Meet Our Pastor
The Reverend Scott Elliott was born and raised in San Jose, CA. Scott met his wife Nancy while attending San Jose City College, and the two of them went off to California State University Stanislaus where Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama, magna cum laude in 1979. In 1987, Scott earned a Doctorate in Jurisprudence at the University of Oregon. After passing the Oregon State Bar and a yearlong judicial clerkship with the Federal Court in Las Vegas, he established a law practice on the Oregon coast in Lincoln City, where he also ran a very successful theatre program for youth and families which earned him a Coastal Communities Cultural Center’s Annual Award for Commitment to Excellence in the Arts.
In 2003, after sixteen years of practicing law, Scott and his family headed to Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he earned a Masters of Divinity degree. Scott previously served as the pastor at Riviera UCC in Palm Bay, Florida for seven and a half years and at Mount Vernon First Congregational UCC in Ohio for nine years.
Known for thoughtful progressive and often fun sermons, Scott challenges the listener to center on Jesus’ call to embrace not only a loving God, but all people, especially those others might place on the margins or think of as sinners. His sermons tend to follow the Revised Common Lectionary readings and are scripture based.
Scott’s ministry work has included not just sermons on peace and justice, but also work on peace and justice issues, especially those relating to LGBTQ+, Women, Blacks, Indigenous, People of Color and the poor. In 2012 he received a distinguished Lilly Grant Sabbatical award to study peace with peace educator and Peace Village founder the Reverend Charles Busch. In 2014, his first summer in Ohio, Scott started Ohio’s first Peace Village, a children’s interfaith peace camp which he continues to co-direct. In 2016, while working on overcoming racism, the United Church of Christ national news covered some of his interfaith civil rights leadership including the formation of an ongoing Overcoming Racism class and an annual interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. Service.
In 2018 Scott was honored with a 2018 Spirit of Vision award for his civil rights efforts in Knox County, Ohio, and also served as the keynote speaker at the Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. He has also served as a panelist at both of the colleges’ conversations on racism and at Miami University’s “Better Together Week.”
In the summer of 2020 Scott led the gathering of an interfaith group of Ohio clergy in a vigil before they marched in a George Floyd protest. A photo of Scott and his wife, Nancy, in that protest was picked up by the Associated Press and published around the nation (see below). In October of 2020 Scott’s efforts with an interfaith Overcoming Racism course also made the UCC national news. The year 2021 started off with Scott on a panel with two other pastors and the mayor in a webinar conversation about faith communities’ responses to race issues (here is a link to that webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rsd7H2RP83A&feature=youtu.be).
In 2019 Scott led and directed a production of A Christmas Carol, which not only provided an uplifting play and connected youth to the community, but also netted over $31,000 for an Ohio homeless shelter. Scott’s sabbatical in 2021 focused in good part on developing a script of A Christmas Carol for future productions, as well as planning the production of that show which entertained sell-out crowds, connected youth to the community and in 2021 and again in 2022 raised another $70,000 combined for shelter. The efforts in 2021 earned Central Ohio’s Theatre Roundtable's prestigious Theatre Innovation Citation “presented to an innovative arts and cultural project or initiative that helped lift up or provide relief to others in the community.”
Scott’s theology is progressive and Bible-based. He takes very seriously Jesus’ supreme commandment, to love God, and to love our neighbors, and Micah 6’s claim that what God requires of us is to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God. Another set of verses he relies on a lot in ministry is Matthew 25: 31-46 where we learn the Son of Man is in the least among us and how we treat them is how we treat Christ.
In the church’s in-person services Scott begins with the time-honored litany that “God is good all the time” and ends the services with the blessing to “Go in peace knowing that you are loved and that you matter much.” In between there is singing, prayer, thoughtful messages, humor, and lots of love.
In addition to working on worship, Scott works on justice and peace issues, teaches, and provides care and compassion to those in need. He has led clergy support groups and Overcoming Racism projects and LGBTQ+ justice projects and served on nonprofit boards concerning racial matters, homelessness, theatre, hospital care, children and youth care and UCC conferences. He has also served hot meals to those in need and created an annual civil rights walking tour in Ohio.
Scott is already planning work in Nahant relating to a summer peace camp for children, progressive theology discussions for adults, an overcoming racism group and a performing arts ministry--(Scott encourages anyone interested in helping these projects to thrive and survive to contact him at email@example.com or visit the church and approach him personally).
Scott and Nancy have four wonderful grown children, a dog and two cats. They make their home in Nahant where they love to walk, breathe in sea air, explore beaches, take photographs, read, garden and putter around the house. And sometimes when no one else is around, Scott plays the didgeridoo.
Scott's call at Nahant Village Church started February 11, 2023.