Who We Are

Members and friends of Grace come from the Philippines, India, Nigeria, Nebraska, two blocks away and everywhere between. We have plenty of LGTB folks, singles, nuclear and other kinds of families.  There are lots of babies at Grace and plenty of children.

Some of us have conservative religious backgrounds, some of us have progressive religious backgrounds and some of us have none. We are very recognizable as an Episcopal Church in the way we worship, but we have an evangelical joy about the Good News of God in Christ.


Every Sunday we come to Jesus’ table with our hands out and our hearts and minds open.  We practice loving each other because Jesus said that the world will know we’re his because of our love.  We also know that we can’t do life alone, even though many of us have tried and failed.  Besides, life alone isn’t fun, but with Grace, it is!

What We Believe
We believe in Jesus.  Our longing for him brings us here and makes us family.  We don’t all believe the same things about Jesus, but we do find Jesus present, just like he promised, every time we break bread, study scripture together, visit someone who is sick, imprisoned, or make breakfast for our hungry neighbors. 

Our Staff


Rev Laurie Wurm


The Reverend Laurie Jean Wurm has been the Rector of Grace Church Van Vorst since 2013.  Prior to 2013 she was the Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boonton for five years during which time she was also the President of an after school program for low income children and helped to spearhead a store front ministry on the town’s Main Street.  
For fifteen years Rev. Laurie was the Missioner and then Priest Associate at All Saints Episcopal Church in Hoboken where she was instrumental in founding and became the first Director of The Jubilee Center which offers the only after school and summer programing for children in the Hoboken’s public housing neighborhood.  
Rev. Laurie is the President of Grace Community Services which provides meals to food insecure and homeless people and health and wellness programming to seniors.  She is also the President of Family Promise of Hudson County, the only program in Jersey City that offers temporary housing to homeless families including adult men.  She is an active member of Jersey City Together, a coalition of over thirty congregations and neighborhood groups that work together on issues of social justice on a local and state-wide level.
Rev. Laurie and her wife Rosemary McLaughlin have been married since 1993 and have two children, John and Lucy.    
Rev Laurie's blog can be found HERE.

Music Director:

Colin Britt


Colin holds degrees from The Hartt School, the Yale School of Music, and Rutgers University. He has served as music director for Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School and assistant music director at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT. In addition to his work at Grace Church, he is the choir director at Rutgers Preparatory School and the artistic director and conductor of the West Village Chorale in New York City.
Associate Pastor:
Brother John-Henry Ernestine, BSG
I have been a member of the Brotherhood of St Gregory, a recognized Religious Community in the Episcopal Church since 1999. I took my Life Vows as a
Religious Brother in 2007.  
I am a husband, father, and grandfather. I came to Grace Church in 2017 and was invited to serve as Associate Minister alongside the people in the multiple ministries of the parish and community. 

Parish Administrator:

Tom Rankin


Jersey City Church Connections:

Grace Church has been worshiping with St Matthew's Lutheran during the current health crisis.

St Matt's also works with us by providing volunteers to our Breakfast Plus program and in helping to provide Christmas dinner to guests of Grace Community Services.

Check out St Matt's new website: www.stmatthewsjc.net

Grace Church collaborates with The Church of St Paul and Incarnation in ministry through a nonprofit called Episcopal Jersey City. Their website is: www.stpaulsjc.org

Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |  office@gracevanvorst.org