The wardens and vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee announce with delight today the calling of the Reverend Brad Toebben to be our next rector. A gifted religious educator, theologian and currently an assistant priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Eugene, Oregon, Father Toebben will join us in June.
In summing up their faith in Father Toebben — or Father Brad as he will soon become known — as the right person to lead St. Paul’s forward as rector, discernment committee members from the vestry and the broader church community praised his passion for ministry; his imagination, wit and compassion; and his sensitive understanding of what makes St. Paul’s special and distinctive. “I found Fr. Brad sincerely engaging of everyone he met, deeply spiritual with a calming centeredness, and with a warm enthusiasm about St. Paul’s, its people, and its mission,” said Bill Fry, chair of the discernment committee and former senior warden.
At St. Mary’s in Eugene, Toebben has preached regularly, directed educational programs and collaboratively overseen the envisioning, developing and implementing of hospitality events including those celebrating St. Valentine’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, many involving the sharing of delicious food and spiritual fellowship. Tying together his diverse experience as religious educator, theologian and priest, Toebben says, is “the pursuit of making the Gospel message of God’s love understandable and tangible in the lives of all people and for the transformation of our world.” In his original cover letter to the discernment committee, he wrote, “I hope my presence at St. Paul’s would create an opportunity for truly collaborative ministry in which we could more fully and authentically express our baptismal covenant and realize our participation in the Body of Christ.”
Now, in anticipation of joining St. Paul’s as rector, Father Toebben is expressing his joy directly to the parish in a letter. “To be invited to be your priest and serve a community whose roots form the origin of the Episcopal Church in Milwaukee is a very great honor. I will journey with a community still living in that pilgrim spirit as it creates an experience of home in God for all. How comforting and exciting,” he writes. “I will be with you soon. You are with me already.”
- Read the letter from Father Toebben to the St. Paul’s community.
- Read Fr. Toebben’s bio.
- Read a message from the wardens.