• September 13, 2020A Blessing for the New School Year
    A Blessing for the New School Year (a collage of lines written by 7th grade students) May you wake up to your alarm clock on time And may your laptop be charged and ready to go. May you be organized and prepared for class. May all your school days be productive.   May your mask be comfy. May your friends wash their hands properly. May you remember your locker combination And may your wif …
  • July 31, 2020The Whole Armor of God
    During a recent Sunday morning Bible study on the book of Ephesians, the conversation turned to the sustenance the people drew from the church's stained glass windows. Below is an expanded version of Don Cochran's thoughtful contribution to the conversation.Don Cochran writes: When I first started worshipping at Second, I was puzzled by the military figure in the circular windo …
  • July 31, 2020Black Lives Matter – a silent vigil
    Nancy Quigley writes: In these times of noisy and chaotic protests about policing and the loss of Black lives, I attended a vigil at Peace UCC last week, in Webster Groves, and found it to be a good alternative to the protests, a way to be present and “say their names” without worrying about violence or virus.  Peace has been holding a Friday evening vigil for a couple of months.  The vi …
  • July 28, 2020The value of virtual coffee shops
    David Justice, a PhD student at. St. Louis University, whose work is centered on Martin Luther King Jr., reflects on a way he has found to cultivate a scholarly community during the pandemic. One way that I've been staying connected during this pandemic has been a virtual writing group hosted through an organization called the Political Theology Network. Though the group got going p …
  • July 22, 2020"Good trouble" – remembering John Lewis
    Tim Woodcock writes: With the recent death of Rep. John Lewis, my mind keeps on coming back to graphic novel series March that tells Lewis’s life story and unpacks his philosophy of agitating for civil rights and causing what he called “good trouble.” It is now on my nightstand, waiting to be reread.The March series, published between 2013 and 2016, was written as a collaboration between …
  • June 29, 2020More music alone and together
    Some more on emerging ways of making musicNancy Quigley came across this beautiful contemporary piece of classical music, which she recommends: Sphinx Virtuosi – Elegy: In memoriam – Stephen Lawrence. The title of the piece of music refers to Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old Black Briton, who was murdered in 1993 in an unprovoked and racially motivated attack.Despite the frustration of c …
  • June 28, 2020Spotlight on Leah and Andy
    The Post-Dispatch has produced a series of videos profiling its staff talking about stories that they have covered that are especially meaningful for them. On Friday the spotlight fell on 2nd Pres's  Leah Thorsen, who has been at the Post for 15 years and currently works as a business reporter.Also, on a related note, if you've not seen it already, be sure to catch 2nd Pres …
  • June 18, 2020Life in a hard place
    Photo by Mike Willock
  • June 16, 2020Devote Yourself to Something That Can Help
    Barbara Bowyer writes: During this week’s sermon (Sunday, June 14) Pastor Travis encouraged each of us to get involved in current events. He went on to acknowledge that, for many of us, marching in the streets during this time of pandemic is not a viable option. Frankly, I count myself among those who are hesitant to take to the streets. We realize that our age puts us at higher risk to …
  • June 15, 2020A place near your altar
    Even the sparrow has found a home,    and the swallow a nest for herself,    where she may have her young—a place near your altar,    Lord Almighty, my King and my God. (Psalm 84:3)Well, this is a mourning dove rather than a sparrow or a swallow.The birds were spotted and photographed by both Mike Willock and Nathan Schroeder during recent visits to church, tucked up safely by the east s …
  • June 13, 2020Virtual choirs
    Nancy Quigley writes: I have loved seeing and listening to virtual choirs lately and I happened to notice this when I was visiting the PCUSA website: a choir of 38 International Peacemakers gathered by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program to share a rendition of the hymn, "This Is My Song."Rick Nutt is one of the singers – did you know him when he was around 2PC?Tim Woodcock wr …
  • June 1, 2020"I Can't Breathe"
    A poem by church member Ellie Stock"I Can't Breathe"Inside the glassa young man says his last goodbye,a phone call to his mother, vigiling outside,a cough and a sneeze now a pandemic disease,soon he is whispering, I can’t breathe—isolated and trapped by a ventilator machine,a masked nurse holds his hand to ease his pain until he dies.Outside the glassa mother says her last …
  • May 29, 2020"After every war someone has to clean up"
    This very powerful poem written by Wislawa Szymborska is grounded in a gritty sense of realism and yet it far from bleak, as it shifts incrementally from despair to hope. Symborska is a Polish poet who died in 2012 at the age of 88. You can read a short bio of her here.While the circumstances of her life suggest the war she had in mind in this poem was WWII, the ideas can equally well be …
  • May 29, 2020Houses of worship reopen – but things are very different
    A very good piece in the Post-Dispatch by Nassim Benchaabane offering an overview of how houses of worship locally are handled reopening for services. It mentions a couple of our neighbors in the CWE, the Cathedral Basilica and Central Reform Congregation.It’s quite a long piece. Even if you don’t read it in its entirety, be sure you scroll done to the bottom for a beautiful photo essay …
  • May 25, 2020Roses in bloom
    If you were wondering what the entrance to 2nd Pres. looks like right now, here is your answer.(Thank you to Mike Willock for the photo)
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