About

Together in Worship is a curated collection of free online resources from Anabaptist sources that support communal Christian worship.

Goals

  • Curate words, music, other artistic expressions, and teaching resources
  • Support leaders in communities that have diverse practices
  • Encourage worship resonant with scripture
  • Share Anabaptist Mennonite resources online with an ecumenical church
  • Invite individuals and communities to create and contribute resources

We aspire to support Christian worship that embraces the differences found in the church--including gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and sexual orientation. We aim to provide resources that dismantle systems of oppression and join in God’s reign of justice and love.

Anabaptist Mennonites

Mennonites are Christians—followers of Jesus who are faithful to the triune God encountered in the Bible. The Mennonite tradition began in sixteenth-century Europe as part of the Anabaptist movement. Through immigration and global mission, this multifaceted movement has become a worldwide church that is culturally and theologically diverse.

The Shared Convictions of Mennonite World Conference are an expression of the common faith and life of this global Anabaptist community. Central commitments include following the example of Jesus in daily life, a consistent peace witness that rejects violence in all forms, and an emphasis on community, especially local congregations.

Collaboration

Together in Worship is a collaboration with

and in conversation with 

Associated organizations:

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from:

Leadership

Together in Worship is developed and curated by volunteers from across Canada and the United States who are connected to various Mennonite churches and organizations.

Leadership Team 2019/20

  • Sarah Kathleen Johnson (chair)
  • Carol Penner
  • Rebecca Slough
  • Arlyn Friesen Epp
  • AnaSara Rojas
  • Darryl Neustaedter Barg
  • Jerry Holsopple
  • Katie Graber

Resource Curation and Cataloging 2019/20

  • Kim Rempel
  • Melissa Atchison
  • Mollee Moua
  • Joseph Kim
  • Paul Plato
  • Amelia Pahl
  • KyongJung Kim
  • Peter Kranenburg

The Origins of Together in Worship

In 2016 and 2017, Sarah Kathleen Johnson led focus groups about Mennonite worship as part developing the Voices Together hymnal and worship book. Focus group participants consistently expressed a desire for a website of worship resources that is free, searchable, carefully curated, regularly updated, and facilitates sharing among communities. Together in Worship was created to meet this need.

In 2018, Sarah contacted a number of people involved in worship resourcing and online media to see whether they would be interested in developing an Anabaptist worship resourcing website. Online Mennonite worship resourcing to this point had been done by CommonWord (a multifaceted resource centre based in Canada), various Mennonite organizations as a part of their own websites, and by individual bloggers. There was no one centralized place to find Anabaptist material.

With support from a grant from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, Johnson facilitated a year-long process that brought together leaders with a passion for worship and the church from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Conrad Grebel University College, Canadian Mennonite University, and Mennonite Church Canada for virtual meetings.

This leadership team forged a partnership with CommonWord; received a blessing from Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Church USA, and MennoMedia to do this work; applied for and received several grants; and began to envision what a website would look like.

Partnership with CommonWord allowed Together in Worship to utilize and participate in the process of redesigning a robust database with technical expertise from PeaceWorks. Support from MennoMedia provided a sturdy base of trusted resources and a common look and feel with print worship resources. A Teacher-Scholar Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship received by Carol Penner funded an in-person leadership team retreat in Winnipeg in April, 2019, preliminary web development, and hiring students to curate an initial set of resources. A grant from Shantz Mennonite Church supported additional web development and a second round of content curation, this time involving supervised ministry students. By the time the website launched in 2020, the leadership team had expanded to include leaders from Eastern Mennonite University and the Anabaptist Worship Network.

We named the website “Together in Worship,” hoping this space will gather together currently scattered resources, and share resources that people are creating in Anabaptist communities across Canada and the United States and around the world. Anabaptist churches are diverse in theology and worship practice, but the name of our website acknowledges that we are worshiping one God together and offering our voice to the wider ecumenical community. We appreciate the work of designer Missy Muterspaugh who created a logo that expresses this vision visually.

All along the way we have enjoyed each other’s company. We share a hope that this resource will be useful to you, fostering vibrant worship in your community, all for the glory of God.