Bishop John Harvey Taylor named four new honorary canons of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul on Nov. 30 during the newly reinstated convention dinner during the annual meeting at the Ontario Convention Center.
Taylor honored the Rev. Linda Pederson and her husband Dennis of St. John’s San Bernardino, where she is vicar of the congregation and founder of St. John’s Success Center, where volunteers provide people of all ages a place for lifelong learning with education support. It includes a homework center, as well as “Safe Space,” where children are invited to come in a try new ideas.
Dennis Pederson, a retired Cal State San Bernardino professor, has long been a principal volunteer at The Vicar’s Pantry at St. John’s, which distributes food each Wednesday. “You see here the model of ministry that inspires us all and serves our whole diocesan family by virtue of its sacredness,” said Taylor as he called the couple to the podium to receive their certificates and the special cross that is awarded to all honorary canons.
The next honoree was the Rev. Julie Morris, director of The Abundant Table, a farm ministry that Morris founded in 2004 as part of her campus ministry at Cal State Channel Islands. The program, focuses on food and the production of food as ministry. Taylor described The Abundant Table as a unique program that “combines service and worship, advocacy and justice. It is totally next-level, 21st-century ministry. There’s a lot in our diocese that looks like the future, but Julie and her colleagues have brought something special and unique to the northern part of our diocese.”
Taylor also cited Morris’ role as “dedicated priest and pastor, someone who is always set to go into action when the people of God require it. When the horrifying news from the Borderline Bar and Grille first came in, Julie heard it on television, put her clericals on, grabbed her hospital pass – she was on her way to Las Robles Hospital, and the pass was for St. John’s, but she knew the Holy Spirit would get her in. And that whole terrible night she ministered to family members and friends of those who had paid the ultimate price of the toxic anger that brought that devastation.”
The fourth new canon is Andy Tomat, who has served the diocese as treasurer for the past year. Taylor lauded Tomat as a “ financial wizard” who has served three congregations of the diocese as treasurer. “He distinguished himself years ago as someone who cheerfully and readily was willing to help churches grapple with their own financial challenges,” said Taylor, also noting Tomat’s role as a member of the Corp Sole committee that has studied the corporation’s history and advised the bishop as to its future. In addition, Taylor said, This year, as a volunteer member of Bishop Bruce’s extraordinary financial triad [with the Rev. Michele Racusin, the diocese’s chief financial officer], he has devoted hundreds and hundreds of hours to our new approach to the budget and finance of the Diocese of Los Angeles.”
The dinner concluded with music presented by Catherine Cash, violin, and the Rev. Norman Freeman, vibraphone.