Once again the Hearts and Hands Service Awards have uncovered stories of grace and service. The awards honor members of the Lutheran community whose passion, energy and delight in service are restoring life’s rich promise to those who needs us most. The awards are part of the Lutheran Family Services 125th anniversary celebration this year. Winners received their cash awards, which are to be used to further their ministries, at the Synod Assembly at Roanoke College on June 8.  Profiles of the six adult and youth winners are below. You can also read about the ministries of the winners here.

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Steve Kipps, from Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, is the top adult winner. Steve’s servant heart and tireless discipleship have enriched the lives of countless people. He is a “hands on” volunteer, delivering food, clothing, gas cards, furniture and even wood that he has cut to those in need or who are homeless. Steve organizes fund-raisers, has adopted a day care, and it should be no surprise, is a volunteer fireman, too. He is also a humble guy and wants to share the credit with the Mt. Zion Shepherd’s Hands ministry program.

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Elisa Mangubat is the top youth winner. Elisa is working to create a Montessori School in Haiti through vigorous fund-raising and community education. An active youth leader, she is helping the young people at her church, First Lutheran in Norfolk, become more globally minded through participation the ELCA pilot project Global Links and Global Youth Service Day in April. She is also planning an intergenerational mission trip to Haiti.

Three individuals were runner ups in the adult category:

Jane Perry

Jane Perry is creator, administrator and head teacher of the Spring Forward, an after-school tutoring program at Zion Lutheran Church in Edinburg that provides homework help twice a week for students in grades two to eight. This thriving program is a collaborative effort between the church, the Shenandoah County Public Schools and the Hamburg Ruritan Club.

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George Kegley is a tireless advocate for refugee resettlement and is a diligent volunteer for the Roanoke Food Bank and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church food pantry. His broad involvement in community organizations, such as the Literacy Board and the Roanoke Rescue Mission, are part of his ministry to increase opportunity for all citizens. George also brings Lutheran social ministry to a wide and appreciative audience through his role as a reporter for the Virginia Lutheran and The Lutheran magazine. He is a member of St. Mark’s.

Patty Sensabugh May 23, 2013.

Patty Sensabaugh is executive director of Second Home, a faith-based nonprofit ministry of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg. Second Home provides care for almost 70 children before and after school. Patty has created connections that have resulted in funding, partnerships, a steady base of volunteers and true community engagement. 100 % of the children from nearby Spotswood Elementary who attend Second Home have passed standardized tests.

One individual is runner up in the youth category:

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Tim Cywinski is a whirlwind of activity. From an early age the Roanoke College student has sought opportunities to serve others in large and small ways. As a high school student he organized trips to Hurley, Virginia, to do needed home repairs. He has served as the Lutheran Youth Organization president, organized his congregation’s 30-hour famine awareness activity for the last five years, and is currently the philanthropy chair of his college fraternity. Tim attends Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Warrenton.

Caption: Top youth winner Elisa Mangubat on a trip to Haiti in 2012.