The fifth single from the multi-artist A New Heaven And A New Earth project, “Our Common Home,” releases today (Oct. 6) at digital and streaming outlets globally from The Fuel Music. The single features GRAMMY®-nominated, Dove Award-winning Building 429 lead vocalist Jason Roy, renowned recording artist, producer and college professor Don Chaffer (Waterdeep) and iconic singer/songwriter Phil Joel (Newsboys). The full-length A New Heaven And A New Earth project is slated to premiere May 2024.
Written by Chaffer, Joel and Centricity Music’s singer/songwriter Jason Gray, “Our Common Home” was inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical, Laudato si’, On Care for Our Common Home. The song features the refrain:
Lord, help us hear the cry of the earth (Sleeper awake)
Hear the cry of the poor (Sleeper awake)
From the dark of the deep to the sky-blue dome
Let us rise with a heart to care for our common home (Sleeper Awake)
“The intention of the song is to dig into the things that underwrite our lack of concern for not just who we are, but where we are,” shares Chaffer. “There is something about the practice of praying and confessing together that feels like a healing process. What we need is a little more introspection, thoughtfulness and care in the way we posture ourselves toward one other and our home.”
“It’s a special song with a very relatable lyric that, as Don mentioned, is really a prayer,” adds Joel. “I think we can all easily pray this song together because this is our common home, and we want to take care of this place.”
“My faith and the planet and Creation care are all linked,” continues Joel. “I’m trying to be a Jesus follower, and trying to be aware of the needs of the widows, poor, orphans and the least of the least.”
“It’s amazing how often poor people suffer when the planet is treated badly, because, of course, the planet is where we get our sustenance,” adds Chaffer. “The more we discover about the connection between the health of the poor with the health of our earthly home, the more we’re inspired to pray, ‘Lord, we need to do better. Help us to do better.’”
Producing “Our Common Home” and singing and playing various instruments on the track, Roy says of his collaboration on the single with Chaffer, Joel and Gray: “It was an honor to work on this song with these musical legends, these friends of mine.”
“Our Common Home” also features Joel on bass/vocals, Chaffer on acoustic guitar/vocals, Roy’s son Avery on drums, Lori Chaffer and Joel’s daughter Phynley on backing vocals, Gotee Records’ worship artist and songwriter Jon Reddick on keys and Jesse Garcia on guitar. The resulting, multi-generational single has an organic, Americana feel along with a pop sensibility.
In addition to “Our Common Home,” A New Heaven And A New Earth tracks already released include Roy’s “It’s All Yours;” Joel’s “Arms Around The World;” recording artist, actress and producer MŌRIAH’s “You Mean The World;” and two-time Dove Award-winning, three-time No.1 Billboard-charting, Stellar Award-nominated Aaron Cole’s “Together.” One more song will be revealed this year, followed by additional tracks in 2024. Each of these well-known Christian artists felt led to participate, responding to the call to write and record a song on taking care of Creation. The songs collectively cover rock, pop, hip hop, R&B, indie, folk/ Americana and more musical genres.