Pastoral Transition



Congregational President Message - August 3, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you for your prayers and patience as we waited to hear back from Pastor Richard Browning and whether he would accept the call to serve at Our Savior’s Way. Pastor Browning reached out to me on Sunday afternoon, and we had a heartfelt conversation. He was very excited to receive our call and believed that he and his family would be leaving Florida and moving to Ashburn soon. But as events have unfolded, it has become clear to him that God has other plans.

As many of you are aware, Pastor Browning’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer during our call process. Her medical team is planning her treatment and anticipates that she will undergo surgery next year. Pastor Browning has prayerfully considered the options and believes that God is calling him to remain as the pastor at Hope Lutheran. Please continue to pray for Pastor Browning, his wife, and his family during this challenging time.

I want to extend a huge thank you to the members of the Call Committee for the endless time and dedication they poured into the selection process for our next Senior Pastor. Their work was an act of faith on behalf of the congregation, and we are grateful for the efforts of Matt, Sean, Heather, Beth, John, Stu, Laura, Jodi, Cheryl, Jonathan, Kristen, and Syam. We trust that their work was a vital step for our congregation as the Holy Spirit continues to lead OSWLC on this journey.

Throughout our history, God has ensured that OSWLC has been well cared for. We are truly blessed to have Pastor Tyson Labuhn and Pastor Dave Labuhn here to minister to our congregation. I am confident that, with God’s help, they will see us through this next chapter.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

God’s peace,

Pam Griffis
OSWLC Congregation President

Congregational President Message - June 19, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Four weeks ago today, the Voters’ Assembly of Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church unanimously voted to extend a call to Pastor Richard Browning of Hope Lutheran Church to become our Senior Pastor. As a congregation, we have completed the mission of determining our choice. Now we pray. We pray for two congregations: our congregation and Hope Lutheran’s congregation. We pray for both congregations because the decision at hand is God’s to make. We pray that He will lead Pastor Browning to the decision that HE sees is best for Our Savior’s Way and Hope.

Pastor Browning will be returning to our church on June 27th and 28th.  At that time, he will be meeting with staff members and elected OSWLC leaders to become more familiar with the operations of our church and school, as well as the Ashburn community.

Please allow Pastor Browning the time and space to prayerfully consider where the Holy Spirit is leading him and his family. Thank you for your patience, grace, and continued prayers as we await his decision.

In God’s peace,

Pam Griffis
Congregational President 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4: 6-7

Congregational President Message - May 25, 2022

Dear Members of Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church,

The history of our congregation added a new chapter on Sunday. For the first time since the establishment of OSWLC in 1994, we have called a Senior Pastor. After sixteen (16) months of extensive research and prayers, the Call Committee presented a candidate for Senior Pastor - Rev. Richard Browning. Those present at the meeting voted unanimously to extend a call to Pastor Browning. The next step will be for Pastor Browning to accept the call.

The Holy Spirit led our congregation to this decision, and the Holy Spirit will lead Pastor Browning to his. Please continue to pray for our church family and staff of OSWLC, Pastor Browning, and his family.

Thank you to all of you who were able to attend the Special Voter’s Assembly.

In Christ,
Pam Griffis
OSWLC Congregation President

Call Committee Update - April 27, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We’re writing with exciting news about the senior pastor call process. As you’ll recall, two pastors visited Our Savior’s Way to meet the congregation in a series of town hall meetings. The next step is to hold a Special Voters’ Assembly to extend a call

On Sunday, May 22nd at 2:00 pm, the Call Committee will present Rev. Richard Browning’s name to the congregation as the final candidate for a vote to extend a call to be our Senior Pastor. He has the unanimous support of the Call Committee. Pastor Browning is currently the Senior Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Bonita Springs, Florida.

The committee’s interaction with Pastor Browning throughout this process instills great confidence that he is ideal to lead OSWLC into the next season. We truly believe God’s Holy Spirit has guided us to this moment. During the visit, OSWLC members learned about his ministry, experience, and pastoral style. Many shared with the committee that they felt he would be a great fit for our congregation. All the feedback we received was enormously helpful.

Following the visits, Pastor Skovgaard withdrew his name from consideration. We thank him deeply for taking the time to visit us and pray that God continues to bless his ministry.

More details about the Special Voters’ Assembly will be provided separately in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please mark your calendar for May 22nd at 2:00 pm.

In His Service,
The OSWLC Call Committee

Beth Anton, Stu Dunnett, Jodi Folta, Jonathan Halls, Kristen Harris, Matt Niermann, Sean Noble, Heather Novak, Syam Pilli, Cheryl Richardson, John Scherbenske, and Laura Taylor

Call Committee Update - January 20, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We’re writing to update you on the call process for the position of Senior Pastor. We have appreciated your prayers and support during this long and deliberative process. God has a plan for our congregation and its leadership and we’re honored to be part of the process as He reveals this.

The Call Committee reviewed a list of 15 pastors nominated by members of the congregation and the district president, and recently interviewed five. Interviews were conducted in a prayerful, balanced, and intentional manner:

  • We reflected on Scripture throughout the process. In particular, what God wants His church to be and what He looks for in leaders. We prayed for wisdom and guidance by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26 to 28)
  • We structured interviews to be consistent across all candidates and balance the diverse insights of committee members, who each represents different parts of our diverse church community. (1 Corinthians 12:12 – 27)
  • We intentionally looked for experience of strong preaching, innovative community outreach, and visionary leadership, with a strong commitment to, and involvement with youth ministry. These were the priorities expressed by members in the 2020 Pastor Profile Survey of what members hoped for a future senior pastor.

This process has been a blessing. We were inspired by the different ways each pastor on the call list serves God as we learned about their ministries. But our exercise wasn’t really about gauging if a pastor was good or not – they were all great – it was about learning how their gifts and experience as a senior pastor aligns to what church members hope for, as expressed in the Pastor Profile Survey.

Based on the interviews, we selected three very strong candidates to continue the call process. One has withdrawn for personal reasons. We have invited the remaining two pastors to visit Our Savior's Way as soon as they are able and hope to welcome them in the coming months. We will let you know the full details about two weeks before each event because we want you to meet them.

We want to thank Pastor Tyson Labuhn for participating in the interview process. After careful and prayerful consideration of the opinions expressed in the Pastor Profile Survey, the committee did not select Pastor Labuhn to continue the call process. This decision does not change Pastor Labuhn’s role in our church. Pastor Labuhn is a called Associate Pastor here at Our Savior’s Way and will continue to serve as our Acting Senior Pastor. Pastor Labuhn is a member of our church family and a tremendous blessing to our congregation. He continues to shepherd us through difficult times. We believe we speak for the entire congregation when we express gratitude for him and his ministry. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for his ministry here at Our Savior's Way.

In His Service,

The OSWLC Call Committee—Beth Anton, Stu Dunnett, Jodi Folta, Jonathan Halls, Kristen Harris, Matt Niermann, Sean Noble, Heather Novak, Syam Pilli,
Cheryl Richardson, John Scherbenske, and Laura Taylor

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Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church
43115 Waxpool Road. Ashburn, VA 20148