Conference Deans & Relaters

Leading the Metropolitan Chicago Synod's Eight Conferences


The dean of a Conference shall:
  • aid the Conference and its planning council in setting and achieving Conference objectives,
  • arrange the monthly meetings of ordained ministers, and deacons,
  • maintain personal contacts with the ordained ministers and deacons of the Conference,
  • serve as a communications link between the synod office and the ordained ministers, and deacons of the Conference,
  • make an annual written report to the bishop — including a summary of Conference activities and advising with respect to the conditions and needs of this church within her/his Conference — to be part of the reports to the Assembly, and\
  • perform such other duties as the bishop may from time to time assign.

The deans may attend meetings of the Council as spokespeople and observers for their Conferences, with voice but not vote at such meetings.

Contact info, By Location

Central Conference Co-deans

Rev. Meagan Sherman-Sporrong (6/20)
Acacia Park Lutheran Church
4307 N. Oriole Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706
708-453-3662 – congregation

Rev. Carla Thompson Powell (6/21)
United in Faith Lutheran Church
6525 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 670634
773-283-2326 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Kathy Nolte

Near West Conference Co-deans

Rev. Katie Hines-Shah (6/20)
Redeemer Lutheran Church
139 E. 1st Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521
630-323-5530 – congregation

Rev. Zachary Wagner (6/21)

Saint Paul Lutheran Church
545 S. Ardmore Avenue
Villa Park, IL 60181
630-832-5580 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Kyle Severson

North Conference Dean

Matthew J. Smith-Laubenstein (6/21)
Grace Lutheran Church
501 Valley Park Drive
Libertyville, IL 60048
847-367-7050 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Kyle Severson

Northeast Conference Co-deans

Rev. Deanna Langle (6/20)
University Lutheran Church/Lutheran Campus Ministry at Northwestern University
2204 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
847-864-7849 – congregation

Rev. Nicholas J. Zook (6/21)
Concordia Lutheran Church
3855 N. Seeley Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
773-281-1225 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Robert E. Biekman


Rev. Linda J. Thurston (6/20)
Trinity Lutheran Church
675 E Algonquin Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016-6297
847-827-6656 -congregation

Relates to Rev. Sunitha Mortha

South Conference Co-deans

Rev. Lester White (6/21)
7352 S. Calumet Avenue
Chicago, IL 60619
773-782-7776 – congregation

Rev. Matthew Zemanick (6/21)
Lebanon Lutheran Church
13100 S. Manistee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60633
773-646-1747 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Robert E. Biekman

Southwest Conference Co-deans

Rev. Chris Wogaman (6/20)
Trinity Lutheran Church
2901 Western Avenue
Park Forest, IL 60466
708-747-8388 – congregation

Rev. Brittany Baurle Kooi (6/21)
First Lutheran Church
2519 Grove Street
Blue Island, IL 60406
708-385-4700 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Kathy Nolte

West Conference Dean

Rev. Lisa Watson-Hill (6/21)
Trinity Lutheran Church
35460 Curtis Avenue
Warrenville, IL 60555
630-393-0104 – congregation

Relates to Rev. Sunitha Mortha

Synod Staff Relaters

Rev. Robert Biekman ( – South and Northeast

Rev. Sunitha Mortha ( – Northwest and West

Rev. Kyle Severson ( – North and Near West

Rev. Kathy Nolte ( – Central and Southwest

Reconciling In Christ (RIC)

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod is a Reconciling in Christ Synod.

What does this mean?