[The Episcopal News] Bishop John Harvey Taylor named three honorary canons during the Friday night dinner at Diocesan Convention, held Nov. 10 – 11 at the Riverside Convention Center.
The three honorees are: Canon Linda Allport, dean of Bloy House; Canon Urla Gomes, retiring CEO of the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union; and the Rev. Canon Gary Bradley, retired rector of Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel.
The title of “canon” originally was used for members of the clergy at a cathedral, and for key advisors to the bishop of a diocese. Today it is used to honor people – both clergy and lay – who have given outstanding service to the church.
Canon Linda S. Allport
The first layperson to serve as dean of Bloy House (The Episcopal Theological School, Los Angeles), Linda Allport had a long career the included project leadership, team management, teaching, curriculum design, group facilitation and innovative computer technology, plus a passion for lay education and volunteer service. She is a member of the diocese’s Commission on Ministry, and has been a ministry partner with Episcopal Relief & Development. She is a member of St. John Chrysostom Church, Rancho Santa Margarita, where she has been an adult educator, lay preacher, retreat leader, outreach minister and more.
The Rev. Canon Gary Bradley
Retired rector of Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel (2011 – 2018), Bradley previously was vicar of Emmanuel Church, El Monte, a bilingual (Spanish-English) congregation that hosts Our Saviour Center, an outreach ministry to families and residents of that area. He was a board member and strategic advisor for the Li Tim Oi Center, the diocese’s Chinese-language leadership training program. He has also served at Trinity Church, East Hollywood, and All Saints, Pasadena. Currently he is priest-in-charge of St. Richard of Chichester Church, Sky Forest (near Lake Arrowhead.) He “is well known and loved for his wisdom, kindness, humility, courageous leadership, voice for social justice, and servant-spirit in ministry,” Taylor said when presenting Bradley as a canon.
Canon Urla Gomes
Urla Gomes recently retired for the second time as CEO of the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union after a long tenure that began in 1994. During that time she built up the institution – founded after the 1992 civil unrest following the Rodney King beating verdict – to a multimillion-dollar entity that provides banking services to people who are often overlooked by other financial institutions, as well as many Episcopalians and others who support its work with their deposits, loan payments and more. Born in Guyana, Gomes graduated from the Pepperdine University School of Business, and worked for many years at Bank of American and Sanwa Bank, where she became a vice president and branch manager. During the Convention session on Saturday, she introduced her successor as CEO, Johnny Lee.