Ivirua, Mangaia, Cook Islands

Office Bearers

  • Minister: Rev. Arerau Tamaao
  • Secretary: Mr Vaike Ongoua
  • Secretary, Deacon’s Meeting: Mr Vaike Ongoua
  • Treasurer: Mrs Lazaro Marii
  • Representative to CICC General Assembly: Mr Vaike Ongoua


  • 11 Deacons
  • 60 regular Ekalesia members
  • 30 regular Sunday School students
  • 20 regular youth members
  • An estimated 80 others


In the early history of Christianity in the Cook Island, Mangaia was the first island the Missionaries discovered but the Mangaians did not accept them onshore, hence they moved to Aitutaki. A year later, Christianity was accepted on Mangaia during Numangatini Ariki’s reign in the village of Oneroa. From Oneroa, the Gospel was then taken to Ivirua village where it survived many challenges since then.


Management in the church comprises the Minister as chairperson for all meetings except departmental ones. The overall administrator is the Secretary, assisted by the secretary of the Deacon‘s meeting. The Treasurer looks after the church’s finances and reports regularly to church meetings. The church closely follows the CICC Manual guidelines and procedures for its efficient functioning and administration.


There are 6 departments in the Ivirua branch; Deacons Meeting, Sunday School, Women’s Fellowship, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, and Christian Youth. Each department has their own regular programs and activities which, except for the first, are linked to those at the national level.


All departments hold regular individual meetings to monitor the progress of their own programs. The parish as a whole has a combined meeting at the end of every 3 months. In these quarterly meetings, developments in each of the departments are reported, as well as reports from the Minister, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Deacon’s group. Irregular meetings are also convened as and when the need arises.


Religion is very much a way of life for most Cook Islanders irrespective of their denomination. Church-goers cherish this a lot and portray it in the way they dress and attend services. On communion Sundays, men wear white suits and women wear white dresses.

On church parade Sundays, children and youth wear their designated uniform. Special apparel is also worn during special services. On normal Sunday services, church goers usually wear their best clothes. Informal/casual wear is not the norm and not encouraged.

During the actual services, the following are observed:
  • Quietness at all times unless part-taking in the hymns
  • No cameras & videos are to be used inside the church at all time.
  • Casual wear (singlets, shorts, etc.) is not preferred.

After the services, feel free to chat with the Minister and members.


The CICC follows the Scripture Union Bible Reading Plan which sets out daily scripture readings. It is quite common for all services to be based on the day’s reading. Sermons are conducted in the local language (Cook Is Maori), unless visitors are present in which case the Minister makes a brief translation of his message in English. No other foreign language is used

Sermons are prepared and presented by the Minister, Deacons and fully ordained members of the church who are talented, through practice and training, to undertake such task.

Whilst in the past only men are allowed to conduct services, women after attaining set standards, criteria and ranks, have recently been allowed to make presentations. Certain types of services and sermons are earmarked for Ministers, Deacons and ordinary members only.

Regular Church Services

Normal church services are as follows:
  • Sunday early morning service: 5.30am
  • main service: 9.30am
  • evening service: 3.00pm
  • Wednesday & Friday morning service: 5.30am
Other/special services include the following:
  • Rekapi (pre-communion): Wednesday prior to Oroa
  • Oroa (communion): 1st Sunday of each month
  • Etene (post-communion): Wednesday after Oroa
  • Pentecost: As per calendar
  • Teretere Apii Sabati: last Sunday of May & November
  • Teretere Uapou: last Sunday of February & August
  • Church parade: 2nd Sunday Feb. to Nov.
  • National Gospel Day: October 26
  • Mangaia Gospel Day: June 15
  • Boys’ Brigade Day: October 8
  • Easter: As per calendar
  • Christmas/New Year: As per calendar
  • Mothers/Fathers Day: As per calendar

Order of Sunday Main Service

The order of the main service (9.30am Sundays) is as follows:
  1. Νotice/announcement
  2. Invocation
  3. Sunday School hymn (imene Apii Sabati)
  4. Prayer of confession/Lord’s prayer
  5. Bible reading
  6. Traditional hymn (imene tuki)
  7. Bible reading
  8. Prayer of thanksgiving/intercession
  9. Traditional hymn
  10. Offering and its dedication
  11. Sermon
  12. Sunday School hymn
  13. Vesper

A normal service of the above order runs for about an hour, with the actual sermon taking from 15 – 25 minutes. Variations of the above order happen during special services. Functions and ceremonies are also held in the church, for example baptism, marriage, bereavement service.


Seating is arranged in 4 rows partly to coincide with the 4 sub-divisions of the village; Matie kura/Te ara taa, Kirikiri, and Karanga. Visitors may sit anywhere, but are usually escorted towards the front.

Other Information

The Ivirua church is a member of the Mangaia CICC Council and participates in all programmes and activities organized by this council. Furthermore, it complies with the resolutions passed by the CICC General Assembly. It has 3 properties: church building, Sunday School Hall, and the minister’s residence.

Contact for more Information

Minister: Rev. Arerau Tamaao
Phone: 34049

Secretary: Vaieke Ongoua
Phone: 34114