The Church Bell
Vol. 5, No. 10
December 2021/January 2022
Christmas Eve at St. Agnes'
Join us for a special time of worship on December 24th, 4:00 p.m., when we celebrate The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord.  

Bring the entire family and invite a frend of neighbor to this beautiful time of worship and song. 

"O Come, Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord."
Following our Christmas Eve Service we invite you to the Father Werlein Memorial Christmas Reception in the Parish Hall.

We encourage everyone to bring a favorite treat to share and enjoy. Coffee and hot cider will be served as well.
Hear us on the radio!
Tell your friends to hear us on the radio!

We will broadcast an abbreviated version of our Christmas Eve service at two scheduled time slots on WZYX - 1440 AM or 94.5 FM.

The first broadcast will be on December 24th at 8:00 p.m. (right after the top-of-the-hour news brief).

The second broadcast will be on December 25th at 10:00 a.m. (again, right after the top-of-the-hour news brief).
Remembering the Legendary Fr. Werlein
Cowan has a very special Christmas legend: The Rev'd Phillip Prentiss Werlein was a priest, a Rhodes Scholar, a WWI Army veteran, and a giver of Christmas cheer for the people of Cowan.

Father Werlein came to Sewanee in 1968 after retiring from the Diocese of Louisiana. He took the helm at St. Agnes’ and helped grow the congregation. 

One of his many great contributions was the Christmas Eve reception that he organized every year with a Christmas tree, cider, cookies, and a gift for each child in attendance. Some of the children came from households that could not afford Christmas gifts.
He was truly devoted to the people of Cowan. This time of year we make a special effort to honor his legacy.
Linda, David and Linda remember
Linda Milligan, her brother David Bohannan, and her sister-in-law Linda Bohannan, shared on video some of their Christmas memories of Father Werlein.

This is an honest and candid assessment of a man who was larger-than-life in many ways!

Watch and enjoy!
Remember: Christmas lasts 12 days!
While the world around us is packing up decorations and retail stores are holding "after Christmas" sales, the church throughout the world continues her 12-day observance of the Lord's Nativity.

Sunday, December 26th, is the First Sunday of Christmas when the lectionary takes us to the first chapter of John's gospel. This writing about "the Word made flesh" tells the backstory of Jesus' Nativity.

Sunday, January 2nd, is the Second Sunday of Christmas. On this day Luke's gospel takes us to the episode of Jesus as a young boy teaching in the Temple and amazing the rabbis with his knowledge of scripture.

On both Sunday's we will hold our usual 11:00 service with coffee hour following, and the Nave will still be adorned in Christmas evergreens.
January 2nd - Epiphany Sunday School Lesson, 10 a.m. in the parish hall
We had a very successful and well-attended Advent Sunday school class in the month of December.

By popular demand, we will offer an additional class on Sunday morning, January 2nd, at the 10 o'clock hour.

This lesson will focus on the Wise Men - or "Magi" - who came in search of the newborn king. This is one of Christianity's most fascinating stories revealing the identity of Jesus and the purpose of God's coming to human existence in the flesh.
January 23rd - Agnes and Emerentiana
On Sunday, January 23rd, the congregation will celebrate the life, legacy and faithful witness of two early Christian Martyrs.

The primary celebration will that of St. Agnes: Martyr at Rome. (The actual day of her feast is January 21st)

The secondary celebration will be that of St. Emerentiana: Martyr at Rome, who was a foster sister to Agnes.

We will start our day of commemoration with a 10:00 lesson in the parish hall where we will discuss various aspects of Agnes' and Emerentiana's story and legacy.  We will then hold a festival service at the usual 11 o'clock hour.

After the service we will have Sunday brunch in the parish hall.
Our custom at St. Agnes' is to have a church-wide brunch after the service on St. Agnes' Sunday.

We invite you to join us and bring a breakfast or brunch favorite to share.

Brunch on St. Agnes' Sunday is a tradition going back many years and something we always look forward to!
Two Martyrs at Rome
As a child of twelve years, Agnes suffered for her faith, in Rome, during the cruel persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. After rejecting blandishments and withstanding threats and tortures by executioner, she remained firm in refusal to offer worship to the heathen gods, and was burned at the stake - or, according to another early tradition, was beheaded with the sword. The early fathers of the Church praised her courage and chastity, and remarked upon her name, which means "pure" in Greek and "lamb" in Latin.

Source: The Proper for Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2006
Agnes had a foster sister named Emerentiana.

Just days after Agnes was buried, Emerentiana publicly criticized the Roman government for killing an innocent woman. She was subsequently stoned to death.  

For over 1,400 years the story of Emerentiana was dismissed as legend. Then, in the 19th Century, the famous Italian archivist Armanelli found her grave only a short distance from St. Agnes' Basilica.  

The feast of St. Emerentiana: Martyr at Rome is celebrated on January 23rd, just two days after the feast of St. Agnes.
January 30th - Annual Meeting
Pursuant to the canons of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Tennessee, and the customs of this congregation, we will hold the annual meeting of St. Agnes' Church on Sunday, January 30th, following the 11:00 service.

This meeting is where we elect our Mission Council, vote on a proposed budget, and discuss our goals for the New Year.

May God grant us all things necessary for our common life in the mission and ministry of His holy church.
Special thanks to a hard-working team!
We appreciated the hard work of a dedicated "green team" on Saturday, December 18th.

Our members included Alice, Ben, Brian, Christie, Jarod, Kathleen, Liam, Mary, Rose, Shelia, and Steve.

St. Agnes' is, once again, beautifully adorned in evergreens for the Christmas season. The parish hall is also decorated and looking festive.

It's worth noting also that this is our first year to us our larger and sturdier Advent wreath stand.

Additional photos of the greening of the church are posted on our Facebook page:
Get Ahead on Recent Sermons
Take full advantage of our online presence, especially if you are unable to attend services in person.

Here are some of our recent Video Sermons:
Each and every Sunday we post the day's sermon on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel. These posts are followed by an e-mail with video links to everyone in the congregation who was unable to attend on that particular day.

You can show your support by liking and commenting whenever you see a video sermon on YouTube and/or on Facebook. The more likes and comments we receive the more our posts will be visible to the general public.
Wintertime Birthdays
December 3 - Kate Summers
December 11 - Wynona Gibson
December 14 - Bobby Gass
December 16 - Jonathan Scott
December 19 - Lee Glenn
December 22 - Bill Keller
December 31 - Frances Weddington

January 18 - Wes Nevels

February 4 - Abby Garner Patterson
February 11 - Andrew Wilkinson
February 16 - Janelee Wise
February 24 - Keaton Krauth
February 26 - Karen McCallie
February 26 - Georgia Scott


"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."
We Uphold in Prayer
Rev. Blake Stephens, Peyton McLaughlin, David Gibson, Barbara Claire, Randy Hall, Billy Greer, Clint Prince, Dave Myers, Harold Black Jr., Scott James, Rachel Schnabel, Wynona Gibson, Brad Roberts, Steve Pearson, Dick and Mary Ann Austin, Marty Judd, Iris Ellidge, Mary McDonald, Roy Tankersley, Royana Stewart, Bill Keller, Linda Milligan, and Karen McCallie.

We pray continually for Christians around the world in grave danger.

We pray for the victims of recent storms in the Midwest and especially Midland, Kentucky. We pray for God's help and wisdom in the troubling situation in Afghanistan and on the US/Mexico border.

We pray for those in our armed service especially Wes Nevels and Anthony Russell.

We bless and commemorate Sharon Butler and Sandy King who passed into glory.


"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 Rev'd Dr. Linda Hutton.................................Supply Priest

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