Developing a training or event
Many congregations and regions are eager to host Voices Together trainings and events. Many committee members are eager to help introduce Voices Together as their schedules permit. Note: While several of these options may not be feasible during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote or online trainings may offer opportunities for learning about and introducing Voices Together.
Committee members interested in leading events include the following. You can read more about each of them and their specific skills at http://voicestogetherhymnal.org/about/committee/.
Kitchener, Ontario and Elkhart, Indiana
Anneli Loepp Thiessen
Cynthia Neufeld Smith
Darryl Neustaedter Barg
Sarah Kathleen Johnson
Committee members are equipped to lead worship, Sunday school classes, workshops, and special events on the following topics:
- How to navigate the table of contents and indexes
- Training and equipping song leaders and worship leaders
- Teaching new songs in a congregation
- Understanding how songs and worship resources have been chosen for Voices Together
- Telling the stories of particular hymns, songs, and resources in Voices Together
- Understanding the products in the Voices Together collection
- Using the worship leader edition and accompaniment edition
- Understanding worship considerations in a Mennonite congregation
- Music and hospitality: How can we use music to welcome others in our churches?
- How to sing songs from other cultures and other languages with integrity
- Who does Voices Together enable us to worship with?
Click the headings below for more information
Some congregations may want more in-depth training and resources beyond a one-time event, and several Voices Together committee members can provide such services. Voices Together consultants will work with your congregation on a specific, customized plan to introduce and adopt Voices Together in your congregation or community. This consulting could include:
- Structured conversation about worship in the church community (via focus groups)
- Learning about broader cultural patterns in the surrounding community
- Meeting with members of the worship committee, song leaders, worship leaders, and pastors
- Outlining a plan for how to engage aspects of Voices Together (could include selecting a subset of songs to learn first, giving attention to worship structures, working with the projection of visual art, considering how to adapt central practices worship resources, and more)
- Ongoing support as questions emerge (could include several visits on Sundays, both to observe worship and to give leadership)
- Visiting on a Sunday and meeting with pastors, song leaders, and worship committees to get to know the worship culture of the church.
- Consultation around receiving and adopting Voices Together; identifying specific plans, both short- and long-term, that the congregation can implement. Depending on the context, such plans may involve resourcing leaders, identifying a specific core set of songs to learn first, working with the projection of visual art, considering how to adapt central practices worship resources, and more. When data is available around congregational core repertoire, this can enhance discussions and planning.
Those offering consulting services have set their own rates.
Timeline for a congregational event
To launch Voices Together well, we encourage congregations and regions to plan their events with ample lead time—whether for a one-time training or a more in-depth consultation.
Use this tentative timeline as a guide for planning local or smaller regional events. For national gatherings or larger events, lots of additional planning time will be required.
6–12 months in advance:
- Contact a Voices Together committee member to arrange a date and clearly articulate how many sessions (presentations, worship services, and hymn sings) need facilitation.
- If one or more flights need to be booked, inform the presenter(s) how reimbursement will be handled.
- Designate a coordinator for the event to be responsible for looking after the presenter’s stay and communicating with all parties involved.
- Think through what kind of local musical resources (instrumentalists/vocalists) are available to support the presenter’s work. The need for this may vary depending on the types of events being planned.
- Plan around local calendars to ensure that many in your community can participate. Engage local partners who can share in generating enthusiasm, planning, social media promotion, and so on for the event.
2 months in advance:
- Speak with the presenter about what kind of musical support is required for the event. Provide the presenter with a confirmed list of available local musicians. If readers are needed for worship resources, these people should also be confirmed in advance.
- Draft a poster or advertisement for the event in consultation with the presenter. Allow enough time for the presenter to proofread the copy before printing, posting, or publishing.
1 month in advance:
- The presenter will send you an order of worship to format and/or print.
- Consult with the presenter on rehearsal times. Then communicate rehearsal times to the musicians and those helping with worship resources.
- Continue advertising and promoting the event.
- Evaluate whether the piano to be used in worship needs to be tuned prior to the event.
Contacting someone to lead an event
All committee members are available to lead trainings or events as their schedules permit. Find the full list of Voices Together committee members here on the website.
Or, contact Info@MennoMedia.org with the request, including the desired date and format for the event.
Honorarium and reimbursement guidelines
MennoMedia provides the following suggested fee schedule for engaging members of the Voices Together team in workshops and launch events. Because these are volunteers, we ask that congregations or regions wishing to set up trainings cover all expenses for the person(s) doing the training and also provide an honorarium. If your event includes travel, expenses may include mileage or airfare, car service rides, meals and snacks en route and during the event, and lodging.
We recognize that some congregations can afford to bring in a Voices Together committee member for a training and others cannot. If your church is planning to host a training, we encourage you to invite and include other congregations in your area who may not be able to afford such an event.
In addition, we recommend the following honorarium parameters, depending on the scope of the request:
- Either a Sunday worship service or a Christian education hour of input: $150–$200 USD
- Both a worship service and a Christian education hour of input: $250–$300 USD
- One-day training: $350–$500 USD
- Weekend of input: $450–$750 USD
To find out who might be available to lead a training in your area, check the list of committee members to see if someone already lives in your area. Or, contact Info@MennoMedia.org with the request, including the desired date and format for the event.