2010-2013 / Bachelor of Theology (Henderson Campus)
As part of a faithful crew of Monday to Saturday library junkies, we would play Coldplay’s "Paradise," and do an interpretive dance each Friday on our way out, to celebrate the week that was. Sharing what we were learning or working on each day over lunch was formational to learning in community. It was also in this community that my brother Jason Hotere taught me, as a Yank, to do a proper haka. He received permission from his iwi to do so, which enabled me to teach it to American youth at my first summer camp home in 2013, as a Youth Pastor in Washington, post-graduation.
From time to time, Laidlaw would host world-class scholars. On one such occasion, then Principal Rod Thompson intentionally had me (an extrovert) hug Chris Wright, knowing as a Brit he would greatly dislike it. "Piper, go hug him mate!" "Are you serious, Rod?" "Piper, hug him now." Truly amazing. Let the record show that Chris eventually warmed up to me.
Photo (Left): Dave greeting Chris Wright with a hug
Photo (Middle): Dave and the 2011 Student Leadership Team
Photo (Right): The comedic duo: Dave and Robbie Lawton
Also, let's not forget the loosely historical (somewhat allegorical) and comedic conversation Robbie (Lawton) and I re-enacted between Rod Thompson and Mark McConnell at 'Band Wednesday', which our wonderful president Emma Gray put on.
Laidlaw first taught me that scripture was a united story leading to Jesus. This was massive! Having grown up in the church, knowing all the individual stories but not how they connected and led to Jesus was a tragedy. This bit alone was life changing!
Photo: The newly constructed intentional community of Excel Performing Arts students.
After my studies I was a youth pastor for seven years in Sequim, Washington, from July 2013 to July 2020.
In 2021 my wife and I served at Door of Hope in Portland, Oregon while I pursued two master’s degrees at Western Seminary. In 2022 I got a job at Western Seminary, working with pastors and following up with interested potential students, as well as running orientation days for those who have joined.
As an American, I'm so thankful I got to get out of my culture for nearly four years and learn from my Kiwi brothers and sisters. I had the honour of living with the Quirke family for nearly a year, where Naomi consistently challenged things I uncritically assumed. This was massive for my growth! When Lachlan and Anna Gordon, as well as the Quirkes, came over to the States for my wedding, I knew these people were actual family. I'm so grateful for the robust theological education and beautiful lifetime friendships that were formed from 2010-2013.
Blessings on your next 100 years!
Photo: Saturday library junkies: Roland Schreurs, Dave, James Broadbent (Lachlan Gordon not pictured)