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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 3 - 10:00 am

Native American Liturgy


April 21 - 6:00 pm

3rd Thursday Evensong & Potluck


May 5 - 3:30-6:00 pm

Ascension Day Kite Flying,

Mass on the Grass,

& EFM Lasagne Dinner




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)
December Ambassador
February Ambassador
March Ambassador

The Clarion


Curious to see what else is going on in the Diocese of Fond du Lac?  Click the logo below to view the most recent Diocesan newsletter.


From the Rector

Happy Easter, St. Matthias community! I'd like to start this issue of the Ambassador with a huge Thank You!! Starting with our amazing Parish Administrator, Michael, who patiently tweaked all of those service bulletins and "slight changes" with such good humor. Thank you to everyone who helped make our Holy Week and Easter services so beautiful. Thank you to those tireless behind the scenes planners and creators of beautiful spaces under the gracious leadership of Chris and Bill; thank you to readers and singers and acolytes and cross bearers; to those who cooked and those who shared the camaraderie of kitchen duty and table setup, to the decorators and the bulletin folders, and the prayers, thank you for blessing this church with your presence and your joy. I am blessed to be your priest in this place, being able to worship with this community is such a joy!
Now, following on Easter's messages from the resurrection Gospel readings, may I present the truth:
Truth is.... fear is a liar.
FEAR IS A LIAR, poisoning today with
fantasies of what may come tomorrow,
till every joy is clouded with a sorrow,
and dreading all, we leak our lives away.
If we have spouse or child, we fear to part,
or, longing, fear we won't attain, or,
snatching at it, even as we gain, we forfeit
the Heaven, the Harmony, the Heart;
TRUTH IS, God moulds our days in love
and with the same precision as
He makes wings for flight, or
petals fold within a sheath, or
shapes an eye for vision.
So, He makes us yearn for What is Right,
Then swift and sudden, hurls us our Delight.

- Garth Lean
Fear obscures the Kingdom and distorts God's love... "Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:32
There is so much to fear: terrorism, war, political machinations, global warming, unemployment, hunger, poverty, disease, and death.
Escaping the message that any and all of these things are imminent is all but impossible. Just drive through any area near a hospital, or even car dealerships and read the billboards demanding your attention be riveted on your obviously poorly selected insurance against disease or accident. Move to another neighborhood and off-base Christian signage warns you of your doom if you don't have another kind of "insurance".

I ask you, Is your faith a kind of insurance against the ultimate otherworldly disaster:
" not getting into heaven?", or is it a response to God's love and complete, unbroken joy in your own awesome uniqueness? For too many people those pretty effective ads, Church signs, work on that crippling social fear lurking in the back of their minds - - 'my friends all got in but here I am on the outside... again.' Sixty plus years of marketing research shows that advertising, based on any sort of threat to a person's security, works better than any other form of control for just about every kind of ideology or product across every demographic. During the years that I studied and taught media literacy getting students to recognize that one fact and begin to subvert its effect was a huge challenge. As independently-minded self-assured Americans, we want so very badly to believe we are immune to such manipulation. Sadly we are not. Fear-based advertising reaches too deeply into our natural make-up... our desire to provide and protect our families, ourselves, and our friends and into our social natures our desire to be seen as competent, likable, or desirable. The messages have become more subtle over the years in advertising -- but the effect is still the same. Interestingly enough, for those churches who still use fear to gain or keep members, the message has never changed. Probably because no one has ever come back to say what is on the other side. Oh wait... but someone did -- He came from the other side, He made the trip back there, and returned to us again, and his message never deviated. " Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." How about that? Into the fear held across the centuries of human experience, Jesus' teaching offers an extraordinary word of comfort in a world that would like us to be increasingly threatened so we will buy the right toaster, or push our children to the edge of exhaustion so that they will have the right experiences and meet the 'right' people. " Do not be afraid." This is not whistling in the dark comfort, but rather the reassurance that what is seen is not all there is, a reminder that the fears real, or imagined in this world, do not need to have the last word in defining one's life. The Gospel weaves a tapestry of claims about God embodied in Jesus and his teaching. Jesus' teaching entices us to place First things first. The things of God are to be given the most urgent priority in every Christian's life. Neither fear nor worldly distraction is to lure us away from God' s tender, attentive, care.
Christ 's Peace be with you,
The Role of the Junior Warden
Written by Barb Kane

In May, my term as Junior Warden will be over. I have served three years and now it is time for someone new. The Junior Warden is elected for a one-year term and can serve up to three years in a row.
Because different members have been curious to know what the role of Junior Warden is. I will explain as briefly as possible. Other than normal vestry member roles, the Junior Warden's primary responsibility is to make sure the buildings and grounds are in good repair, adequately insured, safe and attractive. If you are interested in learning more, I would be happy to share more of the details.
The best part of being Junior Warden is working with everyone at St. Matthias'. Though I have many responsibilities, I don't work alone. Members assist with building and grounds maintenance and help with indoor cleanups as well. Another bonus that makes the Junior Warden job easier is the valuable assistance of our current Sexton, Bill Kane!
Music Ministry Team:  Lakeland Barbershop Chorus
Written by Le Ganschow
On April 17, the Lakeland Barbershop Chorus under the direction of Paul Evensen will provide special barbershop-style hymns for our Sunday morning service. Last fall the group offered to sing for a service and during coffee hour after receiving a generous Thrift Shop donation to replace music they had stored in our area Senior Center, destroyed by fire last May.
Barbershop's choral harmonies and chords were said to have started in the mid-1800s as a uniquely American tradition, likely influenced by African American spiritual genres. Early on the singers improvised harmonies without accompaniment. By the 1930s, this music "style" had evolved into a distinct genre of vocal music with an extensive repertoire, characterized by close four-part chord harmony on each melody note. Every voice in Barbershop music has its own role. Generally, the lead voice has the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest notes, and the baritone completes the chord, usually above the lead voice. This unique style of singing is noted for its "ringing" chord progressions, produced by singing a particular combination of "perfectly tuned" notes with an almost angelic sound. Though barbershop groups initially started out with four singers, today's choruses might have many voices on each part. Women wanting to enjoy the thrill of barbershop harmony may join societies such as Sweet Adelines International or Harmony Incorporated.
The Minocqua-Woodruff Chapter was chartered in 1987 as a chapter of SPEBSQSA (now the Barbershop Harmony Society). Our chapter chorus, the Lakeland Barbershop Chorus, is comprised of about 20 men and sings a variety of musical genres, including gospel, swing, do-wop, and ballads. Their group meets every Tuesday night throughout the year.
Touchstones:  Finding Our Way
Written by Diane Diederich
The readings for Lent and Easter evoke some of the most powerful images of God's care for us in all of Scripture. It is fitting at this time in the church liturgical year, that we are introduced to the "Good Shepherd" and shown the "way" of the Lord.
The Gospel readings illuminate these themes for us. The gift of the Holy Spirit had inspired Peter with new energy and zeal for proclaiming the Good News. In 2016 we take these terms for granted. They spill from our mouths with little awareness of the profound meaning they had for Peter's audience, the Jewish community of 35CE. Peter was really saying that Jesus is God and Messiah. The name Lord (kyrios) was the title ascribed to God in the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. He's asking the Jews to "change their minds" about their understanding of who and what Jesus was. The most basic understanding of the messianic promise was that a man was coming who would liberate Israel from political bondage, win freedom, and restore the nation. This hope hardly describes Jesus' earthly life!!
Peter's conviction was possible only through faith, through the experience of the risen Christ alive in their midst, and through the power of God's Spirit. "Change your minds ... come forward ... proclaim your belief ... be baptized in his name. Your sins will be forgiven, you will have a new start, a new life. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, God's power and presence alive in your hearts." These lines demonstrate that Peter himself had experienced the risen Christ (Luke 24:34) and had received the power of the Holy Spirit, he was a different man. He had changed his mind, and he wanted others to walk in his new "way".
According to the Gospel of John, the "way" is Jesus himself. The Gospel portrays Jesus as the Shepherd, the "way" for the sheep, for us. Jesus made the point that the shepherd takes care of the sheep. He doesn't want any of them to be in danger, to be hurt, or to lose their lives. In the same way, "Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly". (John10:10) It is this promise that we depend on. If Peter had to receive the Holy Spirit in order to have the freedom to profess his change of mind, don't we as followers of the Shepherd, have to do the same? Don't leave Jesus on the outside. Make sure that you, "change your minds ... come forward ... proclaim your belief", live out your Baptismal promise to be "Christ for each other". Our sins will be forgiven, we will have a new start, a new life. Isn't that GREAT news?

TTFN: Diane
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