May 10th - May 11thVoices Together in Worship

– a gathering to resource worship planners, leaders, pastors and musicians

Song Feast order of program.pdf

Donate to help cover the costs of Voices Together in Worship.
Net surplus will be given to Together in Worship and Anabaptist Worship Network.



A time of exploring the music and resources from the new Mennonite hymnal Voices Together and more broadly resourcing the practice of congregational worship.


Worship leaders, worship planners, pastors, song leaders, musicians, worship committees, lovers of worship and ALL who want to grow in their practice of congregational worship.

7:00 pm, Friday, May 10, 2024 – Song Feast exploring the music from Voices Together. All are invited.

9:00-4:30 pm, Saturday, May 11, 2024 – a day of worship, plenary sessions, workshops and conversations on worship, with Voices Together as our guide.


South Side of Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Our main gathering space will be the Chapel.

Cost (for Saturday)

$80. Includes noon meal and coffee breaks.

If you'd still like to attend Saturday, please email and be prepared to pay at registration Saturday morning.

 Remember, you only need to register for Saturday. Friday evening is by donation.

It's a more expansive way of saying "hymn sing". We'll sing songs of all sorts from Voices Together and in doing so, will reflect on worship and our role in planning, and/or participating in it.

Remember, this one's free, no registration needed. Just come and sing. Make a donation if you can.


8:30                Registration, Coffee/Tea, Snacks

9:00               Opening worship and announcements

9:30               Plenary #1: Worship: What We Want, What We Need
                         - Katie Graber and Anneli Loepp-Thiessen - Voices Together Committee Members

10:30             Coffee break

10:45             Workshops #1

                      The People’s Song - Marilyn Houser Hamm

                      Enduring Hybridity in Worship - Sarah Kathleen Johnson

                      Renewing Worship Leadership - Irma Fast Dueck

                      Exploring the Accompaniment Edition - Verna Wiebe and Emily Rempel


11:45-1:15     Lunch with discussion tables

1:15               Plenary #2: Exploring the Voices Together Worship Leader Edition
Sarah K. Johnson - Editor of the Worship Leader Edition

2:30               Coffee break

2:45               Workshops #2

                      Using Visuals in Worship: Show and Tell - Irma Fast Dueck and panel

                      Beyond Sunday: Worship in Crisis and Protest - Anneli Loepp Thiessen

                      Singing Interculturally: Worshipping with Indigenous Neighbours in VT - Katie Graber

                      Worship with Children and Teens - Julie Doerksen and panel

3:45        Closing worship

Plenary 1: Worship: What We Want, What We Need

Katie Graber and Anneli Loepp Thiessen
It can be a delicate balance to plan worship that cares for the preferences of worship leaders and congregants, while also leading the community toward a  prophetic response to a fuller image of God and God’s reign. As worship leaders, we must interrogate our own preferences and assumptions, even being open to letting go of old habits and embracing new expressions of worship. In this session, we explore ways to plan worship that acknowledges what we want, and leads us to what we need, even when it brings us beyond our comfort zone. 


Workshop Sessions 1

The People's Song - Marilyn Houser Hamm

What is song leading and how do you do it? 
The call to lead the people’s song takes body, mind, spirit, and voice in amazing synergy. 
Come explore, hone new or existing skills, and deepen “spirit-listening” as pastoral musicians. 

Enduring Hybridity in Worship - Sarah Kathleen Johnson

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid worship is here to stay. Drawing on four years of participant observation of online worship in a range of Christian traditions, I introduce a framework for understanding different approaches to hybrid worship. We will also discuss four categories of factors that shape decisions about how to worship online: theological priorities, pastoral concerns, practical realities, and church polity. 

Renewing Worship Leadership - Irma Fast Dueck

How can we grow in our practice of leading worship in the church? Together we’ll reflect on our diverse worshipping communities and consider the unique roles of the worship leader. Particular attention will be given to how to think about and develop flow in worship. Whether you are new to worship leading or “well-seasoned” – you are all welcome to join in on this conversation.  

Exploring the Accompaniment Edition - Verna Wiebe and Emily Rempel

In this workshop, participants will receive hands-on guidance on how to most fully take advantage of the Accompaniment Edition of Voices Together, and will explore simple ways to make creative accompaniments when none are given. Do I have to follow the accompaniment part exactly as it is written? Who is really in charge – me or the song leader? How can I start chording when I’ve never done that before? Verna and Emily will walk participants through a range of styles and approaches to piano accompaniment, and will discuss ways to enhance collaboration between pianist, song leader, and congregation. 

Plenary 2: Discover the Voices Together: Worship Leader Edition.

Sarah Kathleen Johnson
Learn about the audience and content of the book and practice working with two themes: balancing trusted structures with creative expressions, and thinking through flow. 

Workshop Sessions 2

Using Visuals in Worship: Show and Tell - Irma Fast Dueck and panel

How can we enhance our visual engagement in worship? This workshop will be a time of sharing ideas and stories of how various congregations are working at shaping visual aspects of worship. Come prepared to share your ideas and your wonderings and be inspired. 

Beyond Sunday: Worship in Crisis and Protest - Anneli Loepp Thiessen

How do we worship in the middle of constant crisis in our communities and in the world? What resources can worship leaders use to find the right words for unimaginable moments? This workshop will explore how Voices Together can be a tool for managing crisis during and beyond Sunday morning worship, including in community crisis, times of mental and physical distress, and as a mechanism for solidarity with oppressed communities around the world.  

Singing Interculturally: Worshipping with Indigenous Neighbours in VT - Katie Graber

Singing interculturally can encourage worshipers to experience difference as holy, and it is a tangible sign that guests and members do not need to speak or worship in a particular way in order to belong. This workshop will explore how to approach intercultural worship as an expression of relationship rather than a novelty in order to prioritize hospitality and engage in the fullness of God's family. We will experience songs with connections to Indigenous communities and discuss some challenges and opportunities in respectfully worshiping with Indigenous neighbours. 

Worship with Children and Teens - Julie Doerksen and panel.

We will share ideas for incorporating body, mind and spirit in interactive worship, especially as connected to our children and teens. We'll explore how art, movement, instruments, and spoken resources, with Voices Together as the focus, can enliven worship with children, and be shared with the whole congregation.  Please come, ready to share your ideas, too



Our Special Guests

Sarah Kathleen Johnson

Sarah Kathleen Johnson is a professor of worship and practical theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. Her research at the intersection of liturgical studies and sociology of religion employs qualitative methods that value everyday religious experience. Commitments to interrogating the relationship between liturgy and ethics and engaging ecumenically across Christian traditions ground her research, teaching, and church leadership. Sarah served as the worship resources editor for Voices Together and as the editor of the Voices Together: Worship Leader Edition. 



Katie Graber

Katie Graber 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 at Ohio State University, and was the chair of the Intercultural Worship committee for the Voices Together project. She leads singing and chairs the Worship Commission at Columbus Mennonite Church.




Anneli Loepp Thiessen

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Music Research program at the University of Ottawa, and a graduate of Canadian Mennonite University (2018). Anneli was a committee member for the Voices Together hymnal, and is the Canadian director of Anabaptist Worship Network. Her work on worship has been shared in Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Canadian Mennonite, Leader Magazine, as well as in academic journals. She enjoys being involved in leadership with The Hymn Society in Canada and the United States and the Christian Congregational Music Conference in Oxford, UK, and worships with Ottawa Mennonite Church. 




The Planning Committee

Irma Fast Dueck

Marilyn Houser Hamm

Darryl Neustaedter Barg

Anneli Loepp Thiessen