An Announcement from the Bishop: The Rev. Joanne Izzo Begins Her Ministry as Interim Canon to the Ordinary and Transition’s Officer


As of Sunday May 1, Canon Izzo has assumed the responsibilities of Canon to the Ordinary and Transitions Officer.  I am grateful that Acting Transition Officer Rhonda Jackson, who has served us all faithfully and well for the past year, will continue in her role during the month of May to help bring Canon Izzo on-board and to assure a smooth and orderly handover of all open processes.  Effective June 1, Rev. Izzo will assume full responsibilities for both the Canon to the Ordinary and Transitions Officer positions.

Canon Izzo’s expertise and experience have already served us well in the Diocese of New Jersey.  Since 2016, she has worked as special consultant at my request to address a variety of challenging vestry/clergy/congregational matters within the diocese.  A graduate of Fordham University, Canon Izzo has earned an M.SW. in Clinical Social Work from New York University in 1990, a Master of Divinity/Theology from St. John’s University in 2000 and Master of Sacred Theology from The General Theological Seminary in 2014.  She was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev A. M. Dietsche bishop of New York in 2014.  She brings to the Diocese of New Jersey impeccable credentials, a passion to serve the people of God, and a deep love of Jesus.

Prior to her ordination Canon Izzo was employed for nearly 20 years in a VA health care setting as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in trauma. She was also clinical supervisor and coordinator of their graduate training program. In her role as clinical supervisor, she exercised managerial tasks and visionary leadership promoting adaptive change during transitions, as well as addressing workplace disputes and resolution.

In her ordained ministry she has served racially and ethnically diverse family, pastoral, and program size congregations in New York and Long Island.  These have included both urban and suburban settings.   She has experience with multi-ethnic, multi-lingual congregations having once served an Anglo-Latino congregation that successfully became one congregation with two languages.  Together, the members of this united congregation engaged in a passionate joint ministry, serving children who had crossed the southern border and were relocated to the New York region for 30 days.

Canon Izzo is a certified Interim Minister having trained with The Rev. Dr. Rob Voyle, Director of the highly regarded Clergy Leadership Institute.  At his invitation, Canon Izzo co-led a “one year just in time” clergy consultation group. While in the Diocese of New York she convened a group of clergy and lay representatives of six congregations to address racism in the wider community.  This group continues to serve the community to the present day. She has served on the Anti-Racism Committee in the Diocese of New York.  Having received training through the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, she has been engaged as a consultant in different church contexts to: work with parties in conflict and help resolve them; effect reconciliation in imperiled pastoral relationships; help the healing process in churches whose clergy engaged in “conduct unbecoming a clergy person.”

Canon Izzo has facilitated leadership and strategic planning processes in the Episcopal Dioceses of New York, Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has has trained facilitators in the Dioceses of New York and Long Island to be transition process leaders and facilitators of mutual ministry review processes.  She initiated “Company of Preachers”- a women clergy group who gather weekly and work together in sermon preparation for the upcoming Sunday.

Canon Izzo comes to the Diocese of New Jersey with a desire to support the formation and growth of disciples, and a commitment to be an active and supportive presence for clergy and congregations in transitions. A native Brooklynite, she values relationships, is a champion of the mercy of God revealed in reconciliation and healing, and delights in how the Holy Spirit makes matches between clergy and congregations in transition. As she states herself, she is “in awe of how the Spirit grows the faith community through the mutual ministry of clergy and congregation.”  Her approach to ministry is informed by a contemplative stance of listening, observing, being curious and asking questions.

I hope you recognize with me that we are blessed to have this extraordinarily qualified and gifted person to serve us during this time of episcopal transition.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Bishop Stokes's Signature

The Right Reverend William H. Stokes

Bishop of New Jersey