Rev. John Neal is serving as interim pastor of John Knox Presbyterian Church until the congregation is prepared to seek a full-time pastor. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Rev. John Neal is serving as interim pastor of John Knox Presbyterian Church until the congregation is prepared to seek a full-time pastor. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Rev. John Neal, the interim pastor of Keizer’s John Knox Presbyterian Church, possesses a joviality that is expressed not only in the upbeat tones of his voice, but in the way he sweeps his arm across his body when he’s creating the space for other’s to talk. It’s more than a little bit infectious.

“One of the things we’re having is a lot of fun right now. We’re trying to build on the deep belief that God has a sense of humor and that God is to be enjoyed in the midst of life,” said Neal, who possesses a doctorate in theological studies.

Neal took over the reins of the church after Rev. Michael Brown stepped down from the John Knox altar, but Neal’s presence at the church isn’t expected to be long-term.

“How long will it be? It may be a year, it might be two or a little more,” Neal said. “It’s a time of change and a time of getting ready. It’s also a time of healing rough patches.”


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