Resonate now one year into its work

News Release: September 19, 2017

Resonate now one year into its work
Various products in the collection come into focus

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA—Members of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee are now one year into their work toward a new hymnal.

At a recent meeting at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Michigan, the committee processed more than 220 songs and reflected on the past year of learning and working together.

“In the last year we established productive committee and subcommittee structures, and all those subcommittees have developed a clear sense of purpose,” said Bradley Kauffman, general editor.

“We did some important calibrating of our process at this most recent meeting, successfully testing models to evaluate contemporary worship music, global songs, new texts, and harmonizations—as well as discussing many songs from our existing collections.”

The 13-member volunteer committee, working under the name Resonate Team, is discerning content for the 2020 release of a suite of new worship and music materials to be published by MennoMedia in cooperation with Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

“Being in a camp setting offered an immersive retreat space allowing our committee to share deeply together in work, in worship, and in song,” Kauffman added.

Amy Gingerich, editorial director at MennoMedia, brought a report about the various products that will be included in the new worship and song collection.

  • Pew edition: The new pew edition hymnal is projected to be about 30 percent larger than the current Hymnal: A Worship Book. In addition to music, great care is being given to worship resources for the future church and this volume will contain more resources than previous collections.
  • Projection edition: The same content that is in the pew edition will also be available to congregations in the form of a projection edition. Right now MennoMedia plans to have PDF and PowerPoint versions of the songs available in the projection edition, recognizing that technology needs continue to evolve and therefore other platforms may be found to be preferable by 2020.
  • Worship resources leader edition: A separate volume of expanded worship resources is being planned for pastors and worship leaders.
  • Accompaniment edition: The committee is pursuing various options for a keyboard accompaniment edition, and expects to offer increased musical accompaniments.
  • App edition: MennoMedia will contract to produce an app edition offering access to several products surrounding the worship and song collection. While the app itself will be free, customers must purchase the hymnal, the worship resources edition, or the accompaniment edition within the app to enjoy the content.

“We are excited about all these products, and the potential that each has to energize and enliven worship,” Gingerich said. MennoMedia will release final pricing and product details sometime in 2019.

Enjoy and share a video from the group’s recent committee work together. 

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or email LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Announcing Great Day of Singing Events

News Release: September 15, 2017

Announcing Great Day of Singing Events
Area congregations invited to regional hymn sings

HARRISONBURG, Va.—The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee, working under the name Resonate Team, has invited congregations to hold a “Great Day of Singing” this fall and has scheduled a series of regional hymn sings.

Those regional events will be:

  • Sunday, September 17, 6:30 p.m., Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Virginia, led by music editor Benjamin Bergey
  • Friday, October 6, 7:00 p.m., Franconia Mennonite Church, Telford, Pennsylvania, led by music editor Benjamin Bergey and committee member Emily Grimes
  • Sunday, October 8, 9:00 a.m., Salford Mennonite Church, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, led by music editor Benjamin Bergey and committee member Emily Grimes
  • October 8, 9:30 a.m., Oak Grove Mennonite Church, Smithville, Ohio, led by project director and general editor Bradley Kauffman
  • October 8, 6:30 p.m., Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania, led by music editor Benjamin Bergey and committee member Emily Grimes
  • Sunday, October 22, 9:30 a.m., College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, led by text editor Adam Tice
  • October 22, 2:00 p.m., College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, led by text editor Adam Tice
  • October 22, 4:00 p.m., Yoder Hall, Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio, Swiss Community Historical Society, led by project director and general editor Bradley Kauffman
  • Sunday, November 19, time TBD, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, Kansas, led by project director and general editor Bradley Kauffman
  • Sunday, February 25, 2018, time and place TBD, Kitchener, Ontario, led by Brandon Leis and the Menno Singers

“We want to bring Mennonites together around some new songs and worship resources while opening up a space for worshipers to reflect on God’s gift of song,” said Bradley Kauffman, general editor. “We also see these events as good ways to share excitement for the new hymnal coming in 2020.”

These events will draw from a new 16-page sampler designed for the denomination-wide Great Day of Singing (Sunday October 22), as well as other songs and worship resources. Congregations may download their own copies at MennoMedia.org/Resonate. In addition to the 16-page sampler, links to selected accompaniments, tutorial videos, and an image inspired by the Psalms are available for free download. A survey for congregational feedback on the sampler is also available there.

An offering to support the project will be received at most of these events as well. Individuals can also give online at www.HymnalProject606.com.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or email LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Welcome Neighbor Sign Inspires Thousands

By Steve Carpenter

Have you seen the “Welcome Your Neighbor” sign with its three bright colors in three languages?

There are now more than 100,000 signs in yards and storefronts across the U.S. and Canada. Its message of welcome and hospitality, started by Mennonites in Harrisonburg, VA, has been inspiring thousands. It showed up on HuffPost, NPR, Relevant Magazine, and scores of local news outlets. There was even a news outlet in Spain reporting on the sign’s popularity.

 A United Church of Christ congregation in Lancaster, PA celebrated Pentecost by transformed the image of the signs into doves representing the Holy Spirit’s descent.

  When the Democratic and Republican primaries were just beginning in the summer of 2016, my small congregation, Immanuel Mennonite Church (IMC) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, decided to put up a sign proclaiming our shared value of welcoming foreigners. The wording for the sign came from our pastor Matthew Bucher and it was hand painted by another member of the congregation, Melissa Howard.

IMC’s neighbors speak many languages, but primarily English, Spanish and Arabic. Matthew said, “I hope that the sign is a marker to the community. And, I hope that folks leaving IMC after a service are reminded of who we are to be.”

Mennonites, as followers of Jesus, have traditionally refused to take up arms in self-defense or in national defense. Some have also chosen not to vote, deciding rather to remain separate from the political process. During the 2016 election Pastor Matthew Bucher at IMC, encouraged those in his faith community to put out a “We are glad you’re our neighbor” sign rather than a politically partisan sign. My wife and I put one in our front yard in August, 2016 and its still there.


While some in the U.S. government continue to press to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, fear of immigrants continues. Yet, others refuse to give in to fear but rather reach out in love. Matthew 25:35 reminds us that when we welcome others our heavenly Father will reward us. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me…Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

The sign is now available in 16 different language combinations. All are free to down-load and can be printed locally without infringing on any copyrights. You can also buy these signs and other “Welcome Your Neighbor” products online. Click here to link to the “Welcome Neighbors” site affiliated with Immanuel Mennonite Church, who originated this idea. 

If you have a sign in your yard and a story to tell post it here on the official “Welcome Neighbors Sign” FB page.

In January, 2018, we at MennoMedia will be publishing a Herald Press book on immigration titled Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World, by Sarah Quezada. We hope to encourage people to look beyond their fears and respond to immigrants, even undocumented ones, with love.

Blessings in your work, worship and witness,

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations