The Church Bell
Vol. 2, no. 5
May / June 2018
Whitsunday / Day of Pentecost - May 20
The Great 50 days of Eastertide will conclude on the Day of Pentecost. also known as Whitsunday.

We will hold a festival service that day with the altar adorned in red to symbolize the "Tongues as of Fire" mentioned in the Book of Acts.

We encourage everyone to wear something red when you come to church that day to add to the celebration.

Whitsunday / the Day of Pentecost recalls the church receiving the power of the Holy Spirit to carry to good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit continually renews, refreshes, and empowers the church of yesterday, today, and in the days ahead.

Alleluia. The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: O come let us adore him. Alleluia.
Trinity Sunday - May 27
The Sunday that follows Whitsunday is the church's formal celebration of the Holy Trinity .

Bishop Lambert will lead our 11:00 service on that day.

We also encourage you to come to a 10:00 Sunday school lesson in the parish hall where we will read, study, and discuss the Creed of St. Athanasius.

The Athanasian Creed is an ancient document proclaiming and verifying the nature of the Incarnation and of God as the Holy Trinity.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God: O come let us adore him.
From Bishop Lambert
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost the sevenfold gifts impart.
 Thy blessed unction from above
 Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
 Enable with perpetual light,
 The dullness of our blinded sight.
(Hymn 503)
The Flame of the Spirit

One of the several symbols that are used to represent God the Holy Spirit, and the one I prefer, is the symbol of the tongues of fire. Fire does a lot of things. One is to give light in darkness. Walking into a darkened room with a fire brings clarity and definition to the surrounding space that otherwise would be unrecognizable in darkness. So many faces we see are filled with shadows of anxiety and grief. Seldom do we look into eyes that reflect and degree of radiance. There can be no true brightness of countenance except when our faces reflect the brightness of God, for it is the Holy Spirit of God, like the fire in the room that brings clarity and definition of who we are as the children of God, our lives are transformed by the light of the Holy Spirit’s ever burning flame.
As the fire in the darkened room gives clarity and definition to the surrounding area it also warms the space and we are drawn into its warmth which drives away the chill which has made us numb and cold. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal thing blowing through the trees! It is a very personal thing, because it is simply another name for the love of God in action. In the Nicene Creed , when we speak of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, we say, “Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,” and we mean by that the Holy Spirit is the love which proceeds from the God the Father and God the Son. And because the power of the Holy Spirit is the power of love, it therefore a very warm and personal thing, and those of us whose hearts are empty and cold find, when we stretch forth our hands to the fire of God’s love, not a cold wind brushing against our cheeks in the dark, not a ghostly and spooky thing, but a warm touch and kiss from the flame which burns forever in the heart of God.
Finally, another reason why fire is an appropriate symbol of the Holt Spirit is because fire burns. One cannot draw close to the Spirit of God without catching on fire, and this is the best test I know of the reality and power of your spiritual life. To what extent are we on fire? To what extent is the flame of God’s love burning us up as we respond to that love? Most of us insulate ourselves so carefully with layers and layers of protective covering, that the fire of God’s love has very little chance of getting through, even to the outermost edges of our heart.
We all want the blessings and benefits of the spiritual life without paying the cost. We want the love and joy and peace without getting burned, and we cannot have our joy and peace without burning. Where God is, there is the fire of God’s love, and we cannot know that love until we draw close enough to catch on fire.
In closing I want to draw your attention to the difference between the fire of the Holy Spirit and the fire of Hell. It is an important one for us to know as we continue our journey into the Kingdom of God. God’s fie burns but it does not destroy us- its like the fire in the burning bush in which Moses beheld the presence of God. The fire of hell is a frustrating fire, a destructive fire-there is no fulfillment about it. It is an awful endless burning that does nothing but destroy the soul. The fire of heaven ignites us with a flame-yes, but heaven’s fire creates, fulfills, makes whole. And the most important choice one can ever make in this life is the choice between these two fires-the fire of heaven and the fire of hell.
In a few days we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, Whitsunday, when we pay tribute to the flame of God’s love, and hopefully we will pray that we may choose the fire of heaven to save us from the fire of hell!

Bishop Paul
Anoint and cheer of soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home,
Where thou are guide, no ill can come.
Teach us to know, the Father, Son,
And thee, of both, to be but one
That through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song:
Praise to the eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen
A Prayer for Memorial Day - May 28
We give you thanks, O Lord, for all who have died that we may live, for all who endured pain that we might know joy, for all who made sacrifices that we might have plenty, for all who suffered imprisonment that we might know freedom. Turn our deep feeling now into determination, and our determination into deed, that as men and women died for peace, we may live for peace for the sake of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Commencement Luncheon with some happy trails wishes
Congratulations are in order for Nick, Sinclair, Pearson, Fumi and Father Martin!

Therefore, following the service on May 20th we will gather in the parish hall for a Commencement Luncheon. All who can, please bring something to share and enjoy.

This will also be time of Happy Trails for the Caccese's and the Ender's as they are packing up and getting ready to leave Sewanee for new careers and new directions.

See you then!
Late Spring and Early Summer Birthdays
May 19 - Bishop Lambert
May 31 - Kathleen Black

June 7 - Linda Milligan
June 9 - Gene Black
June 13 - Funmi Odidi

July 4 - Kay McKenzie
July 5 - Jeff Powers
July 9 - Pearson Garner
July 10 - Richard Paton
July 21 - Nancy Glenn
July 21 - Sally Lambert
July 27 - Alice Black

"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
Winona Gibson, Royana Stewart, Montana Smith, Patsy Rigsby, Pamela Hicks, Alexis Mauldin, Lee Glenn, Tammy and Victoria Keese, Larry Woodall, Sue Hill, Celeste Simmons, Diana Meeks, Carter Smith, Lee Glenn, Fran Perry, Joe Ed Williams, Fr. Stephen, Lamar Davis, Kirkland Leonard, Jimmy Moss, Bill Keller, Howard Gene Eslick, Benny and Betty Haney, Linda Milligan, Karen McCallie, and Subamma (our sponsored child).

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

We pray especially for the victims and families, and we pray over the entire situation in Santa Fe, Texas. May God ever watch over our nation and grant us strength and courage in these difficult times.


"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 Paul Lambert...............................Pastor and Celebrant

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

The Venerable Martin Odidi...............................Visiting Priest

Nicholas Caccese..............................................Resident Seminarian

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