RCC’s 2024 annual meeting – Friday, April 5, 2024


Below is the draft of minutes from the April 5 annual meeting. All RCC members are invited to review and to ask questions or comment; these minutes will be shared and voted on for approval at the 2025 annual convention. If you have edits or questions, please contact Ginny Hizer, RCC executive director, at ginny@religioncommunicators.org.


Attending: 14 RCC members, ED Ginny Hizer, and 3 guests/non-RCC members

RCC membership being 157, there needs to be a quorum of at least 5% attending the annual meeting (or 8 members); there being 14 in attendance, the meeting was able to be held according to by-laws.



Opening remarks: BOG president Teresa Faust welcomed everyone and reviewed the agenda.


A. Officer reports:

Secretary’s report: Teresa noted that minutes aren’t available from the April 2023 annual meeting. She then asked Addie Hudson Lisby and Ginny Hizer to take notes from this current meeting.

Treasurer’s report: Rev. Brian Fesler shared that there is currently $110,000 in our account, including $86,000 in the main account. He noted that his goal as treasurer is to get our income and costs under control.  He shared that last year’s income (2023)  and expenses were approximately $38,000 income and $35,000 expenses.

A question about designated funds was asked, and Brian responded that we do not have any designated funds in our main account.


B. Committee reports:

Strategy committee: Jonathan Ammons summarized the discussion from the Board of Governors’ strategic planning discussion held Thursday April 4. He noted that RCC’s 100th anniversary will be observed in 2029 and that the 5th congress is slated for 2030; more information on both will be forthcoming as plans are determined.

Member committee:  Ginny Hizer noted that we currently have 157 members and asked for a moment of silence in honor of member Cherrie Graham who passed this year.

Programming committee: Ginny noted that we have seen solid participation in our recent monthly webinars, with Jeff Goldstein re-scheduled for Tuesday, April 23. Upcoming professional development sessions will be our May webinar with DeRose-Hinkhouse winners discussing their winning entries and June webinar with Achsah Callahan of the Pew Research Center.

Convention committee: Ryan Koch shared that the convention was going smoothly, with about 40 people attending each day and more for the two awards celebrations. He thanked our sponsors for their support and encouraged everyone attending the annual meeting to take time to share their feedback in the post-convention survey that would be sent soon after the convention concluded.


C. Chapter reports:

New York: Nancy Jubb shared that she and Jonathan are rebooting the process and focusing on building a sense of connection for the New York chapter. They are planning an evening with Aaron Sheridan, who launched Giving Tuesday, for Thursday, April 11. It will be both in person and available by Zoom. In addition, they are finalizing programming for the remainder of the year.

D.C: Anuttama Dasa shared that they have expanded their contact list to include more potential members and friends, now totaling 150 contact. The DC chapter held three events in 2023, with Bridgett Moix, a session on TikTok, and the third on media training.

Nashville: Roya James shared that the Nashville chapter typically meets monthly, usually virtually,  with recent sessions on “Is AI Ok?” and gaming as a communication tool. They have had two in person tours and average about 15-20 people attending. There are currently 126 people on their contact list.


D. Slate of Officers and Governors:

Officers: Teresa shared that the current officers have all agreed to continue in their role, serving through the 2025 convention/annual meeting. Brian Fesler motioned to accept the officers; Adlai Amor seconded and motion passed unanimously. RCC officers for 2024-2025 are:

  • Teresa Faust, President
  • Ryan Koch, Vice-President
  • Addie Lisby, Secretary
  • Brian Fesler, Treasurer
  • Donna Frischknecht Jackson, Past-President


Class of 2027: Teresa noted that the expiring BOG class of 2024 have all agreed to continue on for three additional years to serve as the class of 2027.

BOG classes are:

  • Jonathan Ammons, Adlai Amor, Fr. Jim Gardiner, and Brad Pomerance – class of 2025
  • Ibrahim Anli, Affiong Inyang, Joyce Litoff and Jay Rollins – class of 2026
  • Anuttama Dasa, Steven Havira, Nancy Jubb and Kathy Williams – class of 2027


Rev. Brian Fesler motions and Brad Pomerance seconded to accept the classes as presented; motion passed unanimously.

Question was asked about raising membership dues. Teresa responded that the BOG will research and discuss at a future BOG meeting.


Adjourn: There being no further discussion, Adlai motioned for the annual meeting to be adjourned and Jon Ammons seconded; motion passed unanimously.

Presenter Bios
Jud Hendrix - Interfaith Paths to Peace

Jud Hendrix, Peace by 2030 Movement Builder, Interfaith Paths to Peace – keynote address, “The Radical Catalyst of Faith – Inspiring Faith to Action,” Thursday, April 4

In addition to his keynote address, Jud will lead a workshop on Friday, April 5, focusing on “How to use social network analysis to cultivate collaboration.”

 Interfaith Paths to Peace (IPP) works to educate, advocate, coordinate and empower cooperative action in Louisville for social transformation and renewal. Since their beginnings in 1996, IPP has centered their peacebuilding initiatives in four areas: community-based violence interruption, multi-sector coalition building, interfaith understanding and collaboration, and migrant/refugee welcome and integration.

Ryan Quinn and Jenna Ahern - social media panel

Ryan Quinn and Jenna Ahern – Social Media and the Spread of Disinformation – Thursday, April 4 at 3:15 pm



Ryan Quinn is the Chair of, and an Associate Professor in, the Management and Entrepreneurship Department of the University of Louisville’s College of Business. He is also the Academic Director of the Center for Positive Leadership. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Statistics at Brigham Young University and earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management and a graduate certificate in Complex Systems from the University of Michigan. He conducts research, teaches, and consults on topics related to leadership and change management. He has published research on topics such as courage, learning, flow, communication, and relationships in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Academy of Management Discoveries, and Social Networks, and he is also a co-author of the book, Lift: The Fundamental State of Leadership. He has taught at all levels, including executive, Ph.D., MBA, and undergraduate, and has consulted around the world for Fortune 500 companies, private firms, start-up businesses, non-profits, and government institutions. He is particularly interested in discovering and using tools that help individuals and organizations to unleash their full potential.


Chris Crawford, Lauren Reliford, Coco Xu - interfiath panel

Chris Crawford, Lauren Reliford, Coco Xu – “Talking About Democracy through a Faith Lens: Election Year Edition” – Friday, April 5, 9:30 a.m.

CHRIS CRAWFORD – Chris Crawford is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy. His work is focused on ensuring free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power, including staffing the National Task Force on Election Crises and leading outreach to mobilize faith-based communities to protect the 2024 election. He previously worked as a senior program associate at Democracy Fund, where he managed a portfolio of faith-based initiatives focused on promoting pluralism in the United States. Chris began his career doing political organizing at Susan B. Anthony List, the nation’s largest pro-life political organization. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from The George Washington University and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from The University of Notre Dame.

LAUREN RELIFORD – Lauren W. Reliford, MSW is Sojourners’ political director, responsible for policy strategy and nationally focused advocacy. She is a passionate and mission-oriented public health professional focused on bridging the gap between social theory, spirituality, research, and practice and bringing them to the forefront in major policy making decisions. Lauren joins Sojourners with over 10 years of experience in research, policy, advocacy, and government relations. Prior to joining Sojourners, Lauren took her passion for politics and policy and turned it into a profession, focusing on domestic and international public health advocacy for a number of large nonprofit organizations. She also earned her master’s degree in social work and focused primarily on the biological impacts of trauma in high-risk and vulnerable populations.

COCO XU – Coco Xu is a Research Associate at More in Common US, a nonpartisan nonprofit research and civic organization working to understand the forces driving us apart, find common ground, and bring people together to address our shared challenges. At More in Common, Coco conducts audience and opinion research to better understand the complexities and nuances of Americans’ perspectives. Her current research focuses on the relationship between faith, politics and polarization in the US, and she is particularly interested in studying what shapes people’s perceptions of one another, identities and collective memory. Coco received a MA in History from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and a BA in History and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.



From left: Chris Crawford, Lauren Reliford, Coco Xu





Allison Norton, Charissa Mikoski, Colleen Hill - Hartford Seminary

Dr. Allison Norton, Dr. Charissa Mikoski and Colleen Hill, Hartford Seminary – workshop, “Faith Communities Today,” Friday, April 5

Allison Norton

Dr. Allison Norton is the Faculty Associate in Migration Studies and Congregational Life at Hartford International University, where she directs the Pastoral Innovation Network of New England. She teaches courses in sociology of religion, immigration, and multicultural and intergenerational ministry. Her research and publications explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on US congregations, the rise of megachurches in West Africa, the role of migration on the worldwide expansion of the Christian faith, and the religious identities of the “new” second generation.

Charissa Mikoski
Dr. Charissa Mikoski is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace. She works primarily on quantitative data analysis and survey management for the Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations research project. Her research interests include how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced religious congregations, how the religious composition of geographic regions impacts residents, and how the religious landscape of the US is changing more broadly.

Colleen Hill
Colleen Hill is the Strategic Communications Specialist for the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. She is a recent graduate from Washington State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in broadcast and media production. Studying with the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Colleen has worked on a wide range of multimedia projects, including printed news features, documentaries, and podcasts. Alongside HIRR, Colleen aims to produce in-depth stories that explore and support the research findings of the Institution.


Below, from left: Dr. Allison Norton, Dr. Charissa Mikoski and Colleen Hill:


Presenter Bios
Carolyn Dupont and Steve Clements - Braver Angels

Carolyn Dupont and Steven Clements, Braver Angels – luncheon address, “Braver Angels, Friday, April 5

In addition to the luncheon address, Dupont and Clements will lead a workshop on “Working Across the Divide,” Friday, April 5


Carolyn Dupont is the Kentucky State Coordinator for Braver Angels, a national grassroots organization devoted to political depolarization, and she also serves as the Blue co-leader of the Jessamine County Braver Angels Alliance.  In her day job, she is professor of American History at Eastern Kentucky University.  She is the author of two books, including Distorting Democracy:  the Forgotten History of the Electoral College—and Why it Matters Today, which will be published by Prometheus Press in September 2024.  Dupont has twice run for a seat in the Kentucky Legislature.


Steven Clements serves as the Red co-leader of the Jessamine County Braver Angels Alliance.  He is Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor of Political Science at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Clements’ career has combined academic appointments with roles in the education policy sector in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Kentucky


Below, from left: Carolyn Dupont and Steven Clements





Rev. Ryan Dunn - United Methodist Communications

Rev. Ryan Dunn, Minister of Online Engagement, United Methodist Communications – workshop on “Spiritual Seekers,” –  Friday April 5

Rev. Ryan Dunn is a minister of online engagement for United Methodist Communications. Ryan manages the digital brand presence of Rethink Church, co-hosts and produces the “Compass” podcast, builds connections and networks for digital faith leaders through the “Pastoring in the Digital Parish” podcast and obsesses over finding ways to offer new expressions of grace. Ryan is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church with professional experience in online marketing, broadcasting, and youth and young adults ministry.

Adam Graber - Faith Tech

Adam Graber – opening plenary, “Faith and AI,” Saturday, April 6

In addition to the plenary session, Adam will lead a workshop on “Faith Tech” on Saturday, April 6

Adam Graber / @AdamGraber (MA Digital Theology, BA Psychology) co-hosts the Device & Virtue podcast, and consults for innovative, faith-driven organizations and their leaders on strategy, content, and research. Clients have included FaithTech, Leadership Network, and the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Adam researches and writes on emerging technologies, and consults with Christian leaders on digital spiritual formation. He has developed tech courses for Northern Seminary and Fuller Seminary. He’s appeared in The New York Times, on podcasts, and on radio.

He speaks regularly on everything from the BibleGPTs to evangelism chatbots. He has written for Christianity Today, the Lausanne Movement, The Bulwark, Relevant, Christ and Pop Culture, and others. He holds a Masters in Digital Theology from Durham University, previously worked in Bible publishing, and still watches DVDs for the bonus features.

Sr. Carol Curtis, Kyle Kramer and Jessica Maudlin - Earth Stewardship panel

Sr. Carol Curtis, Kyle Kramer and Jessica Maudlin – “Earth Stewardship- Reaching Beyond Your Traditions for a Common Cause,”  Saturday, April 6


Sister Carol Curtis, OSU, is an Ursuline Sister of Louisville serving as Social Concerns Liaison for the Congregation. In addition to this role, she is involved in the Archdiocese of Louisville’s ministry to incarcerated women. Sr. Carol also serves on the board of the PATH [People Against Trafficking Humans] Coalition of Kentucky and is coordinator of the Louisville Ursulines’ Laudato Si’ Action Plan commitment. Since 2020, Sr. Carol has been a volunteer Park Steward with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. In December 2022, Sr. Carol traveled to El Salvador and Honduras as a delegate with SHARE and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). They visited marginalized communities in El Salvador and Honduras, witnessing the intersection of race, forced migration and climate change.


Kyle Kramer is the CEO of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center (www.earthandspiritcenter.org), which offers interfaith educational programming in meditation, ecology, and social compassion.  He is the former director of graduate theology programs and spiritual formation for Saint Meinrad, a Benedictine monastery and Roman Catholic school of theology.  For 15 years, Kyle and his family lived on a working organic farm in Spencer County, Indiana.  Kyle has served as a Catholic Climate Ambassador for the Catholic Climate Covenant and is the author of A Time to Plant: Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt (Ave Maria Press, 2010) and Making Room: Soul-Deep Satisfaction Through Simplicity (Franciscan Media, 2021).  He has been a regular columnist for essayist for America and St. Anthony Messenger magazines, and he currently hosts the “Earth & Spirit Podcast” on National Public Radio.  He speaks across the country about the intersection of ecology, community, and contemplative spirituality.


Jessica Maudlin serves as the PC(USA)’s Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns with the Presbyterian Hunger Program. She resources Presbyterians as they address issues of faith, lifestyle choices and sustainability. She works with Earth Care Congregations,  congregations that made special commitments to care for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach. Her background includes an emphasis on Liberation Theology.


Below, from left: Sr. Carol Curtis, Kyle Kramer and Jessica Maudlin




Laura Buchanan - United Methodist Communications

Laura Buchanan,  United Methodist Communications – “Ways to Use AI to Enhance Your Work,” workshop, Saturday, April 6


Laura Buchanan is a member of the Denominational Content Strategy Team at United Methodist Communications, where she develops content for UMC.org and ResourceUMC.org. She’s had extensive experience in writing, video production, strategic messaging, public relations, fundraising and event planning. Laura is a lifelong United Methodist and a local church leader. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.