Mennonite Church USA convention: Put love in action

Jul 4, 2017 by , and

ORLANDO, Fla. — God’s unconditional love, first expressed through the gift of Jesus Christ, was the focus of the opening night of the Mennonite Church USA convention July 4 at the Orange County...

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Born to sing for God

Jun 19, 2017 by

The song leader raised his hands to heaven. “Lift up this evening,” he implored. Or prayed? Fifty thousand voices responded with shouts of joy. An electric guitar chimed a prelude to a plea and a praise:...

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Powell: Why I sing gospel

May 22, 2017 by

It’s hard to keep focused on God’s preferred future when marginalized communities are attacked and deprived of justice. People use different coping mechanisms to deal with it. Some let anger, resentment...

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Return of the King

Sep 12, 2016 by and

NEWTON, Kan. — Creators of a musical about the life and teachings of Christ have resurrected the work with hopes of reaching an even wider audience than they did nearly a decade ago. Instead of going on...

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Lord I want to be in that number

Jul 23, 2015 by

Doubtless you have heard the song, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” We did a rousing version of it today at Mennonite World Conference assembly, instruments wailing and over 7,000 voices singing...

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A new Mennonite observes convention

Jul 3, 2015 by

Almost every interaction I’ve had with the Mennonite church has made me feel right about belonging here. I’ve observed this many times with my home congregation, such as the way certain songs are...

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Sing unto the Lord an old song

May 15, 2015 by

We walked into an old convent in the town of Cholula, Mexico. A choir from the University of the Americas was rehearsing for an evening concert. The program included music composed by Mexican and Spanish...

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Lift every voice

May 11, 2015 by

Every generation has its own music, and the previous one usually doesn’t like it. That’s the way of the world. And in the church? Yes, there’s a generation gap there, too. But young and old can still...

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Song fills Amish daily life

May 11, 2015 by

In Why the Amish Sing, D. Rose Elder considers the role music plays in the life of Amish people, providing as well an in-depth analysis of songs used by the Amish, and the ways those songs inform Amish thought...

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Radio broadcast celebrates Mennonites at Goshen

May 5, 2015 by and

GOSHEN, Ind. — For those in the audience, the May 2 live performance of A Prairie Home Companion at Goshen College was a show they’ll never forget. But for the 27 students in the college’s Chamber Choir,...

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It’s time for a new hymnal

Apr 27, 2015 by

The time is near for the next generation’s hymnal. Scheduled for release in 2020, it will be more than a printed book. Representatives from MennoMedia, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA laid...

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Harmony is hard to shake

Feb 16, 2015 by

While often called a humble people, Mennonites take pride in four-part hymn singing. Some even cringe at the thought of contemporary praise songs. But more and more are rejecting hymns, believing them to be...

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I don’t have a hammer, but I have a Mennonite hymnal

Jan 20, 2015 by

This is the text of a speech made by Bobby Switzer at the Laurelville Worship and Song Leaders’ Retreat held Jan. 10. If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over...

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Singing as if life depended on it

Dec 22, 2014 by

After noticing its persistent presence on my Facebook newsfeed for multiple days, I caved and watched the three minute video of Naomi Feil, a Jewish woman, singing Christian songs to Gladys, an elderly woman...

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Engaging faithfully with music

Nov 7, 2014 by

The first time my 4-year-old sang “All About The Bass,” I paused to reflect. It’s an imperfect number to be sure, despite its attempt at affirming a body-type outside the norm put forth by Vogue, but she...

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What a 10-year-old’s devotion to OK Go can teach us about worship

Nov 3, 2014 by

Something very special happened last week to Martin Vlasits of Austin, Texas, 10-year-old grandson of our good friends Guy and Margie Vlasits. His parents, Jen and Stacy, took him to hear his favorite music...

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Background noise

Oct 13, 2014 by

When I work, I often play music in the background. Recently I noticed that I was gravitating toward playlists I’d made from film soundtracks. I enjoyed the music itself, but I was also experiencing something...

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Can Anabaptists rock and roll?

Oct 13, 2014 by

“Are Anabaptists ready to rock and roll?” That was the question asked by Amy Gingerich of MennoMedia on the Mennobytes blog in September. Gingerich, editorial director at MennoMedia, asked the question...

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Will there ever be another Brethren in Christ hymnal?

Aug 8, 2014 by

Earlier this year, while teaching a course on Brethren in Christ history and theology at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa., I worked with Dr. Dwight Thomas to organize a hymn sing on campus. My students...

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Music conference to celebrate the environment

Apr 14, 2014 by and

WATERLOO, Ont. — Conrad Grebel University College is well into preparations for the third in a series of music festival-conferences June 5-8. “Sound in the Land 2014: Music and the Environment (Discovering...

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Students explore musical interests within community

Apr 14, 2014 by , and

HARRISONBURG, Va. — A music student at Eastern Mennonite University might: Sing a classical aria in a voice lesson on Monday mornings; Rehearse works by Mozart and Bono in Chamber Singers on Wednesday...

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Music connects three generations of alumnae

Apr 14, 2014 by , and

HESSTON, Kan. — Rebecca Eichelberger’s journey to Hess­ton College started in 1949 when her great-grandfather saw the importance of a Mennonite education for his own daughter, Rebecca’s grandmother...

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Women’s choir celebrates a decade of world music

Apr 14, 2014 by and

GOSHEN, Ind. — The first things Kate Friesen noticed about the Goshen College Women’s World Music Choir were their colorful scarves and bare feet. “But their sound was different, too,” said Friesen, a...

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Music groups take to the road for spring break

Apr 14, 2014 by and

HILLSBORO, Kan. — Tabor College continues to send its students across the U.S. to share music with communities during spring break. The Concert Choir has been performing a spring tour since the 1950s. For...

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Concert series comes to life with composer’s dying work

Apr 14, 2014 by and

FRESNO, Calif. — Think of the Masterworks concert series at Fresno Pacific University as a building project, resulting in a musical masterpiece rather than an architectural one. The blueprint: Mozart’s...

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