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Joanne Epply-Schmidt ’82

For the first 10 years of Joanne’s ordained ministry, she served in parish ministry, specializing in the creation of innovative children’s and youth services for the Holy Days and major Feast Days of the Christian year.  The latter 10 or so years of her ministry focused on working with a secular non-profit as a professional Storyteller and teaching artist. Primarily in the NJ Youth Detention System she utilized the art of the oral tradition – storytelling – to engage incarcerated young people personally and intellectually with world folklore and great stories while by-passing the unfortunately inevitable problem of their often limited literacy. During that time she also performed and taught storytelling in private and public urban secondary schools, as well as seminaries and churches. Changes in the Juvenile Justice System brought her work to a close.

In this, the third decade of her ordained ministry, she has continued to serve her Diocese as a frequent supply priest in both short and long-term positions in over 40 parishes, including an appointment as Interim Episcopal Chaplain at Princeton University. She has continued with her ministry to the incarcerated, by serving with the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, the “Out the Box” Campaign, and Solitary Confinement awareness programs. Additionally, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Campus Ministry Foundation of the Diocese of New Jersey, Chair of the Campus Ministry Commission, which directly oversees the Episcopal Chaplaincies in NJ, and Governance Chair of the Board of The Bridge Academy of NJ, a school for bright children with complex learning disabilities. Her work as a storyteller, teacher, and performer continues to expand.  Most notably, she was commissioned by The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, NJ to create a six-part telling of the Passion narrative for their Good Friday Jazz and Blues service, which she has participated in for several years. Currently, she is on staff at Trinity Church in Princeton serving as Associate Rector for Care and Community, focusing on young families, community engagement, prison issues, preaching, and liturgical leadership.


Celebrating Strong, Feisty and Imaginative Women: Storytelling From International Folklore

Thursday, October 4

Women face challenges with intelligence and humor in delightful tales from the oral tradition.

Presented by Susan Danoff ’75, Joanne Epply-Schmidt ’82 and Tara McGowan ’90