Author Archives: Jerry Marshall

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IRCA Powhiri New Zealand 15 April 2018

Category : Uncategorized

The IRCA 6th quadrennial conference has made a great start today.

We began with the traditional Maori welcome. As leader of the visitors, Jerry gave a speech following a particular sequence of greetings and explanation, backed up by a ‘Waiata’ sung by all the visitors. This was very positively received.

Here is the text, which sets the scene for the event.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā rā tātou katoa

We greet and honour Almighty God who made the heavens and the earth and knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs.

We greet and honour the beloved forebears of the people of this place and the many people I stand on behalf of today, entrusting them to the love of our saviour Jesus Christ.

I greet all those gathered here today from near and far.  Tēnā koutou

On behalf of all the visitors we want to thank the people of this beautiful land for the warmth of your welcome and the hard work so many have put in to enable us to be here.

We visitors are followers of Jesus from all over the world with a particular call to serve communities in rural areas. Our growing global fellowship gathers every four years in different parts of the world. We come together to encourage and inspire each other; and to learn from one another; in order to be better equipped to serve our own communities and enable them to flourish.

Part of our purpose is to bring reconciliation in our communities, especially between those who have cared for the land for generations and more recent settlers. We accept that this can be a painful process as we incomers seek forgiveness, for the way we have abused soil and rivers and peoples. We seek now to graft ancient wisdom onto our own knowledge so all peoples and rural communities may flourish as we serve each other and our creator God.

Over this coming week we follow the theme “Growing together”. We aim to further explore reconciliation and collaborative leadership. We will also work together as a learning community to consider what IS, what COULD BE and what WILL BE in our regions, taking away ideas and inspiration that we pray will be transformational for us, our areas and our nations.

So now I greet all the manuhiri, you who have come here from all over the world, investing time, energy and resources. I pray that, as we receive God’s blessing here, we may in turn be a blessing to our hosts and to our communities. For many years our strapline has been to be a voice for the voiceless. That is our calling, but more than this, we are also all called to loose the chains of injustice, to set the oppressed free, and to share our food with the hungry. Then, says God through the prophet Isaiah, our light will break forth like the dawn; our healing will quickly appear; and we will call and the Lord will answer.

Thank you again to the home people who have come to offer a welcome but who will, I pray, leave fed by the spirit of Christ in this place.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā rā tātou katoa

 The waiata (all):

Te Aroha, Te Whakapono, Me te rangimarie, tatou taou e (Love, faith, peace, for us all)

May I close by wishing upon you a traditional Gaelic blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields;

and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Amen

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā rā tātou katoa


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Record numbers at NZ conference

Category : Uncategorized

We will be welcoming 100 delegates to our 6th Quadrennial conference in Lincoln New Zealand 15-21 April, exceeding our highest expectations. The event is now full!

Do pray that the event will be transformational as we learn from and support each other, reflect prayerfully on our ministries, and receive resources we can adapt to our own context.

We hope to be able to record key elements of the conference and make these available. If you do not receive our eNews do sign up now so you can share the conference with us.

May you know the joy and peace of the risen Christ.

Jerry Marshall, Chair


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Join us in New Zealand!

Category : Uncategorized

We are very excited to announce our 6th quadrennial conference, in Lincoln, near Christchurch, New Zealand. There is an outline in the Conferences tab and the full programme under further details.

We trust God that this event will not only be inspiring and encouraging but also transformational. We will model a ‘learning community’ approach and provide this and other materials to take home and adapt for your country. We are thrilled Dr Rosemary Dewerse will share her wisdom and experience in bringing communities together, a vital calling for many rural churches. And Jenny Dawson will pick up another common theme for rural churches across the world: shared ministry. New Zealand is at the cutting edge of new approaches to developing the ministry of the whole body of Christ and Jenny will be reflecting on the highs and lows.

Plus an opportunity (if you wish) to contribute your inspiring case studies and share in leading worship in a way that reflects the riches of the culture of your region.

Please join us!


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Welcome to our new website!

Category : blog

Welcome to the new website, re-launched with a more mobile-friendly theme. It’s still a work in progress so comments are welcomed. We are seeking funding for further development.

We want the site to be both a hub for IRCA members to connect; and also for resources that would inspire, support or equip rural churches to help their communities flourish. So if you have materials for consideration, please email me (see contact page).

There are also changes in the way the handle our accounts: these are now in a ring-fenced account managed by the Arthur Rank Centre in the UK. Donations can therefore be made to the ARC through www.germinate.net and should be marked ‘IRCA’. Thanks!

Jerry Marshall, Chair


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