It could have been mistaken for a cathedral city celebration judging by the number of bishops, clergy and excited congregation in attendance on Thursday evening 20 August. But in fact the installation of the Reverend Canon Don Moses took place right here in our midst at the Omokoroa Community Church. What made it so special was not only the attendance of three bishops, Presbyterian and Methodist clergy representatives and a healthy support crew of friends and family, but we learned that Don's wife Lynda had been ordained only a few days prior in Nelson as a Vocational Deacon – the Reverend Lynda Moses.

Clergy at Don Moses' installation l-r: The Reverend Iain Dickson representing the Kaimai Presbytery, The Right Reverend Richard Ellen, Bishop of Nelson; Reverend Canon Don Moses; Reverend Lynda Moses; The Right Reverend Andrew Hedge, Bishop of Waiapu; The Right Reverend Ngarahu Katene, Pihopa o Te Hui Amorangi ki Manawa o te Wheke and Reverend Adrienne Bruce, Regional Dean in the Bay of Plenty. (missing is: Mrs Ngaire Southon, Waikato-Waiariki Methodist Synod).

Following a farm upbringing in the South Canterbury hill country, Don spent ten years as an electrician before taking up study at the Bible College of New Zealand in Henderson, Auckland. He was ordained whilst serving as Acting Vicar of the Tapawera-Motupiko Parish within the Nelson Diocese - a real challenge as the congregation comprised just ten people at the start of his tenure there. Since then he has spent time as Priest Assistant in Greymouth, Kaikoura, Priest Assistant at Holy Trinity in Tauranga, and Vicar in the Renwick-Wairau Valley on the outskirts of Blenheim and at St Christopher's in Blenheim.

Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching episodes of his career to date took place during the Cave Creek disaster in Greymouth in 1995. He was there, waiting with the families at the hospital to learn whether their children were dead or alive and he was heavily involved in the massive community memorial service for the deceased; an event of distressing, national significance.

Don and his lovely wife Lynda have three children and five grandchildren ranging in ages from two and half to seven, most of whom live in the Tauranga area. So it seemed highly fortuitous for the couple that a vacancy for a full-time minister should materialise in Omokoroa just when they were keen to transfer back to the Bay of Plenty.

If you ask Don what his vision and goals are for the Omokoroa Community Church he will tell you: to build a caring and growing vibrant Christian community, to develop a positive Christian culture and be the church we're meant to be. With Don and Lynda at the helm and with God's guidance I have no doubt this will indeed happen.

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