The Reverend Canon John McDowell
Who is Papa John?
A PASTOR who listens with gentleness and sensitivity, caring deeply and lovingly for all people, and committed to helping us minister both to each other and the wider community, with an ever growing measure of God's love.
PREACHER & LITURGICAL LEADER who strives in his sermons to elicit both an intellectual and emotional response that leads to people choosing to take another step toward participation in the Kingdom. Sermons are rooted in the Bible, experiences of members of the congregation, and contemporary issues.
EDUCATOR who challenges, supports and hones souls. For thirteen years the instructor for a Diocesan course for those who felt a call to ministry, he both directed and mentored both lay and clergy internships.
ADMINISTRATOR who for thirteen years oversaw the Diocesan budget, staff of ten, and trust portfolio. More important, “I am concerned for people. I seek to have us look at the gifts we have, the challenges before us, and -- looking ten or more years down the road – and intentionally addressing the issues that lurk ahead.”
OUTREACH LEADER who believes that all of our hopes, dreams, pastoral and prophetic intimations must find effective, concrete expressions of ministry to and with all people – and especially those who are poor, needy, and marginalized. Usually this is most effectively accomplished in collaboration with others of good will in an area.
His academic preparation included: the Milton Hershey School, Hershey (1960), Dickinson College, Carlisle, BA (1964), Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria VA, M.Div. (1971), and Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg, PA (1980-1982, D.Min. studies).
As an Episcopal priest he has served at: Christ Church, Winchester VA (’68-’69); Chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital, Houston TX (’69-’70); St. Patrick’s, Washington DC (’70-’71); Emmanuel, Southern Pines, NC (’71-’71); Prince of Peace, Gettysburg, PA (’73-’82); Canon to the Ordinary, Central PA (’82-’95); St. James the Less, Ashland, VA (’96-’06); Gettysburg, PA (Interim: 2007); and All Saints’, Hershey PA (Interim: ’08-’09).
And now with the Churches on the Mountain since October 2010.
Of course one cannot mention Father John without thinking of his beautiful wife, Hatty. They have been happily married for 42 years, have three lovely daughters and six super grandchildren!