We happily welcome two new members to our staff as 2022 came to a close. Rachel Ravellette is our new Communications Director and Deb Denny is our new part-time administrative assistant.
I am so excited to join the Diocese of Central New York! I live down a dirt, tree-tunnel road in rural western Michigan with my spouse, Jeffrey, and our ten-year-old (going on 64-year-old!), Paige, in a Civil War-era home on about 18 acres of farmland. We are members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, part of the Diocese of Western Michigan.
I have worked in public relations and strategic communication for nearly 15 years. I know PR has a smarmy reputation, but my strategic approach to my work has a focus on relationships and bringing people together for a common vision, like how in CNY we’re focused on working towards a world healed by love. I understand my work to be like a relationship counselor for organizations and groups of people instead of for interpersonal relationships. I love to hear and help tell people’s stories, especially stories of God at work in people and places. I’m so excited to join CNY during this season of focus on Building Beloved Community through efforts like the Sacred Grounds Pilgrimage coming up in February.
When I’m not hanging out in my office with my trusty co-worker, Piper Ann the pup, I enjoy learning new DIY skills to work around our old house, completing the daily NYT crossword puzzle, Spelling Bee and Wordle, singing in choir, listening to nerdy podcasts (The Bible for Normal People is one of my favorites!) and spending time outside and with my family. I’m in discernment for ordained ministry and I love seeing the ways the Holy Spirit makes connections between my professional experiences and expertise and my vocational call as I’m coming to understand and embrace it.
Even though I’m a full day’s drive from CNY (with Canada in between!), I’m looking forward to finding ways to build relationships and connect with people across the Diocese. The CNY Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is part of my daily prayer time and I like to tune in to CNY area news in the mornings. Be on the lookout for ways to share your stories with me virtually and don’t be surprised if I reach out to find a time to get a cup of tea or coffee with you when I’m in your area!
Born and raised in Oswego, NY, Deb is a former journalist, columnist and newspaper editor at the Oswego Palladium Times. She wrote a longtime inspirational column for the newspaper entitled Life Thoughts, has also written for several regional magazines, and has been a contributor to Guideposts magazine as well as the local CNY Inspirations through Interfaith Works of CNY.
She lives in North Syracuse with her husband, Jerry.