TRENTON, NJ - Congregants, friends and family attended services Monday as Rev. Ronald N. Pollock, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Somerville, was named an honorary Canon of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Trenton, in honor of his dedication to the Episcopal Church and congregation along with his community involvement and special ministries.

The honor was bestowed by Bishop William “Chip” Stokes of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey at a special service on May 5 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

"Today I was officially made an Honorary Canon of Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, NJ, Pollock posted on his Facebook page. "My family, friends, parishioners from the parish I grew up in, my current parish and lots of Somerville community folks attended the service and for that I am profoundly grateful ! Thank you Bishop Chip Stoles and The Diocese of NJ."

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Known to all as Father Ron, Pollock has been active in the church and throughout the community, including the Somerville Fire Department; former Mayor Brian Gallagher honored Pollock as the Somerville 2017 Citizen of the Year.

“As a result of being recognized and made an honorary Canon of Trinity Cathedral, I am filled with an ever-deepening sense of gratitude for the countless ways I have been honored to serve in various capacities as a priest, pastor and friend in the life of the Church, the local community, and in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey,” Pollock said last week. “When you honor me, you honor my parents, my family and friends, the many influential people in my life and, of course the churches and people I have been honored to serve alongside of over my 24 years of ordained ministry.” 

“Father Ron is the consummate parish priest,” Stokes said. “He loves the Lord, he loves the Lord’s people entrusted to his care, he represents the love of Christ in the wider community he serves.  This is made most clear in Ron’s longtime service as a chaplain for the Fire Department.  He is a solid cheerleader and supporter for the mission and ministry of the Diocese of New Jersey and its bishops.  He has served exceptionally as a member and president of the Standing Committee of the Diocese.  His being named an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral is both well-earned and well-deserved.”

Pollock was ordained a priest in December 1994 at St John on the Mountain Episcopal Church in Bernardsville and has been rector of St. John’s since September 1998.

In the Episcopal Church, St. John’s and the diocese, Pollock currently serves or has served on many committees including: three years as president of the Diocesan Standing Committee; member and co-chair for two terms on the Episcopal Election Committee; member, Search Committee for a new Dean of Trinity Cathedral; Dean of the Watchung Convocation, which includes churches along the Route 22 corridor from Plainfield to Lebanon; assisted in the development and implementation of the From The Heart Thrift Shop, which awarded $95,000 to non-profit agencies in Somerset County and surrounding areas for 13 years; assisted in the development and implementation of a new monthly ministry, Laundry Love, which helps people who might not be able to afford, are unable, to do their own laundry.   

In the community, Pollock has served as the chaplain to the Somerville Fire Department since 1999; a member of the Somerset County Office on Aging, appointed by Board of Chosen Freeholders; member, Somerset Treatment Services 2013-2018, Board President from 2016-2018; member, Interfaith Community Action Network, 2018 to present; member, Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition since 2001 and board member of the Somerville Senior Citizens since 2018.

He is also was  member of Somerset County Curbing Hunger Board (Somerset County Food Bank), 2007-2009; member, Chaplaincy to the Elderly, Board of Directors, 2011-2014;  Somerset County Jail Chaplaincy Board, Board of Directors, 2000 to 2002; S.H.I.P. (Samaritan Homeless Interim Program) Board of Directors, 1999 to present; S.A.M.A. (Somerville Area Ministerial Association) member since 1999, past president, 2005; New Jersey Council of Churches, Board Member, 1994 to 2000; and Somerset Hills Y.M.C.A., Board of Directors, 1995 to 1998.

Among his awards and honors, he received the Borough of Somerville 2017 Citizen of the Year Award; the Spirit of Somerset Award, for valuable contributions to the quality of life in Somerset County in the area of volunteerism, Somerset Treatment Services in 2012; the  Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition Diversity Award, Faith Community, 2009 and the Paul C. Harris Award for outstanding community leadership, June 2009.

Also, a Certificate of Appreciation, Somerset County, Guns Buy Back Program, 2013; Commendations from State of NJ, Senate and General Assembly Joint Legislative Resolution for Ecumenical work and organizing interfaith vigil in solidarity with Jewish Community, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019; commendation from State of NJ, Senate and General Assembly Joint Legislative Resolution for hosting Appreciation Day for all first and community responders.

He holds a Master of Divinity from The General Theological Seminary, NY; a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with a minor in psychology from Elon College, NC; a certificate in The Bible and its Setting from St. George’s College, Jerusalem; and he attended the School of Social Work in Rutgers University.

St. John’s Episcopal Church , under the spiritual direction of Pollock, is located at 158 West High St. in Somerville. St. John’s is handicapped accessible.  Ample parking is available in the church lot behind the church or on the street.

At St. John’s, weekly Sunday services are conducted at 8 am and 10:15 am with music. St. John’s offers Sunday School every Sunday at 10:15 am preceded by “Children’s Chapel” at 10 am which features the rector offering a brief children’s message. Among its many programs, St. John’s hosts the SHIP's Galley Soup Kitchen three days a week and a monthly Laundry Love, assisting those who are unable or cannot afford to clean their laundry. www.stjohnsomerville.org.