2023 Maxine Rippe Award

Judy Kiess has been selected by The Lutheran Foundation as the recipient of the 2023 Maxine Rippe Award. The Maxine Rippe Award is given annually to recognize an individual who’s past and present service to the Allen County community exemplifies Christian compassion by alleviating human suffering.

Judy served as the Outreach Director at Holy Cross Lutheran Church since the retirement of Pastor Larry Merino. Her gracious choice to fulfill this position as a volunteer made it possible for Holy Cross to call another individual to work with youth and families, to assist with the growing number of young families attending the school.

Judy was responsible for coordinating the outreach efforts for both people in surrounding communities and people in select communities throughout the world. The goal has always been to connect non-believers in Jesus Christ in these communities to Him and the Holy Cross community.

In the neighborhood ministry, she continued to support and encourage existing ministries like Trunk-or-Treat, the North Anthony Corridor Block Party, and VBS. She expanded her community efforts to include partnerships with Just Neighbors Family Center for homeless families and Lifehouse Food Pantry.

In her broader outreach ministry, Judy fostered partnerships with New Life Lutheran Church and the Urban Outreach efforts of Pastor Lewis A. King to collect supplies and food for the communities they serve. She has launched a new partnership with Project 2:16 to pack and deliver meals to help alleviate food insecurity both regionally and around the world (including Ukrainian refugees). Judy also helped to coordinate mission teams to Slovakia for Gypsy Mission Outreach activities.

One of Judy's greatest gifts in her role was helping to keep the Holy Cross congregation informed of all the great outreach work that is taking place. This was accomplished through her regular articles in the newsletter and coordination of periodic Mission Spotlight presentations in worship.

Judy and her husband, Hank are humble people and personify the kind of lay leaders we need in today’s church, solid as rocks on doctrine with hearts of flesh for people in need of the Gospel. It seems when Judy and Hank are on the case…good things happen!

Learn more about the Maxine Rippe award here.

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