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
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.
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.
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 dog Oliver. She is a member of First United Methodist Church in Evanston, where she serves on the Reconciling Task Force.
Resource Development Coordinator
Tiffany has over 15 years of experience serving within the UMC. She has served in camp and retreat ministry, on the board of campus ministries, and extensively with children and youth. Tiffany is passionate about creating experiences for others to live out their faith in new ways, especially through seeking justice.
Director of Communications
Ophelia Hu Kinney
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, 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 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 at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina with their spouse Kate and dog Bella. They love swimming in the lake and walking around it, and they aspire to stand-up paddle-board on it. They also love live music, playing pickleball, and meeting people for coffee or tea (let them know if you’re passing through Lake J!)
Fund Development Specialist
Jennifer is a wife and mother, dog mom, and fierce advocate for change. Her background is a wild mix of experience and study. Her education focused on English writing and communication and her experience concentrated on digital outreach, content, and fundraising. She is a proud mom of a trans son and hopes to create a safe space in The Fountain church, where they are members, for anyone seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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.
Janet serves on the Parents Reconciling Network board.
She retired from IBM after 32 years in sales/marketing/management. In retirement, she worked for 10 years with Service Dogs, Inc., a non-profit that adopts dogs from shelters and trains them to be Service Dogs. After the 2016 election, she was moved to do something more social justice-focused and founded Strong Family Alliance (SFA).
Janet’s daughter came out to her at age 12. Encouraged by her love for her daughter, Janet founded a research-based informational website to support and encourage parents and family members as their loved one came out. In only three years, SFA reached 100,000 new visitors to the site per month.
Janet currently lives in Austin, TX. She received her BA from University of Texas. She splits her time between a primary residence in Austin and a summer cabin in Colorado. With her daughter, she runs four Airbnb locations in Austin that keep them busy.
Mary is the founder and CEO of Spark Group LLC, a nonprofit consulting firm. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional with fourteen years of experience leading organizations. Mary is a graduate of the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Certificate in Advanced Study in Conflict and Collaboration. She is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive and has raised over $3.4 million for numerous organizations over the past five years.
Mary is skilled at analyzing large amounts of information to find creative solutions to complex problems. She strives to use an asset-based approach in every situation.
She has served as a commissioned missionary from the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for 12 years, first as a US-2 and then as a Church and Community Worker. She passionately believes that all persons are loved by God and that everyone deserves a church that honors their dignity and personhood.
Mary is a mom of two, a rescue pit-bull owner, and an avid Harry Potter fan. She lives in Michigan.
Rev. Dr. Ron Hoellein
Ron is a retired UM clergy-person. He is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Garrett Evangelical Seminary (M.Div) and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (D. Min Pastoral Care). In his years under appointment, Ron served eight years in a two point Appalachian rural charge, eleven years in a small college community in northwestern PA. and 22 years as lead pastor in a large multiple staff, suburban congregation. In each of these settings he came to know LGBTQIA+ persons. These individuals inspired him to work for inclusion for all of God’s people.
Ron has served in the Western PA Annual Conference as Registrar and Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry. He has been incorporator in several non-profit corporations seeking to serve senior citizens, health care, and youth. For the last 20+ years, Ron has taught and consulted with nearly 50 congregations on developing what it means to be a Purpose, Mission, and Vision driven community of faith. He also currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of United Methodist Church Union, an urban, inner city nexus of meal, education, housing, transient, and children at risk programs. He is active in the WPA Reconciling Ministry Task Force.
Ron and Joyce met on their first day of classes at Wesleyan. Their four grown children and their spouses are scattered in four different states with their eleven grandchildren.
Ron believes and preaches a gospel of full inclusion and desires to be part of a church that welcomes, affirms, and celebrates the gifts, graces, and call of every individual to grow the church and bring forth the realm, reign, and kingdom of God in our midst.
Bishop Charlene Kammerer
Charlene Payne Kammerer was elected to the episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina in July 1996, the first woman to be elected from the Southeast. She was assigned to the Charlotte Area where she served the conference for eight years. At the SEJ meeting in July 2004, Bishop Kammerer was assigned to serve the Virginia Conference. She served there eight years and retired in September, 2012.
She graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia with an A. B. degree in Religion and Philosophy in 1970. Wesleyan is the first college in the world chartered for the granting of degrees to women. She obtained Master of Christian Education and Master of Divinity degrees from Garrett- Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. She was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1977 in the Florida Annual Conference. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1991 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She is the recipient of three Honorary Doctorates from Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida, Pheiffer University in Meisenhimer, North Carolina, and Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.
Bishop Kammerer’s service in the church has included equal years in parish ministries and connectional ministries, including service as a campus minister at Duke University and as a District Superintendent of the Tallahassee District, Florida Conference. Her longtime passions in ministry include higher education, mission involvement, the spirituality of administration, and justice and peace issues.
Bishop Kammerer served as Chairperson of UMCOR, the relief agency of The United Methodist Church, on the Commission on the Status and Role of Women as a board member, member of the Commission on Pan- Methodist Cooperation, the Vice President of the Commission on Religion and Race, the President of the General Board of Discipleship, a member of the Board of Governors of Wesley Theological Seminary, Secretary for the Bishops Initiative in Children and Poverty, and a member of God’s Renewing Creation Task Force. She was presented the Va. Council of Churches Faith and Action Award, the Lifetime Ecumenist Award, and also received recognition as a Social Justice Maker from the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.
She is married to Leigh Kammerer, a native of Wisconsin, whose career was practiced in addiction counseling. They are the parents of one son, Christopher Hal, and four grandchildren – Christopher, Noelle, Elton, and Max.
In retirement, Bishop Kammerer has served as Co-Chair of the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference Design Team, and enjoys writing, reading, preaching, and practicing the art of being a grandparent.
Dan is a transgender Licensed Local Pastor and seminarian at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA. He is a member of the New York Annual Conference and is the convener of RMN’s extension ministry, the United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion. He is passionate about intersectional justice and creating space for Public Theological education and conversations.
Rev. Kennedy Mwita Thomas
Rev. Kennedy Mwita Marwa lives in Kenya. He is married to Francisca Elnora Mwandau and is the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church Moheto (FUMC).
Rev. Kennedy has served as District Superintendent of South Nyanza District in Kenya. He also served in the Ethiopia Annual Conference for six years until 2019. Currently, he is the conference chair of the Board of Church & Society as well as the conference statistician.
Karen G. Prudente
Karen G. Prudente is an activist queer laity with a passion for inclusion, equity, and justice and concerns for women, children, and youth. She’s currently the RMN Board Treasurer and has had many roles in finance, HR, and operations in real estate, conservation, education, microfinance and ecumenical/United Methodist sectors.
She has served with the Women’s Division/GBGM. She is currently a NEJ rep on The Connectional Table and a GC2021 reserve delegate for NY Annual Conference and a jurisdictional delegate to the NE Jurisdiction.
Rev. Kimberly Scott
Kimberly is a second-career pastor currently serving as the Senior Pastor at Cross Roads UMC in Phoenix, AZ. She was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in June 2020. Prior to pastoring, she worked in high school guidance in the Clark County School District for 10 years. Says Kimberly, “Pastoring, preaching, teaching, and leading in the Church weren’t on my ‘bucket list’ but on God’s!”
Kimberly has received her Bachelors in Sociology from Humboldt State University, her Masters in Counseling from Long Beach State University, and her Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Phoenix. She has also received her Masters in Divinity from Iliff School of Theology and her Masters of Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary.
She is currently pursuing a PhD in Pastoral Care/Practical Theology. In addition, she serves as a faith leader volunteer for One Community Arizona.
Kimberly currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, with her wife Sofia and their fur babies: Bella, Mamma, and Noah. She is a cradle United Methodist and was given the nickname “revival baby” by her mother, who gave birth to her after leaving a Fall Revival at St. Paul UMC in Biloxi, MS.
Rev. Scott Spencer
Scott Spencer been the Lead Pastor of Mosaic UMC OKC, a Reconciling Congregation in Oklahoma, since 2015. He serves on the RMN board in order to do his part in moving The UMC to being a fully inclusive denomination for not only all queer people but all groups that have experienced marginalization in the church. He has served in a variety of settings in Oklahoma including associate pastor, campus minister, and senior pastor as well as working with children and youth.
Scott’s first experience with RMN was in 1992 when he was an observer at General Conference in St. Louis. He and a couple of other Asbury Seminary students attended an event to learn more about RMN.
He has two cats and enjoys buying books and traveling.
Having grown up a PK in a conservative denomination, Jacob joined The UMC in 2009 and has served in a variety of roles from music to social justice – from the local church to the annual conference.
Jacob left his corporate life in 2013 to pursue passions and causes that better matched his gifts and graces, ultimately landing him in leadership in the United Methodist Church. Known for his skills in bridge building and conflict resolution, Jacob served as the Registrar for the former Nashville Episcopal Area’s (now the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference) Board of Ordained Ministry, and currently serving in an administrative role with Nashville CARES (Community AIDS Resource & Education Services).
From rural Colorado by way of central Kentucky, Jacob makes his home in Nashville with his husband, Michael and two adult children, daughter-in-law, and twin granddaughters. Jacob is a member of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, and serves as a Jurisdictional Conference delegate for the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference.
Rev. Jim Waugh
Jim is a retired United Methodist pastor. He and his wife Carol live in Grove City, OH.
Jim chairs the Parents Reconciling Network Board. He and Carol have two adult daughters. Their oldest daughter came out to them as lesbian about twenty-five years ago.
Ben Weger serves as the Worship Director at Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison, WI. Graduating with his Masters of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Ben studied theology with a focus on social justice and leadership and organizational development.
In 2014, Ben was the worship leader for the Florida Annual Conference gathering of the United Methodist Church and has served various churches in the Florida Conference since 2008.
Ben transitioned from female to male in 2015 and is passionate about building a more inclusive Church for the next generation. Ben lives in Madison, WI with his wife Leigh and their three children.
Derrick Scott III
Derrick Scott III is the Executive Director and United Methodist Campus Minister for the Campus to City Wesley Foundation in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Fl. He has been leading ministry to college students and young adults for more than 18 years. He is passionate about raising up a new generation of leaders and laborers who will live as disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world.
He has an undergraduate degree in history, is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, and a textbook introvert. He loves eating sushi, flying on Delta, pouring craft beer, talking church history, nerding out over accounting, and taking care of his Chihuahua-mix dog Winston and Bengal cat Julian. Most importantly, he hates mayonnaise.
Pamela is currently retired and has worked in the past as a programmer, network, database, and IT manager. She has also done contract work in insurance and aerospace. She has served as the Communications Director of ACT Now! (AIDS COALITION TEXAS NOW!), was the Founding Executive Director of TAAC (Texas Aids Advocacy Coalition), and co-chaired WHAC (Western states HIV Advocacy Coalitions).
She currently lives in Dallas, TX, where she attends Northaven UMC. There, she was called to teach older elementary Sunday School. While serving with the Children’s Ministry she began a summer program “Summer Excursions with Northaven.”
As a transgender woman, Pamela is motivated to eradicate oppression and hate-motivated violence against her siblings too often excused by religious beliefs. She wants to contribute to the education of the religious community about the belovedness of the intersex, transgender, and non-binary community.
Pamela is the eldest of eight. In 2004, she was the first openly transgender Election Day Presiding Judge in Dallas County. She has served as the Election Day Presiding Judge at the Dallas County Courthouse since 2012.
Rev. Mina Nau
Mina is the pastor at Good Shepherd UMC in Colorado Springs, CO. She lives in Fountain. She believes that all people should be loved no matter their background, sexual orientation, identity, race, gender, history, age, etc.She stands with those who are oppressed, walks with those whose voices need to be heard, and fights for the love of God.
She has served in ministry with the National Alliance of Pan African Seminarians (NAPAS), Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Washington, D.C., Colorado Religious Coalition of Reproductive Justice, Student Council at Iliff School of Theology, and Ethnic Youth Summit.
Mina has a Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Textiles with a minor in Design from Utah State University as well as a Masters of Arts in Fashion Design at the Academy of Art University. When she was called by God into ministry, she attended and received her Masters of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology. Mina has a Mastiff/Bulldog mix dog named Bubba – her constant sidekick and her evangelist.
Rev. Frank Trotter
Frank is an Elder in Full Connection in The United Methodist Church, having served as senior pastor at First UMC, Pasadena, CA; National UMC (formerly Metropolitan Memorial UMC), Washington, DC; Reisterstown UMC, Reisterstown, MD; Ames UMC, Pikesville, MD; and Grace UMC, Cumberland, MD.
Currently serving on RMN’s Board of Directors, he has also served as: a clergy delegate to four General Conferences and six Jurisdictional Conferences; member, “This Holy Mystery,” General Conference Task force; “Connectional Funding Patterns,” General Conference Task Force; alternate member, Judicial Council (UMC); member, Wesley Theological Seminary Board of Governors; and several positions in annual conference leadership. Frank was also named as a member of the John Wesley Society at Wesley Seminary (annual alumni award). He completed 18 hours toward an M.S. in Clinical Society and has received D.Min., M.Div., and B.A. degrees.
He currently lives in Baltimore, MD, where is a “process coach” for RMN and serves as the pianist/organist at Mount Vernon Place UMC in Baltimore City. Frank is a proud gay man.
Rev. Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts
Beth is an elder in The UMC and a member of the North Georgia Annual Conference where she serves as the senior pastor of Oak Grove UMC, in Decatur, GA.
Beth’s advocacy for full inclusion of the LGBTQIA community in the life of The UMC began in 1982 when she served as a student associate at Wheadon UMC in Evanston, IL, one of the first three Reconciling Congregations in the U.S. Beth has also taught Hebrew Bible at Duke Divinity school, Candler School of Theology, Andover Newton Theological School, and the University of Georgia.
Though she participates in the struggle for full inclusion as a cisgender, heterosexual ally, working on behalf of the LGBTQIA community has been the defining work of her ministry.
Rev. Valerie L. Jackson, D.Min.
Dr. Jackson is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church (UMC). With a legacy of firsts in various positions, she is now the first African American and Queer (LGBTQ) lead pastor of Cameron UMC in Denver and Congregational Resource Minister for the Mile High Metro District of the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Having a deep commitment to disrupting oppressive systems and structures, liberating and empowering persons who live under the burden of oppression, educating involuntary perpetrators of supremacy, Dr. Jackson chooses to partner and collaborate with organizations with compatible missions and values such as: the Iliff School of Theology, the Center for Health and Hope, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and Reconciling Ministries Network.
To prepare for a life of service as a faith leader, Dr. Jackson has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Tufts University, Master of Divinity and Master of Christian Education from the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Doctor of Ministry from the Iliff School of Theology.