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The Ambassador

The Newsletter of 
St. Matthias' 
Episcopal Church 

Minocqua, Wisconsin

Whoever you are, wherever you find yourself on the journey
of faith, we welcome you.

Mark Your

April 6 - 6:00 PM
Lenten Study & Soup Supper

April 9 - 10:00 AM
Palm Sunday:
Liturgy of the Palms & the Passion

April 12 - 12:00 PM
Stations of the Cross

April 13 - 5:30 PM
Maundy Thursday Liturgy

April 13 - 7:30 PM
Maundy Thursday Watch 

April 14 - 12:00 PM
Good Friday Liturgy
(at Church of the Pines)

April 14 - 6:00 PM
Good Friday Liturgy  

April 15 - 10:00 AM
Holy Saturday Prayers

April 15 - 7:30 PM
Holy Saturday Vigil

April 16 - 10:00 AM
Easter Sunday Festival Eucharist

April 20 - 6:00 PM
3rd Thursday Evensong & Potluck

April 23 - 2:00 PM
Sing-Along Messiah



Please remember to check the server list on the bulletin board at church (or click here to see the latest monthly schedule online).


Also, if you are going to switch dates with someone, please inform both Bill Kane and Michael Tautges at the Church Office.  Thank you!


Ambassador Archives


Want to read a recent issue of the Ambassador?  Just click on the links below.  (older archives can be found on our website)
January Ambassador
February Ambassador
March Ambassador
From the Rector

I am writing this reflection for you on a beautiful, 60º day. Yes, 60º and it's not even April yet! The sun has been shining all day; looking out of my window, I see that most of the snow in the St. Francis garden is gone. It is glorious. Spring here in the Northwoods seems to be arriving at last, and even though the weather report calls for some snow on Thursday, it's not going to be much and it won't last. Soon spring flowers will begin to poke a few leaves above ground and the longer days will encourage them to bud and flower. Just now though the ground is still somewhat frozen so we are in that curious time, between winter and spring proper, after the extreme cold but before we can quite leave that winter coat at home!
The still partially-frozen ground is friendly to outdoor adventures since the mud season hasn't started, and hiking is an easy thing to do in almost any shoe. Soon the mud season will arrive, and as frustrating as it is to lose a shoe to the muck, it is an important part of spring. In his book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker Palmer reflects that it is in the "muddy mess of spring that the conditions for rebirth are being created". What a great metaphor for the transition out of Lent into Easter. During Lent, we spend time honestly examining ourselves as people of faith; we wade into the muddiness of our lives so we can celebrate our growing roots, as we reach towards God's life-giving Spirit like new green shoots in spring. I love Palmer's use of the seasons in this book, as a metaphor for personal growth. He suggests that looking at our lives through the lens of the "eternal cycle of the seasons does not deny the joy, the loss, or the gain, the darkness or the light, but encourages us to embrace it all - and to find in all of it opportunities for growth."
This Lenten season, Pastor Dick Bruesehoff and Barb Kane have guided us through our own season of growth; through that gloriously fertile muddiness of life. Each Thursday in Lent we've explored personal and corporate places for growth, and, as the earth does in winter, learned to make time for respite an equal priority in our lives. They've given us space to reflect on knowing when we have "enough" or "not enough" in terms of social/interpersonal, emotional, physical, financial, vocational, and intellectual well-being. It's been an enjoyable and informative journey towards Easter and I, personally, am looking forward to the final session on Thursday, April 6. If you are free on Thursday, please join us for this exceptional Lenten experience!

Erin +
Parish Updates

Sing-Along Messiah
Please plan to attend our annual Sing-Along Messiah, Sunday, April 23, at 2:00. As in previous years, Dr. David Baar from Chicago will conduct the performance, and his wife Beverly will accompany on the organ. David and Bev have secured four extremely talented individuals to sing the solo parts. Whether you prefer to 'sing-along', or feel more comfortable just listening, a very enjoyable afternoon is guaranteed. A light reception will be served during the intermission. There is no charge for the event - though donations will be gratefully accepted to help offset the cost for the performance. Please come and bring your friends!

Mutual Ministry Review Summary

On the weekend of January 20-21, 2017, the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry gathered for a mutual ministry review, a process required by the diocese when a parish has a new priest (and highly suggested for all parishes on an annual basis). These sessions provide an opportunity for leadership to reflect upon the ways the various ministries are working, as well as to identify areas of our common life where there are opportunities for improvement.

As we began this conversation, it became apparent that our time together would be more fruitful if we spent time on some preliminary items - so we spent substantive time talking about how we can best work together as a group, order our business, streamline our meetings, and facilitate better communication amongst ourselves and the congregation as a whole. We identified several areas of immediate action, and various members of the Vestry volunteered to work on these matters.

Spring Clean-up Day
If you want some fresh air and exercise and would like to help out at the same time ... bring your rake and work gloves on Saturday, May 20, at 9:00AM. It's always amazing the difference a couple hours of work can make! Treats too - come join the fun!

Office Volunteers Needed

Occasionally, if both Erin and Michael are out of the office at the same time, it is so helpful to have someone in the office to receive visitors and answer the phone. We also do mailings to the congregation 3 times a year, and from time to time have large projects where assembling, stapling, envelope stuffing, etc. is needed. If you would care to help out, please let Michael know, and he will let you know as assistance is needed. Thanks!
Adult Forum: Lakeland Retirement Center

The Adult Forum on Sunday, April 9, will be on the topic of the Lakeland Retirement Center. You may have heard that the center is going to be rebuilt, and that there is a fundraiser on April 22 to help with this project, sponsored by the Rotary Club. John & Sue Morris are members of The Rotary Club of Lakeland (Minocqua), and will be with us to talk about the fundraiser and community hopes for the rebuilding. They will also talk to us about what Rotary is, and what it means to them. We hope that you will join us to learn more! 
We Always Have Lots to Celebrate at St. Matthias'

Did you know...
  • We will be celebrating two baptisms this month: Annalicia Marbel Marquez, daughter of Josh & Sami Murray, will be baptized during the Easter Vigil, and Baby Olson, son of Justin & Cherie Olson, will be baptized Easter morning. We all are delighted to welcome these two little ones into our church family, and invite you all to join in the celebrations!

  • Our beautiful Thrift Shop reopened on Tuesday with all 'new' merchandise. Just when you think the shop could not possibly look more fabulous, Jan Degner and the Thrift Shop volunteers do their magic again!

  • Due to our amazing volunteers and generous donors, Caritas continues to help with urgent needs every Thursday morning. Caritas helps those who are in danger of having their electricity shut off at this time of year; they also work directly with WPS to set up payment plans.
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Vestry Nominations

At the St. Matthias' Annual Meeting, there will be three Vestry member positions to fill, as Chris Clark, Karen Larson, and John Randolph will be going off the Vestry. In addition, a Senior Warden and Junior Warden will be chosen. According to Diocesan Canons, Vestry terms are for three years. Warden terms are for one year, with the possibility of re-election up to a total of three years of service. Vestry meetings are held once a month.
We hope that St. Matthias' will have the benefit of a range of candidates with different backgrounds and skill sets. We will be asking parishioners for nominations to the Vestry, and self-nomination is encouraged. In nominating a fellow member, it is of course expected that the proposed candidate agree to serve if elected.
Our nomination form is included in this issue of the Ambassador (see below), and we anticipate posting brief candidate bios on the bulletin board well before the Annual Meeting. Additional nomination forms are also available on the buffet in the Narthex.

All Vestry meetings are always open to everyone. Those thinking about a Vestry position may want to attend either the April 18 (6:00 PM) or the May 16 (6:00 PM) meeting to learn more about what the Vestry does. 
Serving on the Vestry is a major opportunity to make significant contributions to the mission of St. Matthias' and the health and vigor of our parish family.
Vestry Nomination Form   

St. Matthias' has a Board of Directors that is called a Vestry. The Vestry meets monthly in order to guide the decisions and activities of the parish by discussion and informed decisions. Each Vestry member is expected to:
  • Serve as a liaison to at least one existing St. Matthias' team
  • Assist in Vestry projects
  • Provide reports and updates on projects and teams
  • Provide input regarding decisions and future planning
The Vestry is made up of the Rector, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Clerk, and five other representatives elected from the congregation. The Rector chairs the meetings. The Senior Warden is the lead lay Vestry representative, and liaison between the Rector and the parish. The Junior Warden assists the Rector and Senior Warden by overseeing facility maintenance. One of the Vestry members is selected as Clerk and records the minutes. The church Treasurer also attends the meetings.
Each year, at the Annual Meeting, new Vestry members are elected. Below the dotted line is a nomination form for those interested.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I, __________ , would like to nominate myself,

or (and please be sure to obtain approval before nominating someone),

I would like to nominate __________ ,

...for a three year Vestry term, beginning May 21, 2017, and continuing until the Annual Meeting in May, 2020. Vestry members are expected to attend most Vestry meetings, and a day-long retreat, generally held in January, and to represent St. Matthias' in a positive Christian spirit.
I feel __________ (yourself or other) would be a good Vestry member because:

(fill in here)
Origin of Hymn 435:  At the Name of Jesus  
Written by Le Ganschow
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him King of glory now;
'tis the Father's pleasure we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
The Postlude hymn selected for Palm Sunday is "At the Name of Jesus". C. Michael Hawn, Professor of Sacred Music at Perkins School of Theology, says this about meaning behind the hymn:
"Hymns often magnify Scripture. Caroline Noel's "At the Name of Jesus" does this for the great kenosis hymn found in Philippians 2:511. Kenosis, or the self-emptying of Christ, is the theme of this New Testament hymn. This hymn conveys the essence of the entire earthly journey of Christ from his incarnation as an infant in Bethlehem, through his ministry and crucifixion, and concludes with his resurrection and ascension." (Discipleship Ministries, Methodist Church)
British poetess Caroline Maria Noel (1817-1877) composed over a dozen poems before the age of 20, and then stopped for 20 years. She began composing again after a prolonged illness that left her an invalid for the last quarter century of her life. "At the Name of Jesus" was in a collection of her compositions, published in 1861, titled The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely. Apparently, Miss Noel was in great pain much of her life, and intended her writings for private meditation. She is buried in Abbey Church, Romsey, Hampshire, next to her father, who had been vicar there and a composer of hymns. Her Uncle, Baptist Noel, a former Anglican and a promoter of Protestant Christian ministry in the mid-1800s, also was a hymnist.
The hymn tune by well-known English composer and music historian, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), is titled "King's Weston", referring to a manor house on the Avon River near Bristol, England. C. Michael Hawn describes the intricate relationship between Noel's words and Vaughan Williams' hymn tune in this way:
"The dignity of Vaughan Williams' musical setting fits perfectly with the majesty of the scriptural paraphrase. Almost all hymnals now maintain this text/tune pairing." (Ibid)
Vaughan Williams' compositions include symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He composed about two dozen hymns, including "Come Down, O Love Divine", "God Be with You Till We Meet Again", and "Hail Thee, Festival Day". Several hymn tunes are arrangements of folk songs and included in the 1904 English Hymnal, which he helped edit. An example is the tune "Forest Green", that Vaughan Williams used as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem". 
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