Martin Luther Church & School
1526 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Dear Members of Martin Luther,
I would like to offer a sincere thanks to those who reached out to me during my deliberation – every call, note, email, and prayer was helpful and appreciated!
There is much appeal to the ministry at Martin Luther – I am excited about the leadership energy and passion – each call with a leader left me impressed; the school under the leadership of Mr. Hennig can feed and attract families; there is opportunity to establish a presence on the north side of Oshkosh; each (normal) school year brings thousands of college students to your neighborhood!
As I accept this call to serve at Martin Luther, I look forward to beginning the most unique of partnerships. The Lord blesses pastors with people to care for, yet at the same time they are all also partners in the work of proclaiming the Gospel.
Thank you, also, for your patience and prayers in this deliberation. This has been a very difficult decision because God’s people and his work are on both ends. As I leave people and ministry that I truly love, I would ask for your prayers: for me and my family during our transition, and also for your brothers and sisters here in the Pacific Northwest who now enter a time of pastoral vacancy that can be both exciting and difficult. May our Lord be for all a Refuge and Strength!
While I certainly look forward to meeting all of you in person, for now I will give a brief introduction. I grew up as a pastor’s kid in Lincoln, Nebraska and then Aurora, Colorado. At age 14, I was off to attend Luther Prep School in Watertown as I considered pastoral ministry. At Prep, I met my future wife, Kendalyn Taylor, who grew up in town as professor’s (teacher at Prep) daughter. Our paths parted as she attended UW-Madison, and I continued pastoral training at Martin Luther College. After graduating MLC in 2006, it was on to the Seminary in Mequon. In addition to more pastoral training, Kendalyn and I began/resumed dating, got engaged, and were married on July 4, 2009. This was at the end of my Vicar (intern) year, served in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (snow isn’t completely foreign to me, it’s just been awhile).
After graduating from the Seminary in 2010, I was assigned to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Des Moines, Washington in the Puget Sound metro area. My ministry began as an Associate Pastor with a call to focus on outreach – with opportunities aplenty because of our large school and location in a very diverse and mostly unchurched community. In 2015, I became the only pastor serving at Holy Trinity. For the last two years, I have been vacancy pastor at Divine Peace in Renton as the two churches pursued a partnership in ministry. I have also served these last two years as Circuit Pastor.
In ministry, I can be described as a visionary who constantly considers how we might best carry out Great Commission Gospel ministry (I will never be short on ideas!). I believe one of our greatest blessings in the Wisconsin Synod is our unity in doctrine and faith. We benefit from this close connection as we partner in big ways to do mission work and worker training, but we often fail to benefit from that unity in local ministry. I enjoy working with other WELS pastors in the area, considering how all of us and our congregations might work together as brothers and sisters (not competitors) to accomplish the most for the benefit of the local Kingdom.
Additionally, I believe strongly that the most important path to spiritual health is through Bible study. We gather together as a family to be fed by our Savior through Word and Sacrament in worship; we grow together in grace and knowledge as we study and discuss the Word together. I will constantly urge you to not just be in worship, but to be in Bible study as well – individually, with your household, with others. To that end, I’ll work with leadership to offer many options. It is that time in the Word that will motivate us to support and be a part of all the other work we might do as a congregation of believers. As more people are in the Word, we will be amazed at the opportunities, support, and involvement that will follow. I also especially look forward to discovering opportunities, unique to Oshkosh, which we might use to spread the Gospel to new people.
Personally, my wife and I have been blessed with four children: Josefine (4th grade), Levi (2nd grade), Leora (Age 3.5), and Baby Girl (coming in August, along with a name). They are all excited to meet new friends and discover a new place. We have many interests, and you will get to learn about them as we meet each other and we also get to learn about each of you! All of that is better done in person (though COVID and social media try to say otherwise) and we give thanks that we will have that opportunity, once we arrive this fall!
Pastor Tom Voss, with Kendalyn, Josie, Levi, Leora, and Baby
Phone: 253.740.7540 Email: email@example.com