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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


Feb. 16 - 6:00 PM

3rd Thursday

Evensong & Potluck


Feb. 25 - 4:45 PM

Winter Survivor's Party


Feb. 26 - 11:00 AM

Olson Baby Shower 




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)
November Ambassador
December Ambassador
January Ambassador
(Not) From the Rector

Dear Friends,

Many of you have the opportunity to read this from a warmer and sunnier climate ... and so does Erin!  She had the chance to visit friends this week in Arizona, so is now sitting by the pool and soaking up the rays!!  Enjoy, Erin!

We do have a couple of fun things to share with you this month to help brighten your winter!  

On Saturday, February 25, we will hold our annual Winter Survivor's Party.  Hors d'oeuvres, soda, wine, and beer will be available at 4:45, and dinner will be at 5:30.  The menu consists of salad, your choice of either tenderloin steak or chicken breast, mushrooms/onions, baked potatoes, rolls, and assorted cakes for dessert. Excellent musical entertainment will be provided by Transfusion Jazz -- our very own Beth Jacobson & Bob Holt!  Cost is $12 per person at the door.  Please sign up on the bulletin board and note your dinner selection.  This is always a fun evening and a wonderful way to introduce your friends to St. Matthias - hope you can come!

The following day, Sunday, February 26, our Pastoral Care Team is having a baby shower for Baby Olson #2!  We will celebrate this happy occasion  during coffee hour.  Cherie and Justin are in need of a changing table, baby monitor, and a stroller ... and diapers/wipes of course.  (Huggies please!)  If you would care to contribute towards the larger items, please make your check out to St. Matthias, write 'Pastoral Care' in the memo line, and either mail or give to Michael or to Chris.  

Enjoy your February!

We Always Have Lots to Celebrate at St. Matthias'

Did you know...
  • This past Sunday we celebrated George, our new choir director, all of our singers, and Bob & Marcia, honoring them for their many many years as our organist and choir director.  Music is such an important part of our church and we are so very fortunate to have these dedicated and talented folks in our midst.

  • Mike Pecore has offered to take the lead in purchasing and grilling the steaks and chicken for our Winter Survivors Party - so good to get back to our traditional way of celebrating this fun evening!  Thanks, Mike!

  • In 2016, Caritas distributed $26,000 to 475 clients.  We are so grateful to our donors and volunteers, both from St. Matthias' and the community, who week after week, provide this incredible service to our neighbors in need.
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Lenten Study & Soup Suppers

Last Fall, Dick Bruesehoff led a Sunday Forum titled Whole but Not Perfect. Participants explored what it means to be well in all parts of our lives-financial, physical, social, intellectual, vocational and spiritual. We acknowledged that being well is not once-and-for-all, and that what it means to be well changes throughout our lives. Knowing that it would be a good practice to spend time reflecting together on our well-being as a community Dick+ and Erin+ began thinking about how his expert focus on wholeness as wellness might be a great opportunity for a Lenten study. Happily Dick & Naomi will be here all of Lent and he's developed a wonderful program that will enrich your life, no matter where you are in your journey! On Thursdays during Lent, the conversation will begin. Beginning March 9 and continuing through April 6, we will meet at 6:00 PM for song, prayer and community. Each week, we will gather to sing Holden Evening Prayer, take time to consider various aspects of well-being, and enjoy a simple soup supper together. We look forward to seeing you Thursdays this Lent! 
Celebrating Bob & Marcia Holt 
Written by Le Ganschow

On February 5, St. Matthias' held a retirement luncheon to celebrate Bob and Marcia's many years of service as musicians at our church. Many of our church members may not know the extensive role these two musicians have played at our church over the past 17 years.  Below is a brief history of this role at St. Matthias', and a short musical background on each.
Bob started playing organ at St. Matthias' in 1999, after what he calls a "dangerous" lunch with Edgar, who asked him to take over for retiring organist Kay Tibble. (Bob says that when Edgar invited him for lunch, Bob knew he was going to be asked to do something important!)  Marcia met Bob in 2000 and discovered they had a lot in common, especially musically.  Shortly after they were married, the two of them began sharing the organist position.  When I took over as choir director after Jane Binkley retired in 2001, Marcia and Bob became back-up choir directors for me.  In 2013, the church hired Bill Black to direct the choir.  After he left in early 2016, Marcia and Bob pitched in as choir directors and they switched between accompanying the choir on piano/organ and directing the choir.
By way of musical background, Bob started taking lessons with his church organist in junior high. At home, he initially practiced on a small 12-note keyboard, but when he started high school his parents purchased an electronic organ with full keyboard and pedals.  Bob says that early on, his father began pushing him into various church and dance band jobs and "dragged the organ most everywhere" for Bob.  In high school, Bob played for the high school chorus, where Marcia, a few years younger, also sang, though Bob says "She didn't know I existed!"  Bob is a trained classical and jazz musician. He directed band for half a dozen years, after which he became a college music professor.  Bob says that he and Marcia miss playing the organ but are "loving the time and lack of stress!"
Marcia started taking lessons from her church organist in 7th grade, on a "lovely" pipe organ.  She studied organ two years in college under Richard Enright, a distinguished professor of music at Northwestern, organist, and author of a book on the fundamentals of organ playing. She directed choirs and played organ at her Presbyterian church in Waukesha for 40 years, sharing the job with another organist who was also birthing and raising kids.  In Marcia's words: "Music in a church setting has been a part of my life since 2nd grade, when I began singing in the church choir. I then majored in choral education with emphasis in piano. In high school and college, I sang in the A Capella choirs. Sacred music feeds my soul. It has been a joy to share my love of music, love of people, love of my church, love of Christ, and love of teaching all in one setting."
Not mentioned here, is Bob and Marcia's role in helping select the organ purchased by our church five years ago. We'll save this article for a later Ambassador, when we celebrate the fifth year of the installation of our Jaeckel tracker organ, with an organ concert on June 9, featuring guest artist Aaron David Miller.
Parish Updates

Departed this Life
Rest in Peace, Tom.  We are saddened to let you know that Tom Nilsson lost his battle with cancer on January 23.  St. Matthias will never be quite the same without him.  Tom will long be remembered for his work with the Community Table (which now has been renamed 'Tom's Community Table', our Winter Survivor's Parties, annual Veterans Breakfasts, and service to Frederick Place.  St. Matthias celebrated Tom's life with a beautiful service with over 150 in attendance.  Our church family extends our deepest sympathy to Betty, and their daughters, Helen and Liz.

Help Needed!

With so many of us heading to warmer climates at this time of year, we are always in need of additional help.  If you have thought about becoming an acolyte, or an usher, or a lector, please talk with Bill Kane - he is a great trainer and would love to add you to the schedule when you are available.  Also needed are people to bring altar flowers, and coffee hour hosts.  If you would like to supply altar flowers for a week, please sign up on the bulletin board, and fill out a green sheet to give to Michael so he knows what to put in the bulletin.  If you have never hosted a coffee hour, there is always someone available to help make coffee, set out your treats and run the dish washer ... or sign up with a friend and you can share the work!  Thank You! 
Hymn of the Month:  Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 
Written by Le Ganschow

Early last year our Music Ministry Team decided that periodically one of us would write an article for our Ambassador about different aspects of the music of the church, with a special emphasis on favorite hymns in the Anglican tradition.
This month I selected our closing hymn for February 19, Charles' Wesley's (1707-1788) vibrant "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling".  I chose this hymn because it is likely known to almost all church goers, as it appears in most hymnals across denominations.  An index of North American Hymnals shows that it appears in 1,328 North American hymnals, even more than Amazing Grace, though fewer than Wesley's "Jesus Lover of My Soul" (Wikipedia).
In our hymnal, at the end of the hymn we see the word "Hyfrydol".  Hyfrydol is the formal name of the tune for "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling."  Charles was said to have written over 9,000 spiritual poems, 6,000 of which eventually became hymns.  The words for Love Divine come from a composite of many verses of scripture (Story of Hymn, "Love Divine" online). Inspiration for the words was thought to have come perhaps inadvertently, from a popular pagan song by John Dryden, "Fairest Isle, All Isles Excelling" (note the similar rhythmic pattern). So in the original version, Charles used a different tune than "Hyfrydol" for his poem.
Years later, Welsh composer Rowland H. Prichard (1811-1887) composed music for Charles' poem, and called it Hyfrydol, which means "cheerful" in Welsh.  Prichard is likely best membered for this particular hymn tune, which he composed at the age of 20. In our hymnal, you may have noticed a mixing of tunes and words for some of our hymns. Thus, the same tune may work with different poems.  Examples that use the Pritchard tune but different words are "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus" and "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus". Sometimes poems are set to different tunes that have the same rhythmic pattern.  An example that uses Charles' words for "Love Divine..." appears in his own original choice of a secular song by Purcell that appeared in a Dryden play, King Arthur. It would appear, though, that for over a hundred years now, the Hyfrydol version of Charles' "Love Divine..." has held the test of time.
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