On “Praisercise,” Breath, and the Holy Spirit
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1M ago
by Hannah Snavely “Jesus said, ‘peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘receive the Holy Spirit.’” - John 20:21-2 Sometimes worship is exhausting.  At least, that’s what the other musicians on the worship team at Crest Community Church, my small Brethren in Christ congregation in Southern California, joke about almost weekly. Our worship team, like our church, is composed of a diverse group of people. Some were raised in Anabaptist traditions and, moving west to California as adults, sought to continue these traditions ..read more
Visit website
Cultural Appropriation
AWN Blogs
by Katie Graber
1M ago
By Katie Graber I have taught about cultural appropriation in world music survey classes for many years, and have found that definitions such as this one from Oxford English Dictionary only scratch the surface: Cultural appropriation: The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the practices, customs, or aesthetics of one social or ethnic group by members of another (typically dominant) community or society. Visit Ellie Yang Camp’s website to find a PDF of this material: Cultural Appropriation: Is this appropriation or appreciation? The complexity comes, in part, from the ambiguities in ..read more
Visit website
Globalization, Contemporary Worship Music, and the Anabaptist Church
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
2M ago
By Rashard Allen In 2022, I had the honor of serving on the worship team for the Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Indonesia. The worship team consisted of local instrumentalists and an international group of ten singers. Our role was to lead corporate worship singing for the morning and evening services. Our songbook for Assembly consisted of 39 songs in at least 20 different languages. Besides the obvious care and attention given to the choosing of these beautiful worship songs for Assembly, there were three things I found particularly striking. The first was the musical diversity of th ..read more
Visit website
Losing Your Life for the Good Story: Embracing Change and Community Worship
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
2M ago
by Sarah Werner Mark 8: 34-37, First Nations Version He then gathered his followers and the crowd around him and said, “Any who wants to walk the road with me must turn away from their own path and carry their own cross as they follow me to the place of ultimate sacrifice. “The ones who hold on to their lives will not find life, but the ones who are willing to let go of their lives, for me and for the good story I bring, will find the true life. How will it help you to get everything you want in this world but lose the true life? Is there anything in this world worth trading for it?” I love th ..read more
Visit website
Craft, Expression, and Connection: Reflections on Anabaptist Songwriting
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
9M ago
by Nichelle Bauman In every worship service I have been a part of, from my home Mennonite congregation to large contemporary worship events to Catholic mass at my children’s school, music is used as a tool. We use songs as praise, confession, affirmation, lament, prayer, or to set a tone or theme. Music is deeply embedded in our liturgies. In May, I participated in the Anabaptist Songwriters’ Retreat. What a rich weekend of worship and learning! Among the participants, there was a clear shared  love of Christ and of worship, and yet incredible diversity. It was beautifully humbling to see ..read more
Visit website
Encountering God as an Anabaptist
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1y ago
by Mykayla Turner  Regardless of style, tradition, or denomination, there is an identifiable climax in most Christian liturgies. It is an instance of divine-human interaction set apart from everyday life. This encounter is typically concentrated into a single moment or liturgical action. Some scholars refer to it as the “liminal phase” of a ritual (Schechner 2013). It is here that transformation occurs. In contemporary worship settings, music often facilitates this divine-human encounter. For other congregations, the communion elements serve as the locus of God’s presence. Where do Anabap ..read more
Visit website
Rethinking a Mennonite Relationship to “Culture”
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1y ago
by Justin Sun “It’s countercultural.” “Don’t give in to the culture!” “In the culture right now…” These are all statements I heard at an Anabaptist organization’s meeting recently. Curious, I waited for elaboration from any of these statements’ speakers regarding what was meant by “the culture”, but nothing came, leaving me wondering how it all served as a premise for many subsequent points. What was clear to me, however, was the phrase was used pejoratively. That is, “the culture” is undesirable; it stands in contrast to “us”, connotes “them”, and therefore sets clear lines for battle. In th ..read more
Visit website
Singing New Selves
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1y ago
by Austin McCabe Juhnke Noted cultural theorist Clifford Geertz defined culture as “stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.”[1] This definition asks us to attend to the ways people actively create and recreate senses of shared identity through the act of cultural expression. As a musicologist, however, I am biased toward thinking about the importance of musical experience. Is there such a thing as a “Mennonite” collective self, and, if so, how do the songs we sing shape who we perceive ourselves to be? What sounds, stories, and people might be left out of the community we hear in our s ..read more
Visit website
Speaking the Unspoken in Times Like These
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1y ago
By Carol Penner We need to pray. We need to pray together. And in the pandemic we are in now, when our lives are turned upside down, prayer is even more essential. If your church is recording services that are watched on the internet, or if you are meeting in a virtual way through some on-line platform, what are the things you should be thinking about as you prepare to lead the congregation in prayer? In some ways, our communal prayer is the same as ever. The worship leader speaks to God on behalf of the people. The leader prepares by thinking, “What do the people need to say?” The tradition o ..read more
Visit website
Mennonite Heritage Sunday: New Resource Suggestions
AWN Blogs
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen
1y ago
by Anneli Loepp Thiessen and Katie Graber Mennonite Heritage Sunday has been celebrated in some communities since the 1970s, when it was proposed as a way to recognize important moments in church history. Commemorated on the last Sunday of October, it coincides with Reformation Sunday. Beyond choosing music and words from historically white Mennonite communities in Europe and North America, Mennonite Heritage Sunday is an opportunity to consider the development of Mennonite heritage both historically and presently in communities around the world. Voices Together features many recently-written ..read more
Visit website

Follow AWN Blogs on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR