Staff Directory

Get in Touch with the Metropolitan Chicago Synod

Scroll down our staff directory, or click on a staff member's name to go directly to the full contact information:

Pastoral Staff:
Bishop Miller
Pastor Hileman (part-time)
Pastor Legania
Pastor Stumme

Synod Staff:
Ms. Erma Álvarez
Mr. Tom Anderson 
Mr. Jeff Drake
Ms. Mary D. Richardson
Ms. Sandra Schlauch

Ms. Erma Álvarez
Associate Administrative Assistant
Ph: 773-248-0021 - Extension #221

  • Serve as the Executive Administrative Assistant to Pastoral Associates for Candidacy and African-American Strategies
  • Primary communication about and oversight of the candidacy process
  • Coordinates candidacy process and relates to the synod’s Ministry Committee, Candidacy Committee, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Mr. Jeff Drake
Associate to the Bishop
Ph: 773-248-0021 - Extension #216

  • Create and maintain all general communication mechanisms for the synod, including the synod website and news publications
  • Work with the bishop to create and review all communications to the general public that represent the "public face" of the synod and the church
  • Work with the communications specialists in the churchwide office to connect public positions of this synod with the work of the ELCA
  • Consult with congregations to improve or enhance their electronic and print media communications
  • To serve as primary staff contact person for Ecumenical Relations, Social Ministry Organizations, Partner and Companion Synod relationships
  • Relate to Fund for Mission
  • Relate to the Assembly Planning Committee as an advisor on matters of media and communication
  • Maintain pulpit supply list

Mr. Tom Anderson
Business Manager
Ph: 773-248-0021 - Extension #220

  • Work with the treasurer of the synod and the Finance Committee to create an annual budget for adoption by the assembly at its June meeting
  • Oversee the purchasing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable functions of the synod maintaining adequate records of all transactions to ensure conformity with GAAP standards
  • Gather or prepare documents as needed for an annual financial audit of the synod
  • Establish and maintain a close working relationship with outside resources for payroll management, insurance coverage, real estate transactions, and investment strategies
  • Prepare, at the request of the treasurer, all reports necessary for clear communication with the the Executive Committee, Synod Council and the Synod Assembly

Ms. Mary D. Richardson
Executive Assistant to the Bishop
Ph: 773-248-0021 - Extension #225

  • Serve as the Executive Administrative Assistant to the bishop
  • Maintain online calendar for the bishop
  • Attend to all official correspondence from the bishop and to the bishop
  • Oversee the maintenance of online and hard copy synod filing system
  • Create a climate of courtesy and hospitality for guests visiting the synod office and for those contacting the bishop by telephone
  • Serve at the behest of the synod secretary as an auxiliary recording secretary at all meetings of the Synod Council and the Executive Committee
  • Relate to the Assembly Planning Committee to insure the orderly preparation and distribution of documents, reports, and general information, and to serve as staff liaison with hotels or other host institutions for the synod assembly

Ms. Sandra Schlauch
Associate Administrative Assistant / Receptionist 
Ph: 773-248-0021 - Extension #210

  • Serve as the Associate Administrative Assistant to the Reverend Héctor Garfias-Toledo
  • Provide initial hospitality for all those contacting the synod office in person or by telephone
  • Provide clerical support for synod staff as needed
  • Staff the Fund for Mission
  • Manage synod database and maintain records for professional roster, and databases
  • Coordinate logistics for call process and changes in status of call
  • Relate to other synods regarding roster transfers


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