The Church Bell
Vol. 5, No. 2
February/March 2021
The Transfiguration
Sunday, February 14th, is the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. 

Our gospel lesson from Mark 9: 2-9 covers the extraordinary incident where Jesus took Peter, James and John with him on a high mountain. 

Suddenly, his clothes shone in dazzling white and then he appeared with Elijah and Moses. 

We refer to this as "The Transfiguration", which further clarifies the identity of Jesus as The Holy One Of God.

And, with that, we complete our Season of Epiphany and our biblical journey through the early days of Jesus' ministry. Thanks be to God.
O Wondrous Type, O Vision Fair: The Transfiguration Hymn
The Transfiguration is beautifully summarized in the ancient hymn "O wondrous type, o vision fair".

This particular hymn dates back to the 10th Century when it was composed in Latin for use in Morning Prayer.

Originally named "o nata lux", it was translated into English by The Rev'd John Neale in the mid-1800's. Since then, it has become a traditional favorite for Transfiguration Sunday.

Click on the provided YouTube link and listen as it is sung by the choir and congregation at St. John's, Detroit.
Ash Wednesday - February 17th
The various Cowan churches will gather for a shared Ash Wednesday Service on February 17th, 6:00 p.m., at Cowan First Baptist Church. 

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day season of fasting, prayer and reflection. 

During our time of worship, we mark ourselves with ashes as a reminder that we are sinners, facing our own certain death, and in need of God's saving help.

Join us for this meaningful time in prayer and preparation. 

Cowan First Baptist is located at 316 W. Cumberland St. The service is sponsored by Cowan Ministerial Association.
Living Well Through Lent 2021
Join us in the Season of Lent for a new study and discussion in the Living Compass series.

The study follows a discipline of "Listening Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind."

We will begin on Sunday, February 21st, at the 10 a.m. Sunday school hour in the Parish Hall. The series will conclude on Palm Sunday, March 28th.

All materials will be provided free of charge, and coffee is served.

Materials are also available for those who are unable to attend services in-person. Don't hesitate to ask for a copy! Send an e-mail to the church at or leave a voicemail at (931) 636-6313. We will gladly send you a booklet through the postal service.

The Rev. Dr. Linda Hutton and Jarod Pearson will facilitate the series.

Please plan to join us in this informative and life-enriching study in preparation for the joy of Easter morning!
Observe a Holy Lent
"I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer. Amen." The Book of Common Prayer

In the 40-day Season of Lent that we initiate on Ash Wednesday, we have a standing invitation from the church throughout the ages to make this a time of holiness.

Consider fasting: abstaining from things we typically enjoy helps us face the hold that sin has on our individual lives. We are creating for ourselves a godly grief and making more space in our lives for prayer and reflection. Think of one or more things you can give up for Lent that will create a necessary void.

Consider daily prayer and scripture reading: an extra effort to stop every day for prayer and a lesson of Holy Scripture reminds us that God fills the void in our lives and gives us hope and direction. Take time every day with prayer and scripture.

Remember that your fast leads to a joyful feast! The 40-day Season of Lent leads us to the Empty Tomb and the joyful news that Jesus is Risen! Therefore, keep your fast knowing that a glorious feast is ahead of us on Easter Sunday!
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.
Isaiah 117 House
Our missionary focus in February will be the ministry of Isaiah 117 House.

One of many difficult issues we face in Tennessee is the timely and comfortable placement of children into foster care who have just been removed from dangerous situations.

Too often, children are held in hospital emergency rooms or in offices at the local DCS office until a foster family can be located.

Isaiah 177 House provides a clean, safe, and comfortable place for children to rest, bathe, eat, and play while waiting for placement.

This month, St. Agnes' will send a financial gift to our local Isaiah 117 chapter.

If you would like more information, visit the website or reach out to Jessica Liam, who is working with our local chapter.
Look what Carla is wearing!
Each Sunday for the past 10 years Carla has donned a relatively old, but well maintained choir cotta.

With funds from our memorial donations, we were able to order for Carla a custom-made Anglican organist cassock with a new cathedral cotta to go with it.

This acquisition is a wonderful addition to our collection of vestments, and a beautiful gift for Carla!
Report from the Annual Meeting
We had a successful and well-attended meeting of the congregation on January 31st. Here are a few highlights:

  • Our average Sunday attendance in 2020 was 22, which was a steady number considering the enormous challenges we faced last year

  • Our budget from 2020 was very close to our revenue and expense targets. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that services were suspended for a 6-week period, which included Easter Sunday.

  • We kept our outreach commitments firmly in place in 2020

  • Our 2021 budget was passed as proposed by the mission council. We were able to trim expenses in minor areas, such as hospitality (since coffee hour will remain suspended for several more months). We also increased our expense coverage for utilities and insurance.

  • Jarod Pearson was re-elected as Senior Warden.

  • Christie James Grissett was re-elected as Junior Warden.

  • Shelia Leitzel was elected to serve as Treasurer.

  • Brian Judd was elected to serve as Clerk.

  • Gene Black was re-appointed as Church Warden-retired.

  • Benjamin Money was re-appointed as Verger and Senior Acolyte.

  • Brian Judd was re-appointed as Sexton.

  • Kathleen Black was re-appointed as Sacristan.

  • The congregation recognized with applause Alice Black's many years of service as our Treasurer. Alice is now retired from the position and has served with distinction. We will recognize her years of service again later in the year.
Support for Fr. Jean and Fr. Charles:

St. Agnes' will send a Lenten financial contribution in April to the respective ministries of Jean and Charles.

If anyone in the congregation wishes to add additional funds to this outreach, you can place a labeled envelop in the offering plate during Sunday services or mail a check to St. Agnes', PO Box 356, Cowan, TN 37318.
The Scriptural Liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure that we sometimes fail to fully appreciate.

One attribute that makes the prayer book so helpful is that at least 80% of the content is lifted directly from Holy Scripture.

When we worship God using the prayer book form, we are using the Word of God as our firm foundation. The Book of Common Prayer also allows brings unity to both our doctrine and our worship.

Bishop John Bauerschmidt, the Bishop of Tennessee, wrote an article in The Living Church magazine about the scriptural basis of liturgical worship as reflected in the Book of Common Prayer.

It's a short and interesting read. Here is the link:
February/March/April Birthdays
February 4 - Abby Garner Patterson
February 11 - Andrew Wilkinson
February 16 - Janelee Wise
February 26 - Karen McCallie
February 26 - Georgia Scott

March 1 - Louis Mlcoch
March 5 - Bruce Smith
March 11 - Kent Walker
March 14 - Marcia Ruffing
March 21 - Jessica Dervin

April 1 - Randy Patterson
April 7 - the anonymous parishioner
April 7 - Montana Smith
April 13 - John Ruffing
April 15 - Dane Leitzel


"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."
A little good news today
Kathleen Black is recovering well from her shingles outbreak and came back to church in late January. She looks and feels much better!

Wynona Gibson notified us that her niece, Claire Lusk, has recovered well and is back in school. Claire had been on our prayer list for several weeks.

Brian Judd and Steve Pearson reported good results from medical tests and are hopeful that 2021 will be a better year.

Patsi Rigsby is moving into a rehabilitation center for some extended therapy. She is gaining strength and making some headway with her recovery.

Duncan Weddington is making it to church on most Sunday's here lately! We are so blessed to see him and Frances and grateful that he is maintaining strength!

"Step-by-step, day-by-day, inch-by-inch, all the way..." Linda Hutton is walking without a cane! And last Sunday she presided over communion from the altar for the first time in several months!


"O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are new every morning: We give you thanks for giving our brothers and sisters both relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue in them, we pray, the good work you have begun; that they, daily increasing in bodily strength, and rejoicing in your goodness, may so order their lives and conduct that they always think and do those things that please you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
We Remember in Prayer
Louis Mlcoch, Cash Bissey, Rachel Schnabel, Patsi Rigsby, W.O. Greene, Kathleen Black, Rev. Blake Stephens, Brandi Rigsby, Joyce Adams, Joy Boswell, Linda Hutton, David Gibson, Wendi Wallace, R.B. Ray, Bob Turpin, Donnie Goodman, Duncan Weddington, Tim Brown, Wynona Gibson, Brad Roberts, Rosemary Harris, Christy Shepard, Steve Pearson, Dick and Mary Ann Austin, Marty Judd, 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 those who are diagnosed with COVID-19, those who are away from loved ones due to hospitalization and nursing home care, and for families who have lost ones due during the pandemic.

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

We bless and commemorate Carl Spray and Josh Perez who recently 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."
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.

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

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