Jonathan Robinson is a disciple-of-Jesus, pastor, bible-scholar, musician and songwriter. He is the Lecturer in New Testament at Carey Baptist College. Depending on the day his favourite Psalm is 63, 84 or 13.

In 2028, New Zealand will experience a total solar eclipse; it will happen on a line crossing Te Wai Pounamu South Island (touching Queenstown and Dunedin). One astronomer is so excited about it that he bought a house in Dunedin 10 years ago based on the view it would have of the eclipse! The last one was in 1965, and only a small part of Northland got to enjoy it. This one is expected to be a big tourist event with thousands of people making the journey for a unique experience.* 

However, another unique event will likely pass undetected by astronomers, even rarer than a solar eclipse (at least as far as I am aware) and, in some senses, even more heavenly. I could be wrong, but I am guessing that when Carey holds its conference in July this year (2024), it will be the first conference ever held in Aotearoa, New Zealand, focussed entirely on the Psalms. I certainly don't expect to see another one in my lifetime, so for those who love and cherish the Psalms, this will be a unique and unrepeatable event.

One of my jobs for Carey's upcoming Psalms conference was to receive and organise workshop opportunities for songwriters, poets, preachers, pastors, counsellors, and others to share their experiences and insights for creatively engaging the Psalms. It has been a humbling experience. As I collected the proposals and discussed them with the people involved, it became clear that more than a few had been waiting their whole lives for a conference like this. That is to say, many of our presenters have spent their lives loving, praying, wrestling with, and singing the Psalms, but they have had little or no opportunity to share what they have learned along the way. That in itself is so exciting, and I am really looking forward to benefiting from the fruit of these profound journeys with the Psalms. 

But that is not all that is going to happen; these people – who already love the Psalms – will be sharing this love and their insights and learnings with each other. What will it be like when these spiritual and creative people find themselves in the company of other like-minded people excited to hear from each other and seek God together? I don't know, but I'm sure this conference is not the endpoint for these journeys. Maybe it will be a critical juncture that revitalises the journey for some or even starts some new ones on their way. 

I do know that I feel very privileged to be part of this unique event, and I'm looking forward to seeing what God will do among us. And if you think you would like to be part of a conference like this on the Psalms, may I humbly suggest that you don't wait for the next one?

* source:


Join us for our three-day conference in July exploring how the Psalms can inspire Christian worship and shape God’s people here in Aotearoa. The conference will gather a range of Christian leaders including students, pastors, worship leaders, scholars, musicians, poets, and creatives to explore the Bible’s songbook and prayerbook. You don’t want to miss this! 

Get your tickets here


Image: Solar eclipse by solarseven on iStock

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