hymns

Voices Together committee holds final meeting

A stack of 780 songs greeted members of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee when they arrived for their final meeting. (Photos courtesy of MennoMedia)

Committee members pictured from left to right, front row: Tom Harder, Shana Peachey Boshart, Anneli Loepp Thiessen, Katie Graber, Amy Gingerich and Benjamin Bergey; and back row: Adam Tice, Sarah Johnson, Doug Klassen, Cynthia Neufeld Smith, Allan Rudy-Froese, Mike Erb, Bradley Kauffman, Paul Dueck and Darryl Neustaedter Barg.

Committee members Tom Harder and Mike Erb provide accompaniment for the singing.

Benjamin Bergy, Katie Graber, Anneli Loepp Thiessen and Cynthia Neufeld Smith test out different versions of a piano accompaniment for a song.

Sarah Johnson and Doug Klassen discuss the visual art that will be part of Voices Together.

A stack of paper containing 780 songs and a binder of 320 worship resources greeted each member of the Voices Together committee when they arrived for their 10th and final committee meeting in early October.

A farewell to the ‘blue hymnal’

Eighty people from different Mennonite churches, denominations and even provinces participated in Sargent Avenue Mennonite’s hymnal sing-a-thon weekend at the end of September. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Singers sang all 658 hymns from Hymnal: A Worship Book and raised $800 to help Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church purchase copies of the new Voices Together hymnal. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Over the span of a single weekend, Sean Goerzen sang or played every single hymn in the blue-backed Hymnal: A Worship Book. All 658 of them. “I feel like I know the hymnal in a very intimate way now,” he says with a laugh.

Voices Together taking pre-orders, website redesign goes live

HARRISONBURG, Va.—MennoMedia is now taking pre-orders for Voices Together, the new hymnal releasing in fall 2020. Pre-order sales of the new worship and song collection coincide with the launch of the newly designed VoicesTogetherHymnal.org website. The updated site includes information on the hymnal’s table of contents, FAQs, bundles and ordering information, samples of projection edition files, and much more.

Queer hymns now online

Cedar Klassen presents the new collection to The Hymn Society. (Photo courtesy of The Hymn Society)

Songs for the Holy Other is a project of The Hymn Society. (Photo courtesy of The Hymn Society)

Cedar Klassen is the coordinator of the working group that put together Songs for the Holy Other. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Klassen)

Growing up, Cedar Klassen loved singing hymns.

Voices Together visual art chosen

‘Alive,’ a pen and ink drawing by Anne H. Berry, chosen for the theme of ‘the death and resurrection of Jesus.’ (Courtesy of MennoMedia)

‘Nine patch No. 8,’ a monotype by Brenton Good, chosen for the theme of ‘praying.’ (Courtesy of MennoMedia)

Visual art for the Voices Together hymnal has been chosen by the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee. The 12 visual art pieces selected will appear in the forthcoming hymnal—including the pew, worship leader, digital app and projection editions.

Singing into the future

Paul Dueck and Darryl Neustaedter Barg lead singing at the new worship and song collection fundraiser held at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg earlier this year. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Marilyn Houser Hamm leads the congregation at Winnipeg’s Douglas Mennonite Church in singing ‘What is This Place.’ (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

More than 80 people gathered at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg on March 11 to sing together and raise funds for the new Mennonite worship and song collection. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Music is an integral part of Mennonite worship. Whether it’s in church, at camp, at school or in everyday activities, songs have been faithful companions to Mennonites for centuries.

Music selection for new hymnal shaped by new table of contents

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)

The work of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee is slow and joyful and involves a lot of singing.

Singing off the wall

Photo courtesy of the United Church Publishing House / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

The phrase “singing off the wall,” referring to singing from projected words rather than a hymn book, first appeared in Canadian Mennonite in 2010. This image shows that the practice went back much further. Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., recently donated a collection of glass “lantern slides” probably in use circa 1924-45.

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