IRCA Powhiri New Zealand 15 April 2018

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