The Church Bell
Vol. 5, No. 1
January / February 2021
January 21st is The Feast of St. Agnes: Martyr at Rome, 304 a.d.
Today we commemorate the life and witness of Agnes, a young martyr from Rome, who was executed by the imperial government for refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ. 

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

This Sunday at St. Agnes', January 24th:

We will observe St. Agnes' Sunday on the 24th. Linda will lead the service and we will celebrate Holy Communion.

For those unable to attend, the sermon will be posted later in the day on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel.

One of our great traditions at St. Agnes' is to serve our annual brunch on St. Agnes Sunday. Because we are still in a Phase 2 re-opening, we will forgo that tradition this season. However, we will try to hold a separate brunch event later in the year when we are (hopefully!) able to reach Phase 3.
Here is an amazing homily about Agnes:
Click on the provided YouTube link and listen to an amazing homily about St. Agnes. 

The speaker is The Right Reverend Jo Bailey Wells, a Bishop in the Church of England. The service took place at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee on January 21, 2017.
January 23rd is the Feast of St. Emerentiana
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 31st - Annual Meeting of the Congregation
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 31st, 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.
January is "Sanctity of Life Month"
Churches throughout the world dedicate the month of January to ministries and programs that affirm the sanctity of human life.

It's a blessing to know that our area is served by Life Choices Pregnancy Support Center with offices in Coffee, Franklin, and Grundy Counties.

Christie James Grissett is a program coordinator for the Winchester office and keeps us supplied with reading materials and updates.

Life Choices provides a full range of services and support for women faced with crisis pregnancies and related circumstances. The staff provide counseling, ultrasound, referrals, and other helpful resources.

St. Agnes' will send a financial contribution to the ministry this month as well as a contribution to Anglicans for Life, of which we have a local chapter and also receive materials.
Ash Wednesday - February 17th
As of the release of this edition of the Church Bell newsletter, we ask everyone to mark Ash Wednesday, February 17th, on your calendar.

We are working with Cowan Ministerial Association to work out a time and place for a worship gathering with the imposition of ashes.

The service will also be shared through our online channels for those who are unable to attend in person.

A detailed announcement will be sent as soon as the information is made available.
Living Well Through Lent 2021
We had a meaningful Advent study in December 2020!

Now, as we move toward the Season of Lent, we will begin a new study in the same series from Living Compass.

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!
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.
Special thanks to Liam and Jessica
As we made plans for our Christmas Eve service in 2020, one of our toughest decisions was whether or not to hold the Fr. Werlein Memorial Christmas Reception.

The Year 2020 was bad enough with services canceled from Holy Week and Easter. We had also been through the better part of the year with no after-church coffee hour.

By all means we wanted to finish the Year 2020 on a better note, but we also had to face the reality of COVID-19 and the risk of serving meals in the church.

Thanks be to God, we crafted a solution. We decided to get our Christmas treats and refreshments cooked in a central location and placed in sealed containers.

Doing so would reduce the number of hands involved in preparation and insure a more sanitary serving method. The sealed containers also made it easier for folks to carry a plate home or deliver to a friend or neighbor with minimal contact.

We are pleased and grateful to report that as soon as the idea was mentioned, Liam and Jessica came forward and offered to adopt the project as their own!

When our Christmas Eve service was over, Liam and Jessica had tasty refreshments and beautiful treats all sealed, wrapped, and ready to enjoy!

Indeed, we were able to finish the Year 2020 on a much better note and renewing some of the fellowship that we had been missing!

Thanks, again, Liam and Jessica!
We were on the radio on Christmas Eve!
The COVID-19 pandemic gives us infinite reasons to take the ministry of the church "outside the walls" and into the world at-large.

On Christmas Eve, 2020, we did just that at St. Agnes'! For the first time in anyone's recollection, we broadcasted our Christmas Eve service on WZYX Radio!

Thanks to Brian Judd's technical expertise, the service was recorded at 4:00 p.m., formatted, reconfigured to a shareable file, and zipped to the radio station for an 8:00 p.m. time slot. The service was played again the next day, December 25th, at 1:00 p.m. as well.

We heard lots of good feedback and many compliments. It was a blessing to share the joy of our Lord's nativity with the largest audience we have ever had!
Christmas Memorials from 2020
St. Agnes' gratefully received Christmas Memorial gifts in loving memory of the following saints in light:

Jo Ann Robertson
Morris Robertson, Sr.
Bessie Leitzel
Marne Leitzel
Infant Adora Stiles
Alton Pearson
Frank and Louella Sernicola
Agnes Pearson
Fr. Werlein
Miss Elizabeth Haynes

Please note that, with these memorials, we are procuring new resources and equipment for the congregation and for the altar guild.

We will share the details of these at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation and also in the next newsletter.
Communication received from Fr. Jean
Greetings from Burundi. I hope this email finds you well despite the pandemic that continues to threaten the world. 

The Lord remains our hope for the end of the Covid 19 pandemic, which is why we keep on praying, as well as remaining careful as much as we can.

I am writing this email to let you know the priorities of my Cathedral for which we are seeking a financial support.

1)     We plan to train ten lay ministers that are from the cathedral and three churches of our deanery on the basics of the Bible, conducting worship, evangelism, and discipleship. We hope that the trainees will assist the clergy to proclaim the Good news of Jesus Christ in various ways as we need to reach out to more folks in our locality. The cost for this activity is $1,050 to cover the meals, and training materials for two rounds of five days each ($525 per training session).

2)     At this time of Covid 19, there is a need of purchasing 400 clothe masks for the congregation to make sure that all worshippers have masks of protection during the service. The cost for one mask is $1.5.

3)     There is a need of purchasing 115 hymnals and 115 prayer books for the congregation, for most of the worshippers cannot afford the costs due to poverty. The cost for one hymnal is $3, and $7 for a prayer book.
4)     We would like to purchase the altar fabrics that are appropriate to the liturgical seasons. The budget is $320 to make two sets of different colors ($160 per set).

As you know, I minister in the context of economic challenges whereby most of our people live in extreme poverty, which is why I invite friends to support the ministry of my Cathedral.

I will appreciate any donation that will enable us to implement those activities, and I want to make clear that there is no small contribution. 
Peace and blessings,
Fr. Jean

Rev. Jean Berchmans MWENINGOMA
Anglican Church of Burundi
Diocese of Buye
P.O Box 94 Ngozi
Mob. +257 79946342
e-mail address : 
Communication received from Fr. Charles
Dear St Agnes' family, 

Happy New Year 2021 though belated. 
May I take this opportunity to inform you that the board of governors of Leonard Kamungu Theological College has appointed me to be the Dean (Principal) with effect from January 1 2021. I was teaching there before coming to the US for further studies. So when I came back, I resumed my teaching career. I therefore, would like to ask you to be praying for me so that God should give me wisdom, direction and the zeal to bring unity at the institution as well as the institution. For your information, I am taking the mantle while the college is in financial crisis I will be working out how to overcome it so that the workers are paid their 6 month salary arrears and have the college pickup car is repaired. So please commit me into your daily prayers. I will also remembering you in my prayers.

Stay safe,
Fr Charles Chiutula 
Follow-up to Fr. Jean and Fr. Charles' communications:

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.
Lots of cards and letters received!
Be sure to check the bulletin board in the parish hall!

We received several cards from members of our extended church family from near and far during the Advent and Christmas season.

We heard from Wynona Gibson, the Adamson's, the Caccesse's, the McDonald's, Kathy Olsen, and others!

If anyone in the extended church family needs the return addresses on any of these, reach out to Jarod or send an e-mail to the church:
Sister Hannah makes life profession!
On Saturday, January 16th, the Community of St. Mary received Sister Hannah's Life Profession.

Bishop John Bauerschmidt led a joyful service, which you can view on YouTube.

We join in worship and prayers for Sister Hannah and all the Sisters as they continue their life and work.
Update from Fr. Wise and Janelee
Fr. Gene and Janelee Wise moved to Florida late last year.

Jarod spoke with both of them by telephone earlier this month. It's easier for them to live closer to their immediate family, though they still consider themselves Tenneseans!

The Wise's are always glad to hear from their extended church family at St. Agnes'. When you get a moment, send a letter or card to Gene and Janelee Wise, 13907 Swallow Hill Rd, Lithia, FL 33547.

They also ask that we keep their granddaughter, Rachel Schnabel, in our prayers as she is undergoing medical tests at this time.
Updates from our church family
Kathleen Black has been at home resting and recovering from a painful shingles outbreak. Fortunately, she is steadily recovering and feeling a little better each day.

Carl and Hilary Goodman request that we continue our prayers for Donnie Goodman. He is struggling with his health condition after a cancer diagnosis, but is holding his own through it all.

Linda Hutton is making a "Step-by-Step" recovery. Literally! On January 10th she entered the nave using a walker and conducted the service from the first step in the sanctuary. Then, on January 17th, she entered with a walking cane and conducted the service from the second step! Her goal is to make it to the third and fourth steps in the next few weeks.

Brian Judd received another good medical report in mid-January - he is still in remission! Thanks be to God!

We were to glad to see Wes Nevels during the Christmas holiday! He attended church on December 27th and then came to help remove all of the greenery on January 5th. He has since returned to Camp Lejeune, and the congregation signed and mailed him a birthday card. Hopefully we will see him again in the late spring or early summer. He always appreciates our love and prayers!

Patsy Rigsby, a friend to many in the congregation and one of our regular visitors, fell earlier this month and suffered a hip fracture.

Brian Judd and Bill Keller visited Fr. Shadreck in Sewanee and delivered him some groceries and supplies. Please remember Fr. Shadreck, Fr. Simion, others at the School of Theology as they are still unable to attend church services off campus.

The family of Royana Stewart reached out and asked that we hold her in our daily prayers. Royana's health condition has declined and, to make matters worse, she tested positive for COVID-19 in early January. Her inability to receive visitors at the nursing home have certainly increased her level of confusion.

We were blessed to see Duncan and Frances Weddington in church in late December and in mid-January. Duncan requests our continuing prayers as he continues with treatments and tries to maintain health and strength.

During the Christmas season, the congregation sent several cards out to St. Agnes' parishioners who haven't been able to attend services in person due to sickness and/or health risk. Jarod made some home visits as well. It's a blessing to stay in touch and stay connected even in tough circumstances. God is with us, regardless of where we are!
January/February/March Birthdays
January 4 - Jason Paton
January 18 - Wes Nevels
January 31 - Hilary Goodman

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


"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 Remember in Prayer
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, Claire Lusk, 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 Rev. Bobby Hancock, Rev. Jerry Jochem, and The Rev'd Dr. Matilda Dunn 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."
Opening Plan remains Phase 2 with updates
Due to the large increase in local COVID-19 cases, our plan to move into Phase 3 has been postponed.

The mission council members decided to modify our Phase 2 status for the moment and forego Phase 3 until further notice.

By "modified", we re-started our season Sunday school class for Advent 2020 and for Lent 2021. We also allowed a centrally prepared and boxed meal for the Fr. Werlein Christmas Reception; however, we are still holding off on re-introducing the after-church coffee hour until 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 before, we have a list of Personal Health Considerations posted here in our newsletter, on our website, and in hard copy inside both buildings of the church campus. Please re-read the document and consider all necessary precautions.

We will continue to monitor the situation and hopefully see some improvement in light of the new vaccine.

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

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