The Church Bell
April 3, 2020 updates
Holy Week and Eastertide Updates
Dear Church Family,

Sadly and as expected, Bishop Bauerschmidt issued an updated pastoral directive in light of federal and state health advisories.

The new directive effectively suspends Sunday services and group gatherings for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday.

Given the recent announcement by Governor Lee, we expect the suspension of services to be extended through the entire month of April. We will update the congregation if and when an announcement is made by the Bishop.

Our hope and our goal is to resume Sunday services on May 2nd - though this could change to a later date given the circumstances. It's helpful to know that even then we will still be in the season of Eastertide because - remember - Eastertide is a 50-day season! Christ is Risen Indeed!

We intend to make our first Sunday back at St. Agnes' a festival celebration!

Until that time, the life and ministry of the church is fully intact. Here are some of the ways that we are functioning while services are suspended:

  • Bishop Lambert and I will continue to make phone calls to the congregation. Other parishioners are doing likewise.

  • Bishop Lambert will send out occasional letters and homilies via e-mail. His latest is posted in a section below.

  • Anyone in the congregation can call me (931-308-8954) or leave a message on the church voicemail (931-636-6313) if you need assistance or have a special prayer request. We have a team of ready respondents that I can quickly dispatch when need arises.

  • Check out the links we are providing for live-steam and video services in the section below;

  • The Book of Common Prayer is an extraordinary resource for individual and family prayer at home. If you need a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, we will get you one! Let us know right away! The entire BCP is also online at this link:

  • Forward Day-by-Day is a handy and helpful resource for daily prayer and scripture reading. If you need a copy, tell us now! You can also read the daily lessons and meditations on-line by clicking here.

Stay well and stay safe during this difficult time. God is with us and Dominion belongs to Him!

Grace and peace,

Video and Live-Stream Sunday Services
St. Agnes' will add Morning Prayer and other services to our YouTube channel . You can click here to view the channel. When the service is uploaded, we will send a specific link to everybody by e-mail and also through our Facebook page.
Holy Family Episcopal Church in Angola, Indiana has a lively presence on Facebook. This is where our former resident seminarian, The Rev'd Tom Adamson, is serving as Vicar. Tom spoke with Jarod earlier today and sends his love and prayers to the folks at St. Agnes'! Here's the link on Facebook:
Trinity-by-the-Cove in Naples, Florida is holding live-stream and video services. This is where our former resident seminarian, The Rev'd Nicholas Ceccese, is serving as Associate Rector. Special thanks goes to Duncan and Frances for sharing this link with us! Here it is:
Some of our sister congregations in the Diocese of Tennessee will host Sunday services via the Internet on video and live-stream.

Here are some links and descriptions:
Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville will holds a live-stream broadcast of service at 11:00 a.m. Other services will be broadcast on Sunday evening and during the week as well. Simply click on the link below:
St. Georges' Nashville holds a live-stream broadcast at 10:00 a.m. You can see the same services posted by video a few hours later that you can watch anytime. St. George's will also broadcast a noon-day prayer service each day during the week.

To see the live-stream and the video links, click here:
St. Peter's Columbia will do a live-stream broadcast of services through the church's Facebook channel. To participate, go to the church website and click on the Facebook icon.
"Thoughts for Today" from Bishop Lambert
“Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of this world our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found.” (Collect V Lent, BCP)
I don’t know about you, but I have been unsettled for the last three weeks in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I can’t seem to focus or get motivated to do the things I normally do. Exercise as I should each day, eat properly, get out in the yard and do chores, get ready for Church each Sunday, those sorts of things. (Of course, when rains every other day and the sun isn’t shine, it only furthers my resolve to do nothing!)
My routine has changed for sure. Now, I wash my hands incessantly, stay home as much as possible, and cancel future reservations for outings and such. Who would really thought two months ago we would be in this place? Oh, the “talking heads” and “arm-chair quarterbacks” are having their day in the sun. They are a dime a dozen these days it seems. The truth be told we as a culture really thought we were “bullet proof” when it came to pandemics and the like. Somehow, a “Black Plague” event would never happen to us as a nation! And even though thousands of people each year die oy the flu, we didn’t think it was that bad. So long as I didn’t get it!
We are in the midst of troubling and difficult time for sure, no doubt about it! Yet our Collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent calls us back to the basics of life, the basics of our faith. To “love what God commands and to desire what he promises.” He desires for us to be with him and to know that he is with us, always. Jesus told us in the Gospel of John, “I will not leave you orphaned.” That’s a promise! A promise we need to hear and live into in the difficult time we are finding our way through.
The Collect calls us to “fix our hearts” that is, focus our hearts where true joys are to be found, namely in the very bosom of our God. Do not be afraid! Trust in him, he will keep his promises. He always does and, he always will. I know there is an innocence in this way of thinking but it is an innocence that can drive away our fear of the unknown and draw our hearts and minds into God’s way of thinking and being.
Let us get back to the basics in this time. Call upon your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, draw near to him that he may “dwell in you and you in him”. Talk to your friends and loved ones as often as you can, draw strength upon those relationships you have developed over the years that have brought you joy and peace. This is how we will navigate our way through this time of testing.
“Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise..”   He will you know, we need only to ask. God bless and keep you.
Bp. Paul Lambert

Pledges & offerings
We have already received a number of pledges and offerings in the mail from members of the congregation during this time of suspended services.

These are helpful to our budget as we cover fixed expenses that are billed regardless of how much activity we have on the church campus.

Just this week the Diocese of Tennessee offered to reschedule fair share payments and the Church Insurance Agency Corporation offered to reschedule premium payments to any and all churches during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are pleased to mention that St. Agnes' paid both of those plus all other expenses on-time last month and we plan to this month as well!

Our outreach efforts are on-going and, in fact, are in greater need at this difficult time.

To continue your support, you can at any time send all or part of your pledge to the church while services are suspended. You can send a check or money order to St. Agnes', PO Box 356, Cowan, TN 37318.

If you would rather pay in cash, simply seal the cash in an envelope, write St. Agnes' Mission on the envelope. and drop it by Citizens Tri-County Bank in Cowan during regular hours. The staff at the Cowan bank will gladly deposit the funds and mail a receipt to the church. (If you prefer, you can also drop a check by the bank instead of mailing it in.)

If you would rather give your pledge when services resume, that too is perfectly fine.

If circumstances during the COVID-19 outbreak require you to reduce your pledge this year, do not hesitate to let us know. We fully understand that finances may be much tighter than expected and we can easily adjust our church budget if necessary.
Prayers to offer during the outbreak
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We Remember in Prayer
Patsy Rigsby, Brad Roberts, Rosemary Harris, Claire Lusk, Christy Shepard, Steve Pearson, Dick & Mary Ann Austin, Rose Pearson, Marty Judd, Roger Bailey, Jonanne Hammer, Linda Hutton, Dan Bledsoe, Jay Yowell, Iris Ellidge, Mary McDonald, Will Olsmit, Peggy Nunley, Gina, Jordan and Austin Cleek, Brad and Anita Warmbrod, Roy Tankersley, Royana Stewart, Bill Keller, Howard Gene Eslick, Linda Milligan, and Karen McCallie.

We pray especially for victims of the recent storms in Arkansas. We pray especially for our nation during the coronavirus outbreak.

We pray continually for Christians around the world in grave danger and for those in our armed services, especially Wes Nevels.


"O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayer, and grant to your servants the help of your power, that their sicknesses may be turned into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Sunday Service ....................................11:00 a.m.
Sunday School .....................................10:00 a.m.

Location/Address: 105 England Street E., PO Box 356, Cowan, TN 37318
Telephone: (931) 636-6313
The Rt. Rev'd John C. Bauerschmidt..................Bishop of Tennessee

The Rt. Rev'd Paul Lambert................................Pastor and Celebrant

The Rev'd Jean Mweningoma.............................Visiting Priest

L. Jarod Pearson..................................................Lay Reader