SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Rev. Canon Ronald N. Pollock, pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Dec.17th.
Popularly known as Father Ron, he was ordained by Bishop Mellick Belshaw in 1994 and has been rector of St John’s since 1998, leading the congregation in growth and spiritual renewal.
“It continues to be the greatest privilege of my vocational life to walk alongside people coming from a rich variety of places.” Pollock said. “Helping to create partners in various kinds of ministry is very exciting to me. Creating community partners enables us to gain glimpses of heaven in serving all of God’s creation,” Pollock said.
He added, “Today I thank God for being able to serve Jesus Christ and the Church as a priest for 25 years. It is the greatest joy in my life to serve Jesus Christ and the Church."
In addition to his dedication to St John’s Rev. Pollock has demonstrated strong community involvement and has been active in the church and throughout the community, including with the Somerville Fire Department and as the Somerville 2017 Citizen of the Year.
Among his many activities:
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, or 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.
Rev. Pollock was also a member of the 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; Somerville Area Ministerial Association member since 1999, president, 2004; New Jersey Council of Churches, Board Member, 1994 to 2000; and Somerset Hills YMCA, 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; The Paul C. Harris Award for outstanding community leadership, June 2009; 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.
Rev. Pollock 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 attended the School of Social Work in Rutgers University.
St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 158 West High St. 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, a Clothes Closet, and a monthly Laundry Love, assisting those who are unable or cannot afford to clean their laundry.