Gala Info & Registration

Gala | Celebrating the legacy of our leaders. Looking the day when all are free.

During the 2015 ReconcilingWorks Assembly and Reconciling in Christ Conference, ReconcilingWorks will be hosting a Gala and Celebration Friday evening July 31, 2015! We would love to see you there! 

Included in the assembly registration, this night of celebration and socializing will include a silent auction, three-course dinner, dance, and an awards program highlighting the successes of ReconcilingWorks and the people who have made this organization what it is today! The program will include hearing from Emily Eastwood and a showing of appreciation and thanks for her work and dedication to ReconcilingWorks and the movement. 

The Courtyard Marriott Downtown Minneapolis will be our host for this joyful evening and is the same hotel ReconcilingWorks has partnered with to offer a housing block! It is just a mile from Augsburg College. For those coming from the Friday Conference activities, there will be shuttle services to the hotel and back.

Auction items include:

  • A trip to New York City for two. (includes hotel, dinner, tour of the city, broadway tickets and more).
  • Gift baskets from ReconcilingWorks chapters around the map
  • And MANY other fabulous items!

Remember: the Gala is INCLUDED with your "Until All Are Free" assembly registration. However, if you can't make it for the entire assembly, you are welcome to come for this unforgettable evening. To register for the Gala only, click the button below.


Jim Siefkes Justice-Maker Award

The Jim Siefkes Justice-Maker Award was established by Lutherans Concerned / North America in 1992 to recognize superior and tireless efforts of straight allies on behalf of LGBT Lutherans.

The Rev. Jim Siefkes obtained funding for and convened the initial meeting in Minneapolis in June of 1974 that resulted in the formation of Lutherans Concerned for Gay People, now ReconcilingWorks. The criteria for the Jim Siefkes Justice-Maker Award reflect the contributions of its namesake. Recipient must be a non-LGBT Lutheran who has made significant contributions to advancing justice for LGBT Lutherans. Actions should have a broad impact and not be limited to a particular locale or region. Nominees for the Siefkes Award are evaluated and the recipient is selected by the ReconcilingWorks Board of Directors, and the Award will be presented at the ReconcilingWorks Triennial Assembly

2015 Recipients: Karen and Paul Jolly

Paul and Karen

Paul and Karen

Karen and Paul were introduced to ReconcilingWorks over 20 years ago when their daughter came out and suggested she look at the mission of ReconcilingWorks. Karen and 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 and Paul’s time, energy, and prayers have helped to shape the Lutheran church in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Chuck Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is to recognize a member of the LGBT community who has given a life-time of exemplary service. Who has been a pivotal example of moving the pendulum of justice forward for people of all sexual orientations, gender ideates and expressions. It was first given to the Rev. Chuck Lewis in 2012. 

2015 Recipient: Rev. Anita Hill



The Rev. Anita C. Hill is a lifetime member of ReconcilingWorks and former co-chair of its board of directors. She has been with the organization since 1976. In the early 1980s, she began her work at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, working with a ministry of that congregation known as Wingspan, which offered pastoral care, education, advocacy and support for LGBT people. Other areas of ministry have included racial and economic justice, global and local ministry, and immigrant rights. From 1990 to 1994 she worked for Lutheran Social Services and for Family Service, Inc., as the coordinator of HIV/AIDS ministry and as an educator regarding HIV/AIDS and anti-homophobia.

In 1994, she was named by St. Paul-Reformation as their pastor, and in 2001, she was formally ordained by the congregation. Her ordination was an act of ecclesiastical disobedience, as the policy prevailing in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the ELCA precluded rostered service by LGBT persons who were in a committed, same-gender relationship. Her ordination helped galvanize the movement for full inclusion in the ELCA and among ecumenical partners. In 2012, Anita was called by the St. Paul Area Synod to join the staff of ReconcilingWorks as Regional Director, later becoming Deputy Director, where she worked closely in Lutheran communities throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, helping them live into the new policies of the ELCA in both pulpit and pew. Her legacy of prophetic action and pastoral presence is long secure.

Jeannine Janson Distinguished Service Award

This award was first given in 2008 to Jeannine Janson. In 2010, it was awarded to Jerry Vagts and Phil Soucy. It award is given to give someone who has given a significant amount of their time and talents to further the movement of welcome, inclusion and equity for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions within the Lutheran Communion.

2015 Recipient: Emily Eastwood



Emily Eastwood has been a member of ReconcilingWorks since 1983. She was called to full-time ministry with the organization as RIC Executive in 2002, moving to Executive Director in 2004. She served as Executive Director of ReconcilingWorks and the RIC Program until October 2014, when she needed to step away from leadership because of medical concerns.

Emily is a lifelong Lutheran, would-be pastor, story-teller, and organizer. She and her partner, Jan Bailey, are members of the first RIC congregation, Saint Paul–Reformation Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Emily is a graduate of Texas Lutheran College and attended both Gettysburg and Luther Seminaries.

Emily's influence within the Lutheran Church in North America, as well as the ecumenical welcoming movement throughout the U.S., has been profound. She was an early champion of faith-based community organizing as a means to work for greater welcome and justice in church settings. Using this approach, and applying the simple, powerful precept of graceful engagement, Emily exponentially increased the witness of Lutherans and other people of faith throughout North America, adding hundreds of RIC congregations and training thousands of welcomers, grassroots organizers, storytellers, assembly voting members, and seminarians.

Emily's work through ReconcilingWorks was instrumental in moving the ELCA to open its ministry rosters to partnered LGBT ministers in 2009 and inaugurating a new culture of greater welcome in the church.