The work of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee is slow and joyful and involves a lot of singing.
The 14-person committee, working as the “Resonate Team,” sang and processed more than 200 songs at its February gathering in Union, Mich., a year after it started the selection process. The group continues to discern what strikes a chord among committee members and what will resound with the larger church.
At this recent meeting the committee affirmed a table of contents that has been underway for many months. The committee views the table of contents as a lens to evaluate both the canon of existing content and new submissions, and will use it to populate the sections of what will become the new hymnal to be published by MennoMedia.
Committee member Sarah Kathleen Johnson said the table of contents will help churches go one step deeper into the tradition of Hymnal: A Worship Book and how it shaped worship. “The table of contents of Hymnal: A Worship Book is quite unique in that it follows the flow of worship,” she said. “Thinking about that flow of worship helps shape decisions about what to include in the new book and how songs support the actions within worship.”
Fundraising for the project continues, and MennoMedia hopes to raise up to $300,000 this year. “As a small, non-profit organization, we do not have the resources to create this massive project without the contributions of generous donors—individuals and congregations who are willing to be patrons and keep the final costs to congregations lower,” said Amy Gingerich, executive director and publisher for MennoMedia. “We continue to welcome donations for this project.”
Read related story: Singing into the future here, canadianmennonite.org/stories/singing-future.
Six members of the Resonate team sample past selections from Sing the Story as they choose songs for the new Mennonite collection to be published in 2020. The team met in February at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. Pictured from left to right: Tom Harder, SaeJin Lee, Cynthia Neufeld Smith, Darryl Neustaedter Barg, Allan Rudy-Froese and project director Bradley Kauffman. (Resonate photo)