Meet Our New Rector

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  I am generally not at a loss for words, but I find it difficult to put into words how deeply grateful I am for having received the call to become the next rector of St. Michael and All Angels.  From the moment I saw the posting on January 11 to the afternoon I found out the vestry had voted to call me, I felt the steady hand of God leading me to you.  When I heard Rev. Allen say “God has already chosen your next rector…” (yes, I tuned in to your livestream services) I experienced a sense of peace and calm, knowing that God was overseeing every step in the process. 

I am so very thankful.  You are an incredibly healthy, generous and vibrant faith community filled with wonderful, energetic people.  Your search committee, vestry, staff, assisting clergy and folks who were part of the on-site visit were welcoming and kind.  They asked good questions and listened well (and persisted through the COVID shutdown – no small feat!).  A special highlight for me was presiding at Eucharist and preaching during the on-site visit.  I felt very “at home.” 

My wife Sue and I have been married for 24 years, and we have a daughter, Luisa, who will be a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago this fall.  I am presently rector at St. Paul’s in Duluth, Minnesota where I have served for 14 years.  Sue is Director of Christian Formation, communications and online content coordinator at St. Paul’s (you can see her great work and learn more about us at stpaulsduluth.org).

I began ordained ministry in 1991 as a priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Sue and I both grew up; yes we are Packers fans!  I was an Assistant Pastor at a parish in Appleton, Wisconsin. Sue served there as youth minister.  In the course of our time together there, we fell in love and chose to resign our positions so we could be married.

We moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where we found a wonderful Episcopal Church (St. Matthew’s in St. Paul), and a rector who welcomed me like a colleague.  I felt a deep call to pursue being received as a priest in The Episcopal Church, and after discernment and a year of Anglican Studies at Seabury Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, I was received into The Episcopal Church in 2000.  I began ministry in TEC in Northfield, Minnesota, where I served as rector of All Saints Church and did college campus ministry before taking my present call.  Sue also continued her call to lay ministry during this time. 

Our plan is to move Luisa into DePaul (God willing they will keep the dorms open) in early September and then head south.  I will start at St. Michael’s on or about September 14 and we hope to search for a home on Sanibel; ideally within biking distance to the church!  If you hear of anyone who is thinking about putting a home on the market, let us know.   We would love to become a part of the Sanibel community as we both enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, walking, swimming and biking; and Sue is especially keen on shelling!

We are both really looking forward to getting to know all of you and, as your rector, continuing to proclaim a vision of transforming lives through Christ by demonstrating the love of Jesus, so that all may come to know God. 

Peace and Blessings,

+Bill 

 

 

 

Bill and Sue Van Oss (2)

Rev. Bill & Sue Van Oss

BVOss

Rev. Bill Van Oss during Eucharist Service at Saint Michael and All Angels Church visit, July 2020