New Resource: Voices Together Videos for Use in Worship

by Benjamin Bergey

Greetings, friends, in the name of Christ. My name is Benjamin Bergey, and I’m very excited to be joining the Leadership Team for the Anabaptist Worship Network! I served as music editor for Voices Together, am on faculty at Eastern Mennonite University, and am Director of Music at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Unofficially, I have served as the worship video producer this past year. 🙂

Throughout this time of online services, I have been creating song videos for use in worship. Many use the Voices Together projection slides so that participants can see the text and music. Here is an example:

I have sourced the audio recordings from quite a few locations, including past church services, new recordings I put together virtually, or recordings of our Mennonite hymnals available through MennoMedia. As I prepare to take a bit of paternity leave, I wanted to organize the collection to make it easier for pastors or volunteers to plan worship and prepare for the worship service videos.

I know many other congregations across our denominations are creating or looking for similar resources, and many are asking questions about how to obtain permission to use them in worship.

Therefore, I am very excited to share these videos, along with a Voices Together spreadsheet that gives information about recording availability and how to legally use them in worship.

I truly hope these resources save you time and energy, that they can help to facilitate worship in your various contexts, and that they even help your communities learn some new songs!

If you are interested in being added to this shared Google folder, you can sign up here.

Note that access to this folder requires that your community has purchased CDs or digital recordings of Sing The Journey, Sing The Story, and Voices Together, as well as the projection edition of Voices Together.

What is in this folder? 

When you sign up and affirm the questions asked, you’ll be added to the folder with the email address you provide. From there, you can download the videos and use them in your worship services.

There are three folders at the moment. The largest folder, called “Voices Together” contains nearly 200 videos of songs in Voices Together. These are sorted by VT #. The second folder, called “Other CCLI,” includes a few videos of songs that are not in our hymnals and  would need to be reported to CCLI. The third folder, called “Trilogy,” includes a few other videos I had made with text or music from Hymnal: A Worship Book (HWB), Sing the Journey (STJ), or Sing the Story (STS). Many of these are very similar to Voices Together, but they do not include the Voices Together projection images or had some text changes.

How can we legally use these videos?

You need to make sure these resources used in the videos are properly purchased and reported. As these videos use slides from the VT Projection Edition, and audio from VT, STJ, and STS Audio Recordings (CDs or mp3s), your congregation needs to own these prior to using the videos. 

Basically, I have collected audio and video recordings along with permission for you to use their performances, but you need to obtain permission to use the songs. Owning the Voices Together projection edition gives you permission to use those images, even if you did not create the videos yourself. In other words, you are affirming that your congregation owns these resources, but I saved you the time of putting them together for use in worship.

You can also find all the necessary reporting details for each song in this spreadsheet.

The first five columns give general information, including title, number, and text and tune writers and copyrights. The column titled Performance Acknowledgement explains where the audio came from in these videos. The column called Recording/Video gives a link or other information on where to find the recordings. 

The final columns relate to where you need to report each song, particularly CCLI and OneLicense. Some are fully in the public domain, meaning you don’t need to report anywhere, while others need direct permission from the contributor (less common). All of those are noted in the spreadsheet. 

Please note, we are still waiting on quite a few OneLicense numbers, but will update the spreadsheet once we have that information.

If at any point, you have any questions with how to use these resources, please feel free to reach out. I would also love to hear from you if

  • you have similar audio or video resources that you have permission to share that I can add to this collection
  • you have requests for videos to be made for certain songs/occasions. Who knows, I might be able to put something together.

Blessings to each of you in your ministries!

Benjamin Bergey

Benjamin@anabaptistworship.net

Benjamin Bergey is an active song leader and conductor. He is assistant professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University, where he conducts the choirs and orchestra and teaches music theory and conducting. In addition to serving as music editor for Voices Together, he is director of music at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church and conducts the Rapidan Orchestra.

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