Regional Directors and Coordinators

Click on a Regional Coordinator/Regional Director’s name to contact. If you are not sure which ELCA Region you belong to, please see the ELCA map


Co-Lead Regional Coordinator

Paul Jolly
Paul Jolly (He/him) is a retired Civil Engineer living in Portland, Oregon.  He and his life partner, Karen, enjoy sharing their time working with volunteer organizations, traveling, and “hanging out” (ahh, a good hammock ….) at their cabin retreat in Eastern Oregon.  Aside from his work as a Regional Coordinator (RC) for Lutherans Concerned, Paul is an associate member (schlepper of bells) of Bells of the Cascades (an auditioned English handbell choir that Karen rings in) and is President of the governing board for the water district that serves their vacation cabin. Paul became a Lutheran (one of those true choices in life) in his early twenties.  It is through the Word and teachings of this church that he has come to the realization that all must be welcomed into God’s church.  Paul is a member of Central Lutheran Church in Portland and is one of the team of people that helped guide the congregation to the decision to become Reconciling in Christ in 2003.  Paul was elected with Karen to be Co-RC for Region 1 at the Lutherans Concerned Assembly in 2004.  Since then they have worked with and within the Synods to promote the RIC program and work for full inclusion of LGBTIQ people in the life of the Lutheran Church. Paul looks forward with anticipation and eagerness to better things in this work in the years to come.


Co-Lead Regional Coordinator

Karen Jolly
Karen Jolly (She/her) was introduced to ReconcilingWorks over 20 years ago when her daughter came out and suggested she look at the mission of ReconcilingWorks. She and her husband, Paul, worked in their home congregation, Central Lutheran in Portland, Oregon, for over five years before it became a Reconciling in Christ congregation in 2003. At the ReconcilingWorks Assembly in 2004, Karen and Paul were elected Regional Coordinators for Region I. During that time they have attended synod assemblies in every synod in their region, met individually with every bishop in the region, and have attended five ReconcilingWorks and five churchwide assemblies. They were instrumental in adding numerous RIC congregations and four new chapters in the region.  In 2012, Karen and Paul became the first Lead Regional Coordinators for ReconcilingWorks.

Karen is retired from teaching at Portland Community College. Karen enjoys travel and finds time to relax in their mountain cabin in eastern Oregon. Karen and Paul have two grown children, both living in Oregon. Her daughter was married in 2013 in Washington, after 18 years with her wonderful partner.  Her son and his partner have proudly presented Karen with her first grandchild, Kellen Andrew.


Regional Coordinator for Region US-1



Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-2

Kenny Callaghan
Kenny Callaghan, (He/him) a native of Southern California, is committed to living out his faith engaging the world in the justice Jesus preached.  He is active within the Los Angeles Lutherans Concerned Chapter, was a speaker at Prop 8/Marriage Equality rallies, and continues to speak regarding equality, full inclusion, and justice for all people. Kenny serves on the staff of Christ Lutheran Church in Long Beach and Living Faith Lutheran Church in Santa Clarita, California, as Director of Music and Worship. He enjoys composing music for his church choir and soloists, sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and enjoys discovering new bakeries, coffee houses, and restaurants sampling their dining delicacies.

RC14-02-Elaine Watskey web

Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-2

The Rev. Elaine Watskey
Elaine (She/her) is an ELCA pastor, having served as a parish pastor in Arizona and then as Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy in the Grand Canyon Synod.   Because the Church should be a truly welcoming place for all people, Elaine has felt called to share the inclusive message of Jesus throughout her life and ministry.   A Kansas native and a former Missouri businesswoman, whom God called to public ministry later in life, Elaine lives with her husband Joe in Phoenix where they keep the airlines busy flying to Oklahoma City to see their beloved daughter, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.


Regional Director for Region US-3

The Rev. Anita C. Hill
Anita C. Hill (She/her) is the Regional Director of Reconciling Works assigned to work with congregations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to help them live into the new policies of the ELCA in both pulpit and pew. Pastor Hill is called by the Saint Paul Area Synod to serve in specialized ministry with ReconclingWorks. Pastor Hill served St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church as pastor from 1994 to 2012. Her “irregular” (read extraordinary) ordination in 2001 helped the movement for full inclusion on the journey to policy change in the ELCA. Anita is a former Co-Chair of the ReconcilingWorks Board (1980-82) and has ministered with and on behalf of LGBT people, their families, and friends for most of her adult life. As a child of the old South, Anita actively seeks to establish racial and economic equity through faith based community organizing. Anita and her partner, Janelle Bussert, welcomed an African family seeking asylum in the United States into their home and their hearts in 2009. Anita loves being “Gramanita” to Thabiso, an active pre-schooler.


Regional Coordinator for Region US-4

René García
René García (He/him) is the Region 4 Coordinator after serving six years as a Director and Co-Director of Multicultural Relations on the LC/NA Board of Directors. The son of a German-American Lutheran mom and a Mexican-American Roman Catholic dad, René and his brother were raised Lutheran. Attending Sunday School, confirmation classes, and vacation bible school in the summer were part and parcel of growing up in his family. In high school, René was part of the Southwestern Texas Synod Youth Board. Following graduation from Nordheim High School, René attended Texas Lutheran College earning a BA in Communication Arts-Media Studies and Spanish. He also earned the college’s Certificate of Bicultural Studies. While at Texas Lutheran, René took on leadership roles with the Mexican-American Student Association, interned at a Spanish-speaking television station in San Antonio, and studied Spanish and Anthropology for six weeks in Querétaro, México. After completing requirements for a Texas Teaching Certificate in Secondary Spanish, he moved to Houston where he has been teaching for 14 years, currently at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, a western suburb of Houston. René is a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Houston, the only RIC setting in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.  He and his partner Jason reside in Northwest Houston.



Regional Coordinator for Region US-5

Ruth Almén
Ruth (She/her) is the Region V Coordinator. Raised in a third-generation Lutheran Pastor family, she has been actively involved in working for full inclusion of the LGBT community in her home congregation of Messiah in Marquette, MI, as well as across the synod prior to accepting the position as Regional Coordinator for ReconcilingWorks. A member of her church council, she previously served as an advisor to the Synod Youth Council (currently known as LYO), a voting member of the inaugural ELCA Churchwide Assembly, on the Synod Sexuality Task Force, and is currently working with her own congregation towards becoming an RIC Congregation. Ruth is a social worker currently working for the Alzheimer’s Association, providing services throughout the Upper Peninsula of MI (the part connected to WI).  When not hiking the lakeshore or in the woods with her Newfoundland, Ruth can be found on Lake Superior in her kayak. 



Regional Coordinator for Region US-6



Regional Coordinator for Region US-7


RC10-08 Binde

Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-8

Scott Binde

Dug Swank Region 8

Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-8

Dug Swank

Dug Swank (He/him) is a native of Pennsylvania, and has lived in Somerset, Montgomery, Centre, and Bedford counties. He is a DNA Lutheran, and has covered dishes in his blood. He is a lay-worship leader, or, as he calls it, Circuit Rider Preacher in the Allegheny Synod’s territory. Dug’s first contact with ReconcilingWorks was in 1988, when he was attending Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. In 1997, he started attending monthly ReconcilingWorks meetings at University Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in Philadelphia and discovered the need to help make full inclusion a reality in the church. In November 2010 Dug learned about and attended a Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) Training. He has been working on helping his home parish discern how to be a Reconciling in Christ congregationDug has also been working with Equality PA Faith and is a county contact person for them.


Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-9

Wayne Morris
Wayne Morris (He/him) is a Florida native. He was raised in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod but left the church in the ’80s.  For years, he felt God’s constant beckoning call to return, and finally he answered. Wayne chose the ELCA and became a member of St. Paul’s in Clearwater, Florida, in 2002. Three years later St. Paul’s became Reconciling In Christ. Wayne became involved in the movement for full inclusion after attending his first RIC training at St. John’s Atlanta. He has been the Region 9 RIC Coordinator since 2007. After years of prayer, Wayne finally met Steve, his life partner, in 2006. They were the first to hold a blessing service and commitment celebration in the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s. Wayne and Steve both work in laboratories at the local blood center and attend St. Mark Lutheran Church in Dunedin, Florida.

Bridget Radford

Co-Regional Coordinator for Region US-9

Bridget Radford

Bridget Radford (She/her) was born in Baltimore, Maryland where she was baptized Roman Catholic. After serving as a VISTA volunteer with Catholic Charities of Baltimore with the Catholic Worker movement, Bridget accepted a Community Organizing position in Buffalo, NY where she became involved with Dignity, a group for LGBTQ Catholics. But after a papal encyclical was issued concerning homosexuality (you can be one just don’t act like one), Bridget found herself cast out of the church she into which she was born, raised, and educated.

Bridget eventually ended up in Nashville, TN where she met her partner, Teresa, who introduced me to the ELCA. Bridget got involved with and is a member of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, TN  – home at last. Unfortunately Teresa, died of ovarian cancer on December 31, 2012. Her life and death lead Bridget to the Reconciling in Christ program.  

By day Bridget works with the Limitless Libraries program of the Nashville Public Library, and four nights a week she teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages for Volunteer State Community College. She is also a shop steward at the library for SEIU local 205 and serves on the church council of St. Timothy as chair of the Evangelism committee. Bridget has attended two “Building an Inclusive Church” workshops in less than a year and believes in the message and mission of the RIC program.


Regional Coordinator for Region Canada