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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


Dec. 8 - 6:00 PM 

Carols, Cocoa,

& Christmas Quiz


Dec. 15 - 6:00 PM

3rd Thursday

Evensong & Potluck


Dec. 22 - 12:00 Noon

Blue Christmas Service


Dec. 23 - 5:00 PM

Greening of the Church

& Chili Supper


Dec. 24 - 5:00 PM

Family Christmas Eucharist


Dec. 24 - 9:00 PM

Music of Christmas &

Festival Christmas Eucharist


Dec. 25 - 10:00 AM

Christmas Day Holy Eucharist


Jan. 6 - 7:00 PM

Adriana & Daniella Teodoro-Dier Christmas Concert 




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)
September Ambassador
October Ambassador
November Ambassador
From the Rector

"Silence for the soul is like punctuation for language. You need silence to make sense of the language of your life." 
- Curtis Almquist, Society of St. John the Evangelist
A few years ago, I was at an Advent retreat. The retreat leader was Brother Almquist, whose quote opens my reflection this month. He encouraged us to remember to enjoy all of the activities, events, and services that are only available during Advent and into the Christmas season. He also said, that our enjoyment of this festive time can be more complete, and less stressful, if we find time to honor each experience in those quiet moments in-between. He pointed out that within each of the beautiful services, parties with friends, and even days of shopping, there is always time to look around us, sit in silence, and just be grateful.
I've found his words certainly ring true for me when I remember to put them into practice. Sometimes just carving out ten minutes, once or twice a day, to intentionally take a break from everything, by doing something as simple looking out the window at God's glorious creation, gives me time to reset, which, in turn, reduces my feelings of feeling over scheduled - turning them into feelings of gratitude for the blessings of the season.
During the retreat, as he was talking, I realized how stressed I'd been about scheduling Advent quiet time! That year, I'd been looking for ways to work in a quiet day for families. Doing so had initially been an attractive idea, one they'd generated way back in the summer when Advent was a long way off. The reality was that it became increasingly impossible to schedule as fall progressed and Advent approached. The discovery that ten or fifteen minutes could be so refreshing, allowed me to refocus our Advent quiet time in a way that allowed for parties, services, and events and ways to find the Holy in a present moment, rather than trying to "fit in" a whole day of retreat.
That year, we all committed to watching for those moments of time we could devote to taking mini soul breaks by just refraining from the need to "do" every moment so we could allow ourselves to enjoy being alive in God's time. So, how you ask, did we do it? For example, instead of absentmindedly scrolling through our phones, or opening up Facebook for the thirtieth time in a day, look up and take in your present environment, whether that is while you are waiting in the car for someone, or in the middle of a busy mall, or even waiting for that next batch of cookies to come out of the oven. The Advent words - stop, look, and listen, are opportunities to rest, see beauty, and hear voices of loved ones. Watching for God breaking into the world is a big part of Advent after all! Watching for the Holy in the present moment by entering into a few minutes of silence, gives such blessed respite it might be one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. So, I invite you to splurge on festivities, dance in the joy of the season, and watch for those delicate, elusive moments of opportunity for soul silence (even in a loud crowded room) to, as Br. Curtis says, "make sense of the language of your life" in this busy but blessed time.
Wishing you a very Happy Advent and Christmas season, and a peaceful New Year.

Erin +
Christmas Events 

Carols, Cocoa, & Christmas Quiz 
 - Thursday, December 8 - 6:00 PM
Everyone is invited to an evening of singing Christmas carols, enjoying cocoa and hors d'oeuvres, and having some fun with trivia on Christmas, St. Matthias', and the Bible. Always a fun night, so bring your friends!
Blue Christmas Service 
 - Thursday, December 22 - 12:00 Noon
This service, with insights shared by Hospice Chaplain, Jennifer LaPorte, will be a time when we acknowledge the "blue" feelings many experience at Christmas time.  If Christmas is hard for you this year, or if you want to support someone for whom this service would be helpful, you are invited. Hot mulled cider and simple pastries will be served afterwards.
Greening of the Church & Chili Supper 
 - Friday, December 23 - 5:00 PM
Help us get the church into all its Christmas glory as we clean and put up greens, wreaths, poinsettias, red bows, and wrap presents for the family service. Then relax in the Parish Hall with wonderful friends and a chili potluck supper.
Family Christmas Eucharist 
 - Saturday, December 24 - 5:00 PM
Fondly known as the "kid's service", this earlier Christmas Eve service is when most families bring their young children. Our priest helps children put together the manger scene with lovely figurines while she and the children tell the Christmas story together - each child receives a gift. Come and enjoy the children, Christmas music, readings, and Eucharist.
Music of Christmas & Festival Christmas Eucharist 
 - Saturday, December 24 - 9:00 PM
Come at 9:00 and enjoy Christmas music, sung by the choir and the congregation. The service begins at 9:30 with beautiful music, readings and Eucharist.
Christmas Day Holy Eucharist 
 - Sunday, December 25 - 10:00 AM
Celebrate Christmas Day with a beautiful and joyous service, music on the pipe organ and Eucharist.
Meet St. Matthias':  Le Ganschow    

Le has been involved actively in different forms of music most of her life. She grew up in Valparaiso, IN, and met Roger at Valparaiso University. They were married in 1959. She taught high school for several years, lived in CA for a short time, and then moved to Cincinnati, where they raised their two children. In 1989 they bought their home on Squirrel Lake, and moved here in 1999. She directed the choir for 11 years at St. Matthias' and now enjoys singing in the choir. She and Rog appreciate the St. Matthias' family, the church's welcoming of all, and its rich musical tradition.
  • Color:  Fall colors
  • Plant:  Peony
  • Food:  Gooey cakes and pecan pie
  • Sport to Watch:  None
  • Sport to Play:  Tennis  (Alas, no longer!)
  • Game:  Pinochle  (or Dominoes)
  • Play or Musical:  Les Misérables and The Sound of Music
  • TV Show:  Masterpiece series
  • Book:  I and Thou, by Martin Buber
  • Hobby:  Reading and playing piano
Would You Rather...

Be behind the scenes  |  Be front and center
Find the perfect job  |  Win the lottery
Never speak again  |  Always speak your mind
Visit 100 years in the past  |  Visit 100 years in the future 
We Always Have Lots to Celebrate at St. Matthias'

Did you know...
  • Teena is in remission!! Although she still needs her chemo treatments, medicines, and has some days where she isn't feeling the best, this is amazing news!

  • It was wonderful celebrating Thanksgiving with our parish family - we were delighted to have these new folks with us: Brad, Beth, Bennett and Brynn Schillinger, Sami and Annalicia Murray, Bertha King, and Tony and Nancy Vraspir.

  • The first Sunday of each month we will have a birthday cake during coffee hour to celebrate everyone having a birthday that month.

  • We now have two clean refrigerators and freezers! Many thanks to the kitchen elves who noticed something that needed to be done ... and just went ahead and did it!
  • Thanks to Tom Nilsson for a wonderful Veteran's Breakfast - several veterans from St. Matthias' and our Lakeland community enjoyed sharing breakfast and their stories of service to our country. Thanks Tom, and all our veterans!
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Parish Updates

St. Olaf College Christmas Festival
Margaret Jacobson's final Christmas Festival at St. Olaf College has been filmed by PBS and will be shown on your local PBS station on Christmas Eve at 9:30 PM (double check local listings). Beth Jacobson attended and said it was simply amazing. There are 500 voices from the five combined choirs, and every four years, PBS tapes the Festival.  If you can't be at the TV on Christmas Eve, plan to record it on your DVR! (We are working on possibly showing the concert on the TV in the Parish Hall, on Christmas Day, after the 10:00 AM service.)
Adult Forum Schedule
On December 11, Dick Bruesehoff will present an Adult Forum titled 'The Accordion and Hymnody'.  However, there will be no Adult Forum on December 18, 25, or January 1 - the regular schedule will resume after the holidays, on Sunday, January 8.  If you are interested in doing a program over the next few months, please talk with Erin - several dates are still open!
Hymn of the Month:  History of Advent Lessons & Carols
Written by Le Ganschow
Years ago, Father Wallace introduced our congregation to this unique carol service, adapted from the now-famous Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College in Cambridge, UK. Through the years, this service of New Testament readings, meditations, Advent hymns, and carols has become popular in the US, and has spread across many Catholic and Protestant denominations.
The first Lessons and Carols was created in 1880 by Edward Benson, Bishop of Truro, and later Archbishop of Canterbury. His service took place at 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve, in a wooden shed that was being used as a temporary cathedral during the rebuilding of the Truro Cathedral. The service swept across England and reached King's College, Cambridge, where the service was initiated in 1918 to celebrate the end of WW I. King's College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols made its first live broadcast in the US in 1979, and has been broadcast annually on Christmas Eve ever since.
In past years at our church, we held our Lessons and Carols service during Advent on a Sunday afternoon in early December, but the service was not well attended and conflicted with the annual community Christmas concert at the Campanile. This year, our Music Ministry Team decided to follow the tradition at a number of churches in the US by shortening and adapting Lessons and Carols for a Sunday morning service. We held this service on Sunday morning, December 5.
Persons interested in hearing a public broadcast of the traditional King's College Lessons and Carols held on Christmas Eve should check their local radio stations, YouTube, or go to at 8:00 AM on Christmas morning.
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