The Church Bell
Vol. 4, No. 6
August / September 2020
Journey Alongside Matthew Through Jesus' Earthly Ministry!
Our Sunday services this season recall Jesus' earthly ministry according to Matthew. We've had some interesting sermons and powerful lessons, to say the least!

This coming Sunday, August 16th, Matthew takes us to Jesus' encounter with The Canaanite Woman. What begins as an awkward dialogue turns into a powerful lesson about faith and God's infinite mercy.

Remember that we are posting our sermons each and every Sunday on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel. We especially encourage those who are unable to attend in person to listen and enjoy at your own convenience.

St. Agnes' is pleased to offer our video/online ministry so that the ministry of the Word goes beyond the walls of the church.

Join us in person...and online! O come, Let us Adore Him!
September 2020: A Most Appropriate Time to Remember Constance & Her Companions
The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken center stage in almost every aspect of our lives this year.

Churches, just like businesses, face enormous challenges to function in this new and ever-changing context.

We are certainly blessed in today's society to have technology and advances in healthcare to help us move forward during these strange times.

It behooves us as Tennesseans and as Episcopalians to look back at the deadliest pandemic in Tennessee history: The Yellow Fever Outbreak of 1878.

The 1878 outbreak put the entire city of Memphis under horrific duress with as many as 200 people dying each day. Some 15,000 residents fled the city to avoid exposure while the city's government ceased to operate. The Tennessee General Assembly, in fact, pulled the city's charter.

A group of Episcopal nuns, the Community of St. Mary, based out of St. Mary's Cathedral in downtown Memphis, devoted themselves to caring for the sick and dying during the outbreak. In doing so, four of the nuns and two priests died after exposure to the very disease they were trying to protect others from. (Only two of the nuns survived.)

On September 9, 1878, Sister Constance, Superior of the Order, was the first to succumb to complications from Yellow Fever. For that reason, the Episcopal Church dedicates September 9th as The Feast of Constance and Her Companions: The Martyrs of Memphis.

This year, St. Agnes' will celebrate Constance and Her Companions on Sunday, August 6th. The Rev'd Dr. Linda Hutton will lead the service at the usual 11:00 a.m. Between now and then, we will coordinate an outreach project for the month of September that honors their legacy.

Indeed we are deeply concerned for the world we live in today in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at the same time, we are deeply inspired by the faith and devotion of Constance and Her Companions who represented the church even to the point of losing their own lives. May we always treasure their beautiful legacy!

To read more about Constance and Her Companions, take a look at our dedicated page on the St. Agnes' Church website:

Updates from our church family
Dick and Mary Ann Austin sent a beautiful card to the church thanking us for our prayers and for the recent flowers and card we sent! We understand that Dick is resting from a recent fall. We pray that he will make a timely and successful recovery!

Jessica and Liam Dervin sent their love and prayers to everyone in a recent phone call. They're keeping a low profile these days as a safety precaution because of Liam's work in a healthcare facility. They look forward to a new season when the risk is reduced and they can be back in church again!

Joshua Few, a local veteran and friend to several of us at St. Agnes', had a successful surgery on August 3rd and is home recovering. He appreciates our continuing prayers.

Wynona Gibson sent a beautiful card thanking the congregation for our friendship and prayers during a difficult time for her entire family. We were thrilled to see her back in church on August 9th!

Donnie Goodman, brother of Carl Goodman, is showing some progress after receiving two cancer treatments. The entire family appreciates our prayers and hopes he will continue in a positive direction.

Ella Grissett had throat surgery in late July. She has recovered well thanks in part to a diet of ice cream, popsicles, and cold applesauce! We were glad to see her back in church on August 9th!

The Rev'd Jean Mweningoma - we were sad to hear that Fr. Jean's plan to return home to Burundi in early July was cancelled due to a lack of available airline service. We have just learned that he may be able to fly out as early as August 25th. We already have a card signed from the congregation with cash to help cover baggage fees and meals at the various airports. We pray that his trip home will come together as planned! Fr. Jean is eager to get back home to his family and moving forward again in his ministry.

Wes Nevels spoke with Jarod in late July. He is doing well in his program of training in the US Marines and hoping to be back in Cowan at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. The congregation signed and mail a card to him, which he received and appreciated.

Steve Pearson is getting some good news on his oncology test results. If his progress continues, he could be cancer-free by the end of the year. We will certainly pray for some good news such as that!

Duncan Weddington and Frances made it back home after a Duncan's longer-than-planned recovery from surgery at St. Thomas West. Thankfully, Duncan is resting and recovering. It appears that the surgery was successful. Thanks be to God!
St. Agnes' pleased to announce that Benjamin Money started the process to join The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church. This year he will complete a course and then get additional training and instruction through the Tennessee Chapter.

A verger is a care-taker and attendant in the life of the congregation who assists with the organization and operation of worship services. Vergers are also known historically to oversee the care of church buildings and furnishings, sacred vessels, and church-owned cemeteries.

Vergers have existed in Anglican tradition throughout the history of the Church of England, but were not formally recognized until the 16th Century.

The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) is a service organization that supports the ministry of vergers, sacristans, worship leaders, altar guild members, and more.

We look forward to seeing Ben work with the Guild and further develop his skills as a lay member and lay leader at St. Agnes'!
The Change for Life Campaign
For the 3rd year in a row, St. Agnes' parishioners supported the Change for Life campaign to benefit the Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Winchester.

Our baby bottle coin jars help provide a ministry of life and love to women with untimely pregnancies.

The Center provides Christian counseling, medical referrals, healthy pregnancy resources, life management resources, and other needs.

To learn more about Life Choices, visit their website at or reach out to Christie James Grissett who works with the Center.
Family Counseling Center of Middle TN
In the month of July we learned more about the Life Choices Pregnancy Center and Christie's work with that particular ministry.

For the month of August we will learn more about the Family Counseling Center of Middle Tennessee, Inc. and the work that Shelia Robertson Leitzel does with their vital ministry.

FCC is a non-profit Christian Counseling Center that covers a broad range of services with a Biblical emphasis. The services range from conflict resolution to stress management, from anxiety and alcohol/drug abuse to life-coaching and parenting.

St. Agnes' will provide a 5th Sunday special offering for the Family Counseling Center. However, besides financial support, we encourage to mention their services to friends, family and neighbors who may need them.

To learn more about FCC, visit their website at or reach out to Shelia. The office phone number is 931-723-0380.
August / September Birthdays
August 7 - Liam Dervin
August 9 - Rose Pearson
August 29 - Duncan Weddington
August 31 - Pat Underwood

September 2 - Benjamin Money
September 2 - Sara Money
September 21 - Mary Pearson-Smith
September 22 - Linda Overton


"Watch over thy children, O Lord, as their days increase; bless and guide them wherever they may be. Strengthen them when they stand, comfort them when discouraged or sorrowful; raise them up if they fall; and their hearts may thy peace, which passeth understanding abide all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Happy 50th Anniversary!
Steve and Rose Pearson will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on August 28th!

We join the entire Pearson family in celebrating this very special mile-marker!
We Remember in Prayer
Ella Grissett, Joshua Few, Tammy Click, Donnie Goodman, Duncan Weddington, Tim Brown, Wynona Gibson, Brad Roberts, Rosemary Harris, Claire Lusk, Christy Shepard, Steve Pearson, Dick and Mary Ann Austin, Marty Judd, Jonanne Hammer, Jay Yowell, Iris Ellidge, Mary McDonald, Will Olsmit, Gina, Jordan and Austin Cleek, Brad and Anita Warmbrod, Roy Tankersley, Royana Stewart, Bill Keller, Linda Milligan, and Karen McCallie.

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."
Status of our opening phase
We are still in Phase 2 of our re-opening plan at St. Agnes'. Considering the growth of COVID-19 cases across the Volunteer State, we anticipate remaining in Phase 2 for several more weeks.

As soon as we see conditions improve in Tennessee and some revised health advisories from state and local officials, the Mission Council will discuss a timeline for moving into Phase 3.

If you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions, or concerns, please reply to this e-mail or reach out to me by telephone at (931) 308-8954.

As mentioned before, we have a list of Personal Health Considerations posted here in our newsletter, on our website, and in hard copy at the church. Please re-read the document and take necessary precautions.

May God continually watch over us and grant us peace in this challenging time!

In His Service,

Personal Health Considerations
We want anyone and everyone who wants to join us for worship at St. Agnes' to find the same sense of welcome that's interwoven with the character and identity of this beautiful church family!

However, while we are in the early stages of re-opening the church for in-person gatherings, we need to follow some general guidelines to reduce risk and exposure.

If you fall under any of the following health conditions, or high risk categories, such as:

  • Heart and/or lung disease
  • A compromised immune system
  • Recent hospitalization
  • Ongoing and intense medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or dialysis
  • Symptoms of fever, cough, respiratory infection, or shortness of breath, etc.

...we urge you to refrain from attending in-person services and group gatherings while health advisories are still in place. Our on-line ministry will continue for the benefit of those who cannot attend, and we will continue other forms of ministry "outside the walls" as well. Also,

  • Hand sanitizer will be available near the front door of both buildings. Those serving at the altar will also have hand sanitizer and gloves.

  • We are not at this time planning to section off the Nave to ensure social distancing. However, we do encourage everybody in attendance to "spread out among the pews" so that we maintain a comfortable and reasonable distance during worship.

  • We are taking a short hiatus from the "passing of the peace" as we were doing when the pandemic started.

  • We are also asking those who receive communion to avoid the practice of "intinction" with the cup. Those who do not wish to drink from the common cup are still invited to receive bread while declining the wine, which is a commonly accepted practice in the church throughout the world.

Please be mindful that some in our church family are taking a break from hugs and handshakes while health advisories are in place. This is a matter of personal preference and we want to uphold everybody's individual decision in that regard.

Our plans are subject to change in light of changing circumstances around us. However, we want to at every step preserve the character and the fellowship of our beloved church family!

We are in this together and God is in control!
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

The Rev'd Dr. Linda Hutton.................................Interim Supply Priest

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