“Project 606” Mennonite song collection project aims for 2020 release

News Release
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2016

Application process for committee and staff opens January 1

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—Looking for a way to use your musical and worship talents in the new year? Want to be part of shaping what Mennonites sing?

MennoMedia, in close partnership with Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, begins accepting applications for various committee and staff positions for a new Mennonite song collection on January 1, 2016.

This new song collection will take into account the breadth of the Mennonite Church, the diverse ways Mennonites sing and worship, and new digital technologies. It will replace Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992), and will likely include familiar songs from various previous hymnals, as well as new songs and worship resources.

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The new song collection will be more than a printed hymnal, and will include an electronic version as well. Scheduled for release in 2020, the new project is being referred to as “Project 606.”

“The name ‘606’ is a natural for this project. That’s about how many hymns we want to have and that’s about how much we need to raise (in thousands) to fund it,” said Russ Eanes, executive director at MennoMedia. “Plus, there is a lot of ‘cultural identity’ around that number itself for many Mennonites. I’m amazed at the enthusiasm and energy that there is for this project, and I’ll be excited to see it come to fruition.”

Song committee applications are available for:

  • Project Director
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Music Editor
  • Text Editor
  • Worship Editor
  • Committee Member

The project director position is a full-time, salaried job for the duration of the project. The project director will be responsible for managing all aspects of this multi-component project, and will oversee a part-time project assistant, various committees, and freelance editors and designers. The part-time editorial assistant position is hourly, and this person will work closely with the project director.

In addition, a 10- to 12-member hymnal committee will be appointed to work closely with project staff. This volunteer committee will solicit and review music and texts, paying close attention to singability, theology, and clarity. Three people from this committee will serve in editorial roles—as the music editor, text editor, and worship editor—and will receive honoraria for their work.

Those applying to be on the committee must commit to at least three years of participation, and to attending at least three in-person meetings each year and additional video conferences as scheduled. All expenses incurred for travel or other project-related work will be borne by the publisher.

Anyone who is an active member of a Mennonite Church Canada or Mennonite Church USA congregation can apply to be on the hymnal committee. In addition to a short application, those applying to be on the hymnal committee must provide three references, including one pastoral reference.

“Beginning the process reminds me again that the song collections we create and use as a denomination are vitally important to both reflect our theological understandings of faith as well as shape the same for another generation,” said Terry Shue, director of leadership development for Mennonite Church USA.

Karen Martens Zimmerly, executive minister of formation and pastoral leadership for Mennonite Church Canada adds, “As the Mennonite Church in North America continues to grow in rich cultural diversity, congregational singing gives communal expression to the hope and the heart of faith that sustains and is able to transform us as a global people of God.”

The committee’s first meeting is projected to be in late summer or fall 2016. At the first meeting, the hymnal committee and editor will work together to craft a statement of theological principles and a statement of purpose to guide their work.

A six-member steering committee (two each from MennoMedia, Mennonite Church USA, and Mennonite Church Canada) will review all the applications at a meeting in Nashville in late March 2016.

Those who wish to apply or learn more should go to www.MennoMedia.org/606 or

www.MennoMedia.org/hymnal.

TIMELINE SIDEBAR

January 1, 2016          Application process opens

Spring 2016                Hymnal committee of 10 to 12 appointed, project director and                                           project assistant hired

Summer 2016             First meeting of the hymnal committee

Summer 2016             Song and text submission process opens

Spring 2017                Song and text submission process ends

Spring 2019                Committee work ends

Summer 2020             New hymnal and other products are released

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