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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


Nov. 1 - 5:30 PM 

The Commemoration of

All Faithful Departed


Nov. 6 - 10:00 AM

All Saints' Sunday


Nov. 11 - 7:00 AM

Veterans Day Coffee


Nov. 17 - 6:00 PM

Thanksgiving Newcomer's Evensong


Dec. 4 - 10:00 AM

Advent Lessons & Carols 




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)
August Ambassador
September Ambassador
October Ambassador
From the Rector

Happy November everyone, I pray that your fall continues to be blessed with natural beauty, family connections, and the warmth of our community as the weather turns cooler. From everyone who remains in (or returns to) the Northwoods to all of you who are making your way to places where summer lingers, we wish you safe travels and times of joy in your winter church homes. For those who cannot imagine being anywhere else than this place of awesome beauty here are a few things you might like to know about local goings on!

First, as you may have noticed, we are blessed to be this year's winter home for the Minocqua Farmer's Market! The farmers began sharing their delicious goods from our parking lot on the 1st, 2nd, 4th (and occasional 5th) Tuesdays from 11-5:30 at the beginning of October. When the weather grows less friendly a smaller number of local farmers will move into the Parish Hall. The market through the winter will include about 6-8 tables selling fresh lettuces, peppers, squash and winter vegetables from farms with year-round greenhouses, sustainable pork, chicken and eggs, breads, jams, syrups and jellies, breads, plus wonderful soaps and lotions handmade by local artisans. The farmers and artisans are making gratitude donations to our church for the space, and are also interested in volunteering or making food donations to Gail, Tom, and Betty for the Community Table meals each 3rd Tuesday. We are blessed to be able to welcome them into our common life and to support local farms in this way.

Next, I know you are a little confused about Adult Forum. Here is the happy news: Yes! Yes, we are having Adult Forum. While we wait for a new coordinator to answer the call of the Holy Spirit and replace Marcia, who has her hands full with the choir, I have been choosing ChurchNext classes and seeking volunteers to help schedule forum leaders you feel would bless our congregation.

A few speakers have come forward already -- thank you! I even led a session which came out of our Parish Read of Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, called "A Loving Gift to your loved ones: Planning Your Funeral". The workbooks resulting from that session are printed and are now being put together for everyone who would like one.

Topics between scheduled speakers have recently come from my personal ChurchNext subscription. ChurchNext offers wonderful classes on faith and life which are led by nationally known teachers in our church and other learning denominations similar in belief systems to the Episcopal Church. The first class was led by Parker Palmer, the second by our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. Next we were tremendously blessed by an in-house session on holistic wellness by our own Pastor Dick Bruesehoff who, with his wife Naomi, comes to us with a wealth of spiritual leadership experience on a regional and national scale with the Lutheran Church. Dick and Naomi are seasoned workshop leaders and have kindly committed to leading one forum a month. We are also working on a Lenten Series based on the Wellness Labyrinth he introduced in brief during October.

So far all of the sessions have been well received and we hope to see you there one Sunday when you wake up early and think, "I'd love to go to Adult Forum today!" While I am not so organized as to be able to give out topics weeks ahead in general, I will say that for Advent we will be exploring a series called "The Four Directions and the Magnificat." It was developed by the Episcopal Church in 2011.

Here at the church, we are also preparing for the upcoming Advent season in December (not far away now!) with a mix of social and worship opportunities that we hope will warm your hearts and feed your souls. I believe there are other articles about that schedule in the rest of this newsletter, so for now I ask for your prayers and as always keep you in mine with love and blessings.

Erin +
Meet St. Matthias':  Michael Tautges   

Michael grew up in the Northwoods, but only officially moved to Minocqua around 5 years ago, and began attending St. Matthias' with his wife Emily shortly thereafter.  Within two months of his arrival he was asked to temporarily fill in for the Church Secretary, and has held the position ever since!  Due to the nature of his work, he's involved in many aspects and committees of St. Matthias', and you'll often hear him jest that he doesn't make coffee in the morning, or give sermons on Sunday, but does just about everything else -- though some have correctly pointed out that he doesn't play our pipe organ either.

Unlike most people, his favorite time of the year is the election season, and he certainly enjoys engaging in conversations on finance or politics, if asked.
  • Color:  Prussian Blue
  • Plant:  Hemlock Pine
  • Food:  Mediterranean pasta, with red wine
  • Sport to Watch:  Football  (the variety that has a World Cup)
  • Sport to Play:  Swordfighting
  • Game:  The Elder Scrolls
  • Play or Musical:  The Importance of Being Earnest
  • TV Show:  Game of Thrones
  • Book:  The Prince, by Machiavelli
  • Hobby:  Studying global politics and economic policy
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...
  • Our Christmas House is now open for the season - it is beautifully decorated and is guaranteed to put you in the Holiday Spirit. Come see!

  • Our church was proudly represented at the Diocesan Convention by Rev. Erin, Emily Field, Laurie Glowac, Gordon Hermanson, and Kathleen Marshall. Erin was elected to serve on the Diocesan Executive Council, Laurie on the Standing Committee, and Emily on a new group researching partnership with a sister diocese in Zimbawe.

  • Justin, Cherie, and Keegan are expecting a new addition to their family! Baby Olson is expected in April - we are all so happy for this wonderful family!

  • It was wonderful having Isaiah back earlier this month, and it was easy to see he enjoyed being here too! Happy he will be back again at Christmas!
  • Pat Billimack is our newest acolyte, and Michael Tautges has volunteered to help with our events here at the church - two busy people happy to do more!
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Parish Updates

Director of Music Search:  Seeking Input from Parishioners

In July we began a national search for a new Director of Music. To date, this search been unsuccessful, despite extensive advertising through the National Guild of Organists list, Craig's List, Episcopal News Service, the Diocese's jobs list, the Association of Anglican (Episcopal) Musicians, and contacts with a number of universities that have choral/organ programs.
We need your help! We are inviting parishioners to assist us in this search process in one of two ways: (1) Contacting someone you know who might have an interest or might know of someone; and (2) Giving someone on the Music Ministry Team the name of a possible candidate, or someone who might recommend a candidate. Ideally, this position involves one person who both directs the choir and serves as church organist. However, given that some applicants may not be interested in the combined position, we are open to the idea of an "interim" choir director, with Marcia and Bob Holt remaining on board as our organists. Details, including salary and contact information, are available on our church website here. 

All Souls' Service

In honor and celebration of those gone before us, there will be a special All Souls' Service on Tuesday evening, November 1, at 5:30 PM. Please come as we remember all those cherished family and friends who are no longer with us.

Table of Remembrance  
November is the time to honor and remember those who have inspired us and those who have died. To celebrate our continued relationship with our loved ones, a table of remembrance has been set up in the Sanctuary. Photos, prayers, poems, and names of those who have gone before us may be added to the table. Strips of colored paper and pencils are available to write names. Place the names in the 'Prayer Bowl'. As you walk by during the week, or on Sunday, please stop and offer a prayer. These loved ones are also remembered individually during our Morning Prayer services.

Veterans Day Breakfast 

On Friday, November 11, 7:00-10:00 AM, St. Matthias' will host our traditional Veterans Day Breakfast in the Parish Hall. Tom Nilsson will prepare a selection of sweet rolls, doughnuts, toast, fruit, juice and coffee. This is a wonderful time for all veterans to come together, reminisce, and share stories and time with each other. All veterans are most welcome, so please bring your friends who have served our country.
Thanksgiving Newcomer's Evensong & Potluck

Please plan to attend our Thanksgiving Newcomer's Evensong, Thursday, November 17, at 6:00 PM. This is the perfect time to thank God for His abundant blessings, and to celebrate those new to St. Matthias' during the past year. A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board - old-timers bring the food, newcomers, please just come and enjoy the beautiful service and our traditional Thanksgiving feast!
Advent Wreaths
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a season of spiritual preparation for the coming of our savior at Christmas. It is also an ideal time to bring seasonal prayer into our homes. A beautiful way to add seasonal reflection and prayer is the custom of lighting candles on an Advent Wreath each night during Advent. During coffee hour on Sunday, November 20, those interested will have the opportunity to create a lovely Advent wreath for their home. If you would like to contribute greenery (ivy, holly, cedar, etc.), a sign-up sheet will be on the board.
Women of Matthias' -- An Inspirational Group for Women
Submitted by Barbara Kane 

"Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don't do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering."
- Rachel Naomi Remen
At St. Matthias', we have many opportunities to serve the community. We also know the importance of providing support for ourselves as well. One of the ways we do this is through our men's and women's groups (MOM and WOM). MOM (Men of Matthias') is a men's breakfast group held at 8:00 AM at various restaurants throughout the year on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. This group provides social connection and occasionally answers a call for assistance from our members.
The WOM group (Women of Matthias') is not a service group. Initiated ten years ago, Marcia Holt came up with the idea for the women's group as a result of her participation in the Education for Ministry class at St. Matthias'. She was inspired to bring women together in a safe setting to discuss their spiritual lives and become a supportive community. She envisioned this to be a group of women that would nurture each other while learning something new.
The women's group initially began with a video and discussion accompanied by a breakfast. In order to make things easier, the group evolved into serving simple snacks and providing different leaders who would speak on a variety of subjects. Eventually, the process was simplified even more to discussion with coffee and tea. Not surprisingly, the most important aspect of the group for the women is to have a chance to talk to each other and share. For the women, it is a modern version of 'going to the well'. Based on monthly themes, the women continue to share their stories and wisdom.
In general, the group averages 10-15 at each meeting, except for "Snowbird" time. Currently, the group meets in the Church Library or Parish Hall at 8:15 AM until 10:00 AM on the second Thursday of the month, September through May. WOM doesn't meet in the summer except for a June planning session to determine discussion themes.
Because WOM meets during early hours and at the same time as Caritas, some women are unable to join us. St. Matthias' would like to look at providing another similar women's group opportunity at a different time and day. If you are interested, please contact Barb Kane at [email protected] or (715) 588-2281.
Hymn of the Month:  Favorite Hymns
Written by Le Ganschow

Do you have some "all-time favorite hymns?
How did they become favorites?
When did you first hear one of these favorites?
Why are these hymns particular favorites?
You may not have quick and easy answers to these questions, but they may be important considerations as you think about your reaction to the Music Team's choice of hymns and mass music in our church services. I suggest that your reactions may differ depending on several factors: (1) your familiarity with the hymn; (2) your music background; and (3) characteristics of the hymns themselves.
Sometimes it takes a while to become familiar with a particular hymn. In other words, repetition leads to ease of singing and as you start to familiarize yourself with the hymn, you may find yourself liking it more and more. On the other hand, hearing it too often can sometimes lead to boredom. I never get tired of singing or hearing "Amazing Grace" or "There is a Balm in Gilead", though I didn't sing (or hear) them as a child. On the other hand, I don't particularly like the contemporary hymn, "How Great Thou Art", perhaps because of my more traditionally-oriented Missouri Synod Lutheran music background.
Music Background
In growing up, I heard only classical music at home. Every Saturday my parents listened to opera on our Zenith radio. I had very little exposure to jazz and the popular pieces of the day. In church I heard the traditional hymns from the Lutheran hymnal, and at home my father, a church musician, wrote hymn arrangements in the style of Bach. Consequently, I find myself drawn to more traditional hymns and mass music. It has taken time for me to learn to appreciate new age music, and even jazz spirituals.
Hymn Characteristics
Sometimes we are drawn to a particular hymn because of the mood it evokes. It could be the words, or it might be the lively beat, or the solemn tone of the hymn. During Lent, for example, hymns are often slow, pondersome, solemn, and often in minor key. Easter morning, however, the hymns are upbeat, joyful, celebratory, and in major key. Some hymns make us weep, whereas others make us want to dance. Likely, by now you are quite familiar with the Taizé that we sing repeatedly during communion. The reason for this repetition is to set a meditative tone for your communion experience. We often vary the Taizé with soloists from the choir singing a descant above the Taizé tune.
At St. Matthias', our Music Ministry Team draws upon a large repertoire of hymns and mass music. Our first consideration is the "gospel message". We also take into consideration the diverse religious background of our parishioners. We try not to neglect the old favorites, and we seek your input by giving you an opportunity to fill out a "favorite hymn" form in the Church Office. We ask you to consider your reactions to the hymn and mass music selections at St. Matthias', to be open to the unfamiliar, and to give yourself time to familiarize yourself with new music. For an interesting discussion on the role of music in the worship service, see "The Theology and Place of Music in Worship".
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