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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


Mar. 9 - 6:30 pm

Lenten Discussion:

Faith & Courage in a Culture of Fear


Mar. 16 - 6:30 pm

Lenten Discussion:

Hope & Joy as Easter People


Mar. 17 - 6:00 pm

3rd Thursday Evensong & Potluck


Mar. 20 - 10:00 am

Palm Sunday:

Liturgy of the Palms & the Passion


Mar. 24 - 5:30 pm

Maundy Thursday Liturgy 


Mar. 24 - 7:30 pm

Maundy Thursday Watch 


Mar. 25 - 12:00 pm

Good Friday Liturgy  


Mar. 25 - 5:30 pm

Good Friday Liturgy  


Mar. 26 - 10:00 am

Holy Saturday Prayers


Mar. 26 - 7:30 pm 

Holy Saturday Vigil


Mar. 27 - 10:00 am 

Easter Sunday Festival Eucharist 




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
February 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

How is your pilgrimage through Lent going? By March 6 we are just over the halfway point - you can do it! Or rather, we can together, with God's help. As pilgrims we walk the road towards the cross, and beyond, together. Personally as well as spiritually, we are entering one of those "thin places" where God waits between ; we are between seasons physically and spiritually. While watching for signs of spring (March 13 is daylight savings!), Christians everywhere are getting ready for Easter. After the cold dark days of winter, the desire for blue skies and blossoming shrubbery makes a lot of sense. Yet the earth needs the winter months to prepare for an abundant spring and summer, and we need Lent to prepare our spiritual hearts for Easter. Now we don't have a choice about when winter ends and spring begins, but if we did, some of us might just rush it and lose the joy of reward after a really long wait. Think how exciting it will be see those first, snow drops or bluebells begin to peek out from under the protective snow.
Like winter before spring, intentionally paying attention to the ebb and flow of how we connect our lives to Christ during Lent is also precious, and too important to rush. The important difference here is, that unlike the length of winter, we do have a choice when it comes to keeping up our Lenten practice(s). By now our consumer natures, driven by a lifetime of secular conditioning are telling us we are ready to be finished. The tendency to think, "been there done that" or "I'm too busy, too tired, too ???" may see some of us already leaving our Lenten practice(s) behind - after all it's been four weeks, haven't we "done Lent" enough by now? Well... no... and that's the point, it is supposed to be long and a matter of facing one's self in the tendency to let life separate us from God, or Lent loses its impact. For forty days, Christians take a serious look at the "how am I doing, as a follower of Christ?" factor; and the "is once a week, on Sundays, to relax the fasting enough when we've been raised in a world of instant gratification?" factor. Tough questions. As the Rev. Jay Sidebotham pointed out once, Lenten disciplines "are not the same thing as New Year's resolutions." So true, Lenten practices are about our spiritual health, they are something we do (or leave off doing) to open ourselves up so we can let God in. Each time I fall during Lent (to use a great biblical concept), I find an opportunity for prayer and personal gratitude that Jesus didn't. The struggle to stay faithful to a practice during Lent is all part of the blessing of learning each day how to become a more faithful Christian. Easter, after all, is not so very far away!

 -- Erin+

Stations of the Cross
In ancient times, Christians made pilgrimages to Jerusalem, attempting to arrive during Holy Week. As part of their pilgrim journey, they would walk the route Jesus took with his cross to Calvary, stopping along the way for devotions to commemorate certain events that took place.
The Stations of the Cross were brought by crusaders to medieval Europe as a way to go on pilgrimage when it wasn't possible to travel to the Holy Land. Sculptures and paintings depicting artwork showing Christ's last hours helped Christians better understand what Jesus and his followers experienced.
In the Episcopal Church, this service held during Lent often followed by study or simple meals together. During Holy Week it is traditional to say the Stations on Good Friday. The word " Stations" come from the Latin word that means to stand. As we come to each " Station" we stop, pray, read scripture, and contemplate the walk of Jesus to the cross.
The number of " Stations" as varied over the centuries. However, by the 18th century they were fixed at 14. Eight are based directly on events recorded in the Gospel and six are based on references either from the Gospel account or pious legends.
Walking the Stations allows us to move physically of devotion and prayer. We stop at each Station to pray and hear a short meditation on the Gospel for that Station. This practice can help you enter into the mystery of Christ's gift of Himself to each of us.
Stations of the Cross generally are performed during Lent; the liturgy is in The Book of Occasional Services. They can, however, be said privately at any time, anywhere, with or without art.
During Lent, we invite you to join us at the Church to walk the Stations of the Cross, every Monday at 5:30. As we walk the Stations each week, we will read 3 of the reflections written by the social justice writer and theologian Katarina Katsarka Whitley, from her book Walking the Way of Sorrows: Stations of the Cross.
Monday, February 29 - reflections for Station 1, 2, and 3
Monday, March 7 - reflections for Stations 4, 5, and 6
Monday, March 14 - reflections for Stations 7, 8, 9, 10
Monday , March 21 - reflections for Stations 11, 12, 13, 14
Katarina also wrote prayers for each station that will be read together. Here is the prayer for Station One:
Let us pray:

Lord Christ, you faced humiliation and torture without complaining.

Be with us in the hours of trial.

Lord Christ, you faced arrest and death without fear.

Be with all those who are afraid today.

Be with all who are tortured and treated unjustly in the world today.

Lord Christ, as on the day of your arrest and flogging, much evil is perpetrated by people who think they are doing God's will.

Forgive them and us.
Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.
Did You Know... 
(a trivia series on all things Episcopal)
  • That our church government is set up very similarly to that of the U.S. government
  • That we do not have a "congregational" parish structure; meaning, that decisions are made by the clergy, and the vestry members elected by the congregation, rather than by majority vote of the whole congregation
  • That the clergy person is allowed to vote at all vestry meetings, and does so, at the same time as the vestry-not as a tie-breaking vote
  • That the vestry meetings are conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, except where they may be in conflict with national church or diocesan canons
  • That any member of the congregation may attend any vestry meeting (except when the meeting is closed for reasons of confidentiality, or when a session of the Executive Team is called), but that he or she attends as an observer only, and may not interfere with the conduct of the meeting
  • That vestry meeting minutes and monthly financial statements are posted in the parish hall once they have been approved by the vestry
Lenten Discussions
Carl Koch (from the Marywood Spirituality Center) will be joining us for two Wednesday evenings during Lent to lead us in a presentation and discussion on the virtues of Faith, Courage, Hope & Joy.
A simple soup & bread supper will take place prior to both discussions.
Faith & Courage in a Culture of Fear 
Wednesday, March 9, 6:30 pm 
The virtue of courage is the ability, with the grace of God, to choose and do the good, to move toward what is life-giving, in the face of fear, harm, threats, abuse, or even death. Courage is a necessary virtue in a culture that nurtures fear: fear that we don't have enough, fear of inadequacy, fear of each other. Courage has its roots in faith: what we set our hearts on. Come and reflect together on nourishing faith and courage.
Hope & Joy as Easter People 
Wednesday, March 16, 6:30 pm 
Hope is the transcendent capacity in every human being, which, assisted by God's grace, can look beyond the limits of the present and can envision a future made possible by God. And hope leads to joy; hope takes flesh in the virtue of joy. The Resurrection invites us to hope and joy, and we can nourish both in our lives. What are your stories of hope, and how do you nurture joy?
Flower Arrangers Needed!

Do you love working with flowers?  We are in need of a few volunteers to select, pick up, and arrange our altar flowers for Sunday services.  Some flower donors prefer to bring their own flowers and/or make their own arrangements; however, others prefer to donate the cost of the flowers and have someone from the church make a selection from Trig's and arrange them in the two brass vases.  This is a fun volunteer opportunity, and is perfect for those who travel from time to time -- with several helping out, no one will have a weekly responsibility.  Those interested, or who have any questions, please contact the Church Office.  Thank you!
A Message from Providence St. Mel  

Dear friends at St. Matthias',

We got home today and opened the mail, and found the two checks from St. Matthias'.  $2,242 from the concert donations, and $1,000 towards our scholarship fund.  I am overwhelmed with the generosity of our friends in Minocqua.  Really - I am quite emotional as I write this, but felt I needed to get back to you right away.  This trip is so valuable, for all of us, in many ways.  For many of our students, this trip will be their best memory of their school year.  As I told our administrators, this is so good for our students academically, musically, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Your gift has also made it possible financially, in a difficult year for us.  We can't thank you enough.
 - David and Beverly Baar 
Vestry Succession 
At the all day Vestry Retreat held on January 9, the matter of election of new members was discussed extensively. This year, at the St. Matthias' Annual Meeting, there will be four member positions to fill, as Isaiah Brokenleg, Robin Coleman, Cheryl Gramins, and Barb Kane 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, typically in early evening.
We are seeking diverse representation on the Vestry, and 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.
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, the Clerk, and 5 other representatives elected from the congregation. The Senior Warden is the lead Vestry person, and the Junior Warden assists the Senior Warden with his/her duties of leadership. 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,


I would like to nominate __________ , (please be sure to obtain approval before nominating someone)
...for a two to three year Vestry term, beginning May 15, 2016. Vestry members are expected to attend most Vestry meetings (3rd Tuesday of the month - 5:30-8:00 PM) and at least one day-long retreat, generally held in January. Vestry members ensure the welfare of St. Matthias' and its members with a positive Christian spirit.
I feel __________ (yourself or other) would be a good Vestry member because:

(fill in here) 
Recipe:  Reuben Casserole
Submitted by Barbara Kroeger 
  • 14-16 oz of sauerkraut (drained) (I use Frank's Bavarian Style Kraut)
  • 2 cups (approximately ¾ lb) cubed cooked corned beef (I use 6 - 2 oz packages of Buddig corned beef and chop it)
  • ½ cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3 cups warm mashed potatoes (I use Hungry Jack Instant, six cup serving)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley (I used dried parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Coat 9x12" dish (or pan) with cooking spray
  • Layer sauerkraut (sprinkle sugar on top of kraut), then corned beef, dressing, and cheese
  • Spoon potatoes on top (carefully spread potatoes evenly)
  • Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes
  • Bake (uncovered) 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees (top should be lightly browned)
Music Ministry Team:  Lenten Hymns
Written by Le Ganschow
"Lent is a time of reflection about our lives, a time of repentance and preparation for the remembrance of Christ's passion - and music meets us in these places in profound ways. There are probably more hymns written about the cross than about any other single aspect of the Christian faith - not only because it is at the very core of the Christian gospel, but also because when we sit in brokenness before the cross, our hearts cry out with particular wonder, love and praise." (Julie Tennent, The Seedbed Blog)
Discovering the history behind some of our most familiar hymns might give us a new perspective about their underlying meanings. Likewise, thinking about the words, the tune, and the harmonies might contribute to this understanding. One well known hymn the congregation will sing on Lent 5 (March 13) is "In the Cross of Christ I Glory." This hymn, composed by John Bowring in 1825, has its own unique history.
Bowring (1792-1872) was a distinguished scholar and linguist who could speak fluently in 22 languages and converse in many more. Unlike most hymn writers, he was also a politician - a member of Parliament, a consul at Canton (in charge of China trade), and a highly unpopular (4th) governor of Hong Kong. In later life he held diplomatic posts in Europe and Hawaii. Despite his active political career, Bowring was a translator of poetry, a writer of poems and essays on religious themes, and a champion of the downtrodden. Bowring was said to have helped develop commercial relationships on behalf of Great Britain through his travels in France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Syria and Thailand.
Bowring composed words and melody for "In the Cross of Christ I Glory" in his early thirties. Late 19th-century hymnologist John Julian suggests that a passage from Galatians (6:14) provided the basis for the hymn: "Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" Interestingly, however, the hymn was thought to be "apocryphal" in that, presumably, years later the composer was sailing past the coast of Macao, China, where he saw the ruins of an old fire gutted church. High above the ruins he saw the church's cross still standing.
Born in a Unitarian family, Bowring remained a life-long Unitarian - yet he composed dozens of hymns, of which "In the Cross of Christ I Glory" is in most Christian hymnbooks in the English-speaking world.
In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o'ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.
In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
Touchstones:  Uniqueness
Written by Diane Diederich
What was it that was so charismatic about Jesus? He seemed to draw the attention of everyone in the towns He visited; for better or for worse. It was Jesus' intention that all would know the healing power of the love of God. It was also His intention that the common, ordinary people would be the vehicle through which all would know that love.
The Gospels for the Lenten season are some of the most remarkable examples of the uniqueness that Jesus saw in the people He encountered. We believe that the writers of the Gospels (the communities of Matthew and John) were intent on reminding the entire Christian community that Jesus called the ordinary into extra-ordinary circumstances.
Throughout our Lenten journey we find ourselves in the characters who learn from Jesus: God's blessings would come to humanity through Jesus, moving through the stories of the Samaritan Woman, the Man Born Blind, the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead, and culminating with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. It is the uniqueness of each character that is timeless, for their healing can be our own.
The Woman at the Well becomes all of us when she struggles with understanding the "living water". This "water" Jesus offers. The sign of a converted lifestyle, open to discipleship and evangelization.
The Man Born Blind. Jesus gave the blind man vision. Both the disciples and the blind man moved from darkness into light through Jesus. My blindness may not be the same as another's.
The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead. We have stayed in the "tomb" of our own sinfulness, whatever it is that causes our separation from God. Jesus offers us the opportunity to "be unbound" by reconciliation, by the love of others.
TTFN: Diane
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