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New hymnal supplement in progress


Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Publishing network joint release
October 5, 2005


Hymnal Supplement Committee, l-r: Eleanor Snyder, Kenneth Nafziger, Marilyn Houser Hamm, James Clemens, Jeff Enns, Marlene Kropf, Randy Spaulding

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Harrisonburg, Va. — More than 400 submissions of material for a new hymnal supplement awaited Hymnal Supplement Committee members when they met June 22-23 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During these two days, the committee sifted and sorted through songs, hymns, and worship resources to make selections for the supplement which will make its debut at the joint convention of Mennonite Church Canada and USA in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 4-9, 2005.

Appointed by Mennonite Publishing Network, the committee consists of Jeff Enns (composer, organist, and teacher, Elmira, Ontario); Marilyn Houser Hamm (musician, composer and teacher, Altona, Manitoba); Marlene Kropf, chair (Minister of Worship, Mennonite Church USA, Elkhart, Indiana); Ken Nafziger (Professor of Music, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia); Eleanor Snyder (Director of Faith and Life Resources, Mennonite Publishing Network, Waterloo, Ontario); and Randall Spaulding, music editor (pastor, composer and musician, Sarasota, Florida). James Clemens (musician and composer, Harrisonburg, Virginia) assists as music engraver.

The new songbook, yet to be named, is the first of two supplements that will begin to pave the way for the development of a new hymnal. The first supplement will focus especially on music and worship resources for the church engaged in God’s mission and the ordinary seasons of congregational life. The second, to be published in 2007, will focus on the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, offering resources for the seasons of the Christian year.

The supplements are being developed in response to a continuing need in the church for new music that expands the variety of musical choices available for congregational worship. Another need is for resources to support the church wide priority of becoming a more missional church. During the past eight years a small team has collected and evaluated new music and worship resources and made them available to the church through the Hymnal Subscription Service. When that project was completed in 2003, a new effort was launched to solicit additional material from across the church in support of the above-mentioned goals and to make it available along with the best-loved and most-used material from the Hymnal Subscription Service.

A goal of the new collection is to expand the resources offered in Hymnal: A Worship Book with a wide assortment of musical style choices for each of the major actions of worship: gathering, praising, confessing, proclaiming the Word, responding, and sending. With these fresh resources, worship and music leaders will be able to make choices and plan worship that will guide congregations into a vibrant, faithful experience of worship.

Submissions are invited for the second supplement that will focus especially on the life and ministry of Jesus. These may be sent to Randall Spaulding, Music Editor, 3342 Glouster St., Sarasota, FL 34235.