Church of the Servant is pleased to announce that Noah McLaren’s setting of Psalm 71, “All My Life,” has won the 2018 New Psalm Contest.

The contest, in memory of Ben Fackler, is in its ninth year and received over 60 entries. From this pool the judges chose McLaren’s setting of Psalm 71 for its combination of sing-ability and substance.  They appreciated both the musical and the textual substance of this setting.  The text included some interpretation of the Psalm rather than slavishly sticking to the original Biblical text, which helps congregations connect with the Psalm.  Musically, the judges appreciated the way the verse and refrain worked together.  There was enough musical continuity to know that the two belonged together, yet enough contrast to keep it from getting repetitive.  The judges also appreciated the melodic lift on “life” and “delight” in the refrain, as something unique, but not inaccessible to congregational singing.

We will be premiering McLaren’s Psalm 71 on Sunday, January 27, 2019 during our morning worship service.  We would be pleased to have you join us, whether you are local or perhaps going to be in town for the annual Worship Symposium at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Thank you to all those who submitted a composition for this year’s contest. We were blessed to sing, discuss, and reflect on the submissions and are pleased to see so many musicians undertaking the work of writing new Psalm settings for worship. You can check out a few more of the judges’ top choices from this year’s contest here: 2018 Top Choices.

Thank you also to our judges, who volunteered many hours to make this process possible.  If you would like to read more about our judging process, please visit our description of the process here: Judging Process.

COS and the judging committee are grateful for the generosity of the donors who have faithfully funded this contest for 8 years. If you are interested in donating to the New Psalm Contest please contact Maria Stapert at

You can stay up to date on COS Psalm Contest news or subscribe to our mailing list at

Print and hear Noah McLaren’s Psalm 71, “All My Life”: PDF, MP3