Music selection for new hymnal shaped by new table of contents

March 1, 2018

Music selection for new hymnal shaped by new table of contents

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

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. From left to right: Tom Harder, SaeJin Lee, Cynthia Neufeld Smith, Darryl Neustaedter Barg, Allan Rudy Froese, and project director Bradley Kauffman.

The 14-person committee, working as the “Resonate Team,” gathered at Camp Friedenswald in February to continue its work toward the 2020 release of a new hymnal for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

“We’re in an exciting season right now,” said Bradley Kauffman, project director. “In 2017, we received more than 2,100 submissions of new and original content ranging from visual art to written worship resources to songs and hymns. It’s energizing to work with that content.”

The committee sang and processed more than two hundred songs at its February gathering, a year after it started the selection process at another meeting. The group continues to discern what strikes a chord among committee members and what will resound with the larger church.

“We’ve been listening to Anabaptists across the United States and Canada to see what resonates with congregations in both countries,” Kauffman said.

At this recent meeting the committee affirmed a table of contents that has been underway for many months. The committee views the table of contents as a lens to evaluate both the canon of existing content and new submissions, and will use it to populate the sections of what will become the new hymnal to be published by MennoMedia.

Committee member Sarah Kathleen Johnson said the table of contents will help churches go one step deeper into the tradition of Hymnal: A Worship Book and how it shaped worship. “The table of contents of Hymnal: A Worship Book is quite unique in that it follows the flow of worship,” she said. “Thinking about that flow of worship helps shape decisions about what to include in the new book and how songs support the actions within worship.”

The committee has had holy moments as it’s gathered in a circle and sung and discussed music. The group is immensely grateful for the submissions and interest, as well as prayers. “As we carry out this work, we invite your prayers to accompany us as we select worship materials for MC Canada and MC USA,” Kauffman said.

Fundraising for the project continues, and MennoMedia hopes to raise another $200,000 to $300,000 this year. “As a small, nonprofit organization, we do not have the resources to create this massive project without the contributions of generous donors—individuals and congregations who are willing to be patrons and keep the final costs to congregations lower,” said Amy Gingerich, executive director and publisher for MennoMedia. “We continue to welcome donations for this project.”

“Resonate” has been a working name for the committee and its work, but an official name and logo for the suite of hymnal products will be announced soon, said Gingerich.

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

To keep up with the latest news from the Resonate Team follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ResonateMWSC/

 

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, December 3, 6:30 p.m., 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.