speak the truth in love.

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, we conclude a month -ong look at the church, with a message from Philippians 2 and the power of OUR ATTITUDES. I am very excited to hear Kiley Garrison share with our church this Sunday!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the book of Colossians. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Jim Russell from 708 Mental Health Board in Danville as well as Daniel Chappell from Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

June 17, 2020

The past several days have brought a diversity of experiences, and I have been blessed by each and every one! Much of the time, routine wins the day for those of us in ministry. The past four days proved to be anything but routine! Let me share with you my perspective on Saturday through Tuesday.

  • Last Saturday evening, Marla and I were blessed to attend the RISE UP worship gathering at the Community Church of God, organized by LeStan and Jennifer Hoskins. It was estimated over 300 gathered in the backyard of the church, and I was so thankful to be asked to share a message on UNITY among churches in our community. The answer to the problems facing our country and our community can be summarized in one word: JESUS! My hope and prayer are that many more RISE UP worship gatherings will take place in the months ahead!
  • The Second Church Sunday morning live stream included an important sermon from our Junior High minister Jake Weece on the problem of DIVISION in the church. To say Jake did a good job would be a massive understatement! If you missed his sermon, I strongly encourage you to listen to the podcast on our website or on the Second Church App. Also, I was personally so moved by the worship song Is He Worthy? This worship song by Andrew Peterson was the perfect culmination and a wonderful morning of worship! Great job, Stephanie Spangler, on planning the service and plugging in so many of our worship team! It was great to see a full stage once again
  • Sunday evening brought our long-awaited Covington Worship Night and to say it was a blessing would be an understatement. I was overwhelmed by the turnout and so thankful for our staff. Many have inquired about how many were in attendance. My official answer is 249, of course, but what do preachers know about counting? Adam Singley, Stephanie Spangler, Matt Goodner, Denton Hird, and Jason Landis did a great job leading us in a six-song worship set and I appreciate so much the words from Kiley Garrison! Great night! Many have also asked, “When is the next worship night?” Stay tuned. I want to say a huge thank you to good folks in Covington and especially the leadership of the Covington Park for their willingness to welcome us, and it would not have been possible without the hard work of Darrell Paddock, Ben Smith, Tim Holycross, Terry Goodwin and Billy Fares!
  • On Monday morning I made the drive back to Clinton, IL to share the funeral sermon for my friend Norman Emery who died much too soon at the age of 52 of brain cancer. A true American hero who served our country in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Norman is a great example of what a hungry Christ follower looks like! Norman’s life was transformed specifically by these words of Jesus in Matthew 16 and Luke 9: “What good does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose or forfeit his very self?” Through the tears of sorrow and sadness on Monday morning, I was reminded in a poignant way what a true disciple of Jesus looks like and how a Christ follower approaches and embraces their impending death with kingdom lenses. Thank you, Norman, for your example to all of us!
  • On Monday night we were blessed to host the online Forum on Race and the Church here at the Second Church building. Terry Goodwin moderated the hour-long conversation on social media and said we had about 200 folks online at peak times between Facebook Live and the Second Church YouTube channel. I’m very encouraged by those numbers, especially for a Monday night in the summer! I’m even more encouraged by the dialogue that happened between important leaders of the Christian faith in our community! Thank you to Miles Clark from Crossroads Christian Church, LeStan Hoskins from the Hope Center, Randy Robinson from St. James United Methodist Church, Thomas Miller from New Life Church of Faith, and Mike Hulvey from Neuhoff Communications. The Forum will be rebroadcast on 1490AM at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, and is available in podcast form at vermilioncountyfirst.com
  • Thank you so much to Darrell Paddock, Ben Smith, Jason Landis, Erik Cisney, Dale DeNeal, Brandon Clapp, Tonya Ward, Stephanie Spangler, and Marla Taylor for helping make Monday evening a reality! I am blessed by each of you and your love for our church and the kingdom!
  • Finally, on Tuesday morning several of us delivered almost 250 boxes of food to five food pantries throughout the Vermilion Valley. Thank you, Second Church, for your generosity with food donations, and thank you to Kiley Garrison for organizing all of the logistics of the Second Church Food Drive 2020! We were blessed to bless five food pantries: The Antioch Baptist Church food pantry, the Holy Family food pantry, the Danville township food pantry, the Georgetown township food pantry and the Covington Community food pantry. Thank you to Nathan Campbell for providing your truck and equipment for delivery, and thank you to Kiley and Stephen Garrison, Jake Weece, Tim Holycross, and Nathan Campbell for delivering the boxes of food! 

A busy four days without a doubt! But very much a blessed four days! God is so good!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, we continue a month-long look at the church, with a message from James 3 and the power of OUR WORDS. I am very excited to share with our church this Sunday!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the book of Philippians. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Sam George from Mad Goat Coffee in Danville as well as Laura Williams from Danville Area Community College. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

June 10, 2020

June 9 has been a pretty important date for my family the past couple of years. In 2018, we were blessed on June 9 as our daughter Jordan married the love of her life, Jacob Vangen. This blessed day was the culmination of over 20 years of prayer! From the moment Jordan was born in Springfield, IL, in March of 1996, we prayed for this day! We prayed for Jacob. We are so thankful and proud and blessed. Today, Jacob and Jordan serve the Bridge Point Christian Church in East Providence, Rhode Island, serving the Lord in the world of student ministry. What a great day!

 

Last year, June 9 was also an important day. On that warm Sunday, I had the opportunity to preach for Second Church for the very first time. I still remember so much about that morning. It was only the second time in my life I was asked to bring a “trial” sermon, and I was full of so much energy. You might even say I found myself battling nerves.

 

If one word were to describe that morning, it might be KINDNESS. Our staff at Second Church went above and beyond to love on Marla and me that day. The leadership of Second Church blessed us with words and expressions of kindness. What about the church at large? So many expressions of love and kindness throughout the morning! From RJ exhorting me to “PREACH” to dozens and dozens of handshakes, hugs, and kind words, our morning was full of so much affirmation and acceptance in the name of Jesus! What a blessed day!

 

So what is the point of all of this, you might be asking? Shouldn’t I be writing about COVID or the CRISIS our country is facing? Possibly, but instead this week, I want to share my perspective on a very special day and leave you with a couple of encouragements:

 

First, never lose sight of the power of PRAYER. If you are a parent or grandparent, never stop praying for your children and grandchildren, no matter the circumstance. I look back over the past 24 years, and I give God all the glory for blessing my family and our daughter, but I’m also reminded of some tough days and nights, some questions I struggled to answer, and the tension we can live in as people of faith. PRAY, no matter what!

 

Second, never forget the difference LOVE and KINDNESS will make! I’m reminded of the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 4:8: “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” How different might our country be RIGHT NOW if we adopted the wisdom of Peter? How impacting will our community and our church be RIGHT NOW and MOVING FORWARD if we lived out 1 Peter 4:8? Love and kindness! Let’s live it out in the name of Jesus!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, we continue a month-long look at the church, with a message from our Junior High Minister, Jake Weece, on the problem of DIVISION in the church from John 17.
  • Special opportunities over the next 6 days:
  • RISE UP gathering at the Community Church of God on Saturday, June 13, from 6:00-7:30pm. I have been asked to be one of the speakers, and I cannot wait to share about UNITY in the body of Christ! I hope you will join Marla and me this Saturday evening for RISE UP. 
  • COVINGTON Park Worship Night on Sunday, June 14, at 5:00 p.m. Illinois time/6:00 p.m. Indiana time at the city park in Covington. PLEASE practice social distancing! Please be respectful of others and their wishes related to masks and contact. Please make sure we treat the park property with respect and care.
  • Livestream Forum on Race and the Church on Monday, June 15, at 7:00 p.m. I am so excited Second Church is hosting this important evening of conversation, and I am thankful that Miles Clark from Crossroads, LeStan Hoskins from the Hope Center, Thomas Miller from New Life Church of Faith, and Randy Robinson from St. James United Methodist Church will join me and Mike Hulvey from Neuhoff Communications. You can catch this on Facebook Live or the Second Church YouTube Channel or catch the replay on radio (1490AM) on Wednesday, June 17, at 5:00 p.m.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from the book of Ephesians. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Minister LeStan Hoskins from The Hope Center in Danville as well as area school leaders Phil Cox from Salt Fork and Seth Miller from Westville. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

June 3, 2020

We are living in unprecedented times! How often have you heard this phrase over the past almost three months? Just a guess here, but I think unprecedented is the runaway winner for word of the year in 2020! COVID-19 has really had an impact!

 

But over the past 10 days, the focus has seemingly left all things coronavirus and landed squarely in the tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minnesota and the aftermath of events that are heartbreaking and ever changing. My hometown of Champaign and other communities in central Illinois have seen widespread rioting and looting that is unfolding literally all over our country.

 

So what is the answer? What are people of faith able to do? Speaking honestly as a white man who follows Jesus, what should I do when so many people of color are hurting and angry and troubled? What is my call? What is your call?

 

Most Monday afternoons recently, I have been blessed to be a panelist for a weekly webinar led by Dr. Jody Owens from Johnson University, along with Dr. Carlos Gupton from Harding School of Religion in Memphis and Pastor Jeff Noel from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I am certainly the weak link in the chain! During our webinar this week, Jody Owens shared three recommendations for followers of Jesus for such a time as this, and I want to pass these on this week.

 

First of all, Christ followers need to begin with a time of SELF-EXAMINATION. Honestly ask yourself, “Where is my heart?” Truly assess the condition of your soul. Are there racist tendencies at play in your life? There is power when we are willing to humble ourselves and examine our minds, our hearts, and our lives. It reminds me of the lyrics of that 80s/90s chorus: “Change my heart, O God. Make it ever true. Change my heart, O God. May I be like you!”

 

Secondly, followers of Jesus should keep OUR MINDS and OUR HEARTS UPON GOD. For some of us, that might mean turning off cable news or taking a sabbatical from social media and spending time in God’s Word strategically. Just speaking honestly, too much Facebook/Twitter and too much Fox News/MSNBC/CNN is NOT good for my soul! Last week, I found myself in a situation where I didn’t have access to cable or satellite TV most of the week. At first, I was pretty disappointed with this reality. It ended up being one of the greatest blessings of my week!

 

This Friday during our 929 Daily Word, Stephanie Spangler will be looking at two single verses of Scripture in the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. Verse 11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Verse 105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Let’s commit to live the contemplative life! Let’s keep our minds and our hearts focused upon what really matters most!

 

Thirdly and finally, LISTEN TO THOSE WITH DIFFERENT LIFE EXPERIENCES. Like so many of you, I have truly lived a blessed life up to this point. I have never had an unpleasant experience with someone from law enforcement specifically as a result of the color of my skin. I have never been the victim of racial profiling. I want to believe because it hasn’t happened to me, then it hasn’t happened at all.

 

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. Please understand, I believe MANY in law enforcement are really good men and women who protect and serve in the most honorable ways. I am so thankful for the leadership of Danville Chief of Police Chris Yates and his heartfelt statement this weekend, but to ignore the reality and experience of others is simply wrong.

 

On Sunday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours hiking at Kennekuk and listening to podcasts, and I was especially moved by Ed Stetzer’s weekly show featuring fellow Wheaton professor and New Testament scholar Dr. Esau McCaulley. It was both informative and anguishing to listen to the very different perspective of a fellow Christ follower on the issue of race in our country. I am a better Christ follower when I am willing to listen. James 1:19 states it like this: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

 

(The link to article from Ed Stetzer with Esau McCaulley is here:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/race-in-america-interview-with-esau-mccaulley-part-two.html.)

 

Maybe one of the most important things YOU can do right now is listen to others. Another much used phrase over the past couple of months is, “We are all in this together.” (Cue the song from High School Musical.) If this can be our reality because of COVID-19 craziness, it should be our reality for all things in life! Thanks for listening and considering. Blessings to you.

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, we begin a month-long look at the church with a message from Acts 2:42-47.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing from one of the Psalms. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Pastor Thomas Miller from New Life Church of Faith and Danville City Councilwoman Brenda Brown as well as Joyce Bruett from the Danville YMCA. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

MAY 20, 2020

Sunday’s worship gathering via the livestream was such a blessing for me personally! I was able to have more of a behind-the-scenes roll and was really thankful for all aspects of the morning from Kiley Garrison’s sermon to the video submittals to our live worship with Adam and Steph along with Justin Silver and Darrell Paddock.

 

The highlight of the morning for me was the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” by Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888). Simply put, this is my personal favorite hymn for so many reasons and a song that touches my soul each time I hear it! Do you know the story behind this beautiful hymn? If not, you probably will not believe what you are about to read!

 

Horatio Spafford was a lawyer and real estate investor from Chicago who enjoyed much success in life with his wife Anna and their five children (one son and four daughters). The storms of life began to visit in 1871 when the Spafford family lost their 4-year-old son to scarlet fever just months before losing the majority of their property holdings in the great Chicago Fire.

 

Then, two years later, the unthinkable happened. The Spafford family planned a trip to Europe, but business kept Horatio behind for several days. Just Anna and the four daughters made the voyage on the Ville du Harve. In the early morning hours of November 22, 1873, the ship the Spaffords were traveling on was struck by another vessel and began to sink rapidly.

 

Two-hundred and twenty-six people died in the shipwreck. Only Anna survived. She sent word to her husband of the tragedy with a two-word telegram: “Saved. Alone.” I personally cannot imagine the grief Horatio Spafford must have felt. I cannot fathom the thoughts he must have wrestled with. What heartbreak! What pain! What agony!

 

On his own voyage to meet his dear Anna in Europe, he was notified as his ship approached the location of the great tragedy. In the midst of his grief and sorrow, Horatio put into words the meditation of his heart:

 

When peace like a river attendeth my way

When sorrow like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say

It is well, it is well with my soul.

 

My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought

My sin not in part but the whole

Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!

 

 

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend

Even so, it is well with my soul.

 

It is well, it is well

With my soul, with my soul

It is well, it is well, with my soul

 

I’m thankful for men and women of faith like Horatio Spafford who in the midst of the darkest and deepest of valleys are able to cling to faith in Jesus. May we have faith like that, a faith that proclaims NO MATTER the circumstance, it is well with my soul!

 

We are in week four of our Dangerous Prayers series. Hopefully you have secured your copy of the book Dangerous Prayers and are in the process of reading it this month. Connect with our Dangerous Prayers daily prayer calendar. You can find this resource on both the Second Church APP and also on our website under the “RESOURCES” tab.

 

Please continue to send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s stay faithful in our giving, 2CC! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 10 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, I am blessed and honored to bring Part 5 of our Dangerous Prayers sermon study based on the prayer MAKE ME BOLD from Daniel 6 and Acts 4.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph) from the book of Genesis. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Bill and Mary Lou Knight from Lakewood Insurance in Danville (DL sponsors!) and Pastor Paul Rebert from First Baptist Church in Danville. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please. 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

May 13, 2020

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and despite the reality of COVID-19 so many found new and creative ways to make sure Mom felt loved and was honored. Social media was full of pictures and videos with tributes and celebrations. I’m thankful for my mother, Dorothy, my mother-in-law, Lavina, and my wife, Marla, the mother of my children. I can’t imagine what life would be like without these women of faith in my world!

 

I’m also aware that Mother’s Day is a difficult day for some in our communities. I had the chance to interact early Sunday morning with a church member who lost her mother just a couple of months ago and was not excited about the day. There are others who don’t enjoy this day due to the difficulty of becoming pregnant or the sad reality that their earthly mother fell far short of what was hoped for and expected.

 

This contrast is a great reminder for Christ followers to step outside our context and comfort and look for the hurting and struggling in our midst. One of the downsides of social media in my opinion is we see everyone’s “best” much of the time. Frankly, that is not life! No one is “UP” all the time, despite what Facebook or Instagram might seem to project.

 

Bottom line? Life is downright difficult sometimes, so let us be people of faith with our eyes and ears wide open, looking and listening for opportunities to encourage and comfort those in our life who are struggling or hurting. Let us truly bear one another’s burdens in the name of Jesus Christ for the glory of God!

 

We are in week 3 of our Dangerous Prayers series. Make sure you get a copy of the book Dangerous Prayers and read it this month. Connect with our Dangerous Prayers daily prayer calendar. You can find this resource on both the Second Church APP and also on our website under the “RESOURCES” tab. Please continue to send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so thankful for everyone at Second Church and amazed by your continued generosity! Let’s keep it rolling, Second Church! Don’t forget there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

 

2. Online giving – We have seen over 100 people begin giving online in the last 9 weeks!

 

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, Kiley Garrison will be preaching part 4 of our Dangerous Prayers sermons on the prayer STRETCH ME from Philippians 3.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about a key passage of Scripture from the New Testament book of Galatians. One way you can help more and more people connect with this Daily Word is to SHARE the video on your personal Facebook page!
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Gary Baker from Hanging Rock Christian Camp and Ben Smith from our staff at Second Church. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

We have made the decision to suspend the Recovery Connect livestream on Tuesday evenings at this time and instead are encouraging our Celebrate Recovery family to tune in each night at 8:00 p.m. Illinois time to the CR Facebook page. In addition, we are hopeful that some CR small groups can meet at some point in the not-so-distant future via Zoom or other platforms. We miss you, CR! Keep the faith!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

May 6, 2020

Blessings, Second Church, on this first Wednesday of May! I hope you are doing well and are having a great week. I so look forward to the time when we will be able to gather again, but I remain so thankful for the blessing of technology and the ability to connect through our livestream Sundays, our 929 Daily Word Devos and the Thursday morning Direct Line radio program!

 

We are in the middle of a five-week PRAYER journey, so please remember to embrace the following:

  • Get a copy of the book Dangerous Prayers and read it during the month of May. 
  • Tomorrow, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer. While there will be no large in-person gatherings, will you consider carving out time and praying for our community, our state, and our country? Pray also that revival will sweep through our community, our state, and our country during this season of the unknown! 
  • Connect with our Dangerous Prayers daily prayer calendar. You can find this resource on both the Second Church APP and also on our website under the “RESOURCES” tab. This will be updated each week. 
  • Join us in praying through the You Version Daily Bible reading plan on prayer this week through Saturday. 
  • Send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

Let’s make the most of this month, Second Church! Let us make sure we are truly a “house of prayer” and have the courage and conviction to pray dangerous prayers!


I wanted to give a huge shout out to Bethany Hager and the Women’s Care Clinic on the success of their recent fundraiser in late April. They have raised over $130,000.00 and IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE! I’m so thankful for this ministry that values and fights for LIFE­ - every LIFE! Let’s all continue to support the WCC and their ministry!

 

Speaking of giving, thank you, Second Church, for your continued faithfulness in stewardship during the COVID-19 season. I am so honored to serve at Second, and I’m reminded regularly what a special church we are blessed to be a part of! Don’t forget, there are three ways to continue to give:

 

1. Snail mail – 3350 E. Voorhees Street, Danville, IL 61834.

2. Online giving – We have seen over 80 people begin giving online in the last seven weeks!

3. The drive-by giving box found on the brick pillar near Door 2.

 

Thank you again for your faithfulness in stewardship!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This Sunday, Jake Weece will be preaching Part 3 of our Dangerous Prayers series on the prayer BREAK ME from Mark 14.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about a key moment in the life of King David from 1-2 Samuel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Eldon and Geri Wright from Wright Motors (one of the wonderful sponsors of Direct Line Danville), and Erik Cisney from Two Roads Wellness Center (and one of the elders of Second Church). Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!


 GT


April 29, 2020

Blessings, Second Church! It is hard to believe the month of May is just a couple of days away. During this season of our new normal, I’m excited we have begun a new study on Sunday mornings based on the book Dangerous Prayers by Craig Groeschel. Kiley Garrison did a great job launching our study on Sunday, and I am excited to share part two this week, a message based on the prayer SEARCH ME from Psalm 139:23-24.

 

My hope is we will grow together as a church in the discipline of PRAYER and allow this time to move us and shape us both individually and as a church. Here are a couple of opportunities you have to make the most of this month:

  • Get a copy of the book Dangerous Prayers and read it during the month of May. 
  • Tune in to the 929 Daily Word this week as we look at different New Testament teachings on PRAYER. We are blessed to have a great staff at Second Church, and you will hear from a different ministry staff member each day this week! 
  • Connect with our Dangerous Prayers daily prayer calendar. You can find this resource on both the Second Church APP and also on our website under the “RESOURCES” tab. This will be updated each week. 
  • Join us in praying through the You Version Daily Bible reading plan on prayer beginning this Sunday, May 3. 
  • Begin or continue the daily rhythm of focused prayer either individually or as a family during this season of COVID. Find a time each day and dedicate that time to the habit of daily prayer.
  • Send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

Let’s make the most of this month, Second Church! Let us make sure we are truly a “house of prayer” and have the courage and conviction to pray Dangerous Prayers!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about teachings on prayer from the New Testament. 
  • Recovery Connect. Each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. you can join Stephanie Spangler and others for a 25- to 30-minute livestream video that speaks to the process of recovery and offers both biblical encouragement and worship song recommendations. You can find Recovery Connect on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live or the Second Church YouTube channel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Chris and Daysha Robinson from Robinson Chiropractic (one of the wonderful sponsors of Direct Line Danville), and Dale DeNeal from Second Church speaking about plans for the 2020 GLS in the season of COVID. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

APRIL 22, 2020

I am so thankful for Second Church and its 121-year legacy of making a difference in the name of Jesus! I am so honored and blessed to serve at Second, and I’m thankful for each and every person in our leadership. I am so encouraged by the outpouring of love and support from our church during this season of COVID 19. This week I want to share several reasons for my thankfulness and appreciation . . .

 

  • I’m thankful for Elders who take seriously the call to lead our church but refuse to micro-manage or overstep! Sadly, some church leadership structures view staff as mere “hired hands.” Second Church is blessed to be led by leaders like Dean Crandall, Erik Cisney, Bill Knight, Alan Thompson, Tim Thornsbrough, and Steve Walter
  • I’m thankful for a Staff that loves Jesus first and embraces team-first ministry at Second Church! I barely even knew most of our staff one year ago today, and yet it is amazing how close I have become to so many of our staff in such a short amount of time! If you are thankful for our staff, select one or two from our team and reach out with words of encouragement and blessing!
  • I’m thankful for a Church that has embraced our new normal and adjusted to our new realities! Thank you for joining us in our Sunday morning livestream at 9:20 a.m. and telling others about this weekly opportunity to worship online. Thank you for embracing the 929 Daily Word! It is really wonderful to hear each of our ministry staff lead and also receive so much encouragement!
  • I’m thankful for the blessing of Technology and teammates who are able to figure out the tech side of things so we can livestream, continue to do Direct Line radio, and bring Recovery Connect and HSM live.
  • I’m thankful for the blessing of Generosity and Provision we continue to experience at Second Church! God is good all the time! All the time God is good! I am truly “blown away” by how God continues to bless our church!
  • I’m thankful for Communities that look for opportunities to be a blessing to others during times like this. My hope is we will have brand new opportunities during and following COVID-19 to be beacons of light in our communities in the name of Jesus Christ!
  • I’m thankful MOST of all for Jesus Christ and the difference He makes for everyone who is in relationship with Him! It’s ALL about Jesus!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

 

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6 to 7- minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing about a key teaching of Jesus. 
  • Recovery Connect. Each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m., you can join Stephanie Spangler and others for a 25 to 30-minute livestream video that speaks to the process of recovery and offers both biblical encouragement and worship song recommendations. You can find Recovery Connect on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live or the Second Church YouTube channel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Deanna Witzel from Vermilion County McDonald’s (one of the wonderful sponsors of Direct Line Danville), and Tyler Russell from Second Church speaking about ministry to teens and mental health realities, especially during the season of COVID-19. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

 

We continue to invite you to send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! We’ve got this Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

APRIL 15, 2020

I want to begin this week by saying, “Thank you,” to everyone who was involved in Holy Week services and devotions at Second Church. I appreciated so much the message Jake Weece shared on Good Friday evening, and Kiley Garrison brought a wonderful sermon on PEACE during Easter Sunday morning. As usual, Adam Singley and Stephanie Spangler blessed us greatly with their worship, and I loved the video teaching by Kenna Osborne.

 

None of this is possible without our great tech team made up of Darrell Paddock, Tyler Russell, Ben Smith, Jason Landis, and other key volunteers. I’m so thankful for each of member of our team! Much of our focus on Easter Sunday was from John 20, the account of the Resurrection from John the apostle.

 

This Sunday during our Sunday morning live stream, we will look at the “rest of the story” according to John in the events that took place following the resurrection in the lives of the disciples, especially Simon Peter. If there is one word to describe and define Peter and his choices on Good Friday, it is probably the word FAILURE. Peter denied Jesus three times after being warned by Jesus this would happen. Peter was on the run and hiding behind locked doors when men like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the Pharisee are making sure Jesus is given a proper burial. Not good to say the least.

 

How do you overcome FAILURE, especially this kind of failure? What do you say when you find yourself alone with Jesus? And most important of all, what do you do with the rest of your life? Where do you go from here? John 21 gives us the answers to these questions, and I would be honored if you would join us this Sunday at Second via Facebook Live or the Second Church YouTube channel.

 

Also, this Sunday at Second we have an extended message from our elders, and you will NOT want to miss it! Please make sure you stay on the livestream until the very end for this word from the elders of Second Church! I am so thankful to serve a church led by these men of faith, and I cannot wait for YOU to hear this word they have for our church!

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

 

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being live-streamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m.
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a quick announcement and a short devotional. This week, a different ministry staff member is sharing one of the scriptures of the Roman Road from the book of Romans. 
  • Recovery Connect. Each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. you can join Stephanie Spangler and others for a 25- to 30-minute livestream video that speaks to the process of recovery and offers both biblical encouragement and worship song recommendations. You can find Recovery Connect on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live or the Second Church YouTube channel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Ryan Ferrero sharing about his passion for community gardens, and Terry and Molly Goodwin from Second Church speaking about Serve Together, FCA, and the Danville Rescue Mission. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

 

We continue to invite you to send us your prayer needs! You can email them to info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church during this time! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

April 8, 2020

Blessings to each of you during this Holy week. My prayer is we are each able to connect with the reality of this week through the reading of God’s Word and time alone in prayer. This week we will remember the events of Good Friday, an awful yet victorious day for every follower of Jesus.  Too often in the Christian life, we struggle to allow the tragedy of the Crucifixion to impact us personally or corporately. We struggle to cease for a day to “rejoice” and “celebrate” and somberly and soberly focus on what it really means when we sing “Jesus paid it all.”  My hope and prayer for you this week, and especially this Friday, involves somberly and soberly remembering that horrific day we call good.

 

Below are some of the significant happenings on Good Friday:

 

1:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. – Six different trials before various leaders. The first three trials were before Jewish religious leaders and the final three before Pilate and Herod.

 

Trial 1 – before the former high priest Annas

Trial 2 – before Caiaphas, the current high priest

Trial 3 – before all the Jewish leaders

Trial 4 – before Pilate

Trial 5 – before Herod

Trial 6 – before Pilate

 

8:30 a.m. – Jesus was taken from the final trial before Pilate where the mockery and torture at the hands of Pilate’s Roman soldiers commence. It was during this time that a crown of thorns was driven into his skull.

 

9:00 a.m. – Jesus carries his own cross toward Calvary, and the actual crucifixion takes place during this hour (the third hour).  As the nails are driven into his hands and feet and they begin the process of placing this huge piece of wood in the ground, a sign is placed above Jesus’ head, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”  According to Luke, sometime before noon Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  It was also during this first three hours on the cross that Jesus told one of the two criminals hanging with him “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

12:00 noon – The final three hours on the cross begin around noon (the 6th hour) with three hours of agonizing pain and suffering. It is during this time according to Mark that darkness comes over the whole land for three hours in the middle of the day.  It was during his time on the cross that Jesus shared with his mother, Mary, and his disciple, John, these words:  “Dear woman, here is your son… (John), here is your mother.”

 

3:00 p.m. – At the ninth hour, Jesus was near death, and just prior to breathing his last breath, he uttered “I am thirsty.” (John); “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew); “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke) and finally, “It is finished.” (John) At the moment of his death, Matthew records the following:

 

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks split.  The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life… When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happening, they were terrified and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’”  

 

Surely – He WAS and IS the Son of God!

 

Late afternoon and into the evening, Joseph of Arimathea and the Pharisee Nicodemus ask for the body of Jesus and are given permission to bury him. Jesus is buried in a new tomb where no one had ever been laid in a garden near the crucifixion sight. I pray this Friday will be a day of worship for you. As you go through the day, remember the words of that beautiful hymn, “Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.”

 

Please make note of the following opportunities for worship and connection and please help spread the word to others:

 

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being live streamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. For Easter Sunday this week, Kiley Garrison and I will share the message from John 20! 
  • Good Friday service this Friday night April 10 at 6:30 p.m. Jake Weece will bring the message, and Adam Singley and Stephanie Spangler will lead us in worship during this somewhat brief Good Friday gathering. 
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a couple of important announcements and a short devotional. This week, each day a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the cries from the cross that Jesus made on Good Friday.
  • Recovery Connect. Each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m., you can join Stephanie Spangler and others for a 25- to 30-minute live stream video that speaks to the process of recovery and offers both biblical encouragement and worship song recommendations. You can find Recovery Connect on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live or the Second Church YouTube channel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Linda Darby Dowers and Aunt Bea from Sunset Funeral Home and Bethany Hager from the Women’s Care Clinic. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

 

We continue to invite you to send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church during this time! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

APRIL 1, 2020

I begin this week with an apology. My last blog post was the week of March 9 -13, and that was, of course, the week everything began to change in our world! I am sorry I have been absent from the blog! I make a commitment to you that each week on Wednesday afternoon my written blog will upload to the Second Church website, and I will link to both the church and my personal Facebook pages.

 

The leadership of Second Church made the difficult decision on Friday, March 13, to close our building and suspend our services, programs, and events at 3350 E. Voorhees until further notice. This was an incredibly tough decision to make, but we believe without a doubt it was the correct one.

 

Since that decision, much has changed in our day-to-day activities as a church, but one thing remains the same: We are still the church! We are still FULL of LIFE and there is still ROOM for YOU, even in this new normal. To steal a phrase from Sunday’s sermon, “We are not called to simply DO church; we are called to BE the church!” This rings true more than ever as a new month begins and the fight against COVID-19 carries on.

 

We have strategically put together multiple online opportunities for you to stay connected to Second Church. Please make note of these and please help spread the word.

 

  • The Second Church Sunday morning worship service is being livestreamed on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live and on YouTube at the Second Church YouTube channel at 9:20 a.m. This week is Palm Sunday, and Kiley Garrison will bring the message!
  • 929 Daily Word. Each morning at 9:29 a.m., except Sunday, you can catch the Daily Word on the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live, a 6- to 7-minute video that shares a couple of important announcements and a short devotional. This week, each day a different ministry staff member is sharing about one of the “I Am” statements of Jesus from the gospel of John. 
  • Recovery Connect. Each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. you can join Stephanie Spangler and others for a 25- to 30-minute livestream video that speaks to the process of recovery and offers both biblical encouragement and worship song recommendations. You can find Recovery Connect on both the Second Church Facebook page via Facebook live or the Second Church YouTube channel.
  • Direct Line Danville Radio show. Each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. on 1490 AM WDAN, join Stephanie Spangler and me for an hour of radio that looks at the events of this world and our community through the lens of faith. This week, special guests to DLD include Rev. Randy Robinson and Carol Olson from St. James United Methodist Church, Chris Lawler from Catlin Church of Christ and our own Darrell Paddock. Steph and I would love to hear any feedback or suggestions from you at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Sermon on local radio. We are broadcasting our Sunday morning sermon on two different radio stations each week for the time being. You can catch it on 1490AM WDAN at 10:30 a.m. and on 980AM WITY at 11:10 a.m. Spread the word for folks without computer access, please!

 

We continue to invite you to send us your prayer needs! You can email them at info@secondchurch.com. Each and every prayer request is prayed over, and our entire staff is praying! Let’s lean on the power of prayer more than ever during this unique time in the life of our church!

 

Please remain faithful in your stewardship during COVID-19. There are three ways for you to give your tithes and offerings. First option: Snail Mail. Drop your check in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it to 3350 E. Voorhees St., Danville, IL, 61834. We check the mail each day. Second option: Online Giving. You can set up one-time or recurring gifts on both the Second Church APP or on our website. If you need assistance with this, just reach out! Third option: Drop-box Giving. We have installed a giving drop-box on the brick pillar near Door 2, and it is emptied each day. Thanks in advance for your continued commitment to being faithful stewards!

 

Last Sunday, we looked at the art of neighboring and challenged our church to step outside our comfort and context and look for new opportunities to meet needs in the name of Jesus. How are you doing, Second Church? What are you doing to take this new obstacle and find opportunities to shake and shine in the name of Jesus? Let’s excel in the art of neighboring!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church during this unprecedented time! We’ve got this, Second Church! Let’s be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world for the glory of God!

 

GT

March 10, 2020

Spring is just 10 days away according to the calendar, and the time change yesterday translates into more daylight later each day. Don’t you just love it? Before long, baseball games and outdoor activities will become the norm once again. Anytime I think about spring, I begin to think about EASTER, and guess what! Easter at the Arena 2020 is less than five weeks away on Sunday, April 12!

 

We will once again need between 150-200 volunteers over the course of Easter weekend 2020. We have sign-up tables in the Commons, or you can sign up on the church app or website under “Events.” Here are few of the areas where you can serve for Easter 2020:

 

  • Kid’s World
  • Communion Preparation and/or Communion Servers
  • Ushers
  • Food Crew
  • Bulletin Greeters
  • Medical
  • Parking
  • Set up and/or Tear Down

 

As of Monday morning, the Easter Choir has 83 signed up! 83 choir members!!!! There is still room for you, so sign up on the app or website and see Stephanie Spangler to get your music! The choir will practice on Wednesday evenings March 25, April 1 and April 8 at 6:15 p.m., as well as Saturday April 11, time to be determined.

 

We will once again do baptisms at the Arena during Easter 2020, and we are hosting two identical baptism classes leading up to April 12. The classes will happen on Sundays, March 22 and April 5 at noon in Hallelujah Hall. Lunch will be provided, so please sign up on our website at www.secondchurch.com/easter so we make sure to have enough food.

 

One thing everyone connected with Second Church can do is help us promote Easter 2020. This Sunday, March 15, Easter promotional materials will be available, so grab a poster, some business cards, some postcards, and a yard sign and help us get the word out! You can even buy your own Easter at the Arena T-Shirt for just $10 and wear your advertisement!

 

So much is happening in the life of Second Church. Here is just a taste of what we are doing and where we are headed . . .

 

  • GriefShare began again this past Thursday evening, and 25 were in attendance! Led by Linda Abbott and Marsha Wilkinson, GriefShare is open to anyone working through the death of someone they love and will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. 
  • The Direct Line radio show debuted on March 5 on AM1490, WDAN, and will air each Thursday morning for 60 minutes. Direct Line featuring Greg Taylor and Stephanie Spangler will look at the events of our world and our community through the lens of faith. If you are unable to catch the live broadcast each week, the podcast of each show will be available at www.vermilioncountyfirst.com by noon the same day. Week two (March 12) of Direct Line will feature special guests Seth Miller from Westville schools and Jim Owens from Potomac schools. I hope you will tune in to AM1490 WDAN each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. and also spread the word about Direct Line!
  • By the way, Stephanie and I would love to hear your feedback, suggestions, or recommendations for future programs and guests. You can contact us at directlinedanville@gmail.com!
  • Celebrate Recovery meets each Tuesday evening at Second Church from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., helping people just like you deal with their hurts, hang-ups and habits. CR offers programming for all ages! Join me on Tuesdays at Second for Celebrate Recovery! If you have never been to CR, come on out tonight where there is always room for you!
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis is currently studying through the book of James, and I would love to see you join us on Tuesday mornings for Oasis!
  • This Sunday at Second, we continue our journey through the Parables of Jesus, as we look at possibly the most famous parable of all: The Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37, and a message entitled The Art of Neighboring. I hope you will join us Sunday at Second Church at 8:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. in Main Auditorium, or check out Next Gen services in the Next Gen Auditorium at 9:20 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT

march 3, 2020

It is always good to get away, and Marla and I were really blessed to spend the weekend in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa area and watch our son Peyton compete with his SIU teammates at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field meet. We ate way too much food (no Daniel Plan this weekend), traveled almost 800 miles, and were blessed to connect with Peyton multiple times on Saturday and Sunday. I really enjoyed worshipping with a four-year-old church in downtown Waterloo on Sunday morning. Hope City Church is doing some really good things in the name of Jesus, and I was thankful for the message from Pastor Q on JOY. Good stuff!

 

I have heard multiple reports from Sunday at Second, and every single one raved about the message from David Upchurch of Lincoln Christian University. I had the opportunity to listen to his message Monday afternoon from Luke 18:9-14 and the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, and I’m so thankful for the truth that was proclaimed! What a great reminder to choose humility in our walk with Jesus and to realize we are all sinners blessed and redeemed by Jesus our Savior and Lord, nothing more! Thank you also to Stephanie Spangler for once again planning a wonderful worship experience and carving out some time for us as a church to experience focused prayer. I am praying for opportunities to let the love of Jesus shine in my life this week!

 

So much is happening in the life of Second Church. Here is just a taste of what we are doing and where we are headed . . .

 

  • GriefShare will begin again this Thursday! Led by Linda Abbott and Marsha Wilkinson, GriefShare is open to anyone working through the death of someone they love and will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. Plan now to be at the first GriefShare on Thursday evening, March 5, at 6:00 p.m.
  • The Direct Line radio show will begin this Thursday morning, March 5, at 8:00 a.m. on AM1490, WDAN, and will air each Thursday morning for 60 minutes. Direct Line featuring Greg Taylor and Stephanie Spangler will look at the events of our world and our community through the lens of faith. If you are unable to catch the live broadcast each week, the podcast of each show will be available at www.vermilioncountyfirst.com by noon the same day. Week one of Direct Line will feature special guests Mike Hulvey from Neuhoff Media and Linda Abbott from GriefShare. I hope you will tune in to 1490AM WDAN each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. and also spread the word about Direct Line!
  • Baptism Class: Do you wonder what Second Church believes and teaches about baptism? Are you considering making this important faith decision? Easter 2020 is just around the corner, and once again we will do baptisms at the Arena. If you are interested in knowing more, join me on one of two Sundays, March 22 or April 5, at noon in Hallelujah Hall. Lunch will be provided so please sign up on the app or call the church office to RSVP.
  • Celebrate Recovery meets each Tuesday evening at Second Church from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., helping people just like you deal with their hurts, hang-ups and habits. CR offers programming for all ages! Join me on Tuesdays at Second for Celebrate Recovery! If you have never been to CR, come on out tonight where there is always room for you!
  • Easter at the Arena 2020 is less than six weeks away, and that means it is time for many of you to sign up for the Easter choir! Hear this: Stephanie Spangler wants you! You can sign up on the church app and plan to be a be a part of a very special day on Sunday, April 12, 2020. Speaking of Easter at the Arena…
  • Kenna Osborne is beginning to recruit volunteers for Nursery and Preschool programming on Sunday, April 12, for Easter 2020. This is such an important area of need and ministry impact! Will you prayerfully consider serving in the name of Jesus at Easter 2020? Please reach out to Kenna or me if you have questions.
  • Still more Easter 2020: Stephanie Spangler continues to recruit choir members for Easter 2020! There is room for you! If you are interested in being a part of the choir for Easter this year, please sign up on the website or on the app, and if you are signed up already, Stephanie has the music and CD ready for pickup.
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis is currently studying through the book of James, and I would love to see you join us on Tuesday mornings for Oasis!
  • This Sunday is time change Sunday: We will “spring forward,” so set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night!

 

Finally, today please be in prayer for multiple families connected to our church who have lost loved ones in the past couple of days. Remember and pray for the families of Maxine McElhaney, Jack Picklap, and Margaret Murphy during this really difficult season. Last evening, our longest serving staff member, Tim Holycross, lost his father Jack Holycross, and we ask that you pray for Tim and his family during this time as well. The Bible says God is close to the broken-hearted. May we be a church made up of women and men who embody God’s peace and comfort to those mourning and hurting during seasons of loss!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT

february 25, 2020

On Sunday morning, we announced a new ministry that is launching in early March in partnership with Neuhoff Media. The Direct Line radio show will begin on Thursday morning, March 5, at 8:00 a.m. on AM1490, WDAN, and will air each Thursday morning for 60 minutes. Direct Line featuring Greg Taylor and Stephanie Spangler will look at the events of our world and our community through the lens of faith.

 

On the first Sunday of 2020, I shared four areas of strategic involvement, influence, and improvement for Second Church this year, and one was an increased media and online presence. Direct Line will provide us an opportunity to connect with an audience that is not aware of all that is happening in our community and surrounding communities in the name of Jesus. DL will help us continue to tell the story of Jesus and Second Church in a unique format. Simply put, we are venturing into uncharted territory!

 

If you are unable to catch the live broadcast each week, the podcast of each show will be available at www.vermilioncountyfirst.com by noon the same day. Week one of Direct Line will feature special guests Mike Hulvey from Neuhoff Media and Linda Abbott from GriefShare. I hope you will tune in to 1490AM WDAN each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. and also spread the word about Direct Line!

 

So much is happening in the life of Second Church. Don’t you just love it? Here is just a taste of what we are doing . . .

 

  • GriefShare will begin again on Thursday evenings the first week of March! Led by Linda Abbott and Marsha Wilkinson, GriefShare is open to anyone working through the death of someone they love and will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. Plan now to be at the first GriefShare on Thursday evening, March 5, at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Celebrate Recovery meets each Tuesday evening at Second Church from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., helping people just like you deal with their hurts, hang-ups and habits. CR offers programming for all ages! Join me on Tuesdays at Second for Celebrate Recovery! I am honored to have the opportunity to speak tonight at CR on the topic of FORGIVENESS. If you have never been to CR, come on out tonight where there is always room for you! 
  • Easter at the Arena 2020 is less than eight weeks away, and that means it is time for many of you to sign up for the Easter choir! Hear this: Stephanie Spangler wants you! You can sign up on the church app and plan to be a be a part of a very special day on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
  • Speaking of Easter at the Arena 2020: Kenna Osborne is beginning to recruit volunteers for Nursery and Preschool programming on Sunday, April 12, for Easter 2020. This is such an important area of need and ministry impact! Will you prayerfully consider serving in the name of Jesus at Easter 2020? Please reach out to Kenna or me if you have questions.
  • Still more Easter 2020: Stephanie Spangler continues to recruit choir members for Easter 2020! There is room for you! If you are interested in being a part of the choir for Easter this year, please sign up on the website or on the app, and if you are signed up already, Stephanie has the music and CD ready for pickup.
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis is currently studying through the book of James, and I would love to see you join us on Tuesday mornings for Oasis! 
  • Propel Women is a monthly gathering that empowers women to learn how they can best use their influence for God’s glory. Propel Women meets next on Monday March 2 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. Please connect with Chel Garrison if you have questions or need more information. All women are invited to attend Propel Women. 
  • This Sunday morning, Marla and I will be in Iowa with our son, Peyton, as he competes in the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field meet at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. I’m excited to share that my friend David Upchurch from Lincoln Christian University will be preaching in the Main Auditorium worship services. Simply put, David is one of the very best preachers around in my opinion, and you will be blessed this week by his message as we begin a six-week series on the Parables of Jesus. Don’t miss worship this week!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT

FEBRUARY 18, 2020

It is early Monday morning, February 17, as I type this week’s blog entry, and I’m on a Southwest Airlines flight from Indianapolis to San Diego. Dale DeNeal and I are traveling to beautiful southern California to participate in the launch event for the 2020 Global Leadership Summit. By the way, SAVE THE DATE! Second Church will once again be a host site for the 2020 GLS on Thursday and Friday August 6-7, 2020! I would love to tell you more about this incredible leadership event coming once again to Danville! Plan now to be a part of the 2020 GLS!

 

Today is a special day for me personally. It was exactly one day ago this evening that a seemingly innocent conversation with my good friend and former 2CC preacher Randy Kirk changed my course in life! On Sunday evening, February 17, 2019, I arrived at the Wooded Glen retreat center near Henryville, Indiana with ministry friends Ryan Baker, Les Evans, Jeff Mayfield, Casey McCormick and Cody Monkman for the first annual Small Town Ministry Summit (By the way, the 2nd annual Small Town Ministry Summit is happening right now at Country Lake Retreat Center in Southern Indiana.). I was excited about connecting again with several ministry friends, including Randy, but had no idea what would unfold in the weeks and months that would follow.

 

Randy saw me walking in and said very quickly, “Hello, Greg Taylor. I just finished talking to a church about you!” I asked about the church and the location, and he responded that the church was Second Church of Christ in Danville, Illinois. I remember thinking to myself, “Randy, don’t you know any churches looking for preachers in Colorado or New Hampshire or Tennessee?” I responded with a quick word of thanks and kind of dismissed his announcement, moving on with the events of the evening. Marla and I had not even discussed the possibility of leaving Clinton FCC, a place we loved (and still love) so very much!

 

But Randy would not let it go and connected with me privately later that same evening at Wooded Glen. Randy was pretty passionate that Second Church was a special place and Marla and I might just be a really good fit. “Give it a serious look. You won’t regret it.” Randy Kirk was spot on! Second Church is a very special place, and Marla and I are so honored and blessed to be serving in ministry here in Vermilion County. What a difference one year makes! Thank you so much, Second Church, for welcoming the Taylors with open arms and hearts!

 

The year 2020 is just getting started and yet so much is happening in the life of our church! Here is just a taste of what Second Church is doing . . .

 

  • GriefShare will begin again on Thursday evenings the first week of March! Led by Linda Abbott and Marsha Wilkinson, GriefShare is open to anyone working through the death of someone they love and will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Hallelujah Hall. Plan now to be at the first GriefShare on Thursday evening, March 5, at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Celebrate Recovery meets each Tuesday evening at Second Church from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., helping people just like you deal with their hurts, hang-ups and habits. CR offers programming for all ages! Join me on Tuesdays at Second for Celebrate Recovery! 
  • Easter at the Arena 2020 is less than eight weeks away, and that means it is time for many of you to sign up for the Easter choir! Hear this: Stephanie Spangler wants you! You can sign up on the church app and plan to be a be a part of a very special day on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis is studying through the book of James, and this Tuesday will be blessed by guest teacher Kiley Garrison. I would love to see you join us on Tuesday mornings for Oasis!
  • At the end of January, we shared an update on the REACH Generosity Initiative, and here are some facts and figures from that update:
  • In the fall of 2018, Second Church committed $1,960,293.00 over a three-year period of time for the RGI! Praise the Lord! 
  • As of 12-31-19, $1,241,433.00 has been received toward the RGI! Praise the Lord! 
  • The remaining unfunded amount for RGI is $927,969.00 as of today.

 

Special thanks to Phil Cox for sharing via video testimony on Sunday, February 16, about his thankfulness for the REACH Generosity Initiative and his family’s commitment to this campaign! On Sunday morning January 26, I announced that Marla and I are making a 21-month commitment to the Reach Generosity Initiative, and I am inviting you to consider doing likewise if you are new to our church in the past 16 months (like we are) or if you never made a REACH pledge for whatever reason. If you have questions about REACH, please feel free to reach out to me or to any leader at Second Church! We are asking for all pledge cards to be returned by this Sunday, February 23.

 

Finally, I am excited to announce a new ministry that is launching in early March in partnership with Neuhoff Media. The Direct Line radio show will begin on Thursday morning, March 5, at 8:00 a.m. on AM1490, WDAN, and will air each Thursday morning for 60 minutes. Direct Line featuring Greg Taylor and Stephanie Spangler will look at the events of our world and our community through the lens of faith.

 

If you are unable to catch the live broadcast each week, the podcast of each show will be available at www.vermilioncountyfirst.com by noon the same day. Week one of Direct Line will feature special guests Mike Hulvey and Linda Abbott. I hope you will tune in to 1490AM WDAN each Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. and also spread the word about Direct Line!

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT


February 11, 2019

This Friday is Valentine’s Day, and for the 32nd straight year, I will be blessed to spend it with Marla Taylor! I am so thankful for this very special woman I get to do life with! Marla juggles many hats week-in and week-out, and I am better because of life with her! I love her passion for children and teens, and I’m thankful for her commitment to be a public-school teacher and fourth-grade Bible school teacher. I am excited for her worship team debut in less than two week, and I appreciate her unconditional love and support for me even when I make it difficult! My cup truly overflows! Happy Valentine’s Day, Marla! I love you!

 

Thanks to Terry Goodwin for wrapping up our two-week look at the book of Ruth and a Bethlehem Love Story. Terry did a great job reminding us that REDEMPTION is possible for each of us because of Jesus, and this reality was reinforced when another three made the decision to follow Jesus and be baptized on Sunday at Second! Praise the Lord!

 

This Sunday, our month-long look at LOVE continues in the Main Auditorium as we look at the Love of God and a famous passage of scripture in John 3. Almost everyone recognizes John 3:16, and on Sunday we will look at the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus that led to this most famous Bible verse. We will look at a statement from Jesus that stumped this educated Pharisee and how this spiritual reality is still playing out in 2020! I cannot wait for Sunday to arrive!

 

This week I want to share about several things happening at 2CC:

 

  • Tuesday nights at Second Church mean Celebrate Recovery! Remember, there is always room for YOU at CR, as we together face and deal with our hurts, hang-ups, and habits! ALL are invited and welcome to come and check out CR at Second beginning with the meal at 5:30 p.m. and the large group gathering in the Main Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. I am excited to have the opportunity to teach tonight on AMENDS. Join us tonight!
  • Great job, Tyler Russell, teaching on Sunday evening on a very tough topic. I’m so thankful for our staff at 2CC and the passion they bring to their respective ministries. It was encouraging to hear Tyler share his heart for our high-school students and the choices they make and the importance of the truth of God’s Word in our life choices. Thanks, Tyler! Just a reminder that HSM meets each Sunday evening from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the student ministry building and ALL high-school students are welcome!
  • Great job, Sandra Lathrop, with the Safety and Security Seminar at church last Saturday! I’m so thankful for the 150 women and men from our church who gathered to learn how to make 2CC both safe and secure. Thank you to Bradley Grissom for the excellent medical overview and condensed CPR course! Thank you to Scott Rew, Ed Sanow, Dave Rand, Gary Gray, Bill West, Mike Brash, Brian Sitz, Corey Shurr, Russell Hillman, and many others for taking time to plan out the security safety meeting and role-playing scenarios!
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis just began a study through the book of James, and I would love to see you join us!
  • Please remember to let the office know about Pastoral Care needs in the life of our church. Please don’t ever assume we know about hospital, nursing home, or funeral updates. Thank you in advance for helping us minister to our church!
  • At the end of January, we shared an update on the REACH Generosity Initiative, and here are some facts and figures from that update:
  • In the fall of 2018, Second Church committed $1,960,293.00 over a three-year period of time for the RGI! Praise the Lord!
  • As of 12-31-19, $1,241,433.00 has been received toward the RGI! Praise the Lord!
  • The remaining unfunded amount for RGI is $927,969.00 as of today.

 

Also on January 26, I announced that Marla and I are making a 21-month commitment to the Reach Generosity Initiative, and I am inviting you to consider doing likewise if you are new to our church in the past 16 months (like we are) or if you never made a REACH pledge for whatever reason. If you have questions about REACH, please feel free to reach out to me or to any leader at Second Church! We are asking for all pledge cards to be returned by the end of February.

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT

february 4, 2020

Sunday was the annual Super Bowl, and at least one staff member at Second Church is smiling from ear to ear following the Kansas City Chiefs comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Marla and I had several friends over to watch the big game, and I made a comment with about 7 ½ minutes to go in the game that it was just about over, and the 49ers were in a great position to win. Kansas City promptly outscored San Francisco 21-0 following my prophecy and won the game 31-20. My career as a football prophet was short lived! (Somewhere Tyler Russell and Gage Lyons are STILL basking in the glow of victory!)

 

Sunday reminded me the game isn’t over until the clock hits triple zeros. Fans from Kansas City are sure thankful the Chiefs fought until the very end and finished well. Fans from San Francisco will play Monday morning quarterback all year long wondering, “What if?” and “What could have been?” The game isn’t over until it’s over.

 

I’m reminded this principle is certainly true in our spiritual lives and on our journey with Jesus. I’m so thankful that in the past several weeks I have had to chance to watch multiple people in the later seasons of life make the decision to follow Jesus. It is NEVER too late to become a Christ follower . . . until it is truly too late! This Sunday at Second, multiple people are planning to be baptized! Praise the Lord!

 

I’m also reminded how important it is for followers of Jesus to finish well in the faith. It is very easy to fall into the trap of spiritual complacency, and many have struggled with this problem late in their walk with Jesus. One of the things I really love about our church are the multiple opportunities to grow in the Christian faith with fellow Christ followers on a weekly and monthly basis. If you find yourself struggling with spiritual complacency, please don’t settle for it! Do not ever hesitate to reach out to myself or other leaders and staff at Second!

 

Here are a couple of reminders and highlights about what is happening at 2CC:

 

  • Tuesday nights at Second Church mean Celebrate Recovery! God is doing some pretty incredible things in the lives of people through the ministry of Celebrate Recovery at 2CC! Remember, there is always room for YOU at CR, as we together face and deal with our hurts, hang-ups and habits! ALL are invited and welcome to come and check out CR at Second, beginning with the meal at 5:30 p.m. and the large group gathering in Main Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Great job, Tyler Russell and team, with the annual All-Nighter HSM trip to Indy for basketball, Skyzone, bowling and breakfast. Almost 100 jumped on two charter busses and had a great time! Wow! Just a reminder, HSM meets each Sunday evening from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the student ministry building and ALL High School students are welcome
  • Great job, Jake and Jamie Weece and team, with the JHM Super Bowl party! There were 148 Junior High students gathered on Sunday evening for the Super Bowl in the new Student Ministry building! Wow! Just a reminder that large group JHM meets each Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. in the student ministry building and ALL Junior High students are welcome!
  • Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. bring a weekly Bible study at Second Church in Hallelujah Hall that all are welcome to attend! Oasis just began a study through the book of James, and I would love to see you join us!
  • At the end of January, we shared an update on the REACH Generosity Initiative, and here are some facts and figures from that update:
  • In the fall of 2018, Second Church committed $1,960,293.00 over a three-year period of time for the RGI! Praise the Lord! 
  • As of 12-31-19, $1,241,433.00 has been received toward the RGI! Praise the Lord! 
  • The remaining unfunded amount for RGI is $927,969.00 as of today.

 

Also on January 26, I announced that Marla and I are making a 21-month commitment to the Reach Generosity Initiative, and I am inviting you to consider doing likewise if you are new to our church in the past 16 months (like we are) or if you never made a REACH pledge for whatever reason. If you have questions about REACH, please feel free to reach out to me or to anyone who is a leader at Second Church! We are asking for all pledge cards to be returned by the end of February.

 

This Sunday, Kiley Garrison has given me the opportunity to share in Next Gen on the importance of Discipleship and specifically the 4 Chair Discipleship reality in the life of our church, and every church. Terry Goodwin will be preaching in Main Auditorium part two of our Bethlehem Love Story series from the book of Ruth.

 

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church.

 

GT

January 28, 2020

Blessings to you, Second Church! I love Second Church of Christ, a place that is Full of Life and where there is always Room for You! I am so excited to see how God is working in the lives of so many at our church. Let’s get rolling with the weekly update:

 

On the first Sunday of the New Year, I shared with Main Auditorium worship services four areas of strategic improvement I dream of becoming reality in 2020:

 

  • Discipleship
  • Increased Community Impact and Influence
  • Intentional All-Church Family Ministry
  • Expanded Online Influence

 

Each Tuesday this month, I’ll share about one of these important areas of emphasis. So far this month, I have shared about Discipleship, Increased Community Impact and Influence, and Intentional All-Church Family Ministry. This week, I will share briefly about what an Expanded Online Influence might look like.

 

Second Church has been making a difference in Vermilion County and beyond for well over 120 years, and yet more than once in the past six months I have heard this phrase uttered: “Second Church is one of the best kept secrets around!” How can this be, you might be wondering? The answer is really simple. So many people live the crazy-busy life and are not aware of what is unfolding outside their context. Another factor at play is the unfortunate reality that people spend significant amounts of time on their phones, tablets and computers.

 

My hope for 2020 and beyond is for our church to begin to increase our online presence and influence. I do not have any grand announcements to share this week, but my hope and prayer is that the blessings of Second Church will become more known in our communities and area through the blessing of social media and our online presence.

 

Last week was a special week for me personally as I witnessed God on the move in many different ways! Here is just a sample of my week last week:

 

  • I was blessed to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day worship service on Monday at St. James United Methodist Church! It was such a great gathering! I was especially blessed to hear Ricky Williams, the mayor of Danville, share his belief in Jesus Christ as the hope for our city and our world! 
  • Tuesday night brought a record night at Celebrate Recovery as at least 249 attended and were encouraged by the guest testimony from Joe Rodts from Normal, IL. It was so encouraging to see a young man give his life to Jesus and be buried with Christ in the waters of baptism! Praise the Lord! God is doing so much good through the ministry of Celebrate Recovery at 2CC! Remember, there is always room for YOU at CR, as we together face and deal with our hurts, hang-ups and habits! CR meets at Second each Tuesday evening!
  •  Wednesday night concluded our Membership Class at Second and 27 made the decision on Wednesday to sign the membership covenant! Praise the Lord! In addition, two baptisms happened on Wednesday evening flowing from our Membership Class and many more are being talked about and scheduled this week! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
  • On Thursday, Dean Crandall, Dale DeNeal and I were blessed to spend a couple of hours at Danville Correctional Center along with several inmates as we watched a teaching session from the 2019 Global Leadership Summit. It was so encouraging to break up into groups and hear firsthand how God is moving in the lives of many at DCC. By the way, the 2020 GLS at 2CC will be Thursday and Friday August 6-7! I hope you will join us for the 2020 GLS!
  • Friday and Saturday brought a quick trip to Carbondale to watch our son Peyton throw the weight and the shot put at the SIU indoor track meet. Both Marla and I miss our kids so much, and it is always wonderful to reconnect with them even if the visit is short! Both Jordan, my daughter, and Peyton, my son, and my bonus son, Jacob, are such bright lights in a dark world, and I treasure and value the time we get to spend with them!
  • Sunday morning was REACH Generosity Initiative update Sunday, and we shared some exciting information and were blessed by another Phil Gojia video production! Here are some facts and figures:

 

  • In the fall of 2018, Second Church committed $1,960,293.00 over a three-year period of time for the RGI! Praise the Lord
  • As of 12-31-19, $1,241,433.00 has been received toward the RGI! Praise the Lord! 
  • The remaining unfunded amount for RGI is $927,969.00 as of today.

 

On Sunday, I announced that Marla and I are making a 21-month commitment to the Reach Generosity Initiative, and I am inviting you to consider doing likewise if you are new to our church in the past 16 months (like we are) or if you never made a REACH pledge for whatever reason. If you have questions about REACH, please feel free to reach out to me or anyone who is a leader at Second Church! We are asking for all pledge cards to be returned by the end of February.

 

  • Sunday afternoon brought both the REACH Open House for our new buildings and the Parent/Child dedication service at 4:00 p.m. I am thankful for everyone who attended the Open House! The Parent/Child dedication service was extra special for me, seeing so many parents and grandparents as well as aunts and uncles gathering together to state without hesitation that these most precious gifts, their children, are blessings from the Lord! Kenna Osborne put together a wonderful interactive event that gave parents and others the tools necessary to lead their children to saving faith in Jesus Christ! Praise the Lord.

This week brought a sober reminder for me of how fragile life truly is. In our own community, three lives were senselessly lost to violence in an awful display of the very worst of human actions. Each of these men deserved better! Tragic!

 

Then this weekend, two unexpected deaths in the world of basketball rocked so many fans. On Friday, former Illinois center Robert Archibald passed away on Friday at the age of 39, and on Sunday, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday at the age of 41. Both men brought happiness to so many as they played the game of basketball, and I am heartbroken for their families, friends and fans who continue to mourn, but these deaths remind us of an important reality: no one is promised tomorrow.


I’m reminded Jesus is the answer to the most important and difficult of life’s questions. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! Jesus brings HOPE to the hopeless! Jesus is the REMEDY!

 

See you this Sunday at Second Church as we begin a month of messages in Main Auditorium on LOVE, looking this week at a Bethlehem Love story from the book of Ruth.

 

GT

January 21, 2020

Blessings to you, Second Church! On the first Sunday of the New Year, I shared with Main Auditorium worship services four areas of strategic improvement I dream of becoming reality in 2020:

 

  • Discipleship
  • Increased Community Impact and Influence
  • Intentional All-Church Family Ministry
  • Expanded Online Influence

 

Each Tuesday this month, I’ll share about one of these important areas of emphasis. So far this month, I have shared about Discipleship and Increased Community Impact and Influence. This week, I want to share about the vision of Intentional All-Church Family Ministry.

 

Second Church has been making a difference in Vermilion County and beyond for well over 120 years, and a major focus over the past four decades has involved intentional and excellent ministry to children and students. I’m so thankful for the women and men who have served our church and led these ministries in past seasons, and I love doing ministry week in and week out with Kenna Osborne, Tyler Russell, and Jake Weece.

 

It is pure joy when I am able to watch Kid’s World, JHM and HSM in action! If I were to do a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of our church, Kid’s World, JHM, and HSM would each be “strengths” in my book! With our new building spaces as a result of the REACH Generosity Initiative, our student ministry and children’s ministry building are cutting edge and allow us to take dreams and make them ministry realities! Praise the Lord!

 

So why mess with something that is working, you might ask? What does All-Church Family Ministry even look like, you might be wondering? The answers to these questions are simple: We want to help moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas become and/or excel as primary spiritual leaders for their families.

 

We want families at Second Church to have more and more opportunities to worship and grow together AS families. I want to hear more and more testimonies like this: “I love Kenna Osborne! She is awesome, but my mom is my children’s minister!” Or maybe: “I’m so thankful for Jake Weece and/or Tyler Russell. Those guys rock, but my dad is my student minister.”

 

Will you take time right now to lift up Kenna Osborne, Jake Weece, and Tyler Russell in prayer as they lead these important life-changing ministries? Please pray for the many ministry team members in Kid’s World, JHM, and HSM. We couldn’t do what we do week in and week out without this army of servant leaders! The year 2020 is going to be a great year at Second Church!

 

Sunday was another special day at Second Church as we observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday! Thank you to Stephanie Spangler for planning a service that encompassed two important elements when looking at issues of LIFE: the reality that Every Life Matters and the biblical promise that God’s grace is greater than all our sin! 

 

Special thanks to Bethany Hager from the Women’s Care Clinic for sharing in all five services at Second on Sunday and for your excellent encouragement on how Christ followers can and should respond to issues of LIFE! Thank you to each of our 42 candle lighters! What a touching visual end to our services to go and be LIGHT in a world that is DARK!

 

You are the LIGHT of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden! Let us light up our world in the name of Jesus Christ, Second Church!

 

Here are six reminders related to the life of our church:

 

  • Membership Class – Part two of our class is this Wednesday evening, January 22, from 6:15 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. We had 47 who attended week one last Wednesday! Kiley Garrison and I will help you better understand the DNA of Second Church and how to become a member. I hope to see all 47 of you again this Wednesday!

 

  • 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! Last week, 232 were in attendance at CR, and our excellent teaching came from our own Terry Goodwin! What a great night!

 

  • Parent/Child Dedication – This Sunday, January 26, at 4:00 p.m. in Kid’s World. If you are interested in participating, please sign up on the app or contact the office. Kenna Osborne is planning a wonderful event you won’t want to miss!

 

  • REACH Open House – This Sunday, January 26, from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., you are welcome to attend an Open House and see up close the Student Ministry building, Kid’s world, and the new Family Ministry lobby. Don’t miss this chance to see the blessing of REACH!

 

  • 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!

 

  • Security at Second Church – We live in a fallen and broken world, and sadly, even the church is no longer immune to the reality of threats and violence. Please know we are blessed at Second Church to have a great security team comprised of active or former military and law enforcement who are trained and ready on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, as well as special events and unique gatherings. If you have any questions about security at Second Church, please reach out to Dale DeNeal.

 

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 this Sunday at Second Church as we update the church on the REACH Generosity Initiative!

 

GT

JANUARY 14, 2020

Greetings, Second Church! A week ago, on the first Sunday of the New Year, I shared with Main Auditorium worship services four areas of strategic improvement I dream of becoming reality in 2020:

 

  • Discipleship
  • Increased Community Impact and Influence
  • Intentional All-Church Family Ministry
  • Expanded Online Influence

 

Each Tuesday this month, I’ll share about one of these important areas of emphasis. Last week I shared about Discipleship,and this week I want to speak to Increased Community Impact and Influence.

 

Second Church is a special place, and from my very first introduction to 2CC back in late February 2019, it was obvious our church is making a difference in Danville, Vermilion County, and literally communities all over east central Illinois and west central Indiana. I’m thankful for the impact and influence of the Global Leadership Summit (both at 2CC, the Danville prison, and in East Africa), Step Up Vermilion County, the many monthly missions partnerships we are blessed with, and so much more.

 

In the past couple of months, area Church of Christ ministry staff has begun sharing lunch together each month. Last week, over 20 were present for the January lunch! Back in November, our church was one of several that gathered on a Saturday evening at Crossroads Christian Church for a community worship night. Much good is happening!

 

Yet my hope for 2020 is to increase our footprint in the name of Jesus. I am thankful for doors that appear to be opening with area schools. I am hopeful for us to live out the heartbeat of Jesus in John 17 for Christians to embrace UNITY in order to tell the world about Jesus! I’m constantly reminded that a majority of our community and surrounding communities are un-churched and living outside the grace of God.

 

I continue to believe we are called to be a HOSPITAL for the Spiritually Sick, not a COUNTRY CLUB for Spiritually Secure. I love this quote from Sam Allberry: “Your church should look more like the waiting room of a doctor’s office than the waiting room for a job interview.” I pray 2020 brings increased Impact and Influence in the name of Jesus!

 

Sunday was such a special day at Second Church, as we hosted Celebrate Recovery Sunday! Thank you to Stephanie for once again planning a service that spoke to so many! Special thanks to Brandon Allen, William Bales, Toni Shepherd, and Stephanie Spangler for being so transparent and sharing about the impact of CR on your lives! Thank you, Abby Manning and Sandra Rogers, for leading the 8 Principles, and thanks to everyone who was part of the worship team or response time. I’m guessing over 100 came forward and took a blue chip, a sign of surrender! Praise the Lord! I hope many will give CR a look on an upcoming Tuesday evening!

 

This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and we are blessed to have Bethany Hager from the Women’s Care Clinic sharing in our Main Auditorium worship services. The issue of LIFE is so personal for me and I’ll share exactly why! I truly hope you will join us Sunday at Second in Main!

 

God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! Blessings Second Church!

 

Here are six reminders related to the life of our church:

 

  • Membership Class – Second Church is hosting a Membership Class the next two Wednesday evenings, January 15 and 22, from 6:15 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Kiley Garrison and I will help you better understand the DNA of Second Church and how to become a member. If you are interested in attending, you can sign up on the app or call the church office.

 

  • 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!

 

  • Parent/Child Dedication – Sunday, January 26, at 4:00 p.m. in Kid’s World. If you are interested in participating, please sign up on the app or contact the office. Kenna Osborne is planning a wonderful event you won’t want to miss!

 

  • REACH Open House – Sunday January 26 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., you are welcome to attend an Open House and see up close the Student Ministry building, Kid’s world, and the new Family Ministry lobby. Don’t miss this chance to see the blessing of REACH!

 

  • 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!

 

  • Security at Second Church – We live in a fallen and broken world, and sadly, even the church is no longer immune to the reality of threats and violence. Please know we are blessed at Second Church to have a great security team comprised of active or former military and law enforcement who are trained and ready on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, as well as special events and unique gatherings. If you have any questions about security at Second Church, please reach out to Dale DeNeal.

 

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 this Sunday as we consider the value of every life at Sanctity of Life Sunday!

 

GT

January 7, 2020

Happy New Year, Second Church! Another year and another decade are upon us! On Sunday in Main Auditorium worship services, I had the opportunity to share with our church four areas of emphasis I would like to see at Second Church:


1. Discipleship

2. Increased Community Impact and Influence

3. Intentional All-Church Family Ministry

4. Expanded Online Influence


Each Tuesday this month, I’ll share about one of these important areas of emphasis, and today I want to write about Discipleship. The mission statement of Second Church of Christ is “to make Christ-centered disciples.” For as long as anyone can remember, our church has been about following the call of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 from Jesus to “Go and Make Disciples.”


This is nothing new, but this is crucially important. From the very first interview I was a part of back in early March of last year, the leadership of Second Church communicated how discipleship must be a priority. As we move into 2020, we want to see more and more people connected with our church accept the call to become a disciple-maker.


Yesterday, I shared about the book, 4 Chair Discipling, by Dann Spader and the case made by Spader that every person connected to our church is in one of four chairs:


The Seeker chair – someone considering a relationship with Jesus Christ


The Believer chair – someone who has faith with Jesus Christ as Savior


The Worker chair – someone who has an active faith in Jesus Christ as Lord


The Disciple-Maker chair – someone who because of their active faith in Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord is compelled to tell others about Jesus.


Our hope for 2020 is that more and more Second Church women, men, teens, and children will “move chairs” and grow intentionally and strategically in their walk with Jesus. Stephanie Spangler, Brandon Allen, and Tonya Ward did a great job giving us a visual we won’t forget with the four chairs, and we invited YOU to come forward and take a corresponding card connected to the chair you desire to be in. The response was incredible as hundreds stepped out of their comfort zone and came forward! We ran out of cards for Chair 3 and Chair 4!


God is good all the time! If you missed Sunday, I would love for you to either take 30 minutes and listen to the message on our website and/or come and take a card or all four cards and begin to intentionally pray about what chair God is calling you to. You will see the visual of the four chairs in Main Auditorium for at least the rest of January, and you can find four cards at both Guest Connection and in the church office.


The year 2020 is going to be a great year at Second Church! My prayer is this year brings more and more Christ-centered disciples willing to live out the call of Jesus to “Go and Make Disciples!” Let’s do this, Second!


Here are six reminders related to the life of our church:


• Impact Women's Conference at Second – This Saturday, January 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., our church is hosting a women’s conference on the power of impacting others. The cost is just $20 and includes lunch. You can sign up online at the 2CC website or call the church office for more information.


• Membership Class – Second Church is hosting a Membership Class on Wednesday evenings, January 15 and 22, from 6:15 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Kiley Garrison and I will help you better understand the DNA of Second Church and how to become a member. If you are interested in attending, you can sign up on the app or call the church office.


• 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, this Sunday, January 12, is CR Sunday in Main Auditorium, so make sure to wear your CR gear!


• Weekly Prayer List is Available – Each week during services, we give you the opportunity to submit in writing prayer requests and praises, and typically we receive 25-30 or more prayer requests. By noon on most Mondays, this list is compiled and shared with the leadership at 2CC. This list is also available for you and is placed in different locations throughout our building. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to pray for your Second Church family each week!


• 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!


• Security at Second Church – We live in a fallen and broken world, and sadly, even the church is no longer immune to the reality of threats and violence. Please know we are blessed at Second Church to have a great security team comprised of active or former military and law enforcement who are trained and ready on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, as well as special events and unique gatherings. If you have any questions about security at Second Church, please reach out to Dale DeNeal.


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 this Sunday at Second for CR Sunday!


GT


december 17, 2019

As I sit in my office early on this Tuesday, my cup truly overflows. I would never have dreamed about all of the change God would bring to our lives in 2019, and yet I’m so thankful and blessed! Reflecting on the past week I have been privileged to be a part of some really special gatherings! Here is just a taste of my past six days . . .


On Wednesday, I was blessed to join several area Church of Christ/Christian Church ministry staff for a monthly fellowship lunch. As we shared Mexican food, I was able to hear about all that God is doing in ministries in Georgetown, Westville, Bismarck, Rossville, West Liberty, Lincoln and, of course, Danville. I am better as both a minister and a Christ follower when I get to spend time with others who labor and strive for the gospel like Robbie, Brian, Kevin, David, Terry, Phil, Jim, John and Kurt! I’m so thankful for these men who serve the Lord vocationally!


Thursday brought my first visit to Schultz House for 4:00 p.m. worship and Bible study. I heard Drew talk about the personal blessing of visiting and sharing at Schultz House, but I had no idea. Thanks to Bean Hohn for the invite! What a joy to worship with Judy, Tasha, Ray, Buddy, Donna, Linda, and Tara! I shared part of my Christmas Eve sermon with my new friends at Schultz House and left encouraged and blessed!


Friday morning, at the invitation of Jamie Skovran, I had the opportunity to meet with several in leadership at the Kenneth D. Bailey Academy in Danville to see and hear firsthand all that KDBA is doing for junior high and high school students. I loved hearing stories of growth, redemption, and achievement! It reminded me of a truth I’ve seen play out most of my adult life: teachers and school administrators have the chance to change lives and help students overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I’m thankful for everyone I met at KDBA and love what they are doing for Danville!


Saturday brought the Angel Tree party at 2CC and the chance to bless children who have parents incarcerated with the joy of Christmas. Thank you to Adam Singley for all you do to make this event happen! Angel Tree is such a great program and is a constant reminder of how redemption is possible for everyone! The late Chuck Colson’s life was changed by Jesus in prison following the shame of Watergate. He eventually founded Prison Fellowship and today Angel Tree is just one piece of its ministry. Will you take a moment this week and pray for families facing the prospect of Christmas without a parent due to the reality of prison?


Sunday at Second was week three of five in our Songs of Christmas series, and we looked at the traditional spiritual, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” This song, of course, is a reminder to make the most of every opportunity, especially at Christmas, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and tell the story of Jesus. Who are you inviting to Christmas Eve at Second this year? This Sunday, we will look at the Christmas hymn, “Good Christian Men Rejoice,” my personal favorite! I cannot wait to share about JOY and the CALL to REJOICE!


Last night (Monday) was the annual Second Church of Christ STAFF Christmas party. The food was fabulous, the fellowship was sweet, the trivia was challenging (my team fell just one answer short of victory, but who is counting?), and the white elephant gift exchange was a blast (Brandon’s life is changed forever). Special shout out to Erica Burke, the 2CC Staff “Rock-Paper-Scissors” champion! I am so thankful for the women and men I get to serve alongside day in and day out at 2CC. I hope you know how blessed we are at Second Church with our staff! We have a great team, and I look forward to many years of doing ministry with our crew!


Merry Christmas Second Church!


Here are six reminders 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! Who are you bringing with you this year?


End of the year giving – Second Church is so blessed by your generosity, and I am personally thankful for the obvious passion to practice stewardship! Just a reminder, any end of the year giving must be received by noon on December 31 when our office closes for 2019.


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!


Weekly Prayer List is Available – Each week during services, we give you the opportunity to submit in writing prayer requests and praises, and typically we receive 25-30 or more prayer requests. By noon on most Mondays, this list is compiled and shared with the leadership at 2CC. This list is also available for you and is placed in different locations throughout our building. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to pray for your Second Church family each week!


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!


CIY date change for summer 2020 – HSM will head to CIY MOVE July 19-23.


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


December 11, 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere I go! My neighborhood is now full of homes with decorations and light displays, and I love every minute of it! Our church looks so beautiful, and I especially love the four “picture booths” available in The Commons in conjunction with our sermon series in the Main Auditorium, The Songs of Christmas. Even my office has a small, white Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments of my favorite sports teams: the Illini, the Cubs, the Bears, and the Blackhawks. All I need to make it complete are White Sox and Saluki representations! I love Christmas time and hope you do as well.


This past Sunday, we considered the various reactions to the birth of Christ in the first-century world as well as modern-day perspectives on Jesus. Today, some people really ABHOR Jesus, and we see persecution alive and well all over the world. Even more people today simply IGNORE Jesus and live life each December with a Christ-less Christmas. Followers of Jesus are, of course, called to ADORE Jesus, our newborn King. “Oh, come let us adore him, Christ the Lord,” should not simply be ritualistic words we sign each December but, instead, both the meditation of our heart and the marching order for our lives. Our call is simple: make sure this December and every Christmas season is a time we truly ADORE Jesus the Christ in all we do!


This Sunday, we will study the traditional spiritual song “Go, Tell it on the Mountain,” and the message this song imparts. Written down by John Wesley Work Jr., this song has its roots during a very dark time in the history of our country. As the evil of slavery played out in the land of the free, this song was one of many that could be heard regularly from plantation to plantation and is a favorite today in both the Christian and secular world. Inspired by Luke 2:8-20, and the message of the angels to the shepherds, it reminds us we cannot keep the good news of Jesus Christ to ourselves! We are called to GO and TELL!


One great opportunity to GO and TELL others will happen two weeks from today on December 24. Christmas Eve at Second will bring four worship opportunities at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in both the Main Auditorium and the Next Gen Auditorium. Christmas Eve at Second will bring a worship event you will NOT want to miss! I literally cannot wait for December 24!


Christmas Eve continues to be a time when many living outside the grace of God make their way to worship services. Many only attend a church service one or two times a year, and Christmas Eve is typically that gathering. As a staff, we are praying Christmas Eve 2019 will plant seeds of faith and become the catalyst for many Jesus conversations.


My hope for our church is simple. First, let’s invite others to join us this Christmas and hear the good news of Jesus! Second, let’s embrace the spirit of hospitality and joy more than ever on Christmas Eve! Finally, let’s live out the reality of 1 Corinthians 3:6, where Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” This Christmas, will you plant seeds of faith? This Christmas, will you water seeds of faith? I cannot wait to see what Christmas Eve 2019 brings!


Here are six 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! Who are you bringing with you 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.? As of today, no one has volunteered to help at 6:00 p.m. Anyone?


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!


Weekly Prayer List is Available – Each week during services, we give you the opportunity to submit in writing prayer requests and praises, and typically we receive 25-30 or more prayer requests. By noon on most Mondays, this list is compiled and shared with the leadership at 2CC. This list is also available for you and is placed in different locations throughout our building. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to pray for your Second Church family each week!


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!


CIY date change for summer 2020 – HSM will head to CIY MOVE July 19-23.


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


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


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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