"Jeremiah Sent a Letter"

Here's a hymn that is the seventh in a series I’m writing that is inspired by A Sanctified Art’s upcoming 12-week creative bundle, "“Unraveled.”  It is written in D and is sung to the tune, PLEADING SAVIOR, which is commonly used to sing “God, You Spin the Whirling Planets” However, since it’s written in D, it could work with many different tunes. I just hadn’t used this one before and I thought it fit the text nicely. It’s inspired by Jeremiah 29:1-7.

Permission is given for use in congregational worship.  Please give the following credit:  "Copyright 2019 Stephen M. Fearing | www.stephenmfearing.com"

Click here for a pdf of this hymn.

Jeremiah sent a letter to the folks in Babylon,
Long had they been stuck in darkness, waiting for to greet the dawn.
They had suffered much in exile, toiling hard in angst and fear.
Young and old were forced to labor, kept in place by sword and spear.

Though they wanted news of freedom, he told them to hunker down.
“Build your houses, plant your gardens, raise your children in this town.”
Jeremiah told the people, “make the best of your home here.
Seek the welfare of the city; through your lives, God’s truth endear.”

Sometimes, Lord, we find ourselves in places we don’t want to be -
Places full of pain and anguish, places craving jubilee.
May we in the times of exile serve our God courageously,
In the moments of our trials, may we love all faithfully.

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Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.