Hymnal funding reaches the halfway mark

January 13, 2017
News Release:

Mennonites reach fundraising milestone
Hymnal funding reaches the halfway mark

HARRISONBURG, Va.— MennoMedia is halfway to its fundraising goal for the new hymnal collection project. As of January 2017, the organization has received $303,000 in gifts and faith promises, or 50 percent of the fundraising goal of $606,000. The new collection is scheduled for release in 2020.

While donors can give a gift of any amount, gifts or faith promises of $500 or more will be honored in the printed hymnal. Giving levels have been designated with musical terms for volume from piano (p) to fortissimo (ff).

Lead donors Ed and Carol Nofziger of Archbold, Ohio, have given $25,000 and intend to give a total of $100,000 toward the project. Goshen College, in partnership with College Mennonite Church and Greencroft Foundation, has pledged $25,000 to honor Mary Oyer, a fortissimo honoree. To commemorate their donation, the back of the new hymnal will include an image and a brief biography of Oyer. Mennonite Church Canada has also given $10,000 to support this project through an offering at the 2016 Assembly in Saskatoon and through its denominational budget under Faith Formation.

“Other colleges are considering naming ‘fortissimo honorees’ who were or are significant leaders in Mennonite church music,” says Steve Carpenter, MennoMedia’s director of development and church relations. “It is a beautiful way to commemorate the contribution of these musicians who added so much to our musical history.”

MennoMedia is accepting donations for the new hymnal collection by check or online at HymnalProject606.com. As the committee chooses the resources for the hymnal, Mennonites are also encouraged to visit the website to name their favorite song.

Those wishing to contribute new and original content can submit their work online at http://mennoniteworshipandsongcollection.org. This online submissions portal will be active throughout 2017, and members of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee will be reviewing all submissions and making determinations for what is included in this forthcoming collection.

For more information about the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection project or to schedule an interview with Bradley Kauffman, project director, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or email LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Mennonites Accepting Worship and Song Submissions and Recommendations for New Hymnal

News Release:

Mennonites Accepting Worship and Song Submissions and Recommendations for New Hymnal

Submissions open until December 31, 2017

HARRISONBURG, Va.—What songs connect you to God and your community, and empower you to serve? What songs do you turn to in joyful or difficult times? What are your heart songs?

These are questions the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee is asking, inviting Mennonites to fill out a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MWSC_Heart_Song as it embarks on a listening and study phase toward developing a new hymnal collection, to be released in 2020.

“We want to hear from people across the church about the music and worship practices that sustain them,” said Project Director Bradley Kauffman. “We are developing intentional ways of listening, and are asking what existing content has the durability to enhance worship in coming decades.”

The new worship and song collection is being designed to succeed Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992), and its supplements Sing the Journey (2005), and Sing the Story (2007). This new collection will take into account the breadth of the Mennonite Church, the diverse ways Mennonites sing and worship, and will be available in bound and digital formats, along with an accompaniment volume. The collection is to be owned by, and available throughout the denominations. The survey is open to everyone who has specific ideas for a new collection. Those filling out the survey can recommend songs from existing Mennonite collections and beyond for inclusion in the new collection. The survey will remain open throughout 2017.

Another important element is a call for new and original content. Authors, songwriters, composers, and artists can submit their original work online at http://mennoniteworshipandsongcollection.org. This online submissions portal will be active throughout 2017.

The committee hopes the portal will draw a diversity of material that creatively serves a broad spectrum of worshipers. Artists are invited to submit visual elements, too, as the committee considers ways various media enhance worship. The new worship and song collection will be published by Herald Press, the book imprint of MennoMedia as the denominational publisher for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.

“We anticipate receiving thousands of submissions—songs, hymn texts, tunes, worship resources, orders of worship, ritual actions, and visual images—for our committee to review,” Kauffman added. “We hope to see a lot of interest among Anabaptist and Mennonite contributors as well as ecumenical sources.”

For more information about the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection project or to schedule an interview with Bradley Kauffman, project director, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or email LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Mennonite Worship and Song Committee first meeting Sept. 22-25

Photo News Releases
September 28, 2016

[Photo 1]

16-09-21-parkview-mc-imgp1551-72dpiAdam Tice, left, gathers input from Karen Moshier-Shenk, a member of Park View Mennonite Church at the songfest prior to the start of Mennonite Worship and Song Committee meetings in Harrisonburg, Va. September 22-25, 2016. Tice noted that for him, as an ethnic Mennonite who never was actually a part of the Mennonite church until he got to Goshen College, “Hymnal: A Worship Book shaped my life and has made me a Mennonite. I find it energizing and exciting to be a part of this committee.” SaeJin Lee said of Bradley Kauffman’s leadership as project director: “I’m appreciating Bradley’s leadership and non-anxious spirit; he’s creating room for honest discussion of issues and is comfortable not having things all figured out.” Mike Erb added, “The diversity and experience each one brings makes me very hopeful and very energized for the task.” The new music and worship resources collection is planned for release in 2020.

[Photo 2]

160923-hymnal-committee2-imgp1633-72dpi

Members of the of the new Mennonite Worship and Song Committee take a break at their first meeting September 22-25, 2016 at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va. Committee members include (first row left to right): Bradley Kauffman, project director; SaeJin Lee; Karen Gonzol, editorial assistant; Katie Graber;  Adam Tice, text editor; Emily Grimes; Sarah Kathleen Johnson, worship resources editor. Second row, Amy Gingerich, editorial director for MennoMedia; Cynthia Neufeld Smith; Mike Erb; Tom Harder; Darryl Neustaedter Barg; Paul Dueck; Benjamin Bergey, music editor, and Anneli Loepp Thiessen.

For more information: http://www.heraldpress.com/HymnalProject/ 

High resolution photos available upon request.
For more information on photo news release:

Melodie Davis
News manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

Photos by Merrill Miller