While Mennonites across Canada and the United States eagerly await the arrival of the new hymnal, Voices Together, hundreds of online worship resources are already accessible to them through a brand new website that launched in November.
Together in Worship (TiW) is an online, curated collection of free and downloadable Anabaptist worship resources. It’s also a place where contributors can submit their own resources to be shared with the wider Anabaptist and ecumenical community.
“Mennonite worship is often led collaboratively by volunteers within a community,” says Sarah Kathleen Johnson, chair of TiW’s leadership team and worship resources editor for Voices Together. “Supporting those volunteers is at the heart of Together in Worship, but in a collaborative way. We want to provide resources but also to invite leaders to share what they create in their contexts, taking local-level collaboration beyond the local congregation into the wider church.”
The website was built in collaboration with CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre, which launched its own new site in June. The websites share the same database and structure, so resources from TiW are also available through CommonWord.
“This cooperation strengthens the creative capacity for gathering and sharing worship resources that reflect the growing diversity of voices and gifts within our congregations both in the US and in Canada,” says Arlyn Friesen Epp, director of CommonWord and a TiW leadership team member. “This shared digital platform is a gift to each other and to the wider ecumenical church.”
There are currently 1,500 resources available through TiW. Most are written resources, but the vision is to have more music, videos, visual art and teaching resources available in the future. Original worship resources submitted to CommonWord in the past will also be incorporated. Examples of resources already available are:
- Resources from Mennonite World conference.
- Video children’s stories.
- Worship series from Leader magazine.
- Historical Anabaptist resources.
- Resources from bloggers Carol Penner and Joanna Harader.
- Teaching resources on Mennonite worship.
The project has been funded entirely through grants, including a 2019 Teacher-Scholar Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship received by Carol Penner, and a Bequest Earnings Disbursement Fund grant from Shantz Mennonite Church in Baden, Ont.
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