Meet Rev. Barbara Rapp, LSS-SW's new Board Chair!


Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest would like to announce that Rev. Barb Rapp has taken up the responsibility as Chair for our Board of Directors! A member of the philanthropy committee since 2017, she has been instrumental in leading our philanthropic efforts while encompassing the values and ethics LSS-SW strives to achieve. To officially recognize this newest position, LSS-SW sat down with Barb to get to know her and her work.

First of all—Why LSS-SW? What initially drew you to them?


When I retired in Green Valley in the first part of 2015 I took a full year to contemplate how God might use me in this time and place. I was attending worship at Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley when Pastor Deborah Hutterer (now Bishop) preached. She's a powerful preacher and used stories that really spoke to my heart. I introduced myself and offered to help at LSS-SW, beginning as a connector and attending meetings in Tucson for DHLC in Green Valley. I then spent the summer as a Friendly Caller, calling LSS-SW clients to see how they were doing and was eventually asked to serve on the Board of Directors.

You had studied Psychology (B.S.) and Counseling Psychology in graduate school, but eventually began working in pastoral care. Was that always part of the plan or was there something specific that eventually drew you to pastoral work?

My initial plans were to become a Christian Counselor but, for a lot of reasons that didn't work out, so I earned an MS in counseling psychology and worked 5 years at a four county mental Health Clinic in northern Illinois. It was after I joined the ELCA that I began to hear God's call to ordained ministry. It didn't take God long thereafter to open my heart to the notion of becoming a pastor.


You have previous experience as a board member for St. John & St. Paul Lutheran Churches in Pearl City, IL. What would you say is your favorite part of being part of something like a board?

I guess it's the Board working together to problem solve and vision for the communities they serve that I enjoy. It is also a fabulous community to belong to. I've met some pretty awesome and gifted people through the communities/boards on which I have served ...including LSS-SW.

When you’re not busy working, what are some of your favorite interests?

You can find me volunteering at the Sahuarita food bank two days a week or at neighborhood gatherings in Green Valley. I love to walk, swim, play pickleball, golf, go to Zumba and aerobics classes, read and watch Star Trek reruns. Although not gifted as a musician or actor, I'm a fan of theater and classical music and enjoy attending concerts and plays.

"Barb has contributed to the growth of the organization in such a mighty way since beginning her Board service just 2 years ago. Her experience as an entrepreneur, mental health counselor, and pastor has combined to create a unique set of skills that positions her very well to lead us at this critical time in our history. I look forward to working with Barb and seeing how God leads through her." 

-Connie Phillips, CEO/President of LSS-SW

While Rev. Rapp has taken up this responsibility, we would also like to recognize Amber Mathewson, who has taken up both the Vice Chair and Secretary position. The Board has also added Rev. Jacqui Pagel and Glenn Schrader to the team, who join members Glen Johnson (Treasurer), Rev. Todd Arnold, Jayne Baker (Past Chair), Twila Burdick, Rev. J. Mateo Chavez, Wendy Look, Janie Magruder, Troy McNemar, and Kathy Wade. 

We look forward to the future delivering Christ's mission to Arizona!