St. Matthias Episcopal Church
Who are we?
Inclusive and Welcoming
We are known in the community for our friendliness. Part of our mission statement says, "Whoever you are, wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith, you are welcome in this church. We invite you to worship with us and to receive Communion with us."
This inclusive and welcoming approach to all people was the characteristic most valued by three quarters of our parish survey respondents. Our motto, "Open Doors, Open Hearts, and Open Minds" describes our parish well. We believe that Jesus' message reveals a God who loves and accepts us all and that Christianity is about sharing that love.
When it comes to a journey of faith, St. Matthias' honors individual differences. As we say, "All are welcome here". Based on a recent survey of our congregation, people had different slants on theological interpretation, but 69 percent of St. Matthias' parishioners consider themselves theologically progressive.
St. Matthias' is one of 37 congregations included within the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in northeastern Wisconsin. While some of our parishioners were raised as Episcopalians, most were raised in other Christian denominations.
Many are from different areas of Wisconsin, while others have retired here from the east coast, west coast, north, and south. The many lakes, forests and other sources of natural beauty as well as outdoor recreational opportunities in the Minocqua area provide a strong attraction to many retirees.
While our congregation is 99 percent white, nearby is the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, which has provided opportunities for cultural and spiritual interchange including an annual Eucharistic service at St. Matthias’ with liturgy and music reflecting Native American traditions and experience. Among its many activities, the St. Francis Project, an outreach arm of St. Matthias’, continues to be responsive to outreach opportunities within the native community.
St. Matthias' church is a small but active and energetic faith community that provides numerous opportunities for spiritual growth and outreach to the broader community. Individual parishioner initiative is encouraged and responsible for many of the ministries described on our website.
90 percent of our 150 parishioners attend services at least once a month, and 40 percent participate in monthly Evensong services. These numbers are good, given that a number of our members travel or leave town for all or part of the colder months.
69 percent of our members are engaged in at least one service ministry, with three being the average. Amazingly, the average age of our parishioners is 69. Most of our members are retired and reside permanently in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
St. Matthias' members value lifelong learning and add to their knowledge at church in a variety of ways: classes, presenters, video series, book studies, Education for Ministry (EfM), and discussion groups such as the Women of Matthias' (WOM). Members also learn as they work side-by-side on projects that help those in need in our community.
We are a fun-loving parish with many social events aimed at casual and light-hearted pleasures that often involve shared meals. Examples include potlucks after monthly Evensong services, Ascension Day kite flying with a Mass-on-the-Grass followed by a lasagna dinner, an annual Winter Survivors' Dinner on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, a Thrift Shop volunteer appreciation dinner each fall, small Foyer Group gatherings designed to acquaint older and newer members, Men-of-Matthias' breakfasts, and numerous small, spur-of-the-moment get-togethers of folks after church for lunch or after choir rehearsal for dinner.
St. Matthias' parishioners are generous with their treasure as well as their talent and time. Operating budgets, excluding outreach and averaging $177,000 annually for the past five years, have been met primarily through pledges and plate offerings. The church campus and its main outreach arm, the Thrift Store, became debt-free in 2012.
Appreciative of Music
Our music ministry is an important component of who we are in worship. In 2013 we dedicated a new tracker-action pipe organ. Leading the music each Sunday at our 10 AM Eucharist service are a husband-wife organist team, a choir director, and a robed choir that varies in size between 10 and 25 members. A music committee carefully selects hymns, service music, and anthems to correspond with the current lectionary. The music budget includes support for two community concerts each year; last year we had an organ recital with guest organist and a "sing-along" of Handel’s Messiah with a guest conductor and organist.