The Church Bell
Vol. 4, No. 8
November / December 2020
Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving!
Collect for Thanksgiving Day

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Lessons for Thanksgiving Day

Deuteronomy 8: 7-18
Psalm 65
II Corinthians 9: 6-15
Luke 17: 11-19
Living Well through Advent 2020
Join us for an Advent study series that will be an incredible adventure in faith!

The study involves "Practicing Hope with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind."

This 4-week begins Sunday, November 29, at 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

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

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

Please plan to join us in this informative and life-enriching Advent study!
Advent and the "Reset Button"
A bold proposal is making rounds on social media that says, in part, "we need to hit the reset button on the Year 2020!"

Yes, this has been a year of huge challenges and more than enough discouragement.

However, as people of faith we have something far more useful than a reset button: We have the Season of Advent!

Advent marks a new beginning where Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love bring us to the newness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The focus of the season is the coming of the Lord both at his nativity and at the end of the age.

In summary, Advent is the anticipation of the Lord's coming to us at any time in human history. Regardless of our vantage point or our place in time, all of us anticipate his coming and are called by God to prepare ourselves accordingly.

In this Advent season that begins next month, think of ways to prepare yourself. Make a special point to pray and read scripture every day. Consider fasting and setting time aside for quiet reflection. Advent has a special emphasis that can nurture our faith and help us grow in grace. It's the kind of "reset button" that we are really looking for!

To help your preparation, please note the availability of our 4-week Advent Study Series during the 10 o'clock Sunday school hour in the parish hall. The details of the study are mentioned above.

May God truly add his blessings as we anticipate and prepare.

"Our King and Savior draweth nigh: O come, let us adore him."
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.
Cowan Christmas Parade - December 5th
St. Agnes' sponsors one of Tennessee's oldest and largest parades!

This year's Cowan Christmas Parade will be "Christmas in 2020" with Cowan Superintendent Steve Wilkinson as Grand Marshall. 

Bring the family and enjoy a long line of floats, bands, dancers, antique vehicles, music, and small town fun! 

The parade starts at 1:00 p.m. (rain or shine). For complete information, including parade entry information, log on to .
December 13th is Stir-Up Sunday!
Stir-Up Sunday is a beautiful tradition we inherited from our ancestors in The Church of England.

At the 3rd Sunday in Advent, the  Book of Common Prayer   brings us a powerful opening collect that says:

  Stir up   thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end. Amen.”

The traditional English custom - dating back to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – is to “stir-up” something good to eat on “Stir Up Sunday”.

Our custom at St. Agnes' has been to stir-up something good for coffee hour on Stir-Up Sunday.

As you may recall, St. Agnes' is still in a Phase 2 opening as of the publishing of this edition of the Church Bell newsletter. However, Mission Council will decide between now and December 13th if we are ready to move into Phase 3.

If we do, we will plan a continuation of Stir-Up Sunday during coffee hour.

Stay tuned for details and updates!
December 19th - Greening of the Church
Saturday morning, December 19th, at 9:30 a.m., we will adorn the nave with fresh greens and decorate the parish hall in preparation for Christmastide.

Year after years our few hours of work turn St. Agnes' into a picture-perfect setting to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord!
Christmas Eve at St. Agnes'
The highlight of the season is our candle-lit Christmas Eve Service on December 24th at 4:00 p.m. 

Bring the entire family plus a friend or two and enjoy a most meaningful time of worship. 

"O Come, Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord."
Following the service on Christmas Eve, we plan to hold the Father Werlein Memorial Christmas Reception in the Parish Hall.

Please stay tuned for details as Mission Council considers the timing of our transition to Phase 3.
Poinsettias and Other Memorial Gifts
Poinsettias are a powerful symbol of the Christmas season.

If you are planning to bring a poinsettia, please give the name(s) of the departed to Jarod before our Christmas Eve service.

Or, if you want the church to pick up a poinsettia for you, simply enclose $15 - $20 in an envelope and place it in the offering plate with the name you would like to remember written on it. (Or you can hand it to Jarod or Alice.)

Other Memorial Gift Ideas

There are other ways to remember the faithful departed, such as:

  • Purchase a Hymnal or a Book of Common Prayer in someone’s memory. 
  • Contribute to the altar guild for candles, frontals, etc.

To contribute funds toward a Christmas Memorial, you can enclose a check or cash in an envelope and write detailed information and instructions it.

You can place it in the offering plate or hand it to Jarod or Alice.
Thank you for supporting the food drive!
St. Agnes', as always, was a leading contributor to the New Creation Ministries Thanksgiving Food Drive!

We delivered four boxes full of non-perishable groceries. The drive also had support from Cowan Ministerial Association, Cowan Fellowship Church, Cowan Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and First Church of the Nazarene.

The collection was so large, in fact, that the distribution will likely continue into the month of December! Thanks be to God!
Updates from our church family
Pete and Linda Hutton are both on the road to recovery! They plan to return to church on Sunday, November 29th. We look forward to seeing them!

Wes Nevels will return to Camp Lejeune in time for Thanksgiving and hopefully back in Cowan in December. He appreciated the card we sent and hopes to see everybody during his visit.

Steve Pearson has good news to report: Remission Accomplished! After 9 months of chemo he is finally down to a cancer count of ZERO! Thanks be to God!
November / December Birthdays
November 20 - Christie James Grissett
November 20 - Andrew Williams
November 27 - Shelia Leitzel

December 11 - Wynona Gibson
December 14 - Bobby Gass
December 16 - Jonathan Scott
December 19 - Lee Glenn
December 22 - Bill Keller
December 31 - Frances Weddington


"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
Brandi Rigsby, Joyce Adams, Joy Boswell, Linda Hutton, Pete 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 pray especially for those displaced by storms and flooding in the Gulf Coast region and by fires on the West Coast.

We bless and commemorate Tammy Click 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 moves into Phase 3 in mid-December
We are still making making plans to move from our current Phase 2 Opening and into Phase 3.

Our original plan was to make the move effective November 22nd; however, due to a sudden increase in local COVID-19 cases we decided to delay the move a few weeks further.

The members of the Mission Council are looking at a Phase 3 transition as early as December 13th in time for Stir-Up Sunday or as late as December 24th for Christmas Eve.

We will resume Sunday School for the Season of Advent, but other Phase 3 details will resume at the transition.

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 inside both buildings on the church campus. Please re-read the document and consider all necessary precautions.

May God continually watch over us and grant us strength and grace 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