12Bishop Marie Jerge, President of the Board of the New York State Council of Churches, has announced that the Rev. Dr. Paula J. Gravelle has been appointed Executive Director of the organization. She states, “In this position, Rev. Gravelle will provide leadership which will enable the Council to be a place where we can network and dialogue across denominational lines, advocate for and with those who have little voice or power in our society and provide for certification and training for chaplains in our state institutions.”

Bishop Jerge continues, “the Rev. Dr. Paula Gravelle has a good sense of what it means to work in ecumenical partnerships and has a passion for social justice as well as a heart for pastoral care. I expect that she will lead us into the future with creativity, enthusiasm, energy, and grace. She understands the work of social ministries and advocacy as it is grounded in the Biblical call to care for others and for the earth.”

Pastor Gravelle has served in active ministry for 29 years and most recently has been Director of Pastoral Care at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, New York. When accepting the position at the New York State Council of Churches she said, “I believe the voice of Christians needs to be heard in the public forum. I am energized by the conversations that eventually bring a group of people to focus on a particular issue. It is an honor to have a leadership role in these conversations and to work with the diverse group of people who sit at the NYSCC table.”

Rev. Gravelle begins her work with the council on July 15th, 2013. After making the appointment, Bishop Jerge expressed gratitude for the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Robert A. White who served as Interim Director as the Council moved through a transition in its governance during the last eighteen months.