Herman Stuempfle is not exactly a household name among British Methodists. He was a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and served on the faculty of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for almost three decades.

What he brings to the four of his hymns included in Singing the Faith (he wrote around 550), is an honest dialogue with scripture. Even when his text is mostly a paraphrase of a biblical story (“Jesus, tempted in the desert”), he doesn’t simply remind us of the Gospel narrative and leave it at that. The preacher in him concludes with the question: So what? What does this mean for our discipleship?

Likewise, the journey of the magi, following a distant star. What does this say to “our hearts of blinding doubt”?

Stuempfle writes about the human experience of fractured relationships and questions what we would in fact do if were confronted by Jesus in person with the words, “Follow me”.

Here is a writer who is down-to-earth, curious and questioning, and with a strong commitment to Christian discipleship that shines through every line of his hymns. Read more about Stuempfle and each of his hymns included in Singing the Faith.

Jesus, tempted in the desert (StF 237)
The silent stars shine down on us (StF 231)
When the bonds of love are breaking (StF 656)
Would I have answered when you called (StF 674)