Anabaptist Worship Is Not One Size Fits All

Darryl and Anneli lead worship

Anabaptist Worship Network
Connecting Leaders, Resourcing Congregations, Transforming Communities

"Anabaptist worship is not one size fits all. There are so many different expressions and that’s amazing – I love it,” says Anneli Loepp Thiessen, co-director of the newly established Anabaptist Worship Network.

Anabaptist Worship Network was born from a desire to not only help congregations integrate Voices Together, the new Mennonite hymnal set for release in fall 2020, into worship life, but to help us broaden our understanding of Anabaptist worship beyond the pages of a hymnal.  “One of the emphases of the Anabaptist Worship Network is dismantling barriers for congregations,” says Anneli. “We recognize the need to engage worship practices that are outside of a denominational hymnal, to claim those as Anabaptist worship, and to educate each other about the diversity of Anabaptist worship cultures.”

Anneli, along with AWN co-director Katie Graber, have spent the last four years working on the Voices Together project. They and their colleagues have poured their hearts and voices into careful selection of hymns, songs and resources to enhance Anabaptist worship in Mennonite congregations. “The landscape of congregational music has changed so much in the Mennonite church. There once were avenues and channels for people to learn about worship and worship resources but a lot of those opportunities are no longer available,” reflects Anneli.

"There are many other meaningful ways to connect with God...  It’s about embracing what we can do and finding ways to make that meaningful during this season.”

Anabaptist Worship Network logoThrough virtual and in person events, the Anabaptist Worship Network supports worship and song leaders in making intentional, theologically grounded, and spiritual inspired choices about worship practices for their local settings. They offer education, leadership development, academic courses and resources related to worship.

During this pandemic, they have been in conversation with pastors, worship, leaders, song leaders, and those interested in Anabaptist worship. Discussions have unfolded about reopening church buildings surrounded by many questions about signing together as a congregation. “There are many other meaningful ways to connect with God and we have not explored them because our singing has been such a high point of worship,” says Anneli. “Communal silence, the use of actions, call and response, or a cacophony of voices singing over a virtual platform all at once can help people connect with God. It’s about embracing what we can do and finding ways to make that meaningful during this season.”

Anabaptist Worship Network provides a worship blog, virtual community, lively discussions and thoughtful resources. They connect congregations for conversation and learning, resource the growing edges of Anabaptist worship, and help communities transform by intentionally breaking down barriers.

“We are here for your questions and concerns and to share our joy with you as we explore new resources,” says Anneli. “We want to enter this learning experience together to ultimately revitalize our Mennonite worship.”

The MCEC community of congregations supports the Anabaptist Worship Network through the Legacy Initiatives Fund. Contact them through their website at, follow their Facebook Page or join their Facebook Group.