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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


Sept. 17 - 6:00 pm

3rd Thursday Evensong

& Potluck


Sept. 19 - 11:00 am

Bishop's Discussion


Sept. 27 - 10:00 am

The Rev. Carol Amadio's

Last Sunday at St. Matthias'


Oct. 3 - 10:00 am

St. Francis Day

Blessing of the Animals


Oct. 4 - 10:00 am

The Rev. Erin Kirby's

First Sunday at St. Matthias' 




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)
June Ambassador
July Ambassador
August 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 Interim

Interim Endings and New Beginnings
The Interim will officially end on Sunday, September 27th with a concluding coffee hour following the 10:00 am service. This will be a time to celebrate a great team effort by the Transition Team, the Vestry, the staff, and all the members of St. Matthias', as we complete the Interim and you look forward to Pastor Erin's first service on October 4th. I am proud to have shared a part of this journey with you. I have loved being your Interim Pastor and will continue to pray for all of you and for Erin as you begin your life together at St Matthias'.

On August 31st I met with the Wardens and Vestry of St. Augustine's, Rhinelander, in order to explore the possibility of becoming their Interim Rector. I am happy to say that following lively and enjoyable discussion, I was contacted later in the day and asked to become St. Augustine's Priest in Charge beginning on November 1st. I happily agreed to join them as they begin the process of calling their new Rector. Please keep me and the people of St. Augustine's in your prayers.

One last reflection as I conclude my last Ambassador article. Shortly after Erin arrives, Bishop Matt will schedule a service to celebrate her and your new ministry. This service is a big deal, and everyone in the diocese of Fond du Lac will be invited to be present for the celebration. I recommend you get a preview of this event by reading through the Celebration of New Ministry which begins on page 559 in the Prayer Book. Bishop Matt will be here on Saturday, September 19th, at 11:00 am for another discussion and question session. That would be an opportunity to ask him any questions you may have about this service.

Introducing Our New Rector

St. Matthias' is excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Erin Kirby as its new Rector. Coming on board October 1st, her first service will be the St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, on Saturday, October 3rd, followed by the celebration of her first Eucharist at 10:00
am on Sunday, October 4th. A celebratory potluck will be held immediately following the Sunday service.
Rev. Kirby leaves her position as Associate Rector of St. James Parish, Wilmington, NC, to become the second Rector of St. Matthias', replacing the Rev. Edgar Wallace who retired on December 31st, 2014, after 25 years of service.
Erin obtained her theological training at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA (2008-11), under the sponsorship of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Valle Crucis, NC. Her second year of training was spent abroad at an Anglican seminary, Ripon College, located in the English village of Cuddesdon with field placements in Littlemore and London.
Upon receiving her Master of Divinity degree in 2011, Erin returned to England to serve as Junior Dean at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and as curate in the Church of England for Dorchester Abby near Oxford. Upon her return to the United States in 2012, she was ordained to the priesthood, serving as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Shrewsbury, MA, before being called to St. James-Wilmington.
Prior to her theological training, Erin was employed in higher education at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC (1995-2005), where she served as webmaster and adjunct faculty member, while earning her doctorate in Education. From 2005-08, Erin served as Assistant Professor of Education at Lees McRae College, Banner Elk, NC.
My Family and Faith Walk --
   A Message to St. Matthias' from Erin
The two most important things in my life have been my family and my search to live a life that honors a relationship with God. I have an amazing daughter, Ashley, who lives in Chicago with her fiancé Justin, their 16 year old dog, Poet, and Jessica, the box turtle who has been with Ashley since she was 7.
My calling to serve God began at age 8, finding its form in many ways, threading through all I have done to honor the gift of Grace. As one of five children, we were taught by our parents that we are not here solely for ourselves but to help make the world a better place. I have a strong belief in God's loving presence in the world which has allowed me to see and share God's Peace - a Peace that comes with the knowledge that we are designed first and foremost for good and that we all have gifts to share.
When I witness the sorrow and brokenness in the world, my faith helps me to remember that our God is love, not visiting pain upon us but standing beside us in our pain through Christ; and through the Spirit, God seeks to inspire wholeness in us when we come together in joy or in sorrow.
As Christ followers we have much to give to the effort of bringing hope and wholeness to the world. I am excited to see the way St. Matthias' acts on these principles through caring for each other and through work in the surrounding community. I look forward to joining you in your ministry!
A Huge Thank You and Sincere Congratulations to Our Amazing Transition Team!!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be selected for a team, given a great amount of responsibility, a goal to be reached, little direction in how to attain it, and a completely unknown timeline in which to do it? Sounds scary, doesn't it?   But, that is exactly what we presented to our Transition Team!

Seventeen months ago, Isaiah Brokenleg, Diane Diederich, Roger Ganschow, Gordon Hermanson, Ken Ozinga, Karin Randolph, and Marilyn Walker accepted this daunting task, chose Ken as their chair, and got to work. One of the first things they did was to organize an after coffee hour session with the congregation to elicit qualities important in a new priest. The team created surveys, tabulated the results, and shared them with the congregation. They worked with Beth Jacobson and added a wonderful parish profile to our website, placed a suggestion box in the Narthex, and kept the congregation informed through The Ambassador, bulletins, and frequent announcements. The team figured out ways to publicize the position and then waited for the applications to come in. All of the ten candidates were given individual attention - each was granted a telephone interview and everyone was treated confidentially and with respect.

After speaking with all of the candidates, there was one who significantly stood apart from all the rest ... Rev. Erin Kirby. Upon receiving several outstanding letters of reference, the team invited her to Minocqua, picked her up at the airport, housed her, toured the church, the Thrift Shop, and the town, participated in Karin's yoga class, hosted a dinner in her honor, and got up at 2:00 AM to get her back to Wausau for that 6:00 flight! After spending this time with her, there was not a shred of doubt in anyone's mind that she would be recommended to the Vestry to serve as our next Rector. After Bishop Matt approved the choice, the Transition Team met with the Vestry and placed a conference call so everyone could visit with her and ask questions. After the call, the Vestry unanimously approved calling her as our next priest. Members of the Transition Team then met to work on the covenant, which is the agreement between the Rector and the church. The Vestry and Bishop Matt approved the covenant, signatures were obtained, and the announcement was made to the congregation on Sunday, August 30.

This is a brief summary and an over-simplification of what the Transition Team did for us - it is impossible to figure the countless hours, phone conversations, thousands of emails and more than a few sleepless nights that went into making this a reality. Our entire congregation is very, very grateful. Thank you to each one of you!

 - Chris Clark
Parish Updates 

St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals
Please bring your furry friends -- all creatures great and small -- and join us on Saturday, October 3 at 10:00 in the parish parking lot as we commemorate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.  Rev. Erin will bless each animal individually, and treats will be provided to all our animal guests!  In conjunction with the Blessing, St. Matthias' is also sponsoring a pet food drive; donation baskets will be throughout the community, as well as in our Narthex.  All donations will go to the Lakeland Pantry and the Oneida County Humane Society.

Welcome Back, Bishop Matt!
On Saturday, September 19, Bishop Matt will again be at St. Matthias'; he will meet with the Vestry and the Transition Team from 9:00 until 11:00, and then with the congregation from 11:00 until noon.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to discuss whatever topics that are on our minds, so please bring any questions you may have.  At 12:00 there will be a brief liturgy where Bishop Matt releases Carol as our Interim - then we'll enjoy lunch together in the Parish Hall.  A sign up sheet is on the bulletin board.  We hope you can come! 
Music Ministry Team News  
The Music Ministry Team has the ongoing responsibility of selecting mass music, hymns, and anthems. On November 1 we've invited our area brass quintet, Celebration Brass, to play for "All Saints' Day". They'll do the prelude and postlude that day, and we'll select hymns appropriate for them to accompany us. We're also planning on an anthem that involves the brass group.
We're beginning to look ahead towards Advent and Christmas. We've decided not to do our traditional Advent Carol 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 focus on the pre-service and service music for the 9:30 Christmas Eve service.
Touchstones:  In the Middle (continued) 
Written by Diane Diederich

I hear many parents fear of being alienated from their children. "I want to have the kind of relationship with my kids that I never had with my parents." is both spoken and unspoken as a catalyst for the fear of "being the bad guy" when it comes to making rules and setting limits. While belligerent behavior is developmentally expected for both the 2-year-old and the resulting serious consequences of behaviors is vastly different! But they have this in common: each is asking, "Is anyone in charge here?"
Being "stuck in the middle" often makes us long for assurances that all will be well. This longing propels us between the desire to control or demand and the tendency to back off and be more lenient. Sadly, I see so many naming isolation as safety when the opposite is probably true. More and more parents want to insure that their children won't be bored and so become their entertainment committee. I was surprised to learn that many parents have never taught their children to play games. You remember? Jacks, Red Light/Green Light, and Dodge Ball. The shelves at toy stores are for something that kids like. When my grandkids come here, the "games closet" is the first stop, to see what new games Grandma got for them.
Finally, perhaps "living in the middle" encourages all of us to examine "good-enough" parenting. In each generation we deal with different circumstances and differing responses, but these are of my musings:
  1. The vital piece is coming to peace with your style and enhancing it if there is room for improvement.
  2. Remember, there are no fool-proof or guaranteed ways of parenting.
  3. The fact that we claim to be Christians must make a difference in what we allow as choices for our family members - for the adults and children as well.
  4. The kind of judgments, bullying and ostracizing that was part of the atmosphere in the myriads of "Littletons" MUST not be allowed to continue once it's discovered, if indeed Christ's choice of the marginalized is to be our model for behavior!
  5. And please, monitor your computer as diligently as you do TV. What a subtle source of danger it can be.
Be About Peaceful Things, Diane
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