The Church Bell
Vol. 3, no. 1
January/February 2019
January 20th is St. Agnes' Sunday!
On Sunday, January 20th, the congregation will celebrate The Feast of St. Agnes: Martyr at Rome.

(The actual day of her feast is January 21st, so this year we hold our celebration the day before.)

We will start our day of commemoration with a  10:00 lesson in the parish hall where we will discuss various aspects of Agnes' story and legacy. The lesson will also touch on her lesser known foster sister, St. Emerentiana, who was killed a few days after Agnes' execution.

At 11:00 Bishop Lambert will lead our service. During the service we will read a short commemoration of Agnes.

Then, after the service, we will have Sunday brunch in the parish hall.  See note below
Brunch details for January 20, 2019:
Our custom at St. Agnes' is to have a church-wide brunch after the service on St. Agnes' Sunday.

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

Brunch on St. Agnes' Sunday is a tradition going back many years and something we always look forward to!
Agnes: Martyr at Rome, 304 A.D.
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
Listen to this beautiful sermon about Agnes
On January 21, 2017, The Right Reverend Jo Bailey Wells, a Bishop in the Church of England, delivered the sermon at the Convention Eucharist of the Diocese of Tennessee. Because it was the Feast of St. Agnes, Bishop Wells devoted her sermon to the young martyr of Rome.

It was a truly amazing reflection on a young girl who's faith and devotion to Jesus Christ made an huge impact on the history of our faith.

Set some time aside and listen to this beautiful sermon taking place at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville.
agnus dei ~ "Lamb of God"
The name Agnes comes from the Latin word agnus, which means "lamb", and a similar word in Greek, hagne, which means "pure". 

The name, therefore, not only refers to the young martyr of Rome, but also refers directly to Jesus.

When John the Baptist first saw Jesus in person, he referred to him as the "Lamb of God", which is recorded in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1 verse 29. 

Therefore, churches that carry the name Agnes are quick to mention the dual-reference: Agnes of Rome being one, and Jesus as the "Lamb of God" being the other.
Other Happenings
January 27th - Annual Meeting of the Congregation
Following the 11:00 service we will hold our annual meeting to elect the Mission Council, approve a budget, and go over our goals for the Year 2019.
March 6 - Community Ash Wednesday Service
Mark your calendars for the Community Ash Wednesday Service schedule for the evening of March 6th. We will post the time and location of the service closer to time. The service is sponsored by the Cowan Ministerial Association.
Some Updates from Our Church Family
Nancy and Lee Glenn shared their gratitude to the congregation during church on January 13th. Their son-in-law, John Kastrinos, passed away on January 2nd after a year-long battle with cancer. The congregation provided Lee and Nancy with a gift card so they could enjoy a meal together as they were not able to travel to the funeral.

Brian Judd, one of our new parishioners, is at Erlanger hospital recovering from emergency surgery. At our last report he is scheduled for another surgery and will then start chemotherapy. Please keep Brian in your prayers. We will keep everybody posted.

Bill Keller reported some improvement with his health conditions. We are grateful that he has had several good Sundays when he was able to attend church. Thanks be to God!

Karen McCallie reported some progress with her health condition. We pray that her progress will continue and that she will have more and more good days ahead!

Pat Underwood returned home from Arizona on December 23rd after a long stay with her daughter, Kim Piper, during her illness. Kim passed away on December 8th. A memorial service for Kim will take place in early summer and Pat is planning to return for that special time with her family in Arizona. The congregation reached out to Pat with a Christmas dinner to enjoy with her family here in Tennessee. 
On behalf of the congregation, Jarod made a Christmas Day visit to Linda Milligan at home, and then visited Howard Gene Eslick, and Royana Stewart in the nursing home. He delivered a gift bag from the church to each of them and then delivered gift bags to the Cowan Police Department and the Winchester Emergency Room. Our gift bags are always a cheerful gift and we had excellent support from the congregation this year, as always!
At home from Tech during Christmas
We are pleased that Abby Garner earned her dual degree from Tennessee Tech in mid-December. We were grateful to see her in church several times over the Christmas and New Year's holiday. She is back in Cookeville and getting a career plan together.

Pearson Garner made the Dean's list in his first semester at Tennessee Tech. We got to see him during the Christmas and New Year's holiday as well. He applied to work as an instructor at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama this summer. We hope it works out for him! 
Wes Nevels - a U.S. Marine!
We were thrilled to see Wes in church during the Advent and Christmas season following his 3-month term on Parris Island. He is now a U.S. Marine!

On January 1st, Wes left for Camp Geiger, North Carolina, for advanced weapons training. He will then transfer to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for artillery training.

Wes is grateful for everybody's kindness during his five weeks at home and asks for our continuing prayers. We expect a call from him in February when he can provide a mailing address.  

We commend our brother Wes, and all others in the armed services, to the care of Almighty God and a sense of His heavenly grace.
Winter Birthdays
January 1 - Fr. Jean Mweningoma
January 4 - Jason Paton
January 18 - Wes Nevels

February 4 - Abby Garner
February 11 - Andrew Wilkinson
February 16 - Janelee Wise
February 26 - Karen McCallie
February 26 - Georgia Scott

March 1 - Louis Mlcoch
March 5 - Bruce Smith
March 14 - Marcia Ruffing

We salute Christie James Grissett for adopting the church birthday list! Christie is keeping the list updated and sending cards to parishioners on behalf of the congregation. Thank you Christie!

"O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on thy servants as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
We Remember in Prayer
Brian Judd, Becky Jo Jellison, Bryan Pearson, Phyllis Bishop, Julius Mauro, Sandra Langston, Jacqueline Boyanton, Joe Money, Royana Stewart, Tammy and Victoria Keese, Sue Hill, Fran Perry, Lamar Davis, Bill Keller, Howard Gene Eslick, Benny & Bety Haney, 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 Kim Piper, John Kastrinos, Kurfrees Boswell, and Mrs. Lillie Bonner 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."
Memorial Christmas Gifts
During the 12 days of Christmas, the congregation gratefully received Memorial Poinsettias to the glory of God and in loving memory of:

Laura Ballow
Miss Elizabeth Haynes
Ann Kossman
Agnes W Pearson
Alton Pearson
Frank and Louella Sernicola
The Rev'd Phillip Werlein
George and Jean Wilkinson

The congregation gratefully received a donation to the Altar Guild from Dane and Shelia Leitzel to the glory of God and in loving memory of George Wilkinson. 
St. Emerentiana: Martyr at Rome
While Agnes is considered one of ancient Christianity's most famous and most legendary martyrs, Emerentiana is far less known. 

A few days after Agnes was executed by the swords of Roman soldiers, a story circulated through Rome about her foster sister Emerentiana. 

According to ancient sources, Emerentiana was praying and weeping at the grave of Agnes when a group of Roman soldiers began to mock her. When she turned to them and blasted them for killing her sister, they stoned her to death.

For centuries the story was dismissed as mere legend until Armanelli, the famous Italian historian, found her grave. The story of her death is now widely accepted and January 23rd is her day of remembrance. 
Multipurpose Hall in the Diocese of Buye
Fr. Jean is pulling together information on a Multipurpose Hall project to house the various ministries of the Diocese of Buye, his home diocese, in the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi.

As we may not be fully aware, there's a pattern of conflict and civil war in the region. The diocese has a vibrant ministry of presence that works toward reconciliation, peace, and community development.

We will learn more as the project progresses and learn about ways to show our support.
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 Paul Lambert................................Pastor and Celebrant

The Rt. Rev'd John C. Bauerschmidt..................Bishop

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

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