Author:Malcolm Gordon

This is a mural sent to me by Rebecca Wilcox. She's an artist and youth/family worker at Miramar Uniting Church in Wellington. You can see more of her art here. However this piece was not something Rebecca did alone, but more of a collaboration between her and some of the young people she works with. She drew the tree outline, and then gave her young people pictures of birds to be inspired by, or trace...

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Recently I was at a worship service and there were a variety of others leading bits of the service. At one point someone led us in a prayer of confession. I think it might have been responsive, in that we (the congregation) had bits to say throughout it. Then afterwards, the leader led us in a further prayer, asking God for forgiveness  for what we had confessed. Later in the service, in fact, right at the...

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For over a year now I've been working in the studio with friend and producer Matt Caradus. Before we started working on this project, the last time I had seen Matt was when he moved to Tauranga just as I was leaving for a new job in Auckland. That was 3 years ago. So when I got in touch with Matt last year to collaborate, I thought he was still in Tauranga, and he thought...

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For a while now, I've been working within a paradigm where worship is much more than the parts of the church service where we stand up and sing. That old word, 'liturgy' which we tend to think speaks of regimented, stuffy worship actually means, 'the work of the people.' It is something we do, make and offer together. If as the worship leader, I end up praying for people, rather than praying with them - then I have...

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A few weeks ago the minister of the church where I attend gave me a call. He'd heard that I had written a song based on 'Kupu Whakapono', the new confession of faith that the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand adopted in 2010. I confessed I had, but that I did not recommend it. The reason I said, was that at that stage I didn't really have a clue how to write songs for...

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Palm Sunday is the last stop for most of us on the way to Good Friday. If this were your first time around the story, you would have no idea what lies just a few short days in the future. The tone is exultant, the mood is jubilant. Israel's Messiah has arrived to take charge, the new king to rule and make things right is here! Of course, most of us are not on this journey...

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This Sunday the lectionary gospel is Jesus at a dinner in the house of a well-to-do Pharisee. As I was preparing for preaching and leading worship this weekend, I did a quick paraphrase of the passage to help my thinking. I thought I'd share it in case it was helpful for others. Luke 14:1,7-14 Paraphrase by Malcolm Gordon On the day of holy rest, Jesus went for dinner at a guys house who was a big deal in...

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Psalm 137:1-6 I grew up on a sheep farm 40 minutes south of Dunedin. Just north of a little place called Milton. My grandparents, Jean and Andy, my Dad’s folks, owned the farm before us. They lived two paddocks away, in the house Dad had grown up in. They lived two paddocks away and sat one pew in front of us at church. Every Sunday. Most school holidays my cousin Andy came up from Kelso in...

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So I've been working on a collection of songs for small churches for the last few months. In my work with congregations around NZ (and indeed in Australia and Scotland) I've noticed that while most of our contemporary worship music is written by large churches with amazing musical resources, when small churches with more limited musical resources try to recreate them they struggle. The songs tend to rely on their arrangements, thundering rhythm sections, or...

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