Report from the Pastor Nominating Committee of the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan
Members: Scott Beyer, Peg Bull, Cindy Graziano, Jennifer Gulden, Bob Spangler, Sherry Tate, Kevin Thomson
Summary: The Pastor Nominating Committee is pleased to announce that we have finalized our deliberations and through many hours of meetings (via zoom), reading of candidates Personal Information Forms (PIFs), listening to and reviewing of on-line sermons and media profiles, conducting in-person meetings with our final three candidates, and after many hours of personal prayer and thought, we have voted unanimously on and selected our nominee to be the next Senior Pastor for the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. Working with the Finance Committee Chair, the Terms of Call have been drafted and presented to the nominee. The nominee has accepted those Terms of Call and is very excited to be presented as our candidate for Senior Pastor.
Subject to congregational approval, our nominee would start as Senior Pastor on Monday, August 24, 2020.
Please be aware that the PNC put a great degree of thought and discernment into this decision. We reviewed over 30 PIFs, interviewed eight of those candidates live (via zoom) and narrowed our search to three excellent finalists. For each of those individuals we conducted multiple full PNC interviews via zoom (some lasting 2 hours), had in-person visits to New Canaan (which included tours of the Church, the Town and surrounding areas), engaged the Presbytery Committee on Ministry to conduct background reviews and had in-depth discussions with 6 references for each of the three finalists.
Throughout our search PNC members reflected and discussed what was important to each of us in our new Senior Pastor. Some of our guidance came from our Ministry Information Form:
- We seek a pastor who will provide energetic Christian leadership in an increasingly secular world. A candidate who will enhance the spiritual growth of the congregation – young and old, long term and new.
- We seek a candidate who can, with the congregation, rebuild our church so we will again become a spiritual center in our community.
- We seek a new pastor who can reignite the embers of our past, renew and reinvigorate the congregation to be better servants of God and followers of Jesus, fully engaged in bettering our community, our nation, and the world.
Your PNC believes strongly that FPCNC has tremendous potential to become a leading source of grace, mission and meaningful personal connections in our community.
With that, we are pleased to present to you the Reverend Dr. Raymond Scott Herr, currently Senior Pastor, The American Church in Paris, as our nominee to be the fourth installed Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan.
Introducing Scott Herr
Scott was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and raised in Portland, OR, graduating from Lewis and Clark College. He studied in Guilin, China for a semester. After graduating with a BA in history, he worked in Kanazawa, Japan, and from there went to Princeton, NJ, where he received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. During his years at PTS he served at an inner city Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, and traveled through Central America which put him in contact with the Union Church in Mexico City, where after his ordination in the PCUSA, he served as Associate Pastor from 1987 – 1990 and as Senior Pastor from 1990 – 1993. He met and was married to his wife Kim Harrison in Mexico City.
In 1993 they moved to Switzerland as Scott was called to serve as the Senior Pastor of the International Protestant Church of Zürich. They lived in Zürich for six years where their first three children, Danny, Chris and Rebecca, were born. In 1999 Scott was called to serve as the Senior Associate Pastor for the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Collins, Colorado. He served in that position for nine years and, Matthew, their youngest son, was born there. In 2006 he received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2008 the family moved to Paris, France, where he joined the American Church in Paris as Senior Pastor/Head of Staff. He has served in that capacity for 12 years and is seeking a new position with FPCNC as his contract with ACP, which was initially set for 9 years, has been extended the maximum time permitted.
Scott has eclectic interests, and loves walking with Kim and seeing their kids over the holidays. He enjoys various genres of music, art, reading, movies, cycling, skiing, good food and wine. Scott’s favorite Scripture is Philippians chapter 2. His favorite quote is: “I am a weak man in the hands of a strong God”, and he is absolutely thrilled to be called to serve the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan!
Please visit the American Church in Paris website (acparis.org) to listen to some of Scott’s sermons or click on the links below:
May 10, 2020: https://vimeo.com/416663030#t=31m14s
May 3, 2020: https://vimeo.com/414209341#t=21m55s
April 26, 2020: https://vimeo.com/411705063#t=33m07s
April 12 (Easter): https://vimeo.com/406609531#t=21m21s