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Michael Gardner
Kansas City
Pastor, husband, father, musician, cappuccino lover
Interests: I am passionate about so many things, but none more than living as a contagiously joyous, authentic follower of Jesus Christ. I love my wife and family and friends. I also like old cars and vintage guitars, art, travel, classical music and classic rock, coffeehouses and conversation, iPads, iPhones, iPods, iMacs, pretty much iAnythings, unplanned moments, and people - oh I love people, yes I do.
Recent Activity
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Dear Grandpa! Baseball is back in Kansas City! And in a big way. I know it is hard to believe - but for the second time in my life, our Kansas City baseball team won the World Series. That's right, the best in baseball - the 2015 World Series Champs!... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at Old Mission / New Vision
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In a recent sermon series, I referred extensively to David Brooks’ new book, The Road to Character. Brooks is not religious; he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Times, and an analyst of our time. I first became acquainted with his ideas through a TED talk he delivered... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2015 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Anyone who has ever heard me preach knows that I love sports. So when I used a story recently from the baseball movie, “Moneyball,” no one was particularly surprised. In response, a friend said this: “Gardner, just what is it with you and baseball?” She had a point, of course.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Super Bowl XLIX was an interesting game of football. It was a study in contrasts between the slow relentless offense of the Patriots and the big bursts of speed and relatively few huge yardage plays by the Seahawks. The score was close and the pace exciting. But and at the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Kansas City is my hometown. So, I have lots of friends, some of them pastors, who are sports fans like me. Our moods rise and fall with the fate of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. And this has been a banner year to be a Royals... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Rachel Held Evans is one of my favorite bloggers. She first came to national prominence with the publication of her second book, but her first best-seller, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Her best-seller’s subtitle reveals her capacity to navigate difficult topics with humor – “How a Liberated Woman Found Herself... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Have you ever been on overload, and wanted to run way? Or, have you ever felt abandoned, even by God? Have you ever had a hard time finding God’s direction? If so, the story of Elijah as recorded in I Kings 19:9-18 may have a word for you. With the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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I am proud to be a citizen of this great nation. And I come from a family that loved this country. My father and his brothers all served in World War II. So did my father-in-law, who was a retired Army Air Corps and later Air Force Major. When the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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To be a father is a high calling. And I am not just talking about being a biological contributor. I am talking about the often joyous and sometimes heart-breaking journey with children from birth to adulthood and beyond. I am grateful and humbled to have had the high privilege of... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Holy week, Passover, and Easter in the Kansas City Area were punctuated by a senseless act of violence at the Jewish Community Center and Shalom Village Retirement Home on Palm Sunday afternoon. Two adults and a youth were shot and killed. The police have appropriately classified the shooting as a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Every Easter season, preachers like me try to find a new way to tell an old, old story. It’s not as if we have to look too hard to find a text on which to base the Easter message. There’s a whole palate of Easter scenes in the Gospels. But... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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The Church where I serve as Senior Pastor, Old Mission United Methodist Church, has a deep connection with Wesleyan theology and the Methodist movement. Its name, Old Mission, comes neither from the congregation being "old," nor that it is a "mission church." As for being old, we are blessed to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Last week I was writing liturgy for the traditional services at the Church I serve, and praying over Jeremiah 29:13, my sermon text for the week. It says: "When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart." In my mind and heart,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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It's a full two weeks after New Year's Day, and 2014 is in full swing. I know people who make a concerted effort every year to make resolutions for the new year. Most have to do with getting more exercise, losing some weight, doing some things on their "bucket list"... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Howard Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. He also was Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, author of twenty-one books, and helped found a multicultural and multiracial church. His influence was profound. My Christmas expeiences... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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An Old Mission Christmas This Sunday at the Church I serve, we are all about the music of the Christmas season. Let me explain. Like many larger congregations, we have multiple worship services with different styles of music and expression. We have both very traditional and very contemporary worship services.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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"In Terris, Pax" "...on earth, peace!" This is the prayer of mortals and angels, since Luke 2:14, and long before. And a second prayer is like it. Good will towards all people. I confess that these two prayers voiced by the hosts of heaven in the Christmas gospel are still... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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When my wife Ann was still in college, finishing her music degree at Baker University, she returned home from touring with the Baker Choir to a relieved husband and family. So, I gave her the gift which appears to the left. That's right, deep romantic soul that I am, I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Bring on the red! I have been a Kansas City Chiefs fan since the franchise started in the sixties. After all, I am a Kansas City boy! My childhood heroes were Buck Buchanan, Jan Stenerud, Willie Lanier, and Lenny Dawson. The days since those Super Bowl glory days have not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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Twelve years after 9-11, we still remember. I still remember. And I also remember other times. I was a student at George B. Longan Elementary School in Kansas City when I heard the news that President Kennedy was shot. Most us who were alive then will always remember where we... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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My heart is heavy this afternoon. The news of violence and chemical weapons in Syria is terrifying. Children being victimized is even more terrifying. The prospect of an impending response by the United States is also scary. Not responding is also fearful to me. We live in such a violent... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" That's the powerful question asked by the amazing poet Mary Oliver at the end of her poem, “The Summer Day.” So, it is a summer day today (albeit a rainy one.) For many students... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
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“Lions and tigers and bears? Oh, my!” This quotation from Dorothy in the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” pretty accurately describes the start of school for many. In the film, Dorothy, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion are in the "Spooky Forest," wrestling with their imagined fears... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Old Mission / New Vision
Thanks Kathy!
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2013 on Thirty-five years! at Old Mission / New Vision
Thanks Dawn and Gene!
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2013 on Thirty-five years! at Old Mission / New Vision