Second Church in Newton
60 Highland Street
West Newton, MA 02465


Our church office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am- 4:30 pm.


Phone: 617-244-2690
Fax: 617-244-2691




We are an Open and Affirming congregation of The United Church of Christ.   We worship together every Sunday at 10:00. Nursery care is available for small children, while children in grades K-5 begin each week in worship with their parents before transitioning to Sunday School.

At Second Church we honor your questions and seek answers together as we celebrate God’s unconditional love and seek to share it with one another. We join Christians in every age as we seek to discern where God is calling us to serve in our time, and to interpret God’s Word with relevance to our lives  as individuals and as a community.  We invite you to join us in worship and receive your presence as a gift that enriches us.

Click here to see directions.

Mission & Advocacy

Second Church is very pleased to be able to help support the Newton Food Pantry.

The items most needed are: Oil, Canned Beets, Ground Coffee, Soy Sauce, Spices, Soup and Chicken Broth, Shampoo and Conditioner, Toothpaste and Toothbrushes, Dish Soap, Body Lotion, Laundry Detergent, Bar Soap, and All Purpose Household Cleaner. Place your donations in the Sunday offering basket or the downstairs lobby basket. Items are then delivered to the Newton Food Pantry in the basement of city hall.

The Newton Food Pantry is the only food pantry in Newton that delivers to clients who are homebound. Though housed in Newton City Hall, the Newton Food Pantry is an independent, all-volunteer nonprofit organization that receives no direct funding from the city, state, or federal government. They rely exclusively on donations of time, food, and money from individuals, businesses, religious organizations, and grant-making nonprofits. Second Church donated five bags of groceries to the Newton Food Pantry during this past summer. 

Through the benevolence portion of yearly pledges Second Church provided support to 31 different organizations. These non-profit organizations serve children, teens, men, women and families.


  • UCC – Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM)

  • Homeless Outreach

  • Advocates, Inc

  • Newton, Wellesley, Weston Community Living

  • Newton/San Juan Del Sur Sister City

  • Newton Food Pantry

  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

  • Campership (Project Care and Concern)

  • Chaplains on the Way

  • Rosie’s Place

  • City Mission Society

  • SERRV Development Grants

  • Springwell

  • Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries

  • Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC

  • Fair Trade Coffee

  • Understanding Our Differences

  • Family Access

  • Franklin County Community Meals Program

  • Green Newton

  • Homes for Our Troops

Worship services include Scripture readings, hymns sung by the congregation and by the choir, a pastoral message (sermon), prayers, a blessing and instrumental music. At times, you will be invited to stand, sing, pray, greet your neighbor, be in silence, or read responsively.

Each Sunday an offering is taken which is used to support the many ministries of Second Church.    You are invited to give as you are able. In addition, canned and box food offerings for the Newton Food Pantry are collected.

A communion service, open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, is part of the service on the first Sunday of the month.

There is not a lot that you need to know in advance to join in a worship service because the Pastor guides the service. The intention is to make it easy for everyone to join in worship and to find meaning in the worship experience.

You can come in your “Sunday best” or in casual attire. It’s not important. All are welcome!

All are invited for a time of coffee and conversation in Fellowship Hall following the service.  We enjoy our time together, and look forward to learning more about you.

In addition, on many Sundays, folks are invited to gather for informal discussions or presentations on topics of interest.

A ramp to the sanctuary can be found from the driveway off of Highland Street.   The driveway is immediately to the right of the main church entrance.

We invite you to look around our website to learn more.

If you would like to be in touch with Pastor Carla, or Director of Faith Formation Leah Rumsey, or the Church Office, please email or call. Contact us

But the best way to learn more about Second Church is to come to worship with us and get to know us.  You will find that we are a friendly bunch who will warmly welcome you into our community.

Online Giving

Electronic Giving is the term used to describe automatic methods for making contributions on a regular basis without the need to write checks, carry cash or prepare envelopes. Although Direct Debit Giving is the original and most popular form of electronic giving, the term is now widely used to describe Credit & Debit Card Giving and Online Giving as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Direct Debit Giving

  1. What are the major advantages of electronic giving by direct debit or credit?

  2. Direct debit and credit is all about convenience for you and consistency for the church. Electronic giving eliminates frequent check writing and helps members stay on track with pledges even when they are unable to attend services. The church in turn benefits from much-needed donation consistency and a reduction in the volume of check and cash contributions that must be handled and manually processed in the church office.

  1. How does Direct Debit & Credit Giving work?

  2. Contributions are transferred automatically from your checking, savings, or credit card account to the church’s bank account.

  1. How are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?

  2. You can sign-up via our Online Giving website link or call our church office to help set you up to contribute on a regular basis.  Contributions are then transferred through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network—the same network already used by families to make mortgage and utility payments or to receive payroll earnings and Social Security income. Direct debit & credit goes by other names including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), automatic payment, or simply, ACH.

  1. When will my contribution be deducted from my account?

  2. A debit to your account will occur each month on the date you specify on the website authorization form or what you specify to the church office.

  1. How will I keep track of contributions in my check register?

  2. Since your contribution is made at a pre-established time, you simply record it in your check register on the appropriate date. Electronic contributions will appear on your bank statement.

  1. What can I use to prove I made a contribution?

  2. Your bank or credit card statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions.

  1. Is giving by direct debit risky?

  2. It is certainly less risky than writing checks or carrying cash to church. To process electronic donations, the church uses Vanco Services, LLC—an established and highly-regarded company that moves funds directly from church members to the church on the same day without any delay. Vanco processes contributions for more than 11,000 churches and nonprofit organizations.

  1. How much does direct debit giving cost?

  2. It costs you nothing and it costs the church very little. It is the lowest cost method of transferring funds.

  1. What if I try electronic giving by direct debit and don’t like it?

  2. You can cancel your authorization at any time by notifying the church.

  1. How can I sign up for electronic giving by direct debit or credit card?

  2. Visit the Second Church Website and click on the Online Giving link to sign-up or please call our church office and they can set you up.

United Church of Christ

Second Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC is a Protestant denomination with over 5,100 member churches throughout the United States. Second Church is rooted in the Congregational tradition of the UCC, which dates back to the time of the Pilgrims and Puritans. The UCC does not require uniformity of belief, and, in fact, members of Second Church come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. Members of UCC churches are invited and encouraged to agree, disagree, and wrestle with life’s biggest questions in a spirit of love. And so it is at Second Church.

Please learn more about the United Church of Christ at the UCC website.

Open and Affirming

Second Church was very proud to be one of the first churches in the United Church of Christ denomination to adopt an Open and Affirming Covenant. In 2012, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the covenant’s adoption. The covenant was amended to become more inclusive in 2016.

OCTOBER 18, 1992


We are in covenant with other churches in the United Church of Christ and with the churches of the Massachussets Conference of the UCC.  The General Synod of the UCC and the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC have called upon congregations to adopt a statement of openness to and affirmation of persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.


We are a community of faith.  We take seriously the Biblical call to love God and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 12:31) and recognize that although we are many members, we are one body in Christ (Romans 12:4).

We recognize that many within our society suffer the pain of oppression, discrimination and injustice for reasons such as their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, physical or mental condition, and/or economic circumstances.

We openly affirm the God-given worth and dignity of every individual as our brother or sister in Christ; we celebrate the uniqueness of all who participate in the life of Second Church; and we rejoice in our diversity of views and understandings of our shared faith.

Recognizing that all attitudes, which lead to injustice, discrimination, violence and hatred work against peace and wholeness, we affirm that it is our call to work to overcome these attitudes in ourselves and others.  We believe that as we meet each other in Christian love, God’s spirit frees us all to give, to grow, to be ourselves and to accept one another.  We affirm relationships based on love, commitment and mutual respect.   In this spirit, we welcome all persons including those of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender orientation to the full life and ministry of The Second Church in Newton, United Church of Christ.


We are all stewards of Second Church! We provide our time, talent and treasure to insure that Second Church can continue  and grow in it’s vital ministry. In October each year, members are asked to pledge financial support for the coming year. The information below will help you to understand the stewardship process at Second Church. However, if you have additional questions or want more information, please leave a message in the church office (617-244-2690) or EMAIL:

ONLINE GIVING is an efficient way to make your pledge or make your offering.
Make a donation                  Learn More


Why should I pledge when it’s easier to put a gift in the offering plate when I attend church?

Pledges enable the congregation to plan a budget for the coming year. While your giving is always appreciated, in whatever form, knowing pledge levels enables us to determine how much we can afford to spend on staff, programming and building upkeep.  In addition, a pledge allows us to keep track of your giving and send you a statement of gifts for tax purposes.

Why are there two pledges?

You will notice that the pledge card indicates two pledge amounts – “Second Church’s Ministries” and “Second Church’s Wider Mission.”   Dividing a pledge has been a long-standing Second Church tradition that allows you to determine how you wish to divide your giving between direct support for the program and ministries of Second Church and support for the many organizations and agencies Second Church is able to help through our wider mission dollars.    You can see a list of the organizations supported with our benevolence giving at   The Stewardship Committee suggests that you designate at least 25% of your pledge for support of our church’s wider mission.

How can I fulfill my pledge?

There are a variety of ways that you can pay your pledge.

  • Online giving is available and encouraged.    See the link from the home page ( to pay your pledge through a safe and secure online giving site.  Information about electronic giving can be found on the sidebar of the website.

  • Payments via check can be put in the offering plate on Sunday or mailed to the church office.

  • You can request envelopes and put your envelope in the offering plate on Sunday.

  • You can arrange a bank or stock transfer with the church bookkeeper.

How Much Should I Give?

Some members of our congregation have requested guidance on giving.  The following guidelines for annual giving have been developed by you Stewardship Committee based upon UCC information.

Meet Our Staff

Pastor of Second Church 
the Reverend Doctor Carla Jean Bailey

The Reverend Doctor Carla Jean Bailey is the new Senior Minister of Second Church, effective September, 2018.

Originally from Minnesota, Carla served churches in several mid-western states, and also served as Senior Pastor for 19 years at The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.  There, she worked with parishioners on a variety of social justice initiatives – overturning the death penalty, advocating for victims of sexual assault, and changing gun laws to prevent gun violence.  Additionally, Carla helped the church at Dartmouth complete a major capital campaign.  Subsequently, she served as Senior Minister at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis and as Sabbatical Supply Pastor at Judson Memorial Baptist Church (American Baptist) in Minneapolis.

Carla graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan with a B.A. in 1976 and went on to the United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota to earn her Master of Divinity in 1981, followed by a Doctorate of Ministry in 1992.  In 2009, she began studies at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont, earning her J.D. in 2013.  She wanted to apply her knowledge of law to join her passions of social justice, theology, and the church.  She is a member of the Minnesota bar.

In addition to her professional life, Carla has two grown children and lives with her husband, Warren Turner, in Newton.  She enjoys energized and intellectual worship.  In her downtime, she loves reading, knitting and sewing.




Minister of Music
Dr. Andrus Madsen

Andrus joined Second Church as Minister of Music in the summer of 2005, and conducts the chancel choir in Sunday worship.  Originally from Provo, Utah, Andrus received a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University.  He then studied at the Eastman School of Music, where he completed a Master’s degree in Musicology, together with Masters and Doctorate degrees in harpsichord performance.

In addition to his duties at Second Church, Andrus is an active piano teacher, teaching both beginners and advanced students.  He also has a busy performing career as an Early Music Specialist, playing harpsichord, organ and other historic keyboard instruments.  He founded and manages Newton Baroque, a local period instrument ensemble which can frequently be heard in performance at Second Church and in other venues.

When he is not making music, you can frequently find Andrus out and about with his three kids on his “Madsen Bike” a Utah built cargo bicycle that can transport the entire family.  He and his kids also love hiking and gardening.



Minister for Faith Formation
The Reverend Leah Rumsey

Originally from Michigan, Leah served as college chaplain before coming to Second Church in 2017. In addition to her role as Minister for Faith Formation, she is also a doctoral student in religion at Harvard University, where her research focuses on comparative theology, postcoloniality, and religious  leadership in 20th century Egypt.  Leah graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan in 2011 with a BA in English, Religion, and International and Area Studies, and earned her MDiv from Harvard Divinity School in 2014. She was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2015.

Leah lives in Waltham with her husband and two pet birds, and feels grateful that her call includes joys like leading Dinner Church, building community with young adults in the 2030’s group, and sharing brunch with youth group students and young adult mentors.



Director of The Second Church Nursery School
Susan Benes

As a dedicated early childhood professional, Susan believes children learn best through play and socializing with their peers. “Play” is essential and helps facilitate the development of a child’s cognitive, emotional, social and physical abilities. Susan also believes placing an emphasis on kindness within our nursery school family is essential and is convinced that if children learn the importance of being thoughtful at a young age it will stay with them into adulthood, resulting in a kinder world.

Phone:  617-527-4770




Secretary of Second Church
Barbara Cancellieri

I have an extensive background in business administration and have seen many changes throughout my years at Second Church. I enjoy a comfortable life with my husband and close relationships with two grown sons. I find delight interacting with my two grandchildren, 11 and 13 years old, who live in Vermont, and I love my work at Second Church.

Phone: 617-244-2690




Property Manager of Second Church
Frank Neal

Frank was a professional commercial (office/industrial) property manager with nearly 40 years of experience in the real estate field. I worked for some big national firms including Trammel Crow, Grubb & Ellis, and C.B. Richard Ellis, among others, before retiring. The biggest building I ever managed was the 1.4 million sq. ft., 42-story tower at 100 Federal Street in town for Bank of America.






Mary Ayotte

Mary started working at the Second Church in Newton as the Church Bookkeeper in September 2009 and came to us with a strong background in business and finance.  She often says how much she enjoys her role at Second Church and how proud she is to be a part of the Second Church family and the wonderful work that happens here!

Mary can be found at the Second Church most Tuesdays and Fridays but she reminds us that ALWAYS accessible to her Second Church family by cell phone 508-635-7535 or e-mail.


Our Building

On October 1, 1916, the building at 60 Highland Street became the third home of the Second Church in Newton.  The previous church buildings located on Washington Street where the police station now stands, had been austere traditional New England meeting houses, so that the American Gothic style of the current building was considered avant-garde. It was inspired by Salisbury Cathedral in England.  It was placed on this hill in West Newton because it was in the geographical center of the residences of the congregants.  The slate roof and West Townsend granite trimmed with limestone make it an integral part of the hillside.

Charles Collens of the firm Allen & Collens was the principle architect.  The firm was noted for its Gothic Revival design work including the Cloisters Museum in New York and Emmanuel Church in Boston.

The Windows of Second Church

Henry Wynd-Young Windows




The Mothers’ Window




The Music Window





The Childrens’ Chapel Windows