A Communal Lament | Good Friday (Year C)

From the United Church of Christ. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far away? I cry out to you by day, but you do not answer; and at night, I find no rest. I am scorned and despised, all who see me mock me and shake their heads. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Our ancestors trusted in you, cried out to you, and you delivered them. They enthroned you with praise. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Yet you took me from the womb, and from my birth you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near. My troubles surround me like lions ready to pounce. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I am poured out like water, and all my bones are dust; my heart is like wax, melting inside; my tongue is dry and I cannot speak; my limbs are nothing, and my ribs are bare. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? My enemies encircle me; they stare and gloat; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? But you, O Savior, do not be far away! O my Help, come quickly to deliver me!


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.