|Author Rae E. Whitney
Released 12/07 Catalog no. 125-431
Pages 222 (6" x 9" soft-cover)
Price $24.50 (U.S.)
Rae Whitney's hymns have found their way around the world into many hymnals, supplements, journals, and books. It is because her hymns speak directly to those who read and sing them, telling us, in a natural and unaffected style, the truths we need and want to hear. Under the Fig Tree presents more of her hymn texts and a few poems, most of them written since her first book, With Joy Our Spirits Sing, came out in 1995. In this book you wil find hymns that help us to follow our God just as Nathaniel, sitting under the fig tree, was told to do.
Foreword by Bishop Burnett
For many decades Rae Whitney's tireless devotion to baptismal ministry has enriched the life of the Episcopal Church in Nebraska. With this new volume of hymns she continues to bless and inspire us, as well as the wider Christian community throughout the world. Her texts give fresh and eloquent expression to the heart of the gospel in ways that can transform congregational song into a sacrament of God's justice, mercy, and love. I am proud to count her as both friend and colleague, and I am delighted to commend this collection for use in worship, study, and prayer.
--The Right Reverend Joe Goodwin Burnett
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska
Foreword by Marty Wheeler Burnett
Rae Whitney is a widely published contemporary author of five hundred hymns. Her poetic texts are characterized by elegant simplicity and vivid imagery, strongly grounded in Biblical story, liturgical tradition, and the Christian faith. Whitney's hymns are also reflective of her diverse experiences as a teacher, author, and clergy spouse. Born in England, Whitney moved to the High Plains of western Nebraska in 1961 following her marriage to the Rev. Clyde E. Whitney, an Episcopal priest. A Nebraskan ever since, she continues to write, publish, and lead workshops and hymn festivals. Her texts appear in hymnals in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Through her hymns, we learn about this remarkable woman: her care for God's creation; her commitment to social justice; her scholarly depth; her lifelong interests in church history and ecumenism; her celebration of women's ministries. Whitney's works avoid mindless repetition, sentimentality, and an exclusive focus on personal devotion. Rather, her texts are clearly intended for the life of the Christian community. Often starting with a familiar Biblical image, Whitney's hymns relate the gospel to the present age and invite singers to join in the ongoing faith story.
I am honored to introduce and commend Rae Whitney's hymns to you. Through this collection, you may also come to know her life and work. Her hymns provide fresh images for singing the faith, shaping a new generation of believers.
--Marty Wheeler Burnett
Director of Fine Arts, College of St. Mary