Tributes to David Larsen

It is with sadness that the Australasian CPE family  learnt of the death of Rev David Larsen on Saturday, February 24th, 2018, in St Andrews Hospital, Toowoomba.

David was a long-time supervisor and member of the Queensland Institute for CPE, and of ANZACPE. He was 81 years of age.

We extend our sympathy to Audrey and their family, and pray God’s comfort on them in their grief.

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We invite you to use this page as a way of sharing your tributes to David. You may do this simply by accessing the ‘Leave a Reply’ segment at the bottom of this page, and your contribution will then be added to this page.

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From Judith Peterkin, President of ANZACPE:

David was a long-standing and faithful member of QICPE and ANZACPE. He was a Queensland representative in the early discussions around forming ANZACPE held in 1986-1989. From the formation of ANZACPE in 1990, David has attended and represented QICPE at almost all our Supervisory Conferences and AGMs. For many years he was the ANZACPE Treasurer.

Later in his CPE journey, David ventured into the supervisory training of new supervisors, gaining Level III supervisory accreditation. In 2008-9, he graciously took up the invitation from ACPEWA to engage with a successful supervisory training programme in Western Australia, being responsible for the nurture and formation of three supervisors. Similarly, in Queensland, he has been the backbone behind their supervisory training programme and the developing strengths of QICPE.

At a personal level, David demonstrated his love of Christ, as well as his ability to engage with other faiths. He was known for his gentle and insightful supervisory conversations and in his building of supervisory alliances. There was no pretentiousness with David in the grounded way he demonstrated his presence with us. We will miss him.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Audrey and their family members and loved ones, as well as all our colleagues in QICPE, in this time of grief and mourning for David in their loss.

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From long-time friend and colleague, Jenni Wegener:

Since my first connections with David in 1977, I experienced him as a “Pastor” in the true sense of the word. His fierce independence together with growing compassion for his fellow travellers fuelled his constant desire to learn and understand more about how people experience and interact with each other and their God.. For David the heart of being a parish pastor meant preaching the liberating grace of God’s love and keeping up contact with those in his care – responding quickly to moments of crisis, as well as the ordinary moments of people’s lives. His interest and care was accompanied by a phenomenal memory for names and significant events and relationships in their lives.

Already involved in CPE in its rudimentary form, he experimented with different models of individual and group learning and facilitation, often on the edges of acceptance and without recognition by pastor colleagues and leadership in the Lutheran Church. In spite of this, many pastors continued to take their own CPE journeys with him. I began my own CPE journey with one of his groups in 1980. It is a mark of David’s humble, generous and hospitable spirit, that he could move with such easy openness from being one of my earliest supervisors, to seeking consultation with me as an Educator peer in later years, avidly mining resources I had come across for his own ongoing learning, on many occasions.

Geographical isolation from CPE peers did not discourage him, utilising first phone and then Skype and face time for his own supervision and with some supervisees, and to maintain connections with valued colleagues. As CPE horizons expanded, David became the first supervisor that I am aware of to actively support and foster to the point of accreditation, a supervisor from a non Christian tradition. Working with Buddhist nun Nina Davis, he embraced the challenge of discovering the places of connection and divergence in their espoused values and beliefs, demonstrating how the gifts of Grace and new Life stretch and transcend religious boundaries enriching pastoral identity. At an ANZACPE conference in Brisbane, he and Nina presented the outcome of this engagement with typical humility and frankness. His faithful participation in the CPE community invigorated him. David was always ready to respond to another’s invitation, offering supervisory and educational support to supervisors and directing CPE units in Darwin and Perth. In the same way he worked to expand the QICPE community, fostering the development of the association, its standards and processes with local colleagues, as well as the opening of new centres across wider Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and in 2018, plans to conduct a regional unit in south east Qld.

David has been one of our CPE fathers, a quiet pioneering presence not seeking recognition, yet richly deserving of the outpouring of respect for his integrity and courage from many colleagues. Always alongside has been Audrey, a backbone of hospitality and warmth, with her own wisdom and love for those she met through David’s ministry.

Dave was firstly my and Gordon’s wise mentor and friend, someone who cared deeply about our life and wellbeing. Dave was a man who reflectively championed my development as a pastor with my own call, before I saw this would be lived out through chaplaincy, supervision, and as a Clinical Pastoral Educator. We have been greatly blessed to know him and Audrey so well, and will miss his earthy, blunt, compassionate presence deeply.

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At the bottom of this page. . . From:

Michelle Benjamin (WA CPE)

John and Margie Virgin (SA/NT CPE)

Rosemarie Say (NSW CPE)

Cathy Ridd

Thich Thong Phap (SA/NT CPE)

A faithful attendee at ANZACPE Supervisors’ Conferences, David is pictured here with Audrey and some of his CPE colleagues at the 2017 Conference in Perth.

 

 

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