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Officers and Staff



The Venerable William Parnell
Episcopal Church

Vice President:

The Reverend Dr. Richard Will
Presbyterian Church USA


The Reverend Alison Leitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Mr. Philip Garvey
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Commission Chairs

Chair of Social Witness Commission:

The Rev. Dr. Richard Will
Presbyterian Church USA

Chair of Chaplaincy Commission:

The Rev. Richelle Massey-Harris

Chairs of Standing Committees:

Mr. Andrew Chestnut
Reformed Church in America


Rev. Dr. Paula Gravelle
Executive Director 
The Rev. Dr. Paula J. Gravelle

The Rev. Dr. Paula Gravelle (ELCA) has served in active ministry for 29 years and  most recently has been Director of Pastoral Care at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, New York. "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."

Program Staff

The Rev. Brooke Newell
The Rev. Brooke Newell, Director of Social Witness 

Brooke comes to us with a strong background in social justice advocacy and activism.  "My hope is that in time, every congregation of our member communions will know, support and celebrate the social justice advocacy work of the Council."

Support Staff

Karen Lapierre, Office Manager and keeper of chaplaincy records.

Charlene Schaffer, Bookkeeper 
Charlene began as bookkeeper for the New York State Council of Churches in 2005.