The Church Bell
Vol. 6, No. 1
March 2022
Ash Wednesday Service - March 2nd
St. Agnes' will join with other local churches for a shared Ash Wednesday Service on March 2nd, 6:00 p.m. at Cowan Fellowship 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 Fellowship is located at 609 E. Cumberland St. The service is sponsored by the Cowan Ministerial Association.
Invitation to Observe 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!
Lenten Sunday School begins on March 6th
This year our Lenten Sunday School class will involve a study, discussion and personal reflection on the Psalms of Ascent, also known as the Pilgrimage Psalms.

The Psalms of Ascent are generally defined as Psalm 120 through 134. In Jewish history these were the Psalms recited by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for the three annual festivals: Passover, Pentecost, and the Day of Atonement.

In early Christianity, the Psalms of Ascent were recited by pilgrims on the journey visiting the graves of famous Christian martyrs.

This year we will study these Psalms and reflect on them during the Season of Lent. In doing so, we hope to deepen our understanding of Christian discipleship and increase our walk with God as a daily, lifetime commitment.

We will also cover other select Psalms, including the 23rd.

Join us on Sunday mornings at the 10 o'clock hour in the parish hall. The first class will begin on March 6th and the last class will meet on April 10th.
"Spring Forward" on March 13th
Daylight Savings Time will soon be here!

So, don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night, March 12th.

Doing so will help you make an on-time arrival to church on Sunday, March 13th.

Cellphone clocks and computer clocks will automatically reset at 2:00 a.m.
Old banner to retire - new banner on order
At the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, our extended church family noted by applause an important milestone in our life together.

Exactly 30 years ago, Kathleen and Alice Black re-activated the Altar Guild at St. Agnes'. Prior to their action, the Altar Guild had been in a disbanded/inactive state for more than a decade.

Prior to the re-activation, the congregation at St. Agnes' went through the 1980's decade with very few seasonal and liturgical enhancements.

Through the hard work of the Altar Guild since 1992, our time together in worship is freshened and enriched by beautiful flowers and adornments each and every Sunday.

One of our most important adornments is the church processional banner that was constructed and revealed in 1993. The banner not only symbolized a revival of the local Altar Guild tradition, but also allowed St. Agnes' to have a more visible and notable presence at the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Tennessee.

Year after year, our beautiful banner is seen at the opening of Diocesan Convention along with banners from other congregations in our ecclesiastical fellowship.

To mark these 30 beautiful years of Altar Guild tradition, the congregation voted on January 30th to retire the 1993 banner and procure a new banner to represent the next several years!

At retirement, the 1993 banner will be hung in a permanent display position. The new banner, as soon as it is revealed and dedicated, will go into active use and will be carried in the 2023 Annual Convention of the Diocese of Tennessee.

We hope to receive the new banner by late summer and have it ready for dedication shortly thereafter.
How to Support the Church Banner Project

The procurement of the new banner will involve significant expense due to the cost of materials, design and construction.

To help get the project to completion, we encourage everyone who is able to send a special gift to the Church Banner Project during the Season of Lent or Eastertide.

You can send a check via postal service to:

St. Agnes' Church
Banner Project
PO Box 356
Cowan, TN 37318

Or, on any Sunday in the season, you can place a check in the offering plate and simply write "Banner Project" on the memo line.

If you are placing a cash donation in the offering plate, please use an envelope and write "Banner Project" on the outside.

If your gift is a Memorial or an Honorary, please include the name(s) your are commemorating or honoring.
A solid and steady Parochial Report
On March 1st we submitted our annual Parochial Report to Diocese of Tennessee and to the national offices of the Episcopal Church.

We are pleased to report, as we did at our January 30th Annual Meeting, that St. Agnes' is in solid and steady shape.

Worship attendance is steadily recovering since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and we are maintaining a solid, sustainable budget.

We will continue to be faithful and focused in 2022.

Each and every person in our extended church family is encouraged to invite someone to join us in worship and grow with us in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This year, we are depending on each other and challenged to bring newcomers into the faith through Baptism and through Confirmation.

And, most important of all, we should remember our calling to be part of "the priesthood of all believers." That is to pray daily, read the scriptures, live out the gospel, and carry the blessing of God into our daily life and work.

As we are fond of saying, the most important ministry and work of the church takes place outside the walls! We can - and we will - do just that in 2022!
Looking Ahead to Holy Week and Eastertide
April 10th - Palm Sunday: the Sunday service at St. Agnes' will begin in the parish hall with the Procession of Palms

April 14th - Maundy Thursday: St. Agnes' will host the Community Maundy Thursday Service at 6:00 p.m.

April 15th - Good Friday: Goshen C.P. Church will host a Stations of the Cross service at 12 noon.

April 17th - Easter Sunrise: the various Cowan churches will gather at 6:30 a.m. at Cowan Montgomery Cemetery

April 17th - Easter Sunday at St. Agnes': we will hold our Annual Easter Egg Hunt during the 10 o'clock Sunday hour followed by a festival service at the 11 o'clock hour. Following the service we will pose for our annual church family photo.

April 24th - the Sunday following Easter Sunday - Low Sunday Luncheon: following the 11 o'clock service, we will hold our annual "Low Sunday Luncheon" in the parish hall.
Updates from members of our family
Please note the following updates and concerns from members of our extended church family:

Bobby Gass asked that we keep his sister Janet in our prayers. Janet had a real scare with the discovery of a large kidney cyst; however, Bobby reported last Sunday that her physicians believe it is benign. She is scheduled to have it surgically removed in the coming week.

Pearson Garner is making his way through the latter part of his undergraduate degree at Tennessee Tech and doing some student teaching on the side. We are proud for him and hope to see him soon!

We have stayed in touch with Wynona Gibson as her family has faced a very difficult start to the New Year. Her son, David, continues to struggle with various illnesses and painful effects related to kidney disease. At the same time, her daughter Sandi suffered a heart episode and subsequent stroke. Wynona is hopeful that David and Sandi will both see better days and a successful recovery. Our continuing prayers are much-needed and appreciated.

Christie James Grissett received assent from Bishop John Bauerschmidt to consult with the Committee on Ministry of the Diocese of Tennessee. Christie is discerning her call to serve the Lord in a greater role within the church universal. Specifically, she will discern if her calling is to the diaconate. Christie will give us an update as the process unfolds and will let us known the role of the congregation in her discernment.

Brian Judd had another good report from his oncologist and will now have his port removed. Thanks be to God!

Bill Keller has had some struggles and some successes this year with his health. Notably he spent some time as an inpatient at Vanderbilt to care for an infection that was diagnosed in mid-February. He is hopeful that good weather and continuing care will get him in better shape for the remainder of the year.

Karen McCallie reports that she is now a grandmother! Thanks be to God! She requests our continuing prayers for her husband Richard as he has begun cancer treatments. Richard is now on our prayer list and we will trust in God's healing touch to bring him through.

Jarod visited Linda Milligan in early February. Although Linda is no longer able to drive, she is reportedly feeling better and trying to get a few of her outstanding health issues under better control.

Carla Money and Sara Money appreciated our prayers as both had a COVID-19 diagnosis in early February. Both are recovering and back at work, as well as back to church! Thanks be to God!

Steve Pearson is making his way through cancer treatments and trying to get back into remission by early Spring. Our prayers and encouragement are always appreciated.

Andrew Williams is now employed by CSX Railroad and has made a few trips through Cowan! We are very pleased for him and hope to see him soon!
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.
Early Spring Birthdays
March 1 - Louis Mlcoch
March 5 - Bruce Smith
March 11 - Kent Walker
March 21 - Jessica Dervin
March 21 - Laura Henley

April 1 - Randy Patterson
April 7 - the anonymous parishioner
April 7 - Montana Smith
April 15 - Dane Leitzel
April 23 - Mandy Summers


"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
Brian Malhoite, Beth Rhoton, Jennifer Boughton, Janet Gass, Sandi Gibson, Richard McCallie, Peyton McLaughlin, David Gibson, Randy Hall, Billy Greer, Clint Prince, Dave Myers, Harold Black Jr., Scott James, Wynona Gibson, 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 those witnessing increasing danger and crime in different areas of the world. We pray especially for God's help and wisdom in the very troublesome situation in the The Ukraine.

We pray for those in our armed service especially Wes Nevels and Anthony Russell.

We bless and commemorate The Rev'd Tim Wilson who 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