Meet Our Mission Committee: Jan Denny

I am very blessed to have many dedicated members of the mission committee. These FPC members devote countless hours of their time and assist me with mission budget allocation, grant reviews, as well as serving as coordinators for various subcommittees and/or as liaisons with mission partners. The mission committee is comprised of elders, deacons, PW representatives and at-large church members. I couldn’t do my job effectively without their help and I want you to have the opportunity to get to know them better.

Mission Committee Member:

Jan Denny
Family Promise Co-Coordinator and Outreach Volunteer

Kathy: When did you join FPC?

Jan: Ray and I joined FPC in late 1970 so that we could be married in the church in 1971. We were blessed to be married by Dr. McCorkle. We’ve been away from Raleigh four times, but always to come home to FPC.

Family: Ray and I plan to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in August. We have two sons, John and Jeff, who are children of this church. John and Susan were married here in 1997 by Dr. Stock. They have two children; Jack, who is 17 and Kate, who is 16. Both Jack and Kate were baptized here, also. Jeff married Beth in 2004 in Henderson, NC. I can’t answer this question without mentioning our amazing Poodle doggy, Casey. He is eight years old and rules our roost.

Career: My profession was and still is “mom” to 2 wonderful boys and Casey.

Kathy: Why do you feel missions are important to FPC?

Jan: As we talk and think more about social justice, it reminds me that we, as a church, have always been about that; we just call it Missions. We truly provide for our neighbors around the corner and around the world. I enjoyed being on the sidewalk downtown a couple of weeks ago with Kathy when several folks came up to tell her how they are doing and what was going on it their lives.

Kathy: What mission are you most closely affiliated with and why?

Jan: Family Promise! My heart has always been with the working poor. Perhaps one sick child, time off to see a doctor, one expensive prescription to fill, and things can begin to spiral. The families (large and small) that come to our church as our guests are in the process of getting their lives back together, and we are blessed to be a small help to them. FPC has the most user-friendly space to host the families that I can imagine. Spacious Sunday school classrooms transform into a bedroom/living space. Showers for the guests, a gym to play in, a small kitchen to provide breakfast and lunch food; not to mention snacks…Oh the snacks! Meals prepared for them every evening by our adult Sunday school classes and the list goes on and on. We as a congregation have made a solemn promise to help and we do– thanks to the many, many volunteers.

Kathy: What was your most memorable trip or vacation?

Jan: Our trip to China was probably the most memorable. Not the most exciting or the most wonderful…but memorable. The Chinese government hosted a delegation from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and we saw sights that we would never imagine; Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall of China, tea farms, silk farms, sacred temples and lots and lots of people. Never have I seen so many people. And the smog, we didn’t see the sun for 10 days! It was an eye-opening trip. Reminding me that we are blessed to live in the United States.

Kathy: What is an item on your bucket list?

Jan: I want to have high tea at the Peninsula Hotel on 5th Avenue, New York.

Kathy: What is something positive that you’ve experienced during the pandemic that you may incorporate into your life going forward?

Jan: During the pandemic, I’ve realized human connection is vital for all of us. The loneliness of so many people has been highlighted more during the pandemic, but for a lot of people it has always been there. The one thing that I will take with me is looking directly into the eyes of people with whom I’m speaking, actually listening and smiling! Keep smiling.

Kathy: If you could invite 3 people (living or dead, fictional or real) to dinner, who would they be and why?

Jan: Fred Rogers, Dolly Parton and Harriet Tubman. These three people exemplify the best of humanity to me.