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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


May 18 - 6:00 PM

3rd Thursday Evensong

& Potluck


May 20 - 9:00 AM

Spring Clean-up Day 


May 21 - 11:00 AM 

44th Annual Parish Meeting 


May 25 - 5:00 PM 

Mass on the Grass 


May 25 - 6:00 PM

EFM Lasagna Dinner


June 9 - 7:00 PM 

Aaron David Miller

Organ 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 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)
February Ambassador
March Ambassador
April Ambassador
From the Rector

What the Eucharist means to me.
We come together each Sunday to be immersed in God's Word in word, in song, in community, and in the breaking and sharing of the bread of life. Here, in a few words in this newsletter, I will try to articulate what it means to me. A few hundred words is inadequate for such an integral part of what feeds my wholeness, so I will keep this reflection to the Christ shaped space during which we share communion, in the Eucharistic Prayer, and in receiving the bread and wine.
Because I first experienced the Eucharist (the word Eucharist means Thanksgiving) as a communicant, I'd like to start by saying what that means to me. When receiving, as a communicant, kneeling at Christ's table in prayer with the community, and lifting up my hands to receive the bread, I always feel connected to everyone at the rail, and everyone in the Church. Not only the church community that I am in, but with the sensation of being connected to God's people throughout the world in place, and in history. This is especially true, for me because of the Episcopal churches I first attended, when singing a kneeling hymn as we walk up, wait while in song and kneel to receive all the while surrounded by softly singing voices inviting God's presence into our midst. At one church, a very smoky Mary's, there were always two plates of bread and I remember being brought to quiet tears the first time I was there, as the voices, of the priests offering the bread and the acolytes offing wine, blended with the song. Hearing the hymn of invitation, blended with voices speaking quietly (sometimes together, sometimes alternating, "the Body of Christ..., the Cup of Salvation...") flowing in and out of the music as we waited to receive filled my soul with such peace. That church had a lot of children too, so adding to the song of God's love were the songs of little voices asking questions, giggling sometimes, and saying "amen" or "thank you" when they received.
Now, as a priest celebrating at the altar, part of the prayer, for me, includes praying as we set Christ's table, and receive the gifts of bread and wine, and the gifts of our living. Perhaps some of the sacredness in setting the table is connected to the hospitality of women through the centuries which Christ's example lifts out of perceived drudgery into a Holy act that lets it be all people's hospitality. When Christ's table is ready and the words of the Eucharistic prayer begin, even though the priest says most of the words, we do so both within and on behalf of the community. For me feeling that community in prayer, again connects me to God, beyond the room we kneel in. I pray knowing it is all of us offering our corporate Thanksgiving, as a community. We give thanks to God for all of creation, we speak to God of our gratitude for life and for the gift Jesus gave us by living among us with no purpose other than to help us remember the Love of God. We share in the knowledge that we not only receive that love, but share it through our very lives. The congregational responses during the prayer echo through time, just as receiving the bread connects us through time to all people who worship the Living God with open hearts. Then I do have the honor to be one of the quiet, hopeful voices among thousands of my brothers and sisters across the world, sharing the bread with you and adding the words to this Holy moment within the song of our worship, "The Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven." When I do, and echo your "Amens" as you receive Christ's gift of remembering his life and our mission, I am transported back into that little church in the North Carolina mountains where God first opened the eyes of my heart.
I'd love to know what the action of the Eucharist itself - taking, breaking, and sharing the bread means to you. If anyone would like, let's have coffee, tea, or lunch, and share.
Erin +
We Always Have Lots to Celebrate at St. Matthias' 
  • A very warm welcome to all of our snowbirds!  We missed you, and are delighted to have you back!

  • A huge Thank You to David and Beverly Baar, the amazing soloists, and all who came to sing or listen to The Messiah.  Had the largest crowd ever for this event - and several signed up to receive notice of future events!

  • Congratulations to the winners of this year's Lent Madness!  Kathleen Marshall took first place - followed by Kathy Knobel, Jeanne Sengstock, and Ron Kroeger.  Monies collected from Lent Madness participants will be given to Kathleen's charity of choice.
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Meet St. Matthias':  Teena Orling  

Hi! I'm the choir member that doesn't wear a nametag. Not a "cradle Episcopalian", but a life-long liberal Lutheran who was greatly educated in the liturgies, hymns, and choral music of the Church.
I am retired, but we all know that means just more volunteer, and, in my case, paid work for cantoring, dog-sitting, cat-sitting, and plant-sitting.
Formative years in Long Island and New Jersey, higher education in Indiana, and work in St. Louis. Moved here for "real winters" and peace and quiet. No real interest in travel, since I did tons of that in my orienteering career. Toods!
  • Color:  Orange
  • Plant:  Shooting Star
  • Food:  Spaghetti
  • Sport to Watch:  Basketball or Soccer
  • Sport to Play:  Field Hockey
  • Game:  Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Play or Musical:  Pirates of Penzance
  • TV Show:  Masterpiece Theatre / Mystery, any BBC show on PBS
  • Book:  Anything by Jim Coetzee
  • Hobby:  Gardening, Knitting, Reading, Jigsaw Puzzles, Dog-walking

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
EFM Lasagna Dinner 

God Questions:
  • What is your ultimate purpose for the universe?
  • How can you help us determine the greatest suffering, so we can make a difference?
  • Oh Lord, where and how is the love and grace in what looks like a hopeless mess?
  • How do you communicate your purpose to us?
  • Are there universal, God-given rights?
We Questions:
  • How do we, or should we, respond to the unacceptable, and who defines unacceptable?
  • How can we be more mindful and act in right relationship with others at St. Matthias and in our community?
  • How do my rights infringe on the human rights of others?
  • The church, it seems, has done much harm in the past.  How do we know what is "right"?
  • How can we recognize what is right, rather than decide what is right?
I Questions:
  • What am I actually willing to give up?
  • How can I possible make a difference?
  • How am I, as a Vestry member, called to respond and/or act to the palpable suffering so clearly articulated to me by fellow members of the St. Matthias family?
  • What is my true purpose for being here?

Are you intrigued? Would you like to know more about EFM? Ask us and we'll be happy to share.
AND you will have the perfect opportunity to ask us on Thursday, May 25th, at 6:00PM when EFM will be hosting our annual Lasagna Dinner. There will be appetizers, bread, salad, and, of course, a wide variety of lasagnas as well as dessert.  We ask for a $12.00 per person donation, and all the proceeds go toward our scholarship fund. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!

(Don't forget -- Mass on the Grass will take place just before the dinner, at 5:00PM, at the church.)
Parish Updates

Spring Clean-up Day

Traditionally, our Spring Clean-up is scheduled for the Saturday before the Annual Meeting - which this year falls on Saturday, May 20.  If you would care to spend a couple of hours raking, weeding, and sprucing up our beautiful grounds, please bring a rake and come around 9:00AM.  We always take some time on this day to arrange the tables and chairs in the Parish Hall for the Annual Meeting as well.  It's always a fun morning ... and we will have doughnuts, muffins, fruit and coffee! 
Annual Meeting & Brunch 
Our parish Annual Meeting will be Sunday, May 21, immediately after the service.  We will elect Wardens and Vestry members, select Convention Delegates, hear brief reports, and handle other parish business.  As in the past, Gordon will present his financial report at the Adult Forum at 8:30AM, and a brunch will be served after the meeting. Vestry members will set up and clean up - all are asked to sign up to bring something for the brunch.

New Roof!
After submitting yet another claim due to storm damage to our roof, the adjuster recommended a new roof, our insurance carrier agreed, our Vestry approved, and the work has begun.  We are very fortunate to be working with LaPlant Roofing from Green Bay, who has expertise with stone covered steel shingles.  They have done several roofs in the Northwoods, are highly recommended, and lowered their original bid to coincide with what our insurance company was willing to pay.  These shingles are very light weight and are designed to be placed over the existing ones ... thus providing an added barrier, saving money and the environment from disposal costs. 
Vestry Nominees 
If you would like to be considered for a Vestry position, forms are still available from the Church Office. So far, we have received four nominations -- their answers are listed below.

I feel _____ would be a good Vestry member because: 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Barb Guy

Faithful member since 2008, previous Vestry experience, serves on Pastoral Care, started prayer shawl ministry.
I have a lifelong, life giving relationship with God in Christ, and I believe that it is our sharing of the rootedness in Christ that makes us the Church. Day by Day today (4-22) "What if this Easter Season we make a point of speaking about the good news of God in Christ, in our own lives - telling at least one person about some joy that accompanies living into a relationship with the living God."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Jan Heeren

Interested in the future of our church, faith, and strength. Was on board 20 years ago, when Father Wallace came aboard, or longer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bob Holt

Bob has served on Vestries in Watertown, Janesville, and St. Matthias, has been Organist and/or Choirmaster most of his life, has been active in the Cursillo movement, loves his church, and as a plus, his strong point is community building. We are in need of a strong and committed Episcopalian, and he certainly qualifies.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Kathleen Marshall

I've been privileged to attend here since 1989, and served on Vestry in late 90s. My experience here has been through the choir and Thrift Shop for many years, and St. Francis pet project. I've attended and enjoyed several Diocesan Conventions. Board and leadership experience was on Nicolet College Board of Directors 9 years, AAUW branch president and state board vice president many years, also on Northwoods Literary Task Force since its inception. I'd like to see St. Matthias expand its membership, and we do this by staying visible in the community through many venues and alliances. My hobbies are line dancing, yoga, past-time antiques, and the Packers. 
The Cantor  
Written by George Ackerman-Behr
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Colossians 3:15-17
We all come from different backgrounds and walks of faith, then as we grow we settle on/in a community. It is that community that nourishes us and grows us in both uplifting times and in times of pain and misery. Faith & prayer holds us up in all times and is a constant, and from that, we weave a tapestry that enfolds us in God's love. Music is that mucilage that binds that woven tapestry, and with our voice we sing and pray twice! To lead the congregation with a true sense of faith, hope, and love, we must know how to pray; we must make time to pray. This is essential, as in Diana Kodner Handbook for Cantors which reminds us, because "if we cannot or will not do this for ourselves, how can we hope to do this for others?" Prayer is the answer. So Pray! Here's some brief, in-depth history of the cantor.
By definition, a Cantor or song leader is a person who leads the people in singing, or sometimes in prayer. To quote from Wikipedia, "The cantor (Hebrew: חַזָּן hazzan) in the Reform movement is a clergy member who fills a diverse role within the Jewish community. Cantors lead worship, officiate at lifecycle events, teach adults and children, run synagogue music programs, and offer pastoral care. Cantors typically serve along with other clergy members, usually rabbis and occasionally additional cantors, in partnership to lead synagogue communities. The Reform cantor is a professional office with a prescribed educational path and professional organization. Cantors are "invested", a term borrowed from the idea of priestly vestments, at the conclusion of study. "Investiture" confers the status of clergy to cantors, just as "ordination" does for rabbis."
Jesus and the disciples sang psalms in temple worship, at synagogue gatherings, and at observances of holy days as in Passover. Singing the psalms was significant not only for the early church, but also for John and Charles Wesley.  In their time, they undertook a strict adherence to the worship and discipline of the Book of Common Prayer, and the only congregational songs permitted in the Church of England were metrical settings of the psalms. 
On an interesting side note, the Septuagint bible, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151; a Hebrew version of this was found in the Psalms Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some versions of the Peshitta (the bible used in Syriac churches in the Middle East) include Psalms 152-155. There are also the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin, likely originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation. These, and other indications, suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.
As with any ministry in church, being a cantor, reader, or choir member, one needs to take time in preparation, prayer, and understanding as to what one is doing. Regardless if we sing the psalms, as we did during Lent, which was a cantor and congregation response, or the time now, in a metrical SATB setting, we must harden not our hearts and be open and receptive to all forms of Psalmody.
Gail Ramshaw sums it up the best:
"Let the words of our hymns be our worth singing. Inspired by the metaphors in the Psalter, let our hymnals be treasure chest overflowing with such multi-faceted jewels that it is difficult to choose between the diamond and the opal. An excellent hymn, like a great poem, wants to be memorized. You sing it at the liturgy and are delighted, perhaps even astounded, and you sing it over and over that week until you know its words by heart. You want to join in singing the words, for the words themselves sing."
George Ackerman-Behr
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