visioning & Transitions updates

June 2023: Our Saviour's Lutheran Church joyfully shares the news that Pastor Ben Sloss has been called by the members of the congregation to serve as Associate Pastor. Results from the all-church vote, which took place June 3-4, were 222 to 2 in favor of calling Pastor Ben. Thank you to all of those who voted, and many thanks to the members of Our Saviour's Children & Youth Call Committee for their dedicated and prayerful work over the past several months. Pastor Ben; his wife, Tracie; and their children Ethan (8), Grace (5) and Lily (5), are excited to make the transition to Our Saviour's later in June. Pastor Ben's first weekend in worship at Our Saviour's is tentatively scheduled for June 24-25. 

May 2023:
Our Saviour's is excited to announce Pastor Ben Sloss's nomination as Our Saviour's second new associate pastor! Pastor Sloss was nominated by our Children & Youth Call Committee (read their letter of recommendation HERE), and his nomination was wholeheartedly endorsed by Church Council. Pastor Ben currently serves as associate pastor for Youth & Family Ministries at Grace Lutheran Church in LaGrange, IL. 

May 2023:
Our Saviour's is thrilled to welcome Pastor Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman as Associate Pastor. Pastor Elisabeth was called by the members of Our Saviour's by a vote of 281 to 3 the weekend of April 29-30, and you can find Pastor Elisabeth's acceptance letter HERE. Pastor Elisabeth and her family are excited to make their move from Kearney, NE, to Naperville this summer. Welcome, Pastor Elisabeth!

April 2023: Our Saviour's Engagement Call Committee joyfully announces its recommendation of Pastor Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman to serve as Associate Pastor; this recommendation has been unanimously approved by Our Saviour's church council.

Pastor Elisabeth, who has a background in social work and experience in college ministry and as a hospital chaplain, currently serves as associate pastor for youth and young adults at First Lutheran Church in Kearney, Nebraska. Her husband, Jacob, is an architect; they welcomed son Jens in 2012. Read the call committee's letter recommending Pastor Elisabeth, and join us in welcoming her at a meet-and-greet on Saturday, April 22, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on the Our Saviour's Campus. She also will be present before 5 p.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. worship services, after 10:30 a.m. worship, and at Surge this weekend ahead of an all-church call vote on April 29-30.

Thank you for your prayers for both of our call committees over the past several months!

March 2023: The engagement call committee, chaired by David Ashcraft, has identified a pastoral candidate whom they will recommend for hire. The committee will present its recommendation to Church Council on April 4, with a vote on the recommendation expected shortly thereafter.

December 2022: Church Council Chair Alan Jacobs shares exciting updates on the process to call two associate pastors, discusses additional opportunities to share your voice and vision with Council, and addresses questions that have come up during the visioning process.


associate pastor call committees

Our Saviour's two associate pastor call committees were tasked with identifying and detailing what our congregation seeks in the two associate pastors that our church is looking to hire. One call committee developed the Ministry Site Profile (akin to a job description) for an associate pastor who will have church and community engagement as one area of focus; the other call committee developed the MSP for an associate pastor who will have children's and youth ministries as one area of focus. Call committee members are as follows.

Call Committee Members

Engagement Committee:

David Ashcraft (chair)

Linnea Banialis

Sydney Ewald

Luann Gerth

Sue Harvey

Mike Jettner

Linda Sosnowski

Mark Tucker

Laura Weren

BJ Okel (council representative)

Children and Youth Committee:

Avery Hudson

Karen Lindflott

Amy Millard

Todd Peterson

Vanessa Strougal

Kelly Volin (council representative)

John Wagner

Vicki Witt

McKenna Wolfe (chair)

Joyce Zimmerman

news from the call committees

December 2022: The two pastoral call committees have submitted their Council-approved ministry site profiles (MSPs) to the ELCA Synod, and as of Dec. 7, the Synod has accepted them. The Synod will publish the MSPs and begin identifying prospective pastoral candidates. View the two finalized MSPs below:

An update from pastoral call committee chairs David Ashcraft and McKenna Wolfe, November 2022:

Our Saviour's two pastoral call committees have been hard at work in October and November developing the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) for each of the two associate pastors we seek to call. The MSP, akin to a job description, highlights our congregation and details our missions, trends and goals. The MSP document also is where a call committee outlines and describes what we are looking for in an associate pastor. The committees have identified two areas where the new associate pastors will focus: engagement and children's/youth ministry. The committees also strive to find candidates who will work closely with Pastor Brian, church staff, lay leaders, and our church community to further Our Saviour's mission of Knowing Jesus and Making Jesus Known.


Both call committees now have finalized their MSPs and sent the documents to the Church Council for review. Once the Council reviews and approves the MSPs, the documents will be submitted to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Synod, which will publish the MSPs and identify prospective candidates. Completing the MSP documents is a huge step in the call process, and the committees' work is applauded! 


Meet the Call Committee Chairs

David Ashcraft has been a member of Our Saviour's for more than 20 years and is honored to serve on the call team for the associate pastor of engagement. David has experience with selection and hiring and is eager to work with the call team to find the right person for Our Saviour’s.

McKenna Wolfe has been a member of OSLC for more than 10 years. Her family worships at the Celebration Campus and helps with hospitality and Sunday School. McKenna is excited to lead the call committee for the associate pastor of children's and youth ministry and looks forward to finding a candidate who will help grow and engage Our Saviour's children's and youth ministries.