The Church Bell
Vol. 4, Special Edition
May 24th Return to In-Person Services
The King of Glory!
Before we get to some really exciting news, let us first be reminded of something else that truly exciting:

It's still Easter!

As discouraged as we were to not be in church on Easter Sunday this year, we can rejoice knowing that we are still within the 50-day Eastertide Season! Thanks be to God!

This Sunday we will celebrate "The King Of Glory" as John's Gospel recalls Jesus' beautiful prayer in Chapter 17, verses 1 through 11.

His prayer gives us great anticipation for the Day of Pentecost when the church remembers the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus never leaves us comfortless, and by the Holy Spirit gives us strength.

Take a moment to read John 17: 1-11 and know that Jesus' prayer is for all who love and serve him and for all eternity!
Welcome Back! Services resume May 24th
The Mission Council at St. Agnes' is pleased to announce a plan to resume in-person services and group gatherings at St. Agnes'!

Pursuant to a new pastoral advisory from Bishop Bauerschmidt, and in light of varying levels of state and local health guidelines, we are able to advance a staged plan to gather again on the church campus on Sunday, May 24th, at 11:00 a.m.

We will take this opportunity to explain our plan in detail, so please take a moment to read and reflect on each and every component and suggestion.

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.

With God's help we will see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and a renewed sense of mission and ministry in the church throughout the world.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen...The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

The Wilderness Road - Acts 8
As mentioned earlier, Bishop Bauerschmidt developed and released a detailed set of guidelines with background discussion.

This is a helpful resource that you may want to read and reflect on as well.

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,

  • A mask is recommended, but not required for anyone who chooses to attend services.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available near the front door of both buildings. Those serving at the altar will also have hand sanitizer in the sacristy and at the altar.

  • 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!
Four Stages
The Wilderness Road document from the Bishop asks each congregation to develop a Four-Stage plan according to the following general framework:

Stage I - Preparing to reopen: This is the stage where we find ourselves now. The set of prerequisites below are most applicable to this stage.

Stage II - Early stage of reopening: You should be selective about what activities return to your facilities, and in what order. This time of transition is the one of greatest stress in the community, as new patterns are laid down, though also a time of increased energy.

Stage III - Later stage of reopening: The in person gathering of larger groups will become possible, though numerical limitations will still apply, depending on requirements of civil authorities and diocesan guidance.

Stage IV - A New Normal: Not simply a return to life before the pandemic. There will be ongoing health considerations not present before. New patterns of ministry have developed. Diocese and congregation incorporate the experience into their life. We will still be on the Wilderness Road.

The Four Stages we have in place for St. Agnes' are as follows:
Stage I - Preparing to reopen
We will hold a clean-up day at St. Agnes' on Saturday, May 23rd, at 9:30 a.m. Our goal is to clean both buildings and give added attention to the various contact surfaces and restrooms. We need about six people to help out please reply if you would like to participate.

Signage explaining our personal health guidelines will be posted in both buildings, added to the service leaflets, and posted on the church website.
Stage II - Early stage
Sunday services will resume on May 24th, but the after-service coffee hour will remain suspended until the next stage.

Coffee will still be available during the Sunday school hour; however, for a time we will switch to individual packets of cream and sweetener and also switch to throw-away spoons.

We will suspend the Opening Hymn and the Sequence/Gradual Hymn. We will still have organ music and a closing hymn.

The Sexton will prop open the doors of the Nave at 30-minutes before service and during the final hymn.

At the close of service, we will ask the pastor/clergy to move the customary "greeting line" from the narthex to the front lawn (weather permitting). Doing so will allow greater personal distance while parishioners are exiting the church.
Stage III - Later stage
When health advisories for food services are eased, we will resume coffee hour with refreshments, albeit with improved sanitary practices

We will also resume the Opening Hymn and Sequence/Gradual Hymn

We will revisit the practice of passing the peace with the advice of our pastor/clergy and our bishop
Stage IV - A new normal
At a later time in the Year 2020 we will determine better ways to share in the life and ministry of the church while being mindful of health and community guidelines.

Mission Council will discuss this stage in greater detail as things progress.
May 31st is the Day of Pentecost!
The last Sunday of the month will be the Day of Pentecost. Also known as Whitsunday, the church recalls the coming of the Holy Spirit and the empowerment of the church to carry gospel to the ends of the earth.

We invite everybody to wear something red to represent the "tongues as of fire" mentioned in the Book of Acts.

The spirit of the Lord filleth the world! O come, let us adore him!
Video and Live-Stream Sunday Services
We will continue to minister outside the walls using our digital footprint.

This will be especially helpful to those who cannot attend services in person.

We will post services and other activities through our YouTube channel and on Facebook.
More Progress on the Church Campus
Since our last newsletter, we are glad to report some additional work done on the church campus:

  • The Nave door has a fresh coat of red paint
  • The parish hall doors have all-new paint
  • The sacristy and vestry doors have a fresh coat of paint
  • The metal railings and post lamp have a fresh coat of rustoleum
  • The new door knobs and door locks are installed
  • The threshold and foundations are freshened up and touched up

We have a few more items to tackle when weather permits. Stay tuned for details...
As you may be aware, small businesses throughout the nation are under financial stress.

Mindful of that, we made a special effort at St. Agnes' to purchase our paint, hardware and supplies in the last few weeks from local small businesses. Going forward, we will try to make this a regular practice.
Updates from Our Church Family
Mr. Howard Gene Eslick passed into glory on May 19th. Our prayers and our friendship were a great comfort to him. He was a wonderful friend and neighbor to many in our extended church family. Click here to read the obituary. All are invited to the visitation on Friday, May 22nd, 5 to 7 p.m. at Moore-Cortner Funeral Home, and also to the burial on Saturday, May 23rd, 3:00 p.m. at Cowan-Montgomery Cemetery.

Please also remember the family of Geraline Garner , Kathleen Black's niece, who passed into glory on May 20th. Click here to read the obituary.

We just received news that Mrs. Betty Rose passed away. Betty was a long-time member of Christ Church, Alto, and a friend to many of us at St. Agnes'. We will post additional information as soon as it's available.

Jarod spoke with Wynona Gibson earlier this week. She appreciates our continuing prayers. Her recovery from is going slower than planned, but overall she is holding her own and hoping to feel better soon.

Jarod also spoke with Wes Nevels . He is still stationed at Camp Lejuene, albeit with a different battery where he is learning some additional skills. He always appreciates our prayers and friendship.
May/June Birthdays
May 2 - Ella Grissett
May 9 - Carla Wilson Money
May 11 - Steve Pearson
May 19 - Bishop Paul Lambert
May 31 - Kathleen Black

June 6 - Brian Judd
June 7 - Linda Milligan
June 9 - Gene Black


"Watch over thy children, O Lord, as their days increase; bless and guide them whereever 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
Teresa Brown, Wynona Gibson, Patsy Rigsby, Brad Roberts, Rosemary Harris, Claire Lusk, Christy Shepard, Steve Pearson, Dick & Mary Ann Austin, Marty Judd, Jonanne Hammer, Jay Yowell, Iris Ellidge, Mary McDonald, Will Olsmit, Peggy Nunley, Gina, Jordan and Austin Cleek, Brad and Anita Warmbrod, Roy Tankersley, Royana Stewart, Bill Keller, Linda Milligan, and Karen McCallie.

We pray continually for Christians around the world in grave danger and for those in our armed services, especially Wes Nevels.

We bless and commemorate Betty Rose, Howard Gene Eslick, Geraline Garner, Andy Barnes, and J.C. McFarland who recently passed away.


"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 Rt. Rev'd Paul Lambert................................Pastor and Celebrant

The Rev'd Jean Mweningoma.............................Visiting Priest

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