About Our Pastor

Pastor James Lumsden joins Second Congregational Church in February 2024 – and will serve as Interim Minister for the next few years. As an ordained pastor with special training and experience to minister to the needs and challenges of the time between settled pastors, Pastor James will assume the usual pastoral duties of preaching, teaching, visiting, and administering the sacraments.

Pastor James sensed a “call to ministry” in 1968 during a youth mission trip to experience the different ways the United Church of Christ shared Christ’s love and justice. Just months after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he discerned the Spirit of God encouraging him to combine the arts with discipleship and contemplative prayer with acts of compassion and creative worship. His journey of faith has included working with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union, providing spiritual resources for the L’Arche Ottawa community of people with and without intellectual disabilities, playing guitar and bass for various folk/rock/jazz ensembles, and working for LGBTQ equal rights. He holds a BA in Political Science from San Francisco Theological Seminary, an M. Div from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, and a D. Min from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA.

Professionally he has served four unique congregations: Saginaw, MI, Cleveland, OH, Tucson, AZ, and Pittsfield, MA. For almost a decade he was the Registrar for the Berkshire Association. He maintains a small private practice as a trained Spiritual Director at “Be Still and Know.” After a five-year hiatus from full-time ministry, he was invited to be the Bridge Pastor at First Congregational Church, Williamstown. This renewal impelled him to complete training in interim and transitional ministry work. James has been married with Dianne for 30+ years; they cherish two grown daughters (Jesse in Brooklyn and Mia in Worcester) and can’t get enough of their two grandchildren (Lou and Anna.) He is a voracious reader, enjoys quirky European mysteries, gardening, caring for their special needs dog, Lucie, Celtic spirituality, and a growing interest in healing relationships with the indigenous peoples of this region.

Pastor James has come to Second Congregational Church in a 3/4 time commitment that includes being in Palmer on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday in addition to any emergency needs. He is available for home or office pastoral care by appointment. Please be in touch directly through email: scc1847pastor@gmail.com, by phone: 413-464-5923, or by calling the church office: 413-283-6958.

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