Our Staff

REV. DR. IZZY ALVARAN (he/him)
izzy (at) rmnetwork.org
ORGANIZER

Izzy is a self-avowed gay United Methodist elder from the Philippines appointed as RMN’s organizer in the Western and North Central jurisdictions.

He has also served as pastor, conference youth director, faculty in United Methodist educational institutions, labor union organizer, and economic justice organizer with the General Board of Church and Society. He earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees in the Philippines and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. A former political refugee, he is passionate about human rights and believes that queer justice is inherently intersectional.

REV. EMILY BAGWELL (she/her)
emily (at) rmnetwork.org
RESOURCES MANAGER

A native Georgian, Emily attended Berry College in Rome, GA, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., for her Masters of Divinity. Ordained as an elder in The UMC in 2017, she previously served two churches in the Atlanta area.

Emily is passionate about community engagement and inclusion. You can find her wandering in the woods, training for the next half marathon, and cooking with her family.

Emily deeply desires to see the Church she loves make room for all of God’s people. She thinks expanding one’s heart can be a freeing way to live and an embodiment of God’s kingdom.

PATRICIA CHARLES (she/her)
patricia (at) rmnetwork.org
ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER

Patricia has over 30 years of executive administrative and finance experience. She has worked with Merrill Lynch, GMAC, and First American. She is the mother of two children, Donald and Evelyn, and she has six grandchildren. She was born an only child, but her parents bought their home on a block with fourteen boys and six girls, so she has fourteen brothers and six sisters. In addition to her two kids and six grandchildren, she has eight step-daughters and five godsons, giving her an additional 18 grandchildren. 

For an only child, she considers herself truly blessed and highly favored.

KATHY CHENEY-EGAN (she/her)
kathy (at) rmnetwork.org
DIRECTOR OF FUND DEVELOPMENT

Kathy Cheney-Egan has served as Director of Fund Development since 2015. Kathy is a Diaconal Minister in The UMC with master’s degrees in social work and divinity. Feeling called to social justice ministry, Kathy has spent her professional life working with nonprofits. Developing relationships with donors is deeply rewarding work to her.

Kathy lives in Evanston, IL, with her husband John, child Rachel, cat Mochi, and two dogs, Daisy and Oliver. She is a member of First United Methodist Church in Evanston, where she co-chairs the Reconciling Task Force.

OPHELIA HU KINNEY (she/her)
ophelia (at) rmnetwork.org
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Ophelia is the child of immigrants. She lives in Maine with her wife, and she serves as the Worship Coordinator at HopeGateWay in Portland.

Although she grew up in an agnostic household, Ophelia became a Christian as a young adult. Now, she is constantly reimagining and recommitting to the way of Jesus.

JAN LAWRENCE (she/her)
jan (at) rmnetwork.org
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jan, her wife Lindi, and their Welsh Terrier Higgins split their time between Rome, GA and Washington, D.C. Jan and Lindi met at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, where Jan is the President-elect of the Alumnae Association.

Jan is motivated for justice, equity, and inclusion in the Church and world. She is a part time student at Wesley Theological Seminary. Before RMN, Jan spent 35 years working for Harris Corporation in Engineering and Program Management.

Her experiences of harm in the Church drive her passion for a Church that models Jesus’ example of love and focus on marginalized peoples.

HELEN RYDE (they/them)
helen (at) rmnetwork.org
ORGANIZER

Helen was born and brought up in the UK and moved to the United States in 1998. Helen has been on the Organizing Team at RMN since 2012. Prior to RMN they worked as a VP in a financial services company and a special needs teacher. They have a post-graduate degree in secondary education from Canterbury Christ Church University. Helen was consecrated as a Home Missioner in the Order of Deaconess & Home Missioner in 2016. 

Helen lives in coastal North Carolina with their spouse Kate and dog Bella. They love walks on the beach, live music, and playing pickle-ball. 

LAURA YOUNG (she/her)
laura (at) rmnetwork.org
ORGANIZER

A member of the Texas Conference, Laura is a Deaconess appointed to RMN as an organizer. She’s an advocate for biblical scholarship and theological education for laity and is deeply committed to LGBTQ affirmation in The UMC. When asked why she’s called to Reconciling work Laura shares, “Because the Church I love is hurting people I love.”

Laura values the rich relationships within the Reconciling family, loves connecting RUMs, and believes that personal stories can change the Church. She’s been a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference and has helped connect and resource General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates since 2008.