The McGowan House is c alled to be a sanctuary and a base community for the
McGowan House, which serves as the parish hall for Saint James, was built in 1918 by by John Garragues from Pasadena to serve as a West Coast summer retreat for members of the United Lodge of Theosophists. It was sold as a private residence in 1946 following an earlier sub-division of the original property. In 1954 the house and land were purchased by the Episcopal Diocese of California to provide a new home for the expanding Saint James Episcopal Church.
The McGowan House Center was incorporated as a 501-3c non-profit corporation in 2003, but the house itself has served as an important community center the past fifty years. McGowan House has served as a "home away from home" for those serving at the nearby Presidio, a Community Thrift Shop, a Volunteer Center, a home for education for young people with developmental disabilities, a center for language training for immigrants from Central America, and a venue for countless community organizations.
Currently there are over twenty-five "12 Step" groups, offering help for relational, behavioral, and substance addictions, which meet at the Center each week. These groups include the Sunrise Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the longest continuously functioning AA groups in Monterey County, a women’s AA group, three AA groups especially focussed on recovery for the gay and lesbian community, and an "elders in sobriety" group. We have al-anon groups, Nar-anon groups, GA, SLAA, and CoDA.
The Monterey Peninsula Friends of CG Jung use the McGowan House for their dream group, Thursday night seminars, and as a venue for other events from time to time. the discussions can crackle, so be prepared to think and defend and be changed if that's what's meant to happen.
Saint James also hosts a "Brown Bag Zen" meditation with discussion on Fridays from noon to 1:15, as well as other groups pursuing meditation as a spiritual practice.nd recovery. The "Image Makers" photography group meets at McGowan House twice a month, and we have an artist (Lucas Blok) with a studio in our attic
Through all of this Saint James and the McGowan House lives to fulfill the call to be a sanctuary and a base community for the care of the soul of Monterey.