Songstress Sheri Carr Brings ‘Fearless’ Message to Assembly
Sheri Carr, songwriter and rising force in the contemporary Christian worship music movement, is the latest addition to a stellar array of artists and women leaders in their fields set to address United Methodist Women’s “Faith • Hope • Love in Action” quadrennial Assembly, April 30-May 2 in St. Louis, Mo.
Ms. Carr has written songs and been featured on some of Vineyard Music’s most popular worship recordings, but she comes to Assembly on the heels of the release of “Fearless Now,” her debut solo CD on the company’s artist-driven Varietal Records label. That title cut was also Ms. Carr’s contribution to a multi artist CD to raise money for Haiti earthquake relief.
“I’ve been on the road, singing at retreats, Sunday morning worship at Presbyterian, Methodist, non-denominational — a wide variety of churches and events,” Ms. Carr said in a recent telephone interview with United Methodist Women News. “I feel really good about going to share what God’s put on my heart. A lot of healing has taken place. It’s a new season for me.”
The daughter of a United Methodist pastor serving in Michigan and Indiana, Ms. Carr grew up in the milieu of worship and has composed songs since she was a child.
“There was always a song in my heart,” Ms. Carr explained. “I grew up singing in church, and I played the flute in school. In my senior year in high school I began leading worship in church and started writing songs more seriously.”
Becoming a worship leader in her local church gave new direction to her understanding of the role music should have in her life. She recorded some of her songs independently in1988, and her pastor encouraged her to send it to the Christian label, Vineyard.
“Vineyard is a nonprofi t worship label,” Ms. Carr said. “Most of what Vineyard does is put the music back into mission, as opposed to for-profit companies. I’ve had some experience in the Nashville Gospel business, and some people might have mixed feeling about the Christian music machine, but I find the whole thing beautiful and filling the earth with worship. I feel it an honor to be a part of that. Some people might write songs that are more congregational. Others write songs about life. Both are needed in the church.”
Ms. Carr is preparing her songbook for Assembly. Rather than bringing her full band to give her performance a rock edge, Ms. Carr wanted something more simple. She and another acoustic guitarist will perform at Assembly.
“I’m doing some praying about which songs to choose for Assembly,” she said. “One song that seems to be coming back again and again for a message for the women, or anyone, is ‘Fearless Now.’ It comes from Psalm 56. A lot of the ideas came from The Message version of the Bible.
“I went through a pretty traumatic experience with two herniated disks that left me unable to walk for a couple of months. I was in so much pain, I remember pacing the floor and crying out to God. The Lord really ministered to me through the song. I appreciate David’s cry: ‘Through all the sleepless nights, you’ve kept track of my every toss and turn; each tear, each ache is written in your book. Though the enemy comes again, I will not fear; I will trust in spite of my situation.’
“As women of faith, whether we’re facing empty check books, cancer, broken marriage, divorce; we can say, ‘God, I’m going to choose to trust you and continue praising you.’ That’s what I really want to encourage women to do.”
Growing up in the United Methodist Church, Ms. Carr has attended many local United Methodist Women events, but this will be her first time at Assembly.
“I’m really excited and humbled to be a part of Assembly,” she said. “I’m excited to see what God wants to do. I hope to be a part of that, of God meeting us where we’re at. We’re not alone in this walk.”
FEARLESS NOW will be on sale at Assembly and can be downloaded digitally via purchase on iTunes, VineyardMusic.com, and Amazon.com. For more information, visit http://shericarr.com.
*Yvette Moore is editor of United Methodist Women News.