The Church Bell
Vol. 4, No. 7
October / November 2020
Don't miss a beautiful Sunday sermon!
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit it was extremely difficult for churches - especially small churches - to reposition and revamp.

St. Agnes' was somewhat better prepared because we had a dynamic footprint in the digital world long before COVID-19.

Our Church Bell newsletter, website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel are helping us operate an effective ministry of presence outside the walls of the church.

We invite and encourage everyone in our extended church family to take full advantage of our online presence, especially if you are unable to attend services in person.

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.


We gratefully received a new camera tripod from Steve Pearson to help us improve the quality of our video recording. Besides a steadier picture and slightly better sound, we are able to make longer recordings and include the reading of the gospel lesson as well.

We also acquired a new movie-making app to help us make sound and picture adjustments when necessary. We will try to introduce other features as well, such as captioning, for a better watching and listening experience.
Recent sermons on video:
Read the lessons for All Hallows' Eve
While the world around us recognizes a secular observance of Halloween on Oct. 31st, the church remembers her own quiet observance of All Hallows' Eve.

All Hallows' Eve begins at sundown on October 31st and precedes the church's celebration of All Saints' Day on November 1st.

The Book of Occasional Services provides a list of lessons, prayers, and other suggestions for observing All Hallows' Eve.

The suggested lessons include:

  • I Samuel 28: 3-25 (The Witch of Endor)
  • Job 4: 12-21 (the vision of Eliphaz the Temanite)
  • Ezekiel 37: 1-14 (the valley of dry bones), and/or
  • Revelation 12: 1-12 (the war in heaven)

The phos hilaron, an ancient Christian hymn (almost as old as the New Testament scriptures!) is a suggested prayer for the occassion:

O gracious light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds. Amen.

Candles and/or lanterns are an appropriate symbol for All Hallows Eve. If you choose to light a candle in your home, or place a candle in a pumpkin to greet visitors, take a moment to read and reflect on one of the following scriptures:

Matthew 5: 14-16
II Corinthians 4: 5-6
Psalm 139: 10-11

Make an effort this year to capture the beautiful traditions and original meaning of this special occasion.

Happy All Hallows' Eve!
The City of Cowan will host a Halloween Drive-Thru Trick or Treat on Saturday, October 31st from 4:30 - 7 pm in the parking lot between Monterey Station and Cowan Police Department.

If anyone in the congregation would like to represent St. Agnes' at the event, please let Jarod know as soon as possible. The church will gladly provide treats and prizes to distribute.
Sunday, November 1st, is All Saints Day!
The church throughout the world sets aside November 1st to commemorate all the saints - known and unknown.

More specifically, we recall the mighty work and faithful witness of the Patriarchs, Prophets, Mary, Joseph, the Apostles, other biblical saints, the early church fathers, and the vast number of martyrs and teachers throughout the ages.

And that's not all: on this day we also recall those known to us personally who died in the Faith, and even those we did not know.

Our time in worship reflects our sincere belief that those of us living today and those who are faithful departed are alive in Christ . We share and participate in the same communion and the same bond of Christian fellowship!

We traditionally begin the All Saints Day service at St. Agnes' with the hymn "For All the Saints", which is a long-time favorite and most appropriate for this special day!
Wear a hat to church on November 1st!

When our dear friend and fellow parishioner George Wilkinson passed into glory in November 2018, we wore hats to church the following Sunday to celebrate his life (and his sense of style as he always wore a hat to church!).

In 2019 we remembered that many of the beloved saints known to us at St. Agnes' frequently wore hats on Sunday.

So, to bless their memory and further our celebration of all the saints, we encourage everyone to wear a hat to church on All Saints Day!
Please write down your All Saints Day Remembrances

Please take a moment to list the names of saints gone before us that you would like to recall and remember on All Saints Day. Linda will read their names aloud before the Eucharist and dedicate the Eucharist to their honor and memory.

You can download and print the form here, and then hand it to Linda or Jarod prior to 11:00 a.m. on November 1st. Hard copies of the form will also be available in the narthex and in the parish hall.

Those who are not able to attend church services in person, simply send an e-mail to the church mailbox at providing the names you wish to commemorate. We will video-record Linda's commemoration and post the video on our Facebook and YouTube channels.

Alleluia! The Lord is glorious in his saints: O come, let us adore him! Alleluia!
Bishop John will visit on November 8th
The Right Rev'd John C. Bauerschmidt, 11th Bishop of Tennessee, will make his annual trip to Cowan on Sunday, November 8th.

The Bishop will lead the 11:00 service at St. Agnes' and celebrate Holy Eucharist.

One of our most important customs in the Diocese of Tennessee is to host a meal for the Bishop at his annual visit.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and our current Phase 2 status at St. Agnes, we will not be able to enjoy this wonderful tradition this year.

We will, instead, provide the Bishop with a restaurant gift card so he can enjoy a meal on us with his family.

For those who are unable to attend the service in person, we welcome you to send personal greetings to the Bishop. You can send your greetings electronically to prior to November 8th. We will print them and hand them to him in hard copy.

Or, you can handwrite a card to the Bishop and mail it to St. Agnes, PO Box 356, Cowan, TN 37318. Be sure to place the card in the mail prior to November 4th to insure timely delivery.
November 22nd is Christ the King
Sunday, November 22nd, marks the end of the church season we know as Ordinary Time after Pentecost. It also marks the end of the church year.

We refer to this day of transition as Christ the King Sunday , and also as "The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King".

This day celebrates the full authority of Jesus Christ as King and Lord of the Universe. The feast is relatively new having been formally adopted in the Year 1925. The rise of secularism and dictatorships in Western Europe promoted church leadership to reassert the apostolic belief in Christ's authority.

We can all agree that the reaffirmation of Christ's teaching and authority is as critical to the church's witness today as it was in 1925 - or any other time in history.

As we prepare our hearts to worship God together on Christ the King Sunday, let us reaffirm our faith and our conviction that Jesus Christ is truly our Lord and King.
The various churches in the Cowan Ministerial Association are looking into plans for the Community Thanksgiving Service. The service is tentatively planned for Sunday evening, November 22nd, at 5:00 p.m.

At this time, we do not have final word on the location of the service. Mindful of COVID-19 restrictions, and the fact that each church has its own set of regulations, the service may have to be provided through on-line video this year in lieu of an in-person gathering.

We expect a final decision and public announcement on Friday, October 23rd, which we will forward to the congregation.

Thanksgiving Food Drive
St. Agnes' will support the Thanksgiving Food Drive at New Creation Ministries (a.k.a. historic Rayburn Chapel).

You can participate by bringing non-perishable groceries to St Agnes' up until Sunday, November 22nd.

The items will be distributed in the days prior to Thanksgiving.
Updates from our church family
Wynona Gibson requests our urgent prayers for her son David and her granddaughter Wendi. David fell ill during a road trip and ended up in critical care at Erlanger. In the same general timeframe, Wendi was treated at the Fayetteville hospital emergency room for a heart attack. Please keep the entire family covered in prayer during the incredibly challenging time!

Pete and Linda Hutton had a difficult week! Pete underwent surgery and, as of this newsletter release, is recovering and awaiting discharge. Then, on Wednesday, Linda had a fall at home and had to be transferred to Erlanger. Jarod spoke with both of them by phone on Wednesday night. They are in good spirits and expecting a timely recovery. We will reach back out to them as soon as they return home.

Bill Keller is thrilled to report that he is back in remission! He requests our prayers as he struggles with ongoing ear and sinus infections. Otherwise, he is grateful for some good news!

Father Shadreck sent a message of greeting from Sewanee Mountain on October 15th. As you may be aware, our seminarian students are still under restriction and not permitted to attend public gatherings off the Sewanee campus. We remain in contact with our African brothers at Sewanee and hope to see them back at St. Agnes' soon and very soon!

Wes Nevels spoke with Jarod in early October. He is back in Southern California doing some training and really enjoying it. The congregation signed and mailed a card and restaurant gift certificate to him. He is still planning to be back home for a couple of weeks in December.

Steve Pearson continues to make progress on his chemotherapy treatments. He had a few small worries with respect to his blood cell count, but is otherwise maintaining his strength and health.

Duncan Weddington reports that he feels tired and weak after cancer treatments, but he believes the treatments will be successful. His appetite improved and he is planning to be back in church as soon as he can make it.
Update from Father Jean
Fr. Jean Mweningoma had an exciting few months that were, at times, almost too exciting!

The "fun" all started when the School of Theology had to dismiss early in March and require all coursework to be completed outside the classroom.

Jean met the challenge, but then he had to face a summer of uncertainty with travel restrictions and a lack of available flights to get him back home to Burundi. In fact, a flight he was finally able to book in late July was canceled at the last minute!

Jean was able to book a flight home departing on August 24th. Prior to his departure, on August 22nd, Jean sent a letter to the congregation at St. Agnes'. I encourage you to take a moment and click here to read his letter.

Sadly, when he arrived in Brussells on August 25th to make a scheduled connection, the flight to Burundi was inadvertently canceled!

Carl and Hilary Goodman stepped in with every resource they could find to help him resolve a terrible situation. Our greatest worry was that Charles would be stranded in Brussels for several weeks, which would be costly and risky!

Thanks to everybody's resolve and with the Lord's never-failing help, Jean was able to take a long roundabout trip through Egypt and Tanzania. On August 28th he arrived back home in Burundi.

On Sunday, August 30th, our church family gave a round of applause and shouts of praise for Jean's safe return and for Carl and Hilary's helpful assistance. We are truly grateful!

Finally, the Lord bestowed another great blessing in Jean's life and in his ministry: On September 20th, Jean sent word of his appointment to serve as Dean of All Saints Cathedral (see the photo below) and as the Development Officer for the Diocese of Buye!

We have so much to be grateful for in Fr. Jean's ministry. May God ever watch over him and continually bless the work he has given!
Update from Father Charles
Fr. Charles Chiutulah was grateful to make it back home to Malawi in mid-July and successfully finish a mandatory quarantine soon after he arrived.

In mid-September, Charles sent the following message of greeting to the congregation:

"I hope you are all fine. I hope now the church services have normalized and all congregants are coming as they used to do. I have engaged in winter farming now and I have planted corn and tomatoes for sale to support my elderly ministry. I am using water pump to irrigate the crops but it is a tedious work. I have decided to do that because Malawi will experience hunger this year and I won't have cash for corn other than growing myself. Lastly, pass my warm and tender greetings to the St Agnes church family."

If anyone would like to send a message of greeting to Charles, he can be reached through his Facebook page. Or, if you don't have Facebook, you can send a message through the church e-mail address at, and we will gladly forward it to him.

Please say a prayer for Charles as he meets the challenges of ministry during a time of challenge and uncertainly.
The Mosaic Center
In July we learned about Life Choices Pregnancy Center and the work that Christie James Grissett does with the ministry there.

In August we learned about the Family Counseling Center of Middle Tennessee and the work that Shelia Robertson Leitzel does through their ministry.

In November we will learn about the Mosaic Center in Pelham, Tennessee where Jarod works as a lecturer and instructor.

The Mosaic Center is an in-patient discipleship program helping men overcome substance addiction and other core issues that keep them from the fullness of freedom and the abundant life of Christ.

The program at Mosaic includes Bible study, one-on-one therapy sessions through a licensed provider, onsite job training, spiritual formation, goal setting, and recreation.

To learn more about Mosaic, visit their website at or reach out to Jarod.
October / November Birthdays
October 2 - Gene Wise
October 10 - Charles Chiutulas
October 15 - Linda Hutton
October 24 - David Grissett
October 25 - Laura Pearson McDonald

November 20 - Christie James Grissett
November 20 - Andrew Williams
November 27 - Shelia 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."
Happy 73rd Anniversary!
Gene and Kathleen Black celebrated their 73rd Wedding Anniversary on October 19th!

All of us are thrilled to mark this incredible point in their life journey!

May God continually show his love and grace on them!
We Remember in Prayer
Linda Hutton, Pete Hutton, David Gibson, Wendi Wallace, R.B. Ray, Bob Turpin, 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, 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 Jimmy and Billie Weaver who both passed into glory. Jimmy and Billie were the founders and operators of Gospel Partners. Through their ministry St. Agnes' had the honor to sponsor a girls school and orphanage in the Andhra Pradesh, India for many years. May God grant them a peaceful rest and may they rise in 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 on November 22nd
At long last we are making plans to move from our current Phase 2 Opening and into Phase 3 effective November 22, 2020!

The members of the Mission Council agreed that November 22nd is a reasonable goal provided we don't have any setbacks or heightened health advisories.

Under Phase 3 we will return to singing the full selection of Sunday hymns, restart our Sunday school program, and resume the after-church coffee hour.

Please note that the after-church coffee hour will be abbreviated. That is, we request that only prepackaged and a commercially-prepared items be served. We will refrain from serving home-cooked food until and unless we transition into Phase 4.

We also propose that a designated host be on hand to insure that proper utensils are used and that we have minimized contact with food items and food prep surfaces.

Pursuant to our Personal Health Considerations, we ask that you use caution when attending coffee hour as with attending Sunday services. Additionally, please note the importance of handwashing prior to food consumption. (Both restrooms at St. Agnes' have anti-bacterial liquid soap at all times and the kitchen area does as well.)

Under Phase 3, our no-contact practice for passing the peace will remain in effect during communion services.

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