The Church Bell
Vol. 3, no. 2
Season of Lent 2019
March 6th - Ash Wednesday Services
St. Agnes' will provide two (2) opportunities for  Ash Wednesday on March 6th to begin the 40-day Season of Lent.

Bishop Lambert will offer a 12 noon service using the form of the Book of Common Prayer at St. Agnes'.

That same evening, the Cowan Ministerial Association will provide a  6:00 p.m. service at Cowan Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Rev. Richard Morgan will be the speaker and the host church will lead in music and song.
"Keep Your Eye on the Cross"
Letter from Bishop Lambert for the Season of Lent
“The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” (Numbers 21:8)

This verse from the Old Testament Book of Numbers comes as a result of a conversation between Moses and God. At this point in the journey to the Promised Land Miriam has died, and they had just buried Aaron, Moses’ brother.

The people are mobbing again about their misfortunes (what else is new!) along
their journey. They had just defeated the Canaanites and now, of all things venomous snakes are biting them. Moses does what the Lord orders and sure enough, those who have been bitten and look upon the snake on the pole, live. You can read the whole story in the 21st chapter of Numbers.

What does this have to do with us living in the present day you might ask? I think
the concept, the symbolism if you will, is apparent as we begin our Lenten
journey. Like the Hebrew people wandering in the wilderness in search of the
Promised Land, we too can fall victim to our own impatience and doubting of the
Lord the longer our journey. It’s human nature to do so. The problem is that we
fall victim to all sorts of things can damage and hurt the soul. God ordered Moses
to make a snake for the benefit and welfare of his people. The same thing that
brought death was now bringing life to those who believed and gazed upon the
snake on the staff.

So it will be for those of us who keep our eye upon the Cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to save his people, so
God lifts his Son upon the Cross for our redemption. It is important for us to
“Keep our eye on the Cross” as we journey through Lent so we can experience
the gift of everlasting life at journey’s end.

Finally, along those lines you will remember our teaching on the liturgy earlier this month Sunday as I showed you how the Sunday liturgy is our opportunity to experience the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each element in our worship points to the Resurrection as we journey through our Lord’s Passion.

There is a point at the end of the Prayer of Consecration that I elevate the Host
and Chalice. This action is meant to recall Moses’s raising up of the serpent in
the wilderness for his people to be saved. Through the Body and Blood of our
Lord Jesus Christ, we who believe in him and gaze upon his Body and Blood are
also saved by God’s redeeming love.

Let each of us “Keep our Eye on the Cross” this Lenten season. God bless and
keep you and may the light of his countenance shine upon you always.

Bp. Paul
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!
An invitation to Daughters of the King
Christie James Grissett is working on a proposal to form a Daughters of the King chapter at St. Agnes'.

Daughters of the King is a religious order for women in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion.

The mission of the order is to know Jesus Christ, make him known to others, and reflect God's love throughout the world.

Members are devoted to a rule of life and rule of prayer.

Christie will provide additional information in the coming months. All who would like to learn more about the order and consider joining through a local chapter should speak with her.

You can also read more at the following website:

Other Happenings
April 18th - Maundy Thursday Service, 6 p.m.
Cowan Ministerial Association will hold a Maundy Thursday Service on April 18th, 6:00 p.m. at Cowan First Baptist Church. This service recalls the Last Supper an Jesus issuing the New Commandment. Father Laban Agisa will be the speaker.
April 19th - Good Friday Service, 12 noon
St. Agnes' will host the Good Friday liturgy on April 19th at 12 noon. Bishop Lambert will lead and other Cowan churches will join us. The Good Friday service recalls the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.
April 21st - Easter Sunrise Service, 6:30 a.m.
The various Cowan churches will meet at Cowan Montgomery Cemetery to celebrate the discovery of the Empty Tomb and the glorious news that Jesus is Risen. The service begins at 6:30 a.m. Rev. Elder Willie Lee Bonner will be the speaker.
April 21st - Easter Sunday - the Resurrection of Our Lord, 11 a.m.
We will hold a festival service on Easter Sunday at the usual 11:00 hour. We will also have an Easter egg hunt for the kids before the service and a church family photo after the service. Invite your friends and extended family to join us in joyful praise to Jesus who is risen in glory!
Some Updates from Our Church Family
Howard Gene Eslick underwent minor surgery and extended treatment earlier in February and then returned to the Waters of Winchester. Sadly, his condition will require him to move to a new long-term care facility toward the middle of March. We will let everyone know where he moves to so that he can receive cards and visits.

Brian Judd will begin intense chemotherapy on March 5th. The following week he will start a round of 10 radiation treatments. He is eager to get the process started so he can put the entire episode behind him. Brian needs our prayers and our words of encouragement! We will keep everybody posted on his progress. Brian is living at his father's house so he can be closer to treatment. He can receive cards and letters at 202 Old Morrison Rd, McMinnville, TN 37110.

Bill Keller is scheduled to have tests run to see where he stands with his cancer and how he has responded to treatments. He has struggled with seasonal colds and allergies that, combined with the bad weather, made this a difficult month! He always appreciates our prayers and is more than happy to be in church when he is able to attend..

Erma Little, a friend and neighbor to several in the congregation, is facing new challenges with her cancer going through a new set of treatments. She struggles at times with nourishment, but is putting up a brave fight. She sends her love and appreciates our prayers.

Rose Pearson is planning to have a scopic surgery in March to correct a previous knee injury.  If all goes as planned, her recovery time will be short and the surgery will provide long-term relief.

Duncan and Frances Weddington thanked the congregation during the Sunday service on February 17th for our prayers, visits to the funeral home, and the fruit basket delivered to their home. Duncan's daughter, Jan Patton, passed away earlier in the month.
Update from Wes at Fort Sill
As promised, Wes checked in soon after arriving at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He finished the advanced weapons program and is anticipating a promotion in early March. 

He would love to get some cards and letters from the church family. 

E-mail the church < > or reach out to Jarod if you would like to have Wes' mailing address at Fort Sill.

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.
A poem for a very rainy season
Needless to say, it's been an extremely wet season for us! The University of the South reported a record rainfall according to their measurements, and we have no reason to doubt them!

By all means, we want to helpful to those with property damage and especially those who were evacuated from their homes.

Mindful of the rough conditions, our very own Wynona Gibson shared something that you'll enjoy and appreciate. She wrote as follows:

"I do not think I have ever seen a weather pattern like that we are having. I am always writing poems and thought you might get a smile from this one. It is WET everywhere we go!"

And here is her poem:
Have you spotted the olive branch?
Or perhaps you saw a colorful rainbow.
The raindrops above keep falling,
Maybe we will see the Ark come floating by.

I'm certain a token of God's love
Will dry out the world tomorrow,
So -- as I wade through the puddles deep
I have high hopes from which to borrow.

Wishing all well and stay dry!

Wynona Gibson
Spring Birthdays
February 26 - Karen McCallie
February 26 - Georgia Scott

March 5 - Bruce Smith
March 14 - Marcia Ruffing

April 7 - the parishioner who shall remain anonymous
April 7 - Montana Smith
April 13 - John Ruffing
April 15 - Dane Leitzel
April 20 - Martin Odidi

"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
Teresa Brown, Leonard Brown, Erma Little, 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, Linda Milligan, and Karen McCallie.

We pray for our neighbors with property damage and other loss due to the extreme weather conditions.

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


"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."
St. Agnes' 125th Anniversary
In 2019 St. Agnes' will mark the 125th Anniversary of the congregation and the 120th anniversary of our historic nave. 

The first Episcopal service in Cowan was held in 1894 at a small house on the bank above Boiling Fork Creek. The congregation, known as St. Saviour's Mission, was sponsored by the Community of St. Mary in Sewanee with administrative help from the Diocese of Tennessee.

On May 3rd, 1899, at 3:30 p.m., Bishop Gailor dedicated the cornerstone of the newly relocated building. Prior to that, the building belonged to Church of the Ascension at Shiloh (near Murfreesboro).

The Sisterhood of St. Agnes' at Trinity Wall Street in New York City paid to have the building moved by railroad and reconstructed in Cowan. To honor the sisterhood for their financial support, the congregation was renamed St. Agnes'.

We are planning to have a ceremony at the cornerstone on May 3rd, 2019 to remember the 120th anniversary of the Nave. Then, later in the year, we will have a homecoming celebration for the 125th anniversary of the congregation.

Stay tuned for details...

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