The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee has been at work since 2016 on a new hymnal. The 14-member committee has listened to congregations, pastors, worship and music leaders, and a broad range of worshipers. The hymnal is emerging from prayers, financial gifts, hopes, dreams, and thousands of volunteer hours.
Voices Together is a new worship and song collection for the Mennonite church designed to deepen our lives of faith. This robust collection will be available for congregations in Fall 2020. Representing a variety of musical styles and patterns of worship, Voices Together will contain both new songs and old favorites, as well as comprehensive indexes by topic, tune, title, Scripture, and first line.
But did you know that 3 of our own have been major contributors to this project?
Amy Gingerich (‘95) serves as ex-officio on the Voices Together committee. Amy is executive director and publisher at MennoMedia, the publishing arm of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. Amy has worked for MennoMedia since 2005. She lives in Hudson, Ohio with her husband Ryan Claassen and children Grace and Amelia. And during her time at IMS she coincidentally coedited the IMS yearbook with Katie Graber!
Katie Graber (‘95) chairs the Intercultural Worship committee for the Voices Together project, and is thrilled to be working with such a wonderful group of people that includes high school classmate Amy Gingerich. She is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of contexts including Mennonite music, American music, and European opera. She teaches classes on Western music history and world music, accompanies Suzuki recitals and school choirs, and leads singing at her church in Columbus. Katie lives in Ostrander, Ohio with her husband Jon Nofziger and children Ivan and Nina.
Merrill Miller (’78, F ‘84-‘89) is senior graphic designer at MennoMedia and serves as designer for the Voices Together hymnal project. Merrill taught Bible, church history, photography, and yearbook; and was soccer coach and assistant boys’ basketball and baseball coach at IMS for five years. It was during preparation to teach yearbook that he learned the joys of computer-aided design which led him to become a graphic designer for Mennonite Publishing House in 1989. In 2011, MPH moved from Scottdale, Pennsylvania to Harrisonburg, Virginia and became MennoMedia. Merrill and his wife Cindy (Litwiller ’78) live in Broadway, Virginia. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.
Please pray for the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee as it holds a final collection meeting in June and a capstone meeting in October. Selection work will be complete by the end of 2019 to meet the Voices Together publication date of September 2020. More info can be found at: voicestogetherhymnal.org.