Welcome The Rev. Van Gardner!
It is a joy to share with you that The Rev. Van Gardner has joined Good Shepherd, part-time as Pastoral Associate & Missioner for Outreach and Community Engagement. A long job-title, but one befitting his gifts and the ways in which he will contribute to the life of our community. As you can read from his bio (below) Van has a lifetime of experience as a priest in our diocese. It was a lunch meeting about seven years ago that led to our relationship with St. Luke's church in Baltimore and our support of the youth program, SLYC, that grew out of the life of that congregation. At Good Shepherd you will see Van on Sundays, sharing in leading worship. Van will be the clergy contact for outreach ministries and help us discern ways we invite the community into our church, and the ways we are being called out into the community to support our neighbors.
Please introduce yourself next time you see Van and welcome him into the Good Shepherd community.
The Very Rev. Van H. Gardner has served as Rector of St. Mark's on the Hill in Pikesville and, for 21 years, as Dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation. Van's ministry is focused on congregational growth and renewal, encouraging members to live into their baptismal promise to "seek and serve Christ in all people" by reaching out to others. He has a deep and lasting commitment to work for social and economic justice, empowering youth to live healthy and productive lives and developing strong, supportive communities. This commitment has led him to Chair the Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission, found the Baltimore Chidrens' Peace Center and create a ministry to migrant people called ERICA, (Episcopal Refugee Immigrant Center Alliance). He has served on the board of Paul's Place, New Song Urban Ministries, Sandtown Habitat for Humanity and others.
After his tenure at the Cathedral Van volunteered to become priest-in-Charge of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in West Baltimore helping to develop a ministry among inner-city youth which is now a non-profit called St. Luke's Youth Center, (SLYC). SLYC has partnered with the Church of the Good Shepherd to create a new and exciting initiative which includes hosting the annual Christmas Café and “Camp Imagination”. He will be working with Good Shepherd members to further develop this ministry as well as other opportunities to engage the wider community.
Van grew up in Baltimore. He loves living in the city, rooting for the Orioles (even when they are bad), eating steamed crabs and, as a true Baltimorean, believes that Old Bay seasoning can improve the taste of almost any dish. In the summer he enjoys fly fishing in Maine where he occasionally catches a trout and a glass of wine watching the sunset on the lake. Van and Kathy are soon to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.