Nominees for Elected Offices
Dr. Susan Brown
The Rev. Catherine Wagar
Deacon, St. Mark’s Church, Van Nuys / Chaplain, Olive View UCLA Medical Center
2012-2017: Deacon, St. Philip the Evangelist, South LA.
2019-present: Deacon, St. Mark’s, Van Nuys. Chaplain, Olive View UCLA Medical Center
Deacons appreciate and bring energy to the synapse between the church and the world. Canterbury USC is an exemplary young adult ministry, which, besides providing spiritual support for USC students, also extends into the community with music (MiX); Dream Haven, which offers housing to young adults “in transition”; and the Wednesday Night Café. It would be a privilege to assist in the continuing development of this ministry.
Holy Family Services
Marianne K. Wright
Corporation of the Diocese
(Canon) Annette V. Graw
Member, St. Bede’s Church, Los Angeles
Secretary, Corporation of the Diocese; Deanery 3 president. Master’s in Theology, Loyola Marymount. Assistant Secretary of Convention. Past President, board member, Canterbury USC. REALTOR Emeritus.
I have enjoyed my work on the Corporation of the Diocese, and I believe that my extensive background in real estate, brokerage, financing, and knowledge of rental housing issues is valuable to our discussions as the Corporation continues in our new environment of transparency, while shepherding the Feeding Hungry Hearts Foundation. I ask your support so I may continue with the Board to prayerfully plan for our future.
Diocesan Council, Clergy
The Rev. Dr. George Okusi
Rector, St. John the Divine Church, Costa Mesa
Kenyan born. Diocesan GFS chaplain; Commission on Ministry; Program Groups on Global Partnership, Black Ministries; Clergy Interfaith Group (Orange County); Costa Mesa City Prayer Group.
I would love to work with the business of Convention between the annual meetings. I possess the desire to see our church grow and I believe I can contribute to this! I need your votes. Thank you!
Diocesan Council, Lay
Member, Church of the Angels, Pasadena
Member, Diocesan Council (since 1996) and Committee on Resolutions. Former senior warden and parish search committee chair. Retired lawyer. J.D. Hastings; B.A. Pomona College.
As the longest-serving member of Diocesan Council, I offer my perspective and institutional memory again for the next three years. Council is responsible, along with other important duties, for presenting the Mission Share Fund budget to Convention, which our able treasurer and staff now publish along with the funding amounts from Corporation of the Diocese and Corporation Sole. These must form a statement of our common stewardship.
Standing Committee, Clergy
The Rev. Daniel Justin
Rector, St. Michael and All Angels Church, Studio City
Completing one-year term on Standing Committee; completed two-year term on Governance Board at M.E.N.D; four years as co-dean, Deanery 2.
I value collaborative leadership and transparency. I love the polity of the Episcopal Church, which works best when we work together, communicating regularly and openly. I strongly believe that the primary role of the diocese is supporting the ministry of parishes and missions. I would be honored to participate in that work through service on the Standing Committee.
Standing Committee, LAY
(Canon) Janet Wylie
Member, St. Andrew’s Church, Fullerton
Lifelong Episcopalian; married 44 years with two kids with their spouses, and three grand-kids; retired and loving it.
My goal is to serve the Diocese of Los Angeles. After working in the bishop’s office for 25 years, I believe I have knowledge and experience to share with the Standing Committee in their valuable work.
Secretary of Convention
(Canon) Dr. Steve Nishibayashi
Member, St. Mary’s Church (Mariposa), Los Angeles
Diocesan: Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Commission on Ministry, Ecclesiastical Court, Committee on Dispatch of Business, Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee, Bloy House, Vice-Chair. National: Executive Council.
I have been honored and privileged to serve this diocese in a variety of capacities over the past 45 years, each enriching my journey of lifelong discernment. At Diocesan Convention, we meet as a diverse community with myriad talents but a common bond. A well-organized, well-run Convention can optimize the experience. As Secretary of Convention, I pledge to apply my experience to the work of this diocese and our common mission.
General Convention Deputy, Clergy
The Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall
Retired: Assisting, All Saints Church, Pasadena
Dean: Washington National Cathedral, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Rector: Christ Church Cranbrook, Redeemer Bryn Mawr. Vicar: St. Aidan’s, Malibu. Associate: All Saints, Pasadena. Presently: Standing Committee.
I have extensive experience in this diocese as a current and former member of the Standing Committee and past service on the Commission on Ministry, the Program Groups on Missions and Communications, and Diocesan Council. Nationally, I served as a member of the Standing Commission on Ministry Development (two triennia) and the Task Force on the Episcopacy (one triennium). As recently retired dean of Washington National Cathedral, I am committed to the church’s active engagement in public policy, especially gun violence, immigration, and racial reconciliation. As former dean and president of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and board chair of Episcopal Divinity School, I am dedicated to providing sustainable, flexible, and excellent ministry education that meets the needs both of the church and of those called to ordained and lay ministries. As a former rector and vicar, I believe the national church can do more to enhance congregational development and church growth. I served the Diocese of Los Angeles as Clergy Sexual Misconduct officer from 1994 to 2001 and can contribute to the ongoing revision of our clergy discipline canons. I believe my skills and experiences equip me to represent LA’s values and commitments in the wider church’s deliberations.
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Bamberger
Rector, Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre
Dean – Deanery V; co-chair, Commission on Ministry; diocesan disaster coordinator; member, General Board of Examining Chaplains; Partner in Response and Resilience, Episcopal Relief and Development.
It has been a privilege to serve as a deputy this last triennium on the legislative committee on Ministry. The effort to restructure the Episcopal Church to be poised for ministry in the future is still a work in progress. In travelling around the Episcopal Church on behalf of Episcopal Relief and Development, I am especially concerned for how we can support and empower smaller congregations for mission and ministry. In addition, the model for how clergy leaders are being formed and educated continues to be very much in flux. With years of experience in discernment and formation, and the perspective of our very diverse opportunities and challenges here in the Diocese of Los Angeles, I believe I have much to offer in this conversation.
The Rev. Michael Corrigan
Pastoral Associate, Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara
Vicar, Chapelle St. Michele, Vernantes, France. Corporation of the Diocese. Chairman/ CE0, Corrigan & Company. M.Div. CDSP; MBA University of Washington; BA Evergreen State College.
Throughout the centuries, Christians have come together to discern the significance of stories told over the millennium. Through this process some stories become sacred and traditions emerge. We Episcopalians have it tougher than others who share our Christian faith because each of us is offered the opportunity to take all of the building blocks of Holy texts and centuries of tradition and then integrate all of it with our own life experiences. This dynamic and wonderful process evidenced by looking around the room when we gather together. It is hard to image that only a short time ago (in historical time), our Christian seminaries owned slaves! We are so blessed to be part of a Church which asks each of us to see the sin of the world we live in and to challenge it in a way which makes sense today.
If elected, I offer you a 64- year old man with a diverse life history and a child’s wonder for the Church which has only flowered over the past decade. I am indeed a child in this respect. Jesus had something to say about the way children approach the world and it is this which I offer.
The Rev. Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz
Rector, All Saints’ Church, Riverside
Chair, Program Groups on Missions, Constitution/Canons. Member, Diocesan Council, PG on Youth-Young Adults. Chaplain, Camp Stevens. Former dean of Deanery Six, COM, Bloy House trustee.
It has been an honor and a delight to serve as first clergy alternate at General Convention in 2018.The Big Tent of the Episcopal Church is never more clearly seen and experienced than at General Convention.EDLA brings its own Big Tent to each General Convention and I am excited at the possibility to continue to serve both the diocese and the (inter)national church as a deputy.In many ways the diversity and dynamics of EDLA are a model for the larger church and our deputation brings the best of EDLA’s ethos to the discussion and decision-making that happens at General Convention. I bring keen interest and experience around mission congregations and alternative communities, along with interest in how our constitution and canons can best reflect both our heritage and our future.I want to be part of the discussion on how we gather and share our resources across boundaries, and to witness to how God shows up in our section of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.
The Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy
The Rev. dr. rachel nyback
Rector, St. Cross Church, Hermosa Beach
Mentor facilitator for newly ordained clergy; member, presenter for Program Group on Stewardship; former Standing Committee member and president; SouthCoast Interfaith council speaker and panelist.
The love I share for the Episcopal Church is universal, with my focus on the Diocese of Los Angeles in particular. I would be honored to serve you as your deputy to our General Convention. This position takes time, work, leadership and dedication, all of which I hold for our diocese. We have many competing issues in our church: attendance, relevance, social justice issues (care of God's creation and care of God's people), governance, calling out the gospel message of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet. I want to represent the diocese as the Episcopal Church (all 16 countries) navigates who the church is being called into being. How do we the church work with the challenges of climate change, or asylees and refugees coming to our door? How do we engage with mercy, grace, and justice what it means to be church if it does or does not look like what we have known before? I wholeheartedly realize that representing the diocese means representing ALL, big and small, those with loud voices and those who think they aren't heard as we all strive to live into the Way of Love and be the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.
The Rev. Canon Susan Russell
Assisting Priest, All Saints Church, Pasadena; Canon for Engagement Across Difference, Diocese of Los Angeles
Co-chair, Task Force for Communion Across Difference, Episcopal Church.
A native of both the city and diocese of Los Angeles, I was raised in a church where Presiding Bishop John Hines told us “Justice is the corporate face of God’s love” and Presiding Bishop Ed Browning challenged us to become a church where “there will be no outcasts.” Over the years as I have seen the Episcopal Church rising to those challenges through the work of General Convention. I have been privileged to serve twice as one of your clergy deputies – and I would love to have a third and final opportunity to serve in 2021.
Over the years I’ve gained experience in navigating the legislative process and in 2021 will leverage that experience to finish the work of making marriage available to all Episcopalians in every diocese. I will also bring the capacity to amplify at the national church level our diocesan commitment to the Gospel work of engagement across difference and my desire to network with and mentor deputies new to the work of General Convention.
I love this church, I love this diocese and it would be my honor to represent you as one of your deputies at the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Yein Esther Kim
Parish Associate, St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, Los Angeles
Vice-Chair, Worship Committee for General Convention 2021; Board Member, Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union; Commission on Ministry; The Gathering, a space for Asian American Spirituality.
I have attended the last three General Conventions in various capacities and seen different aspects of the governing body of the Episcopal Church. I serve on the Task Force to study sexism in the Episcopal Church and develop anti-sexism training, representing the diocese. For the 80th General Convention, I have been called to be the vice-chair of the Worship Committee. We are trying to incorporate the diversity and the vast spectrum of our “Episcopal-ness.”
Diversity and inclusion in the Episcopal Church require intentionality. Culturally, it is intimidating for Asian clergy and lay to step out and put in their names for diocesan positions. Asian clergy are the largest number in the diocese of all clergy of color. It is my hope that we as a diocese will embrace the inclusion of ethnic leaders and make our diocesan and general conventions truly reflective of diocesan and church-wide diversity.
Growing up, church was my playground, and I still find all aspects of church governance, liturgy, pastoral ministries, and community work a playground where one is nurtured, encouraged, and raised up. It would be my honor to represent all the beautiful people of the Diocese of Los Angeles.
General Convention Deputy, Lay
(Canon) Julie Dean Larsen
Member, St. Margaret of Scotland Church, San Juan Capistrano
Lawyer; vice chancellor of the diocese; 2018-2019 Standing Committee president; a director of Corporation of the Diocese; past member, Disciplinary Board and Bishop Nominating Committee.
The 2018 General Convention was an exhausting and fulfilling two weeks, it submersed us in the canons and legislative processes (the same church polity that called me to be an Episcopalian). As a first-time deputy, I loved every minute and was able to draft a resolution, passed by the Convention, which requires the study of model human resource practices to determine if they can be integrated with Title IV proceedings.
Please elect me as one of your lay deputies to the 2021 General Convention. I will work hard to represent the visionary interests of the Los Angeles Diocese.
(Canon) Jim White
Member, All Saints Church, Pasadena, and Holy Spirit, Atwater Village (Los Angeles)
Vestry (4 terms); Commission on Ministry co-chair; General Convention deputy or first alternate since 2003; Episcopal Communities & Services Board of Directors.
If I am elected, 2021 will be my 10th General Convention – the first three as a visitor or exhibitor (Beyond Inclusion and Claiming the Blessing) and the last six as either deputy or first alternate. I was honored to have chaired the deputation in 2009, 2015 and 2018.
Part of my work as co-chair of the Commission on Ministry involves traveling to congregations throughout the diocese to offer training for Lay Discernment Committees. Over the years I have visited more than 40 congregations, from Santa Barbara to San Clemente to Apple Valley. It is a gift to worship and become acquainted in a brief way with the broad range of people who make up our incredibly diverse diocese. I think this gives me a good sense of who our diocese is.
At General Convention in 2015 I served on the Legislative Committee on Governance and Structure, which only began the work of streamlining the structure of the governing bodies of the church. In 2018 I continued that work on the Legislative Committee on Diocesan and Congregational Vitality. I hope to advance that work by helping define new ways of measuring congregational vitality in addition to reporting average Sunday attendance.
Member, St. Mary’s Church (Mariposa), Los Angeles
Fourth-generation member St. Mary's (Mariposa); General Convention Deputy 2012, 2015, and 2018; Kaleidoscope Institute Office Coordinator, Bloy House seminarian.
I would be honored to continue representing the Diocese of Los Angeles as a General Convention Deputy in 2021. I have served on legislative committees at the last two General Conventions, both times serving on the committee dealing with resolutions about lifelong formation, an apt topic given our diocesan convention theme. Since last General Convention, I was named to the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations and have been working with fellow deputies from across the church as we collect names for nomination to churchwide offices that will be voted on at the 2021 General Convention. It would mean a great deal to me to be able to be present on the floor as the elections for those offices take place after having been an integral part of the process.
General Convention is also about reconnecting with friends and colleagues from across the church. It is nice to be able to balance the hard work of convention with spending time with friends. I would continue to be an active part of the social media presence discussing events as they happen. I look forward to being able to represent our wonderful and diverse diocese in the governance of the wider Episcopal Church.
(Canon) Andy Tomat
Member, St. Barnabas’ Church, Pasadena
Treasurer of the Diocese (volunteer). Diocese Investment Trustee. Corporate Finance Executive. Previously served as senior warden, treasurer, and vestry member.
General Convention considers how we govern ourselves from the local church up to the national level, often with financial impacts. I believe it’s important to balance our call to be the best examples of the Jesus movement in our communities with the realities of what our smaller missions and parishes can afford.
Member, St. Columba’s Church, Big Bear Lakes
Confirmed, Bishop Bloy, 1960. Attended Minneapolis General Convention, 1976 (and others). Volunteer at Anaheim Convention, 2009. Bishop’s Warden; Diocesan Convention delegate; LEM; social media editor.
I want to continue to see the Episcopal Church as a catalyst in the world modeling and promoting love and care for all of God’s creation. I want to be part of our Church speaking out for the poor and displaced. I want to participate in the work of reconciliation within our parishes, within the Church, within denominations, within different religions, within our communities, and between individuals. I believe this is one of the primary tasks of our Church. The work of the Church is inspired and often enabled at the national level, but is carried out by the dioceses, parishes, and individuals. I have worked at the parish level and individual level for most of my life. I believe I can bring a unique perspective of a person who has worked at the nuts and bolts of parish life and can still see the larger perspective at the diocesan and national levels. I feel I am well prepared and capable of reading, marking, learning, and inwardly digesting the issues and concerns that a deputy to Convention is expected to consider, and positively represent the Diocese of Los Angeles at Convention. I ask for your vote for Deputy to Convention.