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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


July 16 - 6:00 pm

3rd Thursday Evensong

& Potluck 




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!


Trig's Receipts

As of May 1st, 2015, Trig's has discontinued their program which donated 1% of marked receipts to a local charity of your choice.  While we are greatly disappointed by their choice to eliminate this wonderful service, we sincerely thank both Trig's, and you for your years of dedicated support.

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)
March Ambassador
May Ambassador
June 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 Interim

How is a Bishop Like an Iceberg?


Several days ago I was talking with a member of the parish about Bishop Matt's visit to St. Matthias' on Sunday, August 16th. She said, "All I know about bishops is that they come here once a year. What else do they do?" I attempted to answer her question, but later it occurred to me that bishops are kind of like icebergs. Most of us, most of the time, only see a small part of what a bishop does to care for the diocese and the people within it and, as with an iceberg, a very large part of their work is not visible to us.


In the early church the bishop was the only pastor in a diocese. Eventually, as the church grew it was necessary to provide other pastors and presbyters, or as we now call them, priests, to assist the bishop of a diocese. The bishop remained and still remains the chief pastor of every parish in her or his diocese.


In dioceses where possible, the bishop visits every parish once a year. He or she celebrates the Eucharist with the people of the parish, preaches, baptizes, confirms, or receives persons from other catholic communities into the Episcopal Church, and spends time with all of the members of the parish. This time includes food and fellowship, but it also provides an opportunity for lay people and clergy to talk with the bishop about questions and issues that concern them in the parish, the diocese, or the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.


The bishop's presence is a sign that we are not just an isolated community living and ministering to people in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, but that we belong to a world-wide community of Christians, as well as to a local community known as the Diocese of Fond du Lac. When Bishop Matt visits on August 16, we will have an opportunity to meet with him after the 10:00 a.m. liturgy, and to talk with him.


Since there are many issues which concern us as a parish in transition, he has also expressed a willingness to meet with us again after Evensong on Thursday, August 20th, to continue the conversation. In particular, that evening will give as an opportunity to discuss the blessings of same sex marriages, although other topics can also be pursued.


Just a few reflections of those less visible aspects of a bishop's ministry. Like the rector of a parish, a bishop is primarily a pastor, priest, and teacher. He or she is not only a pastor for all of the parishes of a diocese, but for all of its clergy, both active and retired, and for seminarians and postulants (like Isaiah) and candidates for Holy Orders.


Since Bishop Matt has been our bishop, he has asked all clergy to meet with him individually so that he can get to know us. He has had many meetings for all of the clergy of the diocese, as well as meeting with the clergy in deanery meetings. This past February he conducted our annual clergy retreat. In those meetings he has given us instruction on various topics intended to help us in our ministries as deacons and priests. He has also talked with us about his expectations for our individual lives including prayer and study and our relationships with one another. Like a parish priest, the bishop is available to assist clergy coping with personal challenges in their lives and the lives of their families.


Since before and after coming to St. Matthias', Bishop Matt has frequently talked with me about the transition process and will continue to help me to meet, the needs of the parish. Once your new rector has been selected, he will orient that person to the diocese and preside at his or her Service of Institution at St. Matthias'.


Bishops ordain priests and deacons, as well as helping to ordain bishops throughout the Episcopal Church. They also attend meetings of the House of Bishops, several times a year, and serve on many committees in the diocese and the national church. Every three years they attend the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and every ten years they attend the Lambeth Conference with all Anglican bishops throughout the world. When you read the Clarion or go on the website for the diocese, you read about our bishop attending such diverse events as summer camp and other youth activities, the Chrism Mass, baseball games, meetings held for various people involved in lay ministries, such as parish staff and vestries, and the Eucharistic Festival.


Just as a rector has many administrative responsibilities in a parish, a bishop carries many such tasks for the diocese. If you want to know more about how Bishop Matt spends his time, please come to our August conversations and ask him. If you want to discuss being confirmed, baptized, or received, either at the time of the Bishop's visit, or later, please contact me by calling or e mailing the parish office or talking with me directly. I look forward to seeing many of you as we continue the Inquirer's classes on Wednesday night at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner for those who are able to join us.

From the Sr. Warden


Have you ever noticed that we always have coffee, creamers, and wine? (We have never run out of wine!) Someone must order or buy that stuff. Have you ever wondered how we always have a fresh supply of clean dish cloths and towels? Someone must wash them (no - we don't just throw them out and get new ones at the Thrift Shop!) And what about those large clean vases ready for Sunday altar flower delivery ... where do they all come from? And those glass coffee pots ... they are not self-cleaning! And what about the pews, tables, and chairs? Every time we have an event ... Evensong, concert, Messiah, funeral luncheon, Annual Meeting, Winter Survivor's Party, etc. etc., the Sanctuary and/or Parish Hall needs to be rearranged ... and then put back again. How does this happen? Have you taken a look at our bulletin boards? How is it that they are always current, organized and attractive? And all those sign up sheets - seems like we are always requesting food for something! And what about things like clean furnace filters, replacement lights in the Sanctuary (yes, those ones on the ceiling that are 'impossible' to reach), soap for the dishwasher, and the hundreds of other things that somehow just seem to get taken care of. By now you may be wondering ... who does all of this?? The simple answer is ~ You do! These things ... and so many more! These are just miscellaneous chores - wouldn't even attempt to list all that you do through our Thrift Shop, Caritas, St. Francis Project, Choir, Vestry, Music Ministry, Lay Ministry, Transition Team, Communications Team, EFM, Community Table, Adult Forums, Pastoral Care, Altar Guild, MOMs, WOMs, etc., as that would go on for pages and pages. So ~ a most sincere Thank You to each and every one of you for the support, love and prayers you all so willingly offer to each other and to our amazing church. As someone said just the other day ... "St. Matthias' Rocks!" That says it all!


- Chris Clark
Music Ministry Team News  




Annual Hymn Festival

Ascension Lutheran Church

Saturday, July 11, 7:00 pm & Sunday, July 12, 3:00 pm

Conductor, Ben Westphal

Theme: Southern Harmony


Aurora Borealis Concert

Campanile Center for the Arts

Tuesday, August 4, 7:00

Conductor: David Barr, Pianist: Bev Barr

Theme: Spirituals

Vestry-approved musical events for next year:

Providence St. Mel Choir (February 4-6)

Messiah Sing-Along (June 26)

Organ Concert (date to be determined)

Thanks go to all of the church members who helped make this year's organ concert on June 19 a success. Organist Kraig Windschitl entertained his audience with a dynamite performance that included introductions to his musical selections, a varied program spanning several centuries and musical contrasts, and an emphasis on the diverse features of our Jaeckel organ. He opened his concert with a prelude based on the familiar hymn tune, O God Our Help in Ages Past. During the concert, he invited the audience to sing the hymn - all stanzas, of course. He then ended the concert with a postlude on the same hymn. As an encore Kraig performed the challenging Widor Toccata. Organ builder Dan Jaeckel and his wife attended the concert and received laudatory comments from Kraig, who said that he had learned on a Jaeckel organ and found ours to be "one of the best."


The Music Ministry Team continues to focus it energies on selecting service music, hymns, and anthems that complement the weekly liturgy. At the recommendation of church member Father Richard Bennett, we introduced the congregation to a musical version of The Lord's Prayer that will be sung occasionally.


We held the second annual performance review of our paid musicians. Its purpose is to review, inform, support, evaluate, and provide constructive suggestions for improvement.  

Parish Updates  


Fantastic Organ Recital!
Kraig Windschitl dazzled his audience with a superb performance as he both entertained and educated; we so enjoyed getting to know him as he also volunteered to play for Evensong, the previous night. Many thanks to the Music Ministry Team for organizing the event, to the Holts for their generous hospitality, and to so many of you who attended the recital, rearranged the Sanctuary and Parish Hall ... twice, brought treats for the reception, and helped clean up afterwards. What a wonderful way to share our beautiful organ with our Northwoods community! 
St. Paul's Cathedral, Fond du Lac
Have you ever been to St. Paul's Cathedral in Fond du Lac?  If you haven't, you most certainly should sometime!  It's an absolutely beautiful structure -- as evidenced by the photo to the right.

During the last Cathedral Chapter meeting they were discussing a question posed by Bishop Matt: "What is your vision for the Cathedral 25 years from now? ... 50 years from now?"
  This question apparently sparked quite the interesting discussion, and the Chapter is now looking for your ideas and personal vision on the topic.

Feel free to email your thoughts to Fr. Brian Beno, at  Your input is much appreciated!
Touchstones:  Re-Creation
Written by Diane Diederich


You've probably all felt it: You go away for a few days and almost as soon as you're back you say, "I don't know whether it's worth; it's like I never went away!" That re-entry can often feel like jumping onto a carousel at full speed or walking into a propeller blade.

Vacation is a time for recreation and retreat. We really do alter our state of being when we give ourselves time to be away. Ideally, when we "vacate" we leave a set pattern or way of doing. I've just gotten back from visiting the daughters and the grandkids, and it was scarcely 24 hours before I found myself saying that this year was somehow different. I think I've finally brought back with me some of that detachment that comes when on vacation.

Some folks find themselves working at playing as hard as they would at tasks. Vacation has the same intensity as every part of their lives. It's not enough to do Disney World, but four other attractions as well because "you've got to do it all." Maybe that's where the saying "been there, done that" started. Somehow we have to check on our list to make sure we did everything.

That's what feels different for me this year. I really practiced to vacate in vacation. I moved out of the ordinary routine imposed by the life I lead and got more deeply in touch with my authentic self. I thrived on quiet. I relaxed around water, hearing sounds, and seeing with different senses when I wasn't busy. I identified birds, enjoyed seafood and Chinese, discovered the manatees, sun-bathed (with sun screen), and soaked in a hot tub. Simple pleasures!

I didn't see any "attractions." It wasn't all idyllic, but it was restorative. I retreated into that which is essential - to be aware of the abundance of God's gifts and the simplicity that life can have...

So back to the daily grind. I'm in touch though with what recreation has re-created in me:  the detachment that allows me to see the gifts and simplicity that are here as well. I don't have to leave "there" to come back "here". If I have filled myself with peace because I've been on vacation, the ideal will be to bring that authentic me back. Let's see... It's been 3 weeks...

TTFN, Diane
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