The Rev. Deacon Trisha Thorme Named First ECS-NJ Executive Director

The Rt. Rev. William “Chip” Stokes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, has named the Rev. Deacon Trisha Thorme as the first executive director of Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of New Jersey (ECS-NJ).

“I am thrilled that Deacon Trisha Thorme has agreed to serve as the first Director of Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of New Jersey (ECS-NJ),” commented Bishop Stokes.  “Trisha’s faithfulness and commitment to the servant ministry of Jesus Christ is evidenced in how she has lived into her orders as a deacon since 2015.  Her qualifications and extensive background in community-based outreach and research make her the ideal first director for ECS-NJ which, though still in its early development, is already making a huge impact on our diocesan life; engaging us at the intersection of human need and social justice. Deacon Trisha understands this intersection and the challenges it presents.”

In this newly created role, Thorme will lead the efforts of this innovative initiative that focuses on proactively addressing human needs, such as food and shelter, and relentlessly working against both social and racial injustice.

“I’m excited about the work of Episcopal Community Services and honored to be appointed to this role,” Thorme commented.  “I’ve spent my career to this point helping people get access to the resources and information they need to address human needs and tackle injustice, and through ECS we’ll do that while building up the Body of Christ together.”

ECS-NJ was established by Bishop Stokes in 2020 to help meet human needs and to address the underlying issues of social injustice that give rise to those needs. ECS-NJ helps expand congregational capacity to achieve those goals by providing financial, logistical, and networking support.

Since its inauguration a short time ago, ECS-NJ has raised more than $500,000 thanks to the generosity of the people and congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey. In its first granting cycle, ECS-NJ has bestowed 10 grants totaling $117,000.  The second granting cycle begins in March.

Meet Deacon Trisha Thorme

A resident of Montgomery, Thorme has been the director, assistant director, and coordinator of the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship/Community-Based Learning Initiative at Princeton University. In this role, since 2000 Thorme has facilitated academic-community collaborations involving students, faculty members, and community organizations in hundreds of courses and on a variety of issues. Prior to that, she was the Community Outreach Center Coordinator at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

“In her work with Princeton University’s Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship for the past 20 years, she is passionate about service, bridge-building, and using knowledge for social change,” noted the Rev. Canon Joan Mason, co-chair of the ECS-NJ Advisory Council.  “Trisha brings professional experience in grant-making, capacity-building, and facilitation and team building.”

A deacon at Holy Apostles in Yardville, Thorme was ordained a deacon by Bishop Stokes in 2015. In addition to serving with the chaplaincy at Princeton University, she is a deputy for the Diocese of New Jersey to General Convention and currently is a member of the Bishop’s Search and Nominations Committee. She also serves on the Soles for the Harvest (Jubilee) race committee.

A much-in-demand presenter, Thorme has been widely published in national and international professional and scholarly journals. She has served and continues to serve on the many social services boards in a leadership role including the Millennium Development Goals Task Force and chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Task Force.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s from Cornell University. She was a Fellow in the People, Climate, and Environment Program at the University of Wisconsin.

Thorme will assume her new post in June 2022.

Bishop Stokes concluded, “Deacon Trisha has the experience, wisdom, and skill to help us all face and meet challenges. Episcopal Community Services-NJ and the Diocese of New Jersey are richly blessed that this enormously capable person will be leading the organization.”