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Festival 2017

11-15 OCTOBER 2017

Drawing Closer - Looking Forward

We are pleased to announce this year’s festival will be held in the Elm Hall in Waikanae’s El Rancho Christian Camp, 58 Weggery Drive (this is their new entrance now the SH1 bypass is complete) from Wednesday 11 October till noon on Sunday 15 October.


As in years past, we will begin on the first day with a morning song service concluding with communion and following that come together for our first full service in the afternoon. Thereafter we will enjoy services each morning and follow that with an activity in the afternoon or evening with the remaining time free for fellowship over a cuppa or exploring whatever the Kapiti Coast has to offer.


It has been four years now since our last festival in Waikanae and we look forward to experiencing again its iconic surroundings and opportunities. Of importance in choosing the site this year was Waikanae’s closer proximity to our new congregation in Masterton and the hope that most from there can attend, if even only for the weekend. We hope that as many of the rest of us will gather too to strengthen our now widened connections within GCI, and explore with them the things God is placing on their hearts and thus support and bless each other.

Our theme this year, “Drawing Closer ~ Looking Forward”, works out of the thematic direction begun in February’s Refresher Weekend and May's Deeper Walk Retreat.


Fundamental to our witness and work is that we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and it is love (John 13:35) that empowers the unity and camaraderie vital to both. Drawing closer is an essential action of love arising from a decision for love based on our hope in the faithfulness of the great Lover who called us to be one in Him (John 17:21). And such hope always looks forward, to sharing that love outward, for God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11)!


The special feature of the El Rancho experience is the communal living, its camaraderie and the deeper friendships that can result. Services will be run in the Elm Hall with social activities shared between the Hall and the Fireside Lounge. And for special meetings, or for quiet time away on one’s own, the Chapel just up on the hill will be available. Most will be housed in the Elm Complex, as we did in the 2011 and 2013 festivals, with meals taken together at the Dining Hall (note, these units no longer have cooking facilities, retaining only fridges and kettles).


Also, we are reserving the nearby self-catering Baker Lodge complex for our Filipino brethren to accommodate their special food preferences. As we also did before, we will be subsidizing accommodation and meal costs so those of us with families will find it more affordable (El Rancho charges accommodation by the person, not the room). Note that if you have dietary needs (non-dairy, gluten-free, etc.) the Camp requires a daily extra charge per person. Also, for those arriving Tuesday (e.g. the set up crew), meals will be available.

A full copy of the Festival letter from Dennis Richards is available here as a pdf download. 

If you have any queries, please drop us a line - you can also email us using the form below.

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Festival Letter 2017 from Festival Co-ordinator Dennis Richards
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Photos - We would love to see your event photos - you can share these with us on our Facebook event page

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Please download a registration form, and send this in to Rex Morgan if at all possible not later than Wednesday, 20 September, so we can advise El Rancho of expected numbers.

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Download a Registration Form

We encourage you to come and be a part of this year’s festival! And bring your families if you can – we will have more than enough room to billet everyone. We are planning a series of activities and a seminar or two in the hope that this year’s festival will be a special, pivotal occasion in which we draw even closer together and look forward in expectant hope to all that God plans to bless us with. And please be praying for the other festivals in our region – our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu meet 5-12 October with Rex leading them, and in Fiji from 15-21 October where Louis and Alasi Smith will again be supporting the celebrations.

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