- Name: Harriet DiCicco
- Occasion: New Rector
The congregation of St. Columba’s Chapel, 55 Vaucluse Avenue, Middletown is delighted to welcome the latest additions to its parish family. The Reverend Erik W. Larsen has accepted the call to serve as the next rector and will begin his ministry on October 1, 2012.
The Reverend Larsen brings a depth and breadth of experiences not only to the church but to the diocese and the greater community. He has served as both curate and rector at several Episcopal churches in Connecticut as well as chaplain at St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong. From 2007-2011, the Reverend Larsen was Canon for Transition Ministry for the Diocese of Connecticut, a position where he coordinated search processes for over 100 churches in transition.
He received his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut where he majored in Religion and Philosophy, and then his M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently, he is both Dean of the Diocesan Deacon Formation Program, designing curriculum and coordinating education programs, and Interim Rector for St. John’s Church in Niantic, Connecticut.
Erik has been married for 28 years to Karin, an organist, music and special education teacher. They have two sons: Ben, 25, a professional cellist currently on tour with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan and China; and Greg, 24, a biology field technician currently in Alaska. Erik is a water lover: a saltwater fly fisher, swimmer, and boater. He is looking forward to living on Aquidneck Island and being involved with the wider community.
An advocate for ‘servant leadership,’ Erik has been passionately involved in encouraging ordained and lay people to explore living out their faith in their everyday communities. In conversations with St. Columba’s search committee, he shared: “I have a passion for the stewardship of creation, including our faithful response to God in all aspects of our lives, leading by example.” Eschewing a ‘one size fits all’ solution, the Reverend Larsen is looking forward to working with the diversity of not only the parish but the island community as well in exploring people’s spiritual needs.
Following the departure of the Reverend Christopher L. Epperson in May 2011, St. Columba’s was able served by a dedicated vestry and parishioners on the Self-Study Committee and subsequent Search Committee as they steered the parish through the transition process, guided by Diocesan consultants Betsy Fornal and Leon Sibielski. The congregation has been fortunate to have had the support of retired clergy, the Reverend Hébert Bolles, the Reverend Everett Greene and the Reverend Deacon Betty Lou Wright during this transition period in addition to its Interim clergy the Reverend Scott Gunn, the Reverend Veronica M. Tierney and the Reverend Ned Mulligan.