The Rev. Dr. Cathy Deats Rejoins Diocesan Staff as Interim Canon Missioner for Congregational Vitality
The Diocese of North Carolina is welcoming back to its staff the Rev. Dr. Cathy Deats, who will serve as the interim canon missioner for congregational vitality beginning March 21, 2023.
It is a role familiar to Deats, as she served on the diocesan staff as the canon for east regional ministry from 2016-2019. She answers this call as the Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French, the current canon missioner for regional ministry and collaborative innovation, is departing the Diocese of North Carolina on March 20, following her January 28 election as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey.
“We are deeply grateful that the Rev. Dr. Deats will return to this role on our staff as interim canon to help continue the important work with our congregations in the east and to bring her considerable gifts and experience to the team, as we begin to implement our Mission Strategy,” said the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “The high level of trust and the energy she brings to the partnership with our congregations will help us to strengthen the spirit of collaboration across our diocese.”
Prior to her time on diocesan staff, Deats was a figure already well-known throughout the Diocese. Some knew her through her diocesan offerings in Please Note and the Disciple, while others knew her from her time as associate rector at St. Paul's, Cary, or from her tenure as interim rector at Good Shepherd, Rocky Mount. Still others were the recipients of the myriad skills and gifts Deats freely shares with others, including those developed during her time as a sign language interpreter, social worker and psychotherapist.
Even after leaving her role as canon for east regional ministry, Deats continued to serve at the diocesan level when she was elected to the Standing Committee at the 204th Annual Convention in 2019 and served as its president in 2022.
Deats will work in a part-time capacity for up to six months as the Diocese continues to undertake a review of its hiring practices, an endeavor already in the planning to ensure and achieve racial equity in those practices before it was formally requested at the 207th Annual Convention. The Diocese is currently in the process of selecting consultants with expertise in workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion to conduct an audit of diocesan hiring protocols and identify ways in which processes of hiring and election to governing bodies can be improved.
“Canon Deats’ vast church leadership portfolio coupled with her strong relational base with lay and clergy will serve our diocese well,” said Rodman. “We look forward to welcoming her back to our diocesan staff!”