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Synod Parish Deacon

Calling all Synod Parish Deacons – Time to register for our next retreat April 19-20th in Lakeland, FL.  Come “Refresh and Renew” as we remember our baptismal promise! Download the flyer here.

For more information, go to and click on the SPD registration page.

As a member of the priesthood of all believers, are you seeking new ways to further express your faith and commitment to service and use your unique gifts in a more focused way?

The Florida-Bahamas Synod has a Synod Parish Deacon Ministry in which synod parish deacons are commissioned for a ministry of Word and Service that flows from the pastoral office of Word and Sacrament and is accountable to it.

According to the constituting documents for the program (1998): “A Synodical Deacon is one who is inwardly compelled and outwardly affirmed for service in both the congregation and the world…. We understand a deacon as a particular minister with gifts and a calling for providing vision and practical leadership for the congregation’s ministries. Through their common calling and theological training, deacons, exercising their teaching responsibility, would assist the pastoral ministry in underpinning the particular ministries of their calling to the ministry of Word and Sacrament.”

Synod Parish Deacons in the Florida-Bahamas Synod serve only within the geographic confines of this synod and are not rostered as lay ministers in ELCA.

Please submit Application and Training Record to Darlene Kaiser, Bishop’s Oversight Committee Chair, at

Watch the video above for an explanation on the differences between the Synod Parish Deacon and diakonia programs.

Documents & Articles

Effective January 2017: Clarifications and Distinctions (Updated February 2020) – Explanation of how the new title of “Synod Parish Deacon” developed and how Synod Parish Deacons are different from ELCA rostered Deacons.

Resources for Synod Parish Deacons

Stay Connected!

In an effort to update our Synod Parish Deacon roster and to make sure we are always able to communicate the latest Synod Parish Deacon news, we’re asking that all Synod Parish Deacons provide updated contact information. Please use the form below to update your information.

Contact Information Form

Bishop’s Oversight Committee

Florida-Bahamas Synod (ELCA)
Bishop Pedro Suarez

As of August 2022

Connie Schmucker, ELCA Deacon
Term Expires: Appointed by Bishop

Synod Parish Deacon Darlene Kaiser
Reformation Lutheran Orlando
Term Expires: 8/31/25

Synod Parish Deacon Detlev Aeppel
Atonement Lutheran, Wesley Chapel
Term Expires: 8/31/23


Synod Parish Deacon Lisa Montalchi
Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines
Term Expires: 8/31/23

Synod Parish Deacon Kimberly Duke
Emmanuel Lutheran, Venice
Term Expires: 8/31/25

Pastor Tom Mitchell
Paradise Lutheran, Treasure Island
Term Expires: 8/31/2022

Rev. Pam Smith
Grace Lutheran, Lakeland
Term Expires: 8/31/2021

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there a liturgical rite for laying down of a Synod Parish Deacon’s stole?

There is no liturgical rite for the laying down of one’s stole by a Synod Parish Deacon. We recommend a prayer of thanksgiving for the Synod Parish Deacon’s service, at which time the Deacon removes the stole and places it on the altar or drapes it over the communion rail. This is typically done during the Prayers of the Church, as a petition, or at the end of the service right before the benediction. Since the Synod Parish Deacon serves the pastor of the congregation, it would be appropriate for the Pastor to offer the prayer