The Church Bell

Vol. 8, No. 1

Lent and Epiphany 2024

Agnes: Martyr at Rome

January 21st is the Feast of St. Agnes': Martyr at Rome.

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

Service canceled for January 21st

Due to several days of extreme weather and poor road conditions, the members of our Mission Council agreed that we should forgo an in-person gathering for Sunday, January 21st.

A few of us will gather briefly to pray for our extended family and to record a video sermon. The sermon will be posted and shared in the early afternoon.

St. Agnes' will return to a regular schedule the following Sunday, January 28th, with an 11 o'clock service.

The Annual Church Brunch is rescheduled for January 28th as well.

January 28th: Church-wide brunch

Our custom at St. Agnes' is to have a church-wide brunch after the service on St. Agnes' Sunday. 

This year, due to extreme weather conditions, we are rescheduled for Sunday, January 28th. 

We invite you to join us and bring a breakfast or brunch favorite to share.

Sunday Brunch on St. Agnes' is a tradition going back many years and something we always look forward to!

February 11th - Annual Meeting

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, February 11th, 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 Calendar Year 2024.

May God grant us all things necessary for our common life in the mission and ministry of His holy church.

February 14th - Ash Wednesday Service

St. Agnes' will join with other local churches for a shared Ash Wednesday Service on February 14th, 6:00 p.m., at Cowan Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Ash Wednesday is the first day in the Season of Lent - a 40-day period of fasting and prayer that leads to the celebration of Jesus' Resurrection from the grave.

At the service all are invited to be marked with ashes on the forehead. The ashes remind us that we are sinners facing the reality of our own death and in need of the good news that Jesus brings in the Resurrection.

Come and join us in this special time of worship, reflection and preparation. Cowan C.P. Church is located at 206 W. Cowan St. The service is sponsored by the Cowan Ministerial Association.

Invitation to 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!

Part of our observance of Lent should always include an increased study of the Holy Scriptures.

Mindful of that, we invite everyone to join us on Sunday mornings during the 10 o'clock Sunday school hour.

The first class will begin on February 18th and the last class will meet on March 24th. Bring your Bible and join in the discussion!

Updates from our extended church family

Kathleen Black had to spend some time in the hospital recently due to a respiratory illness. Fortunately, she was able to return home and is making a steady recovery. As of January 18th, Kathleen returned to the hospital for additional fluids and will hopefully gain the strength she needs to quickly return home.

Jarod reached out to Robbe and Susan Delcamp in early January. Robbe underwent a cardiac surgery in the late summer and is making a strong recovery.

Wynona Gibson shared the very sad news that her son-in-law, Jim, has passed following a long illness. She also noted that Jack and Marcia are recovering from Covid-19. Wynona is also planning to have surgery on February 16th. Please pray for her success and recovery, especially in light of sad circumstances in her extended family.

Nancy Glenn, as of January 15th, is still in the hospital trying to overcome an infection. As soon as possible, Nancy will temporarily relocate to a care facility to help regain some of her lost strength. At some point in the early spring Nancy will relocate to live closer to her daughter in Florida. We will truly miss her, but will certainly stay in touch.

Christie James Grissett asks our prayers for her mother-in-law, Gloria Stuart, as she has moved into a care facility after a long hospitalization. Our prayers are also requested for her father, The Rev'd Scott James, as he too will move into a care facility.

Linda Milligan was at home recovering from Covid during the Christmas holiday. Jarod spoke to her by phone and will visit her in late January.

Kathy Owens contacted Jarod in early January. Kathy and her sons are doing well and hoping to return for a visit in the early summer.

Steve Pearson needs our continuing prayers as he has struggled with his health following recent hospitalization. He transitioned into a home healthcare program, which will simplify his weekly routine.

Father Sam made a safe and timely return from Sri Lanka! We were pleased to see him back on Sunday, January 14th, although he was tired from a long trip!

Father Martin, Funmi, and Jarod paid a visit to Pat Underwood, Steve and Rome Pearson, and Duncan and Frances Weddington on December 26th. All were joined in prayer and Holy Communion.

Pat Underwood requests our prayers following the untimely death of her grandson Tanner Silashki. Tanner visited St. Agnes' years ago during an extended summer visit and went with our youth that year on a rafting trip. May the Lord receive him into the Arms of Mercy and grant Tanner an eternal and peaceful rest.

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:
"Searching, finding, listening, following" from January 14th
"The Word Made Flesh" from December 31st
"God's bigger plan" from December 24th
"The radical imperative: Rejoice!" from December 17th
"Comfort, O comfort my people" from December 10th

Winter Birthdays

February 4 - Abby Garner Patterson

February 16 - Janelee Wise

February 24 - Keaton Krauth

February 26 - Georgia Scott


"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 Uphold in Prayer

Kathleen Black, Nancy Glenn, Gloria Stuart, Scott James, Mike Cunningham, Jonathan Mahaffey, Tony Newmann, Bobbie Boswell, Leanna Morris, Shane O'Dear, Heather Martin, Steve and Rose Pearson, Harold Black Jr., Scott James, Wynona Gibson, Gene Black, Marty Judd, Iris Ellidge, Mary McDonald, Roy Tankersley, and Linda Milligan.

We pray continually for Christians around the world in grave danger.

We pray especially over the crisis and conflict in Israel.

We uphold our friends and neighbors throughout the country during the severe winter weather season

We pray for those in our armed services, especially Coddy Murphy and Anthony Russell.

We bless and commemorate Tanner Silashki 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."

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
E-mail the church
The Rt. Rev'd John C. Bauerschmidt..................Bishop of Tennessee

The Rev'd Sam Ponniah.....................................Visiting Priest

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