The wardens, vestry and people of St. Paul’s, White River Junction are excited to share the news that the Rev. Scott B. Neal has agreed to become our new rector. He will join us for his first service on July 12. The St. Paul’s community will have a chance to meet the Neals at the St. Paul’s Bargain Bin taking place Saturday, May 30.
We feel that God has answered our call for the kind of rector we want. Last October, we were asked as a community to write down the qualities we value in a rector:
• We wanted someone who can partner with us on our journey. Scott is at a point in his ministry where he also is ready to “let go of the safety of holding on to the banks,” and is ready to trust the currents.
• We value relationships with each other and wanted someone with whom we can enter into a personal relationship and who will be collegial. Scott is attractive, warm, present, personable, gentle and fun.
• We are interested in working on individual and group daily practices and wanted someone who is genuinely spiritual. Scott lives and is comfortable sharing his faith life.
• We wanted someone who will lead worship, who has a compelling message for our lives. Scott’s sermons are gospel-based.
• The ministries of St. Paul’s need support, and Scott is a collaborative leader. The pastoral care ministries and retired priests have done a wonderful job in our three years in the “wilderness.” Scott’s present parishioners say that he is wonderful at pastoral care
In Scott, St. Paul’s has been sent the co-journier, companion and listener we called for. A reference told us: “Other priests talk about being collaborative, but Scott really is!”
Scott was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the age of 10, he moved to Vermont and has never left. Scott has had many different career paths, including retail horticulturist, computer programmer/analyst and floral designer/shop owner. In 2004, he headed off to The General Theological Seminary in New York City, earning his Masters of Divinity in May of 2007. In December of 2007, he moved to Arlington, was ordained a priest, and currently serves as the rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church. Scott is excited to be working with St. Paul’s as we work together to explore ways of worshiping beyond our church doors.
Scott serves on the Commission on Ministry: Committee on Discernment in The Episcopal Church in Vermont, and is a former member of Diocesan Council. Scott served as a Deputy to General Convention in 2012 and will attend General Convention 2015 as a Deputy.
Scott and his wife, Beth, were high school sweethearts and were married shortly after graduation from college. They are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary this year. Beth is currently employed by United Counseling Services in Bennington, where she is highly respected as a caregiver to adults who are physically or mentally challenged. Scott and Beth have two grown daughters, Allison and Hilary.