About Our Pastor

A Message from Pastor Stephen Beals:

“I am Pastor Stephen Beals and I’ll be starting my service as your Bridge Minister for the church on March 12th, 2023. Essentially, a bridge minister is a supply Pastor who’s in the Pulpit every Sunday. While there are some things I’m constrained from doing in my role as a bridge Minister, like getting involved in the administration or financial aspects of the church, I am available to provide pastoral care for all the congregation’s spiritual needs. If you are in need of pastoral care of any kind or know of someone who is please don’t hesitate to let me know. During my time at Second Church I plan to make a weekly video called a “Pastoral Care Moment” in which I will try to explore how we can meet the spiritual needs of the church and the Palmer Community together. Remember, pastoral care is not just up to the minister, whether it is me or the minister who will eventually find a home here. It’s also something, that if it is to really do God’s work, must involve the entire congregation.

I look forward to worshiping with you over the coming months and to meeting all the members and Friends of the Second Church.

I’ll see you Sunday!”

Biography of Pastor Stephen Beals

Pastor Beals was born in Western Ohio; the son of a Methodist minister. After serving his alternative service at Guilford College, he married Karen and moved from Greensboro NC to Charlottesville, Culpeper and Fredericksburg VA before heading to Seneca Falls, NY where his wife grew up. Karen served as Executive Director of the Seneca County United Way.

The Beals’ have two daughters: Marika now lives in South Windsor, CT, with her husband, Josh and their two children, Linnaea and Graydon. Both Marika and Josh are public school teachers. Lorienne is with her native Italian husband, Alessandro, in Trissino, near Venice Italy. She is a professional dancer and dance instructor and Development Director for a non-profit arts organization based in Maryland. Ale is an IT professional with Xylem.

The pastor’s first career was a pre-press manager for a printing company and freelance writer for many print and computer publications. While still doing that work, he began training and serving as a Lay Preacher, which he did for a dozen years before taking early retirement and accepting the role of Commissioned Ruling Elder, serving a 3/8 time pastorate with the West Fayette Presbyterian Church. The church had 20 members and no pianist or organist, so he wound up writing several hymns and playing them on guitar, which he found to be a very fulfilling aspect of his ministry.

He received an MDiv in 2012 from Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Richmond, IN. He served on Geneva Presbytery Committees, including one tasked with reorganizing the Presbytery. Other past Community activities include President of the Board of the House of Concern, local food pantry; Founding Board of Seneca Falls Performing Arts Center, Board of Seneca Community Players, School Board member and member of Seneca Singers. Both Stephen and Karen were Founding Board of Pathway Home (hospice), and served terms as President of Rotary. He performed in dozens of community theatre productions and created his own improv murder-mystery musical comedy theatre troupe, producing more than a dozen different scenarios performed throughout the Finger Lakes area.

Since the Fall of 2022, Pastor Beals has served as a supply pastor for half a dozen UCC Congregations in CT and MA before being named as Bridge Minister at the Palmer Church. He is currently a Member in Discernment for Ordination in the United Church of Christ.

The couple lives in Hampden Village in Westfield.

Pastor Stephen Beals
[email protected]