The Church Bell
Vol. 5, No. 8
October/November 2021
A short letter from the Senior Warden
"Monday through Saturday"
I am grateful to report that our church family at St. Agnes' is holding together, worshiping together, keeping the faith, and witnessing the goodness of God in these difficult times.

In saying this, I must also report that September was an especially difficult month for many of us. I myself struggled through several illnesses.

Others in our church family and in our own extended families faced health worries as well. A dear old friend and former parishioner, Laura Ellen Truelove, succumbed to a sudden and serious diagnosis of cancer. And, if you turned on the television at any time of day of night, our troubled world and our political barriers were front and center for everybody to see.

Through difficult seasons and the troubles of the world, the Lord helps us see a bigger and clearer picture. We find that some of our greatest blessings are here in our very midst where the Spirit of the Lord is also. For our church family at St. Agnes', we find that our bonds of affection keep us together and keep us in the mighty work of the gospel.

To be specific, our Sunday attendance has been steady even on Sundays with stormy weather. Our video sermons get regular views from those unable to attend in person. The after-church coffee hour is gaining attendance. We had a well-attended Day of St. Francis "Blessing of the Animals" service and a very nice visit from Bishop Bauerschmidt. Our budget is on target and we are cheerfully keeping our commitments to missionary work "outside the walls".

In the coming days and months we will continue to enjoy the worship of God in person and by extension through video. We are introducing a new rotation of readers and prayer leaders this season. We plan to offer a Sunday school class for the Advent season (and we have procured a larger and steadier advent wreath stand!). We will hold our traditional Christmas Eve service and reception this year. And, hopefully, we will get to enjoy a shared Thanksgiving service with other Cowan-area churches in mid-November.

Mindful of all these things, we need to consider what happens in the "in-between" times. It's awesome for us to worship together and grow in grace together as a congregation, but we cannot emphasize enough the need to be the church Monday through Saturday.

Being the church from Monday through Saturday doesn't require a list of chores and tasks to crowd an already full schedule. Instead, it requires all of us to take a moment each day and pray. We should pray for the needs of others, pray for the conditions of our troubled society, and pray that our feet are always planted on the solid foundation of God's Word.

Resolve with me now to go before the Lord in prayer each day. Lift the names of those you know with needs and concerns. Share your gratitude for the blessings you have. And then, open your Bible and read a lesson of scripture. (Insider's tip: the Psalms of David are a great place to start and finish!)

I share these suggestions because these are the very things I resolve to do. My time at home during sickness encouraged me to renew my own commitment to prayer and to the reading of Scripture. I believe that doing so will help me grow in grace and keep me mindful of others going forward. I am confident that you will feel the same way too!

It's a blessing beyond measure to be together as a church family on Sunday. And it's a equal blessing to hold one another in prayer and read God's Word on the other six days!

Grace to you, my beloved church family! I'll see you on Sunday, and I'll be praying with you Monday through Saturday too!

A technological upgrade
You may have noticed in the last few months that our Sunday sermon videos were getting posted at later and later times and that our church newsletter has been running behind schedule.

Also, voicemails left on the church phone have been getting slower replies.

The culprit has been a less-than-reliable Internet connection. With more people working from home, the cable-based Comcast/Xfinity Internet connection in Cowan has been overwhelmed with usage (while the company delivers underwhelming service to address the problem!).

Thankfully, our church laptop now reaches the Internet through a new satellite Internet provider. This upgrade in technology should help us receive and deliver timely communications.

Thank you for your patience while we addressed and corrected a developing problem.

Calling all Lectors
As our liturgical year winds down, we are excited to hear that several new parishioners in the congregation want to come on board as lay lectors, as leaders of the Prayers of the People, as Alms collectors, and other capacities.

Linda and Jarod are working a new Monthly Rota that will schedule each of these assignments and also provide alternates for days when folks need to be absent.

If you would like to serve in a new capacity and join the Monthly Rota, reach out to Linda or Jarod. We will gladly provide training and instruction. Our goal is to begin the new Rota in December.
Blessed are you, Lord God...
St. Agnes' was blessed with beautiful weather for our Day of St. Francis Blessing of the Animals on Monday, October 4th.

We had a nice group of 16 people, 5 dogs and 1 cat remembering the powerful legacy of St. Francis of Assisi. (This was a larger group than last year!)

Linda provided a beautiful prayer liturgy and a St. Francis/St. Anthony pendant for each pet owner. We will look forward to holding another service next year!

"Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures." Amen.
As an additional honor to St. Francis' legacy, St. Agnes' sent a financial contribution to Franklin County Animal Harbor for the month of September.

Animal Harbor is a limited-admission animal shelter that provides pet rescue and adoption services, spay and neuter programs, and education to promote animal welfare.

Susan Rupert, a fellow St. Agnes' parishioner, serves on the Animal Harbor Board of Directors.

If you would like to learn more about Animal Harbor and send additional financial support, log on to
Update from "Outside the Walls"
As mentioned above, St. Agnes' makes regular contributions to missions and ministries "outside the walls" of the local church and throughout the year.

In early October (and in recognition of St. Francis), we supported Franklin County Animal Harbor.

In September we sent a contribution to Episcopal Relief and Development to assist their emergency response in Haiti following the devastating earthquake.

We also sent a September contribution to the Family Counseling Center. (Shelia Leitzel will give us a presentation on the counseling center later this month.)

St. Agnes' sponsored the Fall Heritage Festival with an August contribution., and the proceeds from that event will benefit Cowan Railroad Museum.

Earlier in the year we sent contributions to the Isaiah 117 House, Life Choices Pregnancy Center, and the Mosaic Recovery Center.
Extended family from "The Mountain"
You will notice in the coming Sunday's that we have three new visitors who are becoming part of our extended church family at St. Agnes'.

If you haven't already, please welcome John N'goma, Cade Archer, and Will Madi.

John and Will are from the Archdiocese of Malawi and Cade is from Texas. All three are studying at Sewanee's School of Theology this academic year.
Saturday, October 23rd, Day of Prayer
St. Agnes' will observe the Bishop's Day of Prayer on Saturday, October 23rd, at 4:00 p.m.

This will be a special time to bring before the Lord our praises and concerns for the People of God.

You are definitely encouraged to bring a friend or "prayer partner" to join us as well.
All Saints Day Service on October 31st
"Wear a hat to church"
The church throughout the world sets aside November 1st to commemorate all the saints - known and unknown.

This year, St. Agnes' will celebrate All Saints Day on Sunday, October 31st, which is historically known as All Hallows Eve. The service will begin at the usual 11 o'clock hour.

On All Saints Day 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.

The church also recalls the saints known personally to us, 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 always begin the All Saints Day service at St. Agnes' with the hymn "For All the Saints", which is a long-time favorite and very appropriate for this special day!
Wear a hat to church on October 31st!

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!).

It turns out that many of the beloved saints known to us at St. Agnes' frequently wore hats to church 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 October 31st for 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 October 31st. Hard copies of the form will also be available in the narthex and in the parish hall.

The printed form says November 1st - but the correct deadline is October 31st.

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!
October 31st is 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 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!
Thanksgiving Food Drive
St. Agnes' will support the Thanksgiving Food Drive at Old Rayburn Chapel in partnership with Cowan Ministerial Association.

You can participate by bringing non-perishable groceries to the parish hall up until Sunday, November 21st.

The items will be distributed in the days prior to Thanksgiving.

We especially welcome foods that are Thanksgiving favorites, such as canned yams, stovetop stuffing, macaroni and cheese, etc.
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 21st, at 5:00 p.m. We will confirm the date, time and location as soon as details are shared. The various churches are consulting with one another and checking the area COVID-19 health advisories before making a final announcement.
Mark your calendars
As we look ahead to the busy month of December, please note the following dates:

Sunday, November 28th - we will begin our Advent Bible Study at the 10 o'clock Sunday school hour.

Saturday, December 4th is the Cowan Christmas Parade, which is always a huge event!

Sunday, December 5th - Fr. Martin Odidi will be visiting and will lead our Sunday service. Funmi will be attending as well!

December 12th is Stir-Up-Sunday! We will enjoy special treats in the parish hall during coffee hour!

Saturday, December 18th, we will green the church for the Season of Christmastide. The starting time will be announced closer to the date.

Friday, December 24th, we will hold our Christmas Eve Service at 4:00 p.m. followed by the Father Werlein Memorial Christmas Reception.
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.
October/November/December Birthdays
October 2 - Gene Wise
October 10 - Charles Chiutulas
October 15 - Linda Hutton
October 25 - Laura Pearson-McDonald
October 29 - Cade Archer
October 30 - LaNea Cheek

November 20 - Christie James Grisett
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."
Updates from our church family
Mr. Gene Black was "under the weather" for a few weeks in September, but handled the sickness well. We were very pleased to see Gene, Kathleen and Alice back in church on September 26th.

The congregation sent a well wishes card to Jere and Karen Creed earlier this month. The two of them are living in a new home in the Chattanooga area where they are closer to their daughter Keri.

Bill Keller had some difficult days with various ailments and declining energy. Fortunately, he was admitted to the hospital on October 8th for inpatient care and fluid infusions. He was discharged over the weekend and is significantly better. Bill asks for our continuing prayer and hopes that he will be able to join us again for worship on Sunday's in the coming months.

Karen McCallie reports that her health has improved in the last several weeks. She is especially glad to mention that she will soon be a grandmother!

Kathy Owens moved back to Cowan in the late summer, but then had to return to Florida for medical care due to a fall injury. She is trying to make a timely recovery and will hopefully be back in the early part of 2022.

Jarod Pearson had a difficult month in September with RSV, Covid19, and pneumonia. Thankfully he is recovering and feeling better each day.

Steve Pearson received an encouraging oncology report this month. His cancer score is lower than before and indicates that he is closer to remission. He appreciates everybody's prayer and encouragement.

Tabitha Geer Scruggs, Carla's oldest daughter, is pleased to share that her recent round of medical tests show no signs of cancer! Thanks be to God!
We Uphold in Prayer
Sandy King, Randy Hall, Billy Greer, Clint Prince, Dave Myers, Sharon Butler, Jo Ann Wilkerson, 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, earthquakes, and flooding. 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, Lawrence White, and Anthony Russell.

We bless and commemorate Joyce Adams and Laura Ellen Truelove who have 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