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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. 20 - 6:00 PM 

3rd Thursday Evensong

& Potluck


Nov. 6 - 10:00 AM

All Saints' Sunday




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
From the Rector

"Some forms of perfection you chase because they are objectively perfect, ... and some you chase because of the joy of losing yourself to them." - Sonoko Sakai, traditional soba chef, talking about her art.
"Lord, in every labor of my hands leave a grace of thine to speak to others and a fault of mine to tell me of myself. Keep in me the hope of perfection, without which I would lose heart. Keep in me the incapability of perfection, without which I would lose myself in pride." - From the Artisan's Prayer
These two quotes give us an image of the joy we can find in the pursuit of beauty and faith. What artist, scholar, homemaker, lover of math, poetry, music, or what adventurer, runner, gardener, or hiker who climbs exhausted but awed to the next great view, doesn't seek to find ways to enter further into creativity, increase their God given ability, or share their love of all creation? The two people who expressed these thoughts looked at perfection in a way most of our society doesn't. They have within them a love of their art that allows them to enjoy seeking the next level and at the same time enjoy the process that takes them there, missteps and all.
The article I read some months ago about Sonoko Sakai was written from the perspective of someone who studied with her for a short while. He admitted to his type A, achievement-oriented tendencies. He talked about how, while he was with her, he was able to let them go and learn to enjoy the process of learning through the feel of the dough, as he kneaded the buckwheat flour, when the mix would yield gorgeous light noodles in the rest of the process.
He then talked about coming back to the states and planning a dinner party to share his new found skill. In the expectations he set for himself to "show" what he learned, his unhealthy perfectionist voice re-entered the scene just when it didn't need to show up. The thing was, his meal was wonderful, his wife and friends loved his noodles but by the time he served them, he was a mess of stress and nerves. He couldn't find the joy he'd felt while working with the master chef, he could only think about failing. His head filled with all of the "what ifs" of imperfection in a competitive culture rather than the feel of flour and water coming together into sustaining food for his friends and family. He lost his joy, then he lost his focus. Naturally he got it back, to a degree later, realizing that he didn't need to be a master chef simply because he spent a few inspiring months with one. He learned from his stressed out evening that what he'd loved learning was how she'd shared her joy, rather than the techniques that had taken her a lifetime. He could do that too by sharing a meal and his stories rather than putting on a production he wasn't ready for.
What can we take from his story as Christians? We follow Christ Jesus, the master of love and compassion. When we are inspired by his presence in our daily lives, in the scripture and in our community we can feel so very ready to live in his image - to say "yes!" to being Christ bearers in the world. Then we get out in the world, oh my, and we are challenged in every way to fall back into our pursuit of the objectively perfect, rather than the joy of losing ourselves in his love. We stress, and we fail, and we heap blame on ourselves that God would never put there. We also learn to let all of that negativity go, each time we come back together to share stories and a meal, to sing out in joy or sorrow together and, most importantly to hear that we are loved, worth loving. Returning to the knowledge that we live in a constant state of being loved, through never-ending Grace, is something we can easily share as Christ followers as we pursue the joy of learning to truly believe in ourselves as much as God believes in us.

Erin +
Meet St. Matthias':  Beth Jacobson  

Beth has lived in Hazelhurst for 20 years, but she grew up here, spending summers at her parents second home on Lake Kawaguesaga on the Minocqua chain since she was six years old. Although Beth has a degree in Mathematics, she is a freelance graphic designer and works on many projects, including all advertising and marketing for Tommy O's Northern Stars Playhouse and the Northwoods Renaissance Festival.
She and her daughter Margaret have attended St. Matthias' for 14 years. She is the Junior Warden on the Vestry, the administrator of the Caritas program, volunteers for the Furniture Annex, sings in the choir, sits on the Communications Team, and created and maintains the church's website. She loves to sing, and can be heard in Festival Aurora Borealis Chorus, the Campanile Community Chorus, and onstage at the Playhouse. Her birthday is October 3.

  • Color:  Black (paired with any other color)
  • Food:  Steak
  • Game:  Scrabble
  • Play or Musical:  Anything Rogers & Hammerstein or Gilbert & Sullivan
  • TV Show:  Gilmore Girls
  • Book:  Mysteries and forensic stuff
  • Hobby:  Singing
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...
  • New to St. Matthias, Terry & Nancy Vraspir love our Evensong services, and each month, Nancy helps set up the Parish Hall for the dinner.
  • Christina Pacheco has offered to join our team of acolytes.
  • Isaiah Brokenleg will be returning to visit, and preach on October 23.  McHale Davis will also be continuing his liturgical dancing for us on some upcoming Sunday mornings.
  • Look for our new children's area in the Sanctuary.  Thanks to Bill Kane for setting it up, and to Jane Trotter for finding the beautiful rug.
  • Kathryn Holmes has joined our Altar Guild ... and Tony and Matt may help out too.
  • We will be hosting the Farmer's Market until Spring.  This is another great way to support our community, and acquaint people with our church!
Watch for more reasons to celebrate next month.
If you have something to add, please let us know!
Around the Parish

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. 

Seeking Nominations

There are a variety of ways one can serve in the church. One such way is to serve on a diocesan committee or commission. The Diocesan Convention will be electing new members to the Executive Council, the Trustees, the Standing Committee, the Disciplinary Board of Review and as Deputies to General Convention 2018. If you have the desire to serve, ask someone to nominate you or you are able to nominate yourself. Want to know more? Visit the Documents and Forms page here
A Caritas Story
Submitted by Beth Jacobson  

Many of you are familiar with Caritas, our outreach for those in urgent and immediate need in our community. Several of you are already Caritas volunteers. We'd like to share an unusual story about one of our recent clients. If you are considering volunteering for this rewarding project, maybe this story will help you decide!

We open the doors to Caritas promptly at 9 a.m. each Thursday. A couple of weeks ago, at a few minutes after 9:00, a police officer arrived with our first, most challenging client.  He was a man from Indiana who was invited on a spontaneous road trip to Wisconsin the day before. He was basically abandoned in St Germain by these "friends". He had just 41 cents in his pocket and no way home. He had set out on foot at 5 a.m. from St. Germain to Minocqua and went straight to the police station. The police tried, but were unable, to come up with a solution to help him get home. They knew about Caritas and brought him to us.
After lots of phone calls and debates, we decided to put him up for a night in a local motel, gave him a SaveMore card for food, and bought an inexpensive plane ticket to fly him to Chicago the next day. We learned that a flight from the Gogebic airport in Ironwood to Chicago is only $79! We used creative solutions to get him to Ironwood and he was quite grateful.

This quiet, scared young man lives in a men's shelter and does day work for cash with a friend who has a landscaping business. At one point during our many phone calls and negotiations, he sat with his head bowed. We asked if he was tired and he replied, "I'm thinking about how I need to be careful who my friends are."

We had a few of our people follow up with him between the time he left our building and his return home. He made quite an impression on all of us, and we wanted to be sure it all worked out. In follow up conversations, he received some fatherly advice about choosing friends and staying on the right track. He talked much more freely about his situation: he had never been out of the city, grew up in the projects, his mom was a drug addict killed by his dad, his dad is in prison, he was raised by grandparents, and on and on. Now he is working, has gone through job corps, received his GED, and currently has a fiancĂ©.

We learned that that night, he slept like a baby, ate a good meal and took 3 showers. The next morning the motel gave him complimentary breakfast. The owner woke him up and told him he better eat if he was going fly for the first time! His neighbor at the motel gave him $5 so he had some money. He repeatedly said how blessed he was to find us.

Many times we don't know what becomes of our clients. Sometimes we only see them once because of an urgent shortfall in their lives. Sometimes we see people repeatedly. This time, it was so nice to hear - as Paul Harvey would say - The Rest of the Story.
Hymn of the Month:  Celebrating All Saints' Day in Music
Written by Le Ganschow

In his book, Crazy Christians, Bishop Michael Curry talks about a day in our church year in which we remember crazy Christians. He says,
"It's called All Saints' Day because the saints, though they were fallible and
mortal and sinners like the rest of us, when push came to shove
they marched to the beat of a different drummer."
Our church will celebrate All Saints' Day on November 6. One hymn commonly used across churches to commemorate the saints is 'For All the Saints' (Sine Nomine). This month's hymnody article provides a brief background on the hymn. The parenthesized 'Sine Nomine' means "without name," referring to the Renaissance tradition of naming certain compositions 'Sine Nomine' if they were not settings for pre-existing tunes. It is said to be one of the finest, and best recognized hymn tunes of the 20th century.
English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the musical setting, which first appeared in the English Hymnal in 1906. It has a kind of marching beat, with the bass notes of the organ leading the way. Unlike many of our hymns, this one has both unison verses (1, 2, 3, 7, 8) and harmonized verses (4, 5, 6), and we usually sing them all with great gusto!
William W. How, English curate, Dean and Suffragan Bishop, wrote the lyrics (originally 11 verses) in 1864. The verses are based on passages in Hebrews, in particular, the "Hall of Faith" passage in Hebrews 11 that commemorates the known and anonymous heroic figures from the Old Testament who "...encourage and challenge our faith."
All Saints' Day provides Christians world-wide with an opportunity to honor all Holy Ones, known and unknown, and to witness a "church triumphant." We encourage you to pay close attention to the words as you sing each stanza, and appreciate the church's "triumph" through our known and unknown honored saints.
For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
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