God Is Faithful - Advent Devotional on 1 Cor. 1:9

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
1 Corinthians 1: 9 (ESV)
      God is faithful! 
     These three words, in their beautiful simplicity, perfectly embody the reason we celebrate the season of Advent. We rejoice in this truth by affirming that God’s faithfulness is expressed in the fact that we have never worshiped a God who is happy with leaving us alone. Indeed, we worship a God who comes to us where we are. Through the body and being of God’s son, Jesus Christ, God is with us. God is for us. God is amongst us.
     But Advent should not be about simply affirming this truth. Rather, these words from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians remind us that we must do something. We are called into the fellowship of the Risen Christ, who is still very much alive and at work in the world. We, the people who are the Body of Christ, are reminded that we are called to serve others because of God’s faithfulness to all people.   
     What, then, is your part in this fellowship? May this season be a constant reminder to us that we are each called into the fellowship of Christ!So, hold a hand. Clothe the naked. Help those who have fallen. Give voice to those who have been silenced. And, above all, do these acts by remembering this truth:  God is faithful!

     Holy God, thank you for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who reminds us that You are for us, with us, and amongst us. Help us that we might be for others, with others, and amongst others. Amen.
                         Grace and peace,

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.