As rector of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross, Fr. John Shimchick participates in the life of our parish as well as organizations dedicated to the work and theology of the church. He was ordained to the priesthood, in 1986, for ministry at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross. Fr. John grew up as part of an Orthodox family in New Britain, Connecticut and attended the Pre-Theological Program at St. Vladimir's Seminary. This allowed him while living at the Seminary to pursue music studies at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, graduating in 1976. In the midst of completing a Master of Divinity at St. Vladimir's he spent a year (1978-79) working in Old Harbor, Alaska, a small native village on the south side of Kodiak Island. He graduated from St. Vladimir's in 1980 having written a thesis under the direction of Fr. Alexander Schmemann examining the opinions of Russian Orthodox bishops in 1905 on the matter of liturgical reform.
Prior to coming to our church, from 1980 to 1986 he served as a choir director at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church, Binghamton, NY.
Between 1990-2018, Fr. John served as editor of the Orthodox Church in America's New York-New Jersey Diocesan publication, Jacob's Well (now known as the Diocese of Washington and New York). In 1999 he completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at St. Vladimir's Seminary, presenting a thesis on the spiritual and pastoral value of stories. Between 2004-2007, he participated in the Pastor-Theologian Program, a national and ecumenical study group sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton and endowed by the Lilly Foundation. Fr. John is one of only two Orthodox participants in the history of the program.
Fr. John is deeply interested in questions which integrate or challenge the integration of Christianity and culture. He is also concerned with the pastoral and spiritual realities of encouraging the knowledge and love of the Holy Scriptures and the celebration of a vibrant and meaningful liturgical life.
He and his wife, Barbara, live in Cherry Hill, NJ and have five children and one grandchild.
Fr. John and Family
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