Denny Civic Solutions’ partner Stephen Drachler’s long involvement with The United Methodist Church has landed the firm one of the church’s most notable leaders as a client.
DCS is providing strategic communications counsel and public relations services to Bishop Karen Oliveto and the denomination’s Mountain Sky Area, a region encompassing Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and a small part of Idaho. It is based in Denver.
Bishop Oliveto is the first openly lesbian bishop in the nearly 13 million-member United Methodist Church. She was elected to her position in July, and begins as the leader of the 400-church region on Sept. 1.
Bishop Oliveto spoke about her election and service on Phoenix public radio last week, saying, “The church ought to be the place where we come and stand with total honesty and authenticity.”
From 2002-2006, Steve was director of media relations for the denomination at United Methodist Communications in Nashville. During that time he served as the spokesperson and offered communication counsel to the denomination’s worldwide Council of Bishops. He also was responsible for crisis communications for the denomination and helped to train hundreds of bishops and other church leaders to effectively deal with the news media.
Bishop Oliveto’s election by members of the denomination’s Western Jurisdiction is part of the debate over LGBT inclusion in the Church. Members of the jurisdiction, which covers 13 states, including Alaska and Hawaii in the western U.S., unanimously elected her bishop despite church law barring the ordination of self-professed LGBT persons.
Steve is no stranger to the Western Jurisdiction, having provided communications counsel during a number of crises and assisting one of its seminaries as it went through a potentially difficult transition in the past five years.