The Avarua Ekalesia performer their “nuku” presentation at the Takamoa grounds in 2020. MELINA ETCHES/23102401
Each year on Gospel Day draws an assembly from each of the six Ekalesia of the Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) on Rarotonga to perform their gospel dramas, or nuku to commemorate the Arrival of Christianity to the Cook Islands.
Tomorrow, Thursday October 26, the Cook Islands
national Gospel Day - a public holiday, will be celebrated at the Teimurimotia
Park in Titikaveka with the theme of ‘Te Oki Mai Nei a Iesu’ (Jesus is Coming
Tomorrow’s nuku programme will start at 8.45am with
all the six Ekalesia marching into the Teimurimotia Park to assemble in front
of the VIP tent and welcomed by the emcee of the event Sonny Williams, Member
of Parliament for Titikaveka.
Reverend Tereapii Matakere from the Titikaveka
Ekalesia will present the ‘pureanga’ (devotion) offering, followed Reverend
Tuaine Ngametua, president of the CICC and Executives ‘akatuera’anga’
(declaration) of the opening of the nuku day celebrations.
The nuku presentations must be based on Biblical
celebrations, the order of appearances (25mins each) of the Ekalesia are as
follows: Ngatangiia - Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matavera - The Judgement of
the Nations, Avarua - The Thief in the Night, Nikao - The Cloud Rider, Arorangi
The Second Coming of Christ, finishing off with Titikaveka the host with their
The New Heaven & Earth item.
At the conclusion of the nuku, all the Ekalesia will
march in for topirianga’ (closing remarks) by Tauturu Orometua, Moe Tutira.
Aitutaki was the first of the Cook Islands to receive
and accept the Gospel, when Christianity first arrived to the island on October
26, 1821, introduced by the London Missionary Society (LMS).
Vaipae was the last village on the Aitutaki to accept
Christianity – two years later on March 30, 1823, which they celebrated this
Also this year, the southern group islands of Atiu -
19 July, Mitiaro - 21 July, and Ma'uke on 23 July marked two year hundred years
since missionaries arrived, two of which were the celebrated Tahitian converts
Papeiha and Vahapata.
Rarotonga too commemorated their 2023 bicentennial Te
Arikianga o te Evangelia on 25 July, followed by the Arorangi Ekalesia and
Tinomana Ariki on 26 and 27 July.