Hymn #461: Let Us Hope When Hope Seems Hopeless

David Beebe (b. 1931) wrote this hymn of hope for a worship service at the close of a creative-writing course he was teaching in 1989.  Beebe had recently begun his work with the United Church of Christ Stewardship Council as associate for stewardship education.

David Beebe was born in Arkansas and ordained to the United Church of Christ ministry in 1959.  He served churches in northern California and Chattanooga, Tennessee, before entering denominational work.  Beebe also served as a college chaplain for six years.

Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811-1887) composed this tune and included it in his Cyfaill y Cantorion “The Singer’s Friend), which was published in 1844 to provide more-appropriate music for Sunday-school songs.  The tune HYFRYDOL means “pleasant” and “melodious” in Welsh.

Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927) composed the tune LET US HOPE for David Beebe's text expressly for The New Century Hymnal.  She also created an anthem setting of the tune for a new anthem series published by the Pilgrim Press in conjunction with the hymnal in 1995.

Emma Lou Diemer grew up in Kansas City and Warrensburg, Missouri.  She began her study of the piano at the age of five or six and started composing music shortly thereafter.  Diemer became the organist at her home church (Christian - Disciples of Christ) in her early teens and since then has devoted her life to music and composing.