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Staff Directory

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

– 1 Corinthians 12:12

Meet Our Staff

Our Bishop

THE REV. YEHIEL CURRY
(HE/HIM/HIS)
Bishop Y. Curry

773.248.0021 ext. 211
Email Bishop Curry

Bishop Curry’s Portfolio

In accordance with duties and responsibilities enumerated in the synod constitution, the Bishop:

  • Preaches, teaches, and administers the sacraments, as well as oversees the preaching, teaching, and administration of the sacraments within this synod;
  • Interprets and advocates the mission and theology of this church;
  • Ordains, installs, and provides pastoral care and leadership for this synod’s ministers of Word and Sacrament and Word and Service, and for its congregations;
  • Administers processes for the resolution of controversies and the discipline of rostered ministers and congregations of this synod;
  • Serves on the Conference of Bishops, consulting regularly with other synod bishops;
  • Fosters awareness of and engagement with churches throughout the Lutheran world communion and with Christian judicatory leaders functioning in the synod’s territory;
  • Presides at all meetings of the Synod Assembly, Synod Council, and the Council’s Executive Committee;
  • Supervises the work of the other synod officers and coordinates the work of all synod staff members;
  • Provides for the maintenance of ministry and congregational rosters of this synod.

In addition, the Bishop:

  • Relates to and serves on the governance boards of social ministry organizations and mission partners affiliated with this synod;
  • Oversees the Turnaround Synod Initiative;
  • Relates to the synod’s Conference of Deans table;
  • Staffs the Deans/Conferences Working Group.
ASSOCIATE TO THE BISHOP AND DIRECTOR FOR EVANGELICAL MISSION
THE REV. ROBERT BIEKMAN
(HE/HIM/HIS)

773.248.0021 ext. 212
Email Pastor Biekman

Pastor Biekman’s Portfolio

  • Responsible for Synodically-Authorized Worshipping Communities, Exploratory Grants, New Starts, and Mission Developers;
  • Chairs the synod DREAM Team and the African Descent Strategy Team;
  • Responsible for pastoral care and mobility for South and Northeast Conferences;
  • Relates to ELCA Christian Community and Leadership Unit;
  • Staffs the Grant Qualifications Working Group.

Pastor Mortha’s Portfolio

  • Responsible for equipping and resourcing congregations and leaders around DIB;
  • Coordinates Synod Assembly and Synod boundaries training;
  • Relates to Companion Synod, Diakonia, and Middle East Working Group;
  • Chairs the Asian and Middle Eastern Strategy Team;
  • Responsible for pastoral care and mobility for Central and West Conferences;
  • Staffs the Synod Assembly and Chicago Youth Gathering Working Groups.
ASSOCIATE TO THE BISHOP AND DIRECTOR OF DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND BELONGING (DIB)
THE REV. SUNITHA MORTHA
(SHE/HER/HERS)
Rev. Sunitha Mortha | Associate to Bishop

773.248.0021 ext. 213
Email Pastor Mortha

ASSOCIATE TO THE BISHOP AND DIRECTOR OF CANDIDACY AND MOBILITY
THE REV. KYLE SEVERSON
(HE/HIM/HIS)

773.248.0021 ext. 216
Email Pastor Severson

Pastor Severson’s Portfolio

  • Oversees the Candidacy and Mobility processes for the Synod;
  • Oversees worship processes: ordinations and Installations;
  • Oversees First Call Theological Education;
  • Co-leads the Professional Leaders Conference;
  • Responsible for pastoral care and mobility for North and Near West Conferences;
  • Staffs the Synod Constitution Committee Working Group.

Pastor Bullock’s Portfolio

  • Coordinates and oversees the Interim Strategy for the Synod;
  • Relates to the Retirement Roster;
  • Co-leads the Professional Leaders Conference;
  • Responsible for pastoral care and mobility for South West Conference;
  • Staffs the Rostered Leaders Working Group.

ASSOCIATE TO THE BISHOP
THE REV. DR. WYVETTA BULLOCK
(SHE/HER/HERS)

773.248.0021 ext. 221
Email Pastor Bullock

ASSOCIATE TO THE BISHOP
THE REV. KATHY NOLTE
(SHE/HER/HERS)

773.248.0021 ext. 225
Email Pastor Nolte

Pastor Nolte’s Portfolio

  • Provides accompaniment to transitioning (closing) congregations;
  • Relates to and oversees Reconciling in Christ and LGBTQIA+ communities;
  • Oversees the Environmental Energy Loan program;
  • Responsible for pastoral care and mobility for North West Conference;
  • Staffs the Synod Office Location Working Group.

Pastor Ebener’s Portfolio

  • Chairs and coordinates Latinx Strategy;
  • Relates to Churchwide Latinx table and organizations;
  • Staffs the Synod Assembly Working Group.
LATINX STRATEGY COORDINATOR
THE REV. JOSH EBENER
(HE/HIM/HIS)

773.248.0021
Email Pastor Ebener

YOUTH MINISTRY LEADERS NETEWORK COORDINATOR
THE REV. ANNA ERNST
(SHE/HER/HERS)

773.248.0021
Email Pastor Ernst

Pastor Ernst’s Portfolio

  • Chairs and coordinates youth ministry leaders in the Synod;
  • Relates to ELCA Youth Ministry Network and Churchwide Youth office;
  • Staffs the Chicago Youth Gathering Working Group.

Professional Staff

Heather Haynes’ Portfolio

  • Maintains the calendar and responds to official correspondence to the Bishop’s office;
  • Serves as auxiliary recording secretary for the Synod Council and Executive Committee;
  • Coordinates transfers, change of calls, change of roster, retirement of rostered leaders;
  • Coordinates Stewardship efforts of the MCS;
  • Monitors, maintains, and manages all files and records.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP
HEATHER HAYNES
(SHE/HER/HERS)
Heather's Head

773.248.0021 ext. 215
Email Heather Haynes

BUSINESS MANAGER / HR
TOM ANDERSON
Tom Anderson's HEAD

773.248.0021 ext. 220
Email Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson’s Portfolio

  • Works with the MCS council finance committee to create annual budget and oversee annual audit;
  • Oversees payroll, insurance, purchasing, investment strategies, grant funding, accounts receivable, and payable, utilizing GAAP standards;
  • Provides financial resources, consultations, and salary guidelines to congregations;
  • Oversees MCS property and software;
  • Relates to Campus Ministry;
  • Staffs Investment Vehicles Working Group.

Pastor Evans’ Portfolio

  • Publishes official announcements and maintains the MailChimp database;
  • Produces content and monitors website, e-word, metro-word, MCS blog and all social media handles;
  • Relates to Mission Interpreters, Let’s Talk, ministry partners and ELCA communications office;  
  • Staffs Synod Assembly Working Group.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
THE REV. JOSH EVANS
(HE/HIM/HIS)
Pastor Josh Evans | MCSELCA STAFF

773.248.0021 ext. 222
Email Pastor Evans

OFFICE MANAGER / PHOTOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER
GABY VALLADOLID
Gaby Valladolid | Hospitality and Photographer

773.248.0021 ext. 210
Email Gaby Valladolid

Gaby Valladolid’s Portfolio

  • Serves as the primary receptionist;
  • Serves as MCS photographer/videographer;
  • Monitors and maintains office supplies and office space usage;
  • Organizes documents heading to Region 5 archives;
  • Relates to Deaf Ministry and Communications;
  • Staffs Synod Assembly Working Group.

MCS Externs

Our five externs joined the MCS team in March of 2021, working in various capacities with both pastoral and professional staff for a period of ten months.
We celebrate the gifts they bring to the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, and we invite you to join us in saying, “Welcome!”

Freddie Almazan

Due to a near-death experience and lifelong challenges, Freddie decided to turn his life into a message as a motivational youth speaker. With a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, Freddie joins the MCS extern team while he pursues his God-given passion. A native Californian, photographer, business owner, and fan of teen vampire movies, Freddie strives to serve youth and his local community.

Kimberley Ferguson

As a lifelong Lutheran with 25+ years of nonprofit experience, including work with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Kimberly has a passion for serving God’s people, bridging gaps of understanding, and caring for animals.

Kim's Head

Immanuel Karunakaran 

Immanuel Karunakaran is an ordained minister in the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tamilnadu, India, and has served as the Communications Secretary and Coordinator of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Desk of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India. With degrees in theology from Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai, India; and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL, Immanuel is currently a Ph.D. student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in the field of Ethics, Church and Society. An Activist Scholar and Pastor, local to Chicago, and married to Cynthiya Esther Varghese, Immanuel is blessed with two daughters, Sheryl & Meryl.

Marcus Guerra 

Marcus Guerra Jr. graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy. He currently attends the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago where he will graduate in May 2021 with his Master of Divinity. He is currently seeking ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Currently, he is a pastoral intern at St. Mark Lutheran Church in the Chatham neighborhood of the Southside of Chicago. He also serves in the United States Army Reserve as a First Lieutenant and Chaplain Candidate. Marcus has been blessed to be married to his wife, Brianna, for two years now. Together they have a 5-year-old “son,” Bruno, who is an American Pitbull rescue. Marcus used to co-own a carpentry business and still does woodworking as a hobby. He also likes to write, exercise, cook, and host get-togethers for family and friends.

Ignacio Madrussan

Ignacio Madrussan, originally from Bariloche, Argentina, studied Business Administration in Cordoba, Argentina. When he relocated to Buenos Aires, he served for seven years at the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Argentina and Uruguay (IELU) first as a Project Assistant and later as Head of Administration of the IELU Churchwide Office. In 2019, Ignacio relocated to Chicago with his family.

Metropolitan Chicago Synod Office

Ph: 773-248-0021

Address: 1420 W. Dickens Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

In Jesus’ name: we proclaim the gospel, make disciples, do justice.

THE METROPOLITAN CHICAGO SYNOD IS A RECONCILING IN CHRIST SYNOD

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