Bishop J. Jon Bruno announced on Jan. 28 that the Corporation of the Diocese has elected the Rev. Kirby Smith, vicar of St. Luke’s of-the-Mountains, La Crescenta, as treasurer of the diocese, and that he has appointed the Rev. James Prendergast of St. James’ Church, South Pasadena, as chancellor of the diocese. He also announced that Julie Dean Larsen of Faith Church, Laguna Niguel, has accepted his appointment as vice chancellor.

The bishop made the announcement in a letter sent to clergy and lay leaders. The full text of his letter and biographies of the new treasurer, chancellor and vice chancellor are below.

Smith succeeds previous treasurer Larry Sawyer, a member of St. Clement’s Church, San Clemente, who retired at the end of 2014 after serving for eight years. Prendergast succeeds John Shiner of St. Matthew’s Church, Pacific Palisades, who has retired after more than a decade as chancellor.

The chancellor and vice chancellors oversee legal matters for the diocese.


To the Diocesan Community:

Dear Friends,

The Diocese of Los Angeles is fortunate to have the expertise of a new Treasurer, Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. As you may know, the Rev. Kirby Smith, new vicar of St. Luke’s of-the-Mountains, La Crescenta, was elected Treasurer by the Corporation of the Diocese, and today I have the pleasure of announcing my appointments of the Rev. Dr. James Prendergast of St. James’, South Pasadena, as Chancellor and Julie Dean Larsen of Faith Church, Laguna Niguel, as a Vice Chancellor, joining Canon Richard Zevnik of St. Michael and All Angels, Corona del Mar, who continues his service as a Vice Chancellor. Biographical information of the new officers follows here. Please join me in welcoming these dedicated individuals to their new areas of service, and may we each continue in faithfulness as Christ’s hands and heart in the world around us.

Together in Christ,
+J. Jon Bruno

The Rev. Kirby Smith is an experienced financial professional and vicar of St. Luke’s of-the-Mountains Church in La Crescenta. Previously he was vicar at Faith Episcopal Church, Laguna Niguel, where he increased pledging 24% during his first year. Earlier he was associate vicar of St. Luke’s-of-the-Mountains, where he aided the vicar in re-starting the congregation and acted as primary office administrator, establishing new policies and procedures. He was also associate rector of Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre, and liturgical coordinator and interim registrar at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont. As an independent contractor he served as administrator/controller of All Saints Church, Pasadena. Prior to ordination he was an active parishioner of St. James’ in the City, Los Angeles, serving on the vestry and as treasurer, high school youth leader, stewardship, inclusiveness committee and choir member.  He was treasurer of Holy Family Services Adoption and Foster Care, Diocese of Los Angeles, 2011-2014 and financial manager of the Children’s Council of Los Angeles County, 2007-2012. Supervised the dissolution of the corporation due to cutbacks in governmental funding. His experience includes developing cost-saving ideas and detection of employee fraud at two non-profits, where he implemented new procedures to prevent a recurrence. He has held various staff and line positions in banks and analyst in a U.S. government regulatory agency, 1983-1997, including assistant trading portfolio manager, commercial lending, sales and marketing. He served the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, military intelligence, in Ansbach, Germany. In addition to an MBA (1983, finance and planning emphasis) from the University of San Diego, he holds a master of divinity degree (2009) from the Claremont School of Theology, a diploma in theology from Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (2008), and a BA (cum laude, 1976) in philology of French and German from Vanderbilt University.

The Rev. Dr. James D. Prendergast is a priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles, assisting at St. James, South Pasadena. He is also senior vice president and general counsel of the Uniform Commercial Code Division of First American Title Insurance Company. He is past co-chair of the ABA Joint Task Force on Filing Office Operations and Search Logic; an official observer to the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee on Manufactured Housing; an official observer to the American Law Institute/Uniform Law Commission Review Committee on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code; a fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers; past co-chair of the Programs Subcommittee of the Commercial Finance Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association; past president of the Financial Lawyers Conference; past chair of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association; a former member of the UCC  Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California; and adjunct professor of commercial law at Loyola of Los Angeles Law School. He holds a BA and MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MAT from Fuller Theological Seminary, a LLM from the University of Cardiff, Wales, and a JD from Hastings College of the Law. He also served recently as a vice chancellor of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Julie Dean Larsen is a member of Faith Church, Laguna Niguel, and an elected director of the Corporation of the Diocese of Los Angeles. She is also a senior partner of Kutak Rock LLP, a national law firm, where she represents the interests of, and provides counsel to, insurance companies and corporations in the United States and Europe. She has taught at numerous American Conference Institute and Defense Research Institute conferences on risk management and valuation topics, including the use of decision tree analysis and statistical methods used in discrimination class actions. She is a past director of the Camp Fire Girls of Los Angeles, chair of the Brownell-Talbot School annual campaign and member of the disciplinary committee of the Diocese of Los Angeles. She is currently the president of the Beacon Hill Planned Community Association of Laguna Niguel and member of the Financial Committee of the Mission Viejo Country Club. She holds a BA and JD from the University of Nebraska, where she attended as a Regents’ Scholar throughout. She clerked for the Honorable John T. Grant of the Nebraska Supreme Court. She is admitted to practice in California and Nebraska, the Central District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit), the U.S. District Court (District of Nebraska), and the U.S. District Courts (Central and Southern District, California).