Sundays at 10:15am South corner of 96th Street & Central Park West

Second Presbyterian Church

Seeking a Better World Together

Summer 2017

Author gbakoulis, Written Jun 25, 2017

The academic year has ended and the relaxed days of summer are finally here. We have said a bittersweet farewell to Leslie Merlin, our beloved Pastor for the past 20 years, and we have begun our search for an Interim Pastor. (Please note that Leslie will be with us through August 31.)

This summer we continue to cherish times spent together in worship, fellowship, and reflection. We seek God and practice a welcoming faith in our community. We treasure our times together in God’s presence. Please join us as often as you can, and invite others to share in our fellowship.

Whether you are a longtime or new member, or are considering making Second Presbyterian your spiritual home, we hope you will find ways to engage with us. Please call the church office at 212.749.1700 or speak to any church member if you have questions.

Summer Worship Schedule

Our summer worship tradition is one of relaxation and exploration. We are blessed to have a varied group of worship leaders and music leaders and we thank all of them for their service. As we do throughout the year, we seek God  and practice a welcoming faith in our community. We treasure our times together in God’s presence. Please join us as often as you can, and invite others to share in our fellowship.

During July and August we worship on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. in the Carnegie Library (enter from either 96th Street or 95th Street). There is no Sunday School. This summer we will break with tradition and have a modest fellowship hour following Worship. We invite all members and friends to join us in worship and fellowship.

All members of the congregation are encouraged to assist with summer worship as lector, beadle, or offering collector. Our July and August worship coordinator is Bram Lewis; please contact Bram if you’d like to serve.

Arranging for your summer smorgasbord of worship experiences has always been exciting. Our congregation offers a remarkable amount of thoughtful preaching and musical resource. This summer is especially interesting, as we fill your plates with the best of what there is, looking toward potential matches for our Temporary and then Interim Pastor.

July 2

Rev. Ted Voelker, preaching

Kathy Hart, music leader

July 9

Rev. Laura jervis, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

July 16

Rev. Grace Bowen, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

July 23

Rev. Krystin Granberg, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

July 30

Elaine Song, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

August 6

Rev. Stephen Phelps, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

August 13

Rev. Grace Bowen, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

August 20

Rev. Peter Surgenor, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

August 27

Rev. Lindsay Borden, preaching

Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

We will not celebrate public worship at Second Presbyterian Church on September 3, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We encourage you to experience worship in a new place, in a new way, wherever you may be.

Holy Communion in 2017:

Sunday, January 8: Baptism of the Lord

Sunday, February 26: Transfiguration of the Lord

Wednesday, March 1: Ash Wednesday

Sunday, April 9: Palm Sunday

Thursday, April 13: Maundy Thursday

Friday, April 14: Good Friday

Sunday, June 4: Pentecost

Sunday, June 11: Trinity Sunday

Sunday, October 1: World Communion Sunday

Sunday, November 26: Reign of Christ


Choir rehearsal will resume in September.

Worship committee: Wednesday, July 5, 5:00 p.m., Pastor’s Office.

Session: Monday, July 17, 6: p.m., Pastor’s Office.

Pastoral Care: Wednesday, July 19, 6:00 p.m., Pastor’s Office.


After Labor Day, on a September date TBA, we’ll have an evening event in the neighborhood for members of the larger community of church, school, and clergy friends who have been touched by Leslie Merlin.

Welcome Natasha Ulyanovsky, Minister of Music

Natasha Ulyanovsky starts as our new Minister of Music on July 9. Natasha has studied in Speyer Cathedral in Germany, Moscow Conservatory, and Odessa Conservatory, where she earned a master’s degree in organ and piano performance, choir conducting, and pedagogy. Her professional career has taken her from Odessa Opera House to Santa Marinella, Italy, to Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, as well as Episcopal, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches and Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT. The Music Search Committee was drawn to her energy, sincerity, versatility, and enthusiasm. After hearing her musically lead worship, and choir practice, we called her references who confirmed our impressions. Natasha embraced our offer with a wonderful spirit.

We thank the Music Search Committee (Susanna Nason, Ken Threet, Susan Gordon-Clark, Elaine Steele, and Leslie Merlin ex officio) for their six-month search! It took a long time to make the choice because there were an astonishing number of highly qualified candidates, most of whom expressed great eagerness to work with SPC.

Search for New Pastor/The Transition

The process of calling a Pastor to lead our flock has begun; it will occur in several stages. The Session plans for the Temporary Pastor to begin serving on September 1, until we find an Interim Pastor. It would likely mean serving for an estimated 4-6 month period. A few candidates have expressed interest in the possibility; some of them will be preaching during the summer.

The same group of officers preparing materials for the Temporary and Interim Pastor job descriptions have started meeting informally with the candidates for the “temp” position. They are: Nancy Hughes, Elaine Song and Maxine Soares. Let’s pray that a wonderful pastor hears God’s call to join us in September! The next stage will be formation of an Interim Pastor Search Committee. Stay tuned for updates.

Community Service/Giving

Visits to Bedford Hills Prison: Our desire to be of comfort in a world of pain leads us into prison, a place of sorrow and despair. We have partnered with Gethsemane Presbyterian Church on its visits to women in Bedford Hills Prison and Taconic Prison. The women we visit are participants in Gethsemane Church’s “Project Connect”, as they work to develop a life of spiritual health. The visits remaining in 2017 have been scheduled:

Saturday, September 16

Saturday, December 2