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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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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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  Here marks a creative break, a spiritual tangent if you will.  I have been wanting to explore the art of meditative drawing.  I realize this is really nothing new, for drawing has long been associated with spiritual thought and practice.  However, I really believe there is something in this for contemporary life which is so fast and yet so image laden.  So I'm taking a month to walk this tangent slowly to see where it leads.  Below is...

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  The story of the return of the prodigal son uncovers the heart of God the Father. God finds us at the edge and draws us into the centre. We are pursued in the best possible way. Relentlessly. Inexhaustibly. This is the nature of the father's love for each of us. Yet we all question this love. We would do well to examine our internal questions from time to time. Consider the insight of Henri Nouwen...

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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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Hi, this is Adrian Taylor and OneVoice is giving me room to create! I'll be sharing some prayerful poetry as I mediate on the Lectionary texts for each week. Join with me as I explore the form of the 'collect' and listen to the Spirit of God. Over recent years I have become increasingly interested in Christian meditation practices. So this blog space is the result of my desire to write and share inspirations as a...

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The church calendar has had 2 millennia in the Northern Hemisphere to find meaning. Easter happens in Springtime, meaning the promise of new life is resounded in buds and blossom and lambs leaping. Pentecost happens in the summer heat, giving embodiment to the fiery presence of the Spirit. Advent and Christmas happen in the dark of winter, meaning the candles are lit when the days are their shortest, and the longing for the coming of...

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Over the weekend I had the privilege of leading a church leadership team on a retreat exploring creative worship. To begin I led them through the traditional flow of worship, in a pretty non-traditional way. Beginning with our Call to worship, we scattered around the complex. We listened to this song, and as we felt drawn to respond, we came and took our seats in the circle. We moved into thanksgiving, where we wrote the names of...

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