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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


Oct. 15 - 6:00 pm

3rd Thursday Evensong

& Potluck


Oct. 27 - 6:30 pm

Interfaith Prayer Service for Refugees of the World


Nov. 1 - 10:00 am

All Saints' Day

Celebration Brass Quintet


Nov. 7 - 8:00 am

Veteran's Breakfast


Nov. 8 - 10:00 am

Native American Liturgy 




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)
July Ambassador
August Ambassador
September 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

"Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8a)

Everyday, the first email that arrives in my inbox is a sentence or two on the word of the day from the Society of St. John the Evangelist. Last week, one of the reflections was on the word practice. Br. Robert L'Esperance's words resonated with similar teaching I've received from spiritual directors over the years: "We often think about religion as a set of beliefs, doctrines, propositions or formulae for right thinking. But religion is essentially a program of action; a program of practices, both ritual and ethical practices, and it is by faithfully and repeatedly performing our practice that we come to believe. And when we believe then we are changed."
What practices do you have that allow you to come closer to God, so that God can draw nearer to you? Ritual practices can be as simple as reading a passage from one of the Gospels each morning and reflecting on its significance in your life or in the world as you go about your day. Another ritual that can lead to ethical living was suggested by St. Augustine of Hippo, who said that each morning a Christian should begin their day by marking a sign of the cross on the forehead to remember to keep Christ's word in their thoughts, then on their lips while praying that everything said would be acceptable to God, and finally, over the heart to remember to love others as Christ loved us.
These are two simple ways to place God at the center of your daily lives. A final practice the church can offer to those who wish to see the kind of change in their lives that comes from drawing nearer to God through prayer is the Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families found in the Book of Common Prayer. Each devotion allows individuals and families to go deeper, but in a time-conscious manner. A single BCP page is devoted to morning prayer, noonday prayer, early evening prayers and prayers for the close of the day. Each takes about one to two minutes to say and includes scripture, a psalm, and prayers that really set your heart on the right path each day. They begin on page 137 in the Book of Common Prayer. As a sample, here is the devotion for morning:

From Psalm 51
Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A Reading 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
A period of silence may follow. A hymn or canticle may be used; the Apostles' Creed may be said. Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.
The Lord's Prayer
The Collect
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wonderful isn't it? Imagine starting every day putting God first. You can say this prayer even before you get out of the bed in the morning, it is so short!
May God bless you with the joy that comes from drawing ever nearer to your sacred center.

 -- Erin+

Happy October to You!
We all would like to extend a very warm welcome to Pastor Erin - it is wonderful having her here and fun to watch her office coming to life as she adds her books, pictures, keepsakes, etc. Please stop by to introduce yourself and visit a bit as she is anxious to get to know all of us.
Erin's first 'official' service was the Blessing of the Animals - she prepared a beautiful service, blessed 14 dogs, 1 cat, and the cutest chicken you've ever seen! Treats were given to the dogs and cat - next year we'll have a treat for the chicken! The pet food drive continues through mid October so there is still time to bring something, if you care to do so.
As usual, there is a lot going on here at church - please read through this newsletter for details and remember that The Ambassador is also posted on our website and on our Facebook page. Our church calendar is also on the website and it is continually being updated, so do feel free to refer to it as needed.
October is Diocesan Convention month and we are very grateful to our delegates, Pastor Erin, Joellen Bennet, Gordon Hermanson, Beth Jacobson, and Michael Tautges who are representing St. Matthias' this year - they have already attended a pre-convention meeting in Wausau and will be returning there on the 23rd and 24th for the event.

Once again, Welcome Erin - we are delighted to have you here and are very thankful you have chosen St. Matthias' as your new home!

Chris Clark
Senior Warden
Parish Updates 
  Sunday, October 11th
Father Bennet has agreed to supply for us on Sunday, October 11th, as Pastor Erin will be attending a CREDO conference. This is a requirement for all clergy, and a wonderful tool to aid priests in their ministries. Although this was scheduled several months in advance, the conference comes at a perfect time as she now begins her ministry here at St. Matthias'. We wish her safe travels and are grateful to Father Bennet for celebrating with us on the 11th. 

UTO Ingathering
Every October we thank God for his abundant blessings by contributing to the Episcopal United Thank Offering; your offerings will be graciously accepted this Sunday, October 11th, and will be presented at our Diocesan Convention later this month. These funds assist several worthy causes so please be generous. Thank you!

Adult Forum Presenters
Our Sunday morning Adult Forums began on October 4th and will end May 1st. There are still a few openings for presenters! If you have a subject you would like to present (or if you know of someone who would), please contact Marcia Wisner-Holt at or (715) 892-0868. 

Interfaith Prayer Service for Refugees

The Northwoods Interfaith Coalition is sponsoring a prayer service here at St. Matthias', on Tuesday, October 27th, to help raise awareness and support for the struggle of refugees around the world - particularly those currently displaced by the ongoing war in Syria. Donations will be collected for distribution among various faith-based charities. For more information, please contact Michael Tautges at the Church Office. 
Celebration Brass Quintet and Special Coffee Hour for Jeff and Diane Johnson
We hope you can attend our November 1st, All Saints' Day service as our local Celebration Brass Quintet will be playing for parts of the liturgy. We will also say goodbye to Jeff & Diane Johnson -- this will be their last Sunday with us, as they are relocating to Ecuador! Their plans are to return to the Bayfield area in the summers, so hopefully we will be seeing them then. Jeff & Diane have been wonderful, long-time members of St. Matthias', and friends to all of us. We will most definitely miss them both!

Veteran's Breakfast
On Saturday, November 7th, St. Matthias' will host our traditional Veteran's Breakfast in the Parish Hall. Chef Tom Nilsson, with assistance from other St. Matthias' vets, will prepare a full mess breakfast. This is a wonderful time for all veterans to meet, reminisce, share stories, and enjoy a delicious breakfast. All veterans are most welcome, so do bring your friends who have served our country.

Native American Liturgy
Our annual Native American Liturgy will be held on Sunday, November 8th. Those who have attended in previous years will remember this as a beautiful liturgy, complete with Native American drumming, dancing, prayers, and hymns. Isaiah Brokenleg will preach, and after the service we will enjoy a coffee hour with delicious Native American foods.
Music Ministry Team News  

Celebration Brass Quintet 
9:30 am, Sunday, November 1 

We are pleased to invite our area Celebration Brass Quintet to join us on All Saints Day, November 1. The group will play a prelude and postlude, and join us on the hymns, which include "For All the Saints", "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God", and a "specially arranged" offertory hymn.
We've decided not to do our traditional Advent Lessons & Carols service this year because of low attendance and the extraordinary amount of preparation this takes during one of the busiest times of year. Instead we'll do a Christmas Cantata prior to our 9:30 Christmas Eve service. At the 9:30 service, we'll sing several favorite hymns and have one or two anthems/solos.
With Vestry approval, the Music Team has invited the South Beach Up North Chamber Ensemble to do a chamber music concert featuring piano, violin, and cello at St. Matthias' in mid-June 2016. Our decision to host the group came at the request of several church members who have heard the ensemble and have been seeking a venue in our area for classically-oriented music. Janet Talifaferro will coordinate the event.
Mark your calendar for the Providence St. Mel High School Choir Concert on Friday, February 5, 2016, at the church. If you haven't heard them, now coming to Minocqua for the fourth time, you're in for a treat. Providence St. Mel's specializes in Gospel music, but their choral selections are quite diversified. There are also some amazing soloists. Director and St. Matthias' member Dr. David Baar mentioned that 100% of the students who graduated last year from this inner city high school are going on to Tier One and Ivy League colleges and universities. For information about Providence St. Mel, see 8 Excellent High Schools for African Americans. Coordinator for this event is Jane Trotter. Betty Nilsson is making arrangements for the students to take a ski/tubing/ice skating trip to Minocqua Winter Park. Chris Clark is handling a dinner at the church, prior to the concert. We will be asking church members from St. Matthias' and elsewhere to house choir members on February 4 and 5.
Touchstones:  The Privilege of Assembly 
Written by Diane Diederich

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." (Acts 2:42-47)
Isn't it amazing to read this Scripture passage and to recall at the same time that this country was founded with a Bill of Rights that sought to guarantee the "freedom of assembly" to all! In other words, there were those who sought to prevent people from gathering (for a variety of reasons but specifically in the Pilgrims' case, for religious worship).
The flip side of this is, of course, that the Bill of Rights also guarantees the right not to assemble. It's this freedom to choose that is unique to democracy. When the Second Vatican Council encouraged individuals to change some of their "obligation" language into language of choice, I think the writers were hoping that folks would use this expanded understanding of freedom to re-experience the Liturgy; the People of God assemble as a choice, a privilege of freedom an extension of the Acts community into the present world.
In the passage from Acts we can see each part of our Sunday worship. We come together to be that community of believers, encouraging one another through our fellowship, hearing the words and works of Jesus who calls us to be like Him in every way, to pray to God for the strength to carry out our mission in this one-and-only-life and to receive together nourishment - the Bread of Life - for the journey! How can anyone be a passive participant at such an event?
TTFN: Diane
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