Voices Together presales far exceed initial projections
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Mennonite church congregations, colleges, universities, and camps have preordered 29,388 copies of Voices Together.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of enthusiasm support for this momentous project,” said Amy Gingerich, publisher at MennoMedia. “Truly this work is for the glory of God, and I give thanks for the many people contributing countless hours to make Voices Together possible.”
When MennoMedia staff initially discussed presale incentives, they set selling 10,000 copies of the pew edition as a goal. In early 2015, staff spent time comparing denominational figures from 1992, when Hymnal: A Worship Book was released, to today. Those comparisons included looking at overall membership in MC USA and MC Canada today versus General Conference and Mennonite Church congregations in 1992, looking at the average congregational size today compared to 1992, and studying patterns of music and worship usage and formats.
“We studied the loss of denominational membership and changing patterns of music and worship when we set 10,000 as a presales goal,” recalled Gingerich. “But what we failed to recognize was that the early adopters of Hymnal: A Worship Book are congregations that likely want to be early adopters of Voices Together too.”
Those 29,388 copies of the pew edition have all been sold by the case—with 12 books per case. A total of 42 orders came from across Canada and 133 came from across the U.S.
In addition, Mennonite Church USA offered a free copy of Voices Together to the first 2,000 registrants at this past summer’s convention in Kansas City. Those copies will be mailed directly to registrants next fall.
“Having more than 31,000 copies of Voices Together already sold speaks volumes about the way the committee has engaged people across the church around this work. We sense that Mennonites are eager to welcome this new collection into their worship life,” Gingerich continued.
For comparison, Hymnal: A Worship Book sold just more than 41,000 copies to General Conference and Mennonite Church constituents in its first year of release. No presales or presale discounts were available for Hymnal: A Worship Book.
Congregations needed to order by December 1, 2019, to qualify for MennoMedia’s case quantity discounts. MennoMedia will not make individual copies of Voices Together available until the product comes out in fall 2020. Congregational preorders will be accepted on an ongoing basis, with a 10% prepay discount in effect until May 1, 2020.