Frequently Asked Questions


How are you handling the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Carefully.  We are generally not meeting in person for worship or other gatherings, although some other groups are using our facilities, with restrictions and precautions as dictated by New York State and City guidelines, common sense, and science.  Occasionally the pastor opens our sanctuary for individual prayer and reflection.  On Sundays, we worship online or via Zoom; to find out more, visit our Calendar.


What do you mean by a “dogma-free zone”?

“We have what we think is an appropriately humble opinion of how much we know about the ways of God. We have absolute trust in the goodness of God and firmly believe that the destiny of the world is to bring blessing to all.

“Dogma” is formally defined as “that which is necessary for salvation.” Presbyterians rightly say that, since we are not God, we do not know what that would be. We’re all going along doing the best we can, and “amen” to that.


What can I expect when I attend worship at SPC?

Worship at Second Church is eclectic: While traditional in format, our worship is current and progressive in tone and content. We take the Bible and the news, human experience, and world, seriously. We consider it, pray for it, search for meaning, and for our own relationship to all of it.


Is there a “dress code” for church?

No. Some people wear jeans, some dress up a bit. We enjoy the variety and comfort of one another’s choices.


What kind of hymns do you sing?

We love to sing. We sing the great old hymns, and new ones, world music, and sometimes pop or Broadway or country songs. The volunteer choir covers the territory of classic and contemporary church music.


How do you celebrate Holy Communion?

Sometimes we follow John Calvin’s way of having the church’s elders serve the congregation, seated in their pews. This is meant to be a physical representation of servant leadership, and the truth that God’s grace comes to each of us exactly where we are, often at the hands of the person seated next to us, friend or stranger, whoever that person may be.

At other times we celebrate Communion while standing in a circle around the communion table (chairs are available for those who prefer to sit). We serve one another via “intinction,” when the bread is dipped into the cup, then eaten.

It is important to note that all are invited to and welcome at the Lord’s Table. Non-Christian friends or spouses, small children, and guests are all embraced by this table of grace.


You mean my five year old can receive Communion at your church?

Yes. We teach children about Jesus and the meaning of his life, trust that families also teach their children their own faith, and above all we are sure that the good Lord means to touch each of us with grace and love, excluding no one.


My best friend is Muslim. Could he be my Best Man, if my wedding were at your church?

Yes. This has, happily, been the case. We try to take the God’s eye view of the world and its people, i.e., we are all beloved children of a loving God.


Is your facility accessible?

Our sanctuary can be entered from 96th Street on street level, without stairs, but we do not have wheelchair accessible bathrooms. Restrooms are located down one flight of stairs, with handrails on both sides. Hearing aids are available from the greeter during Sunday worship.