Leadership for the Church- Rev Caroline Keenan


The first time someone encouraged me to think about ministry I was in middle school. Rev. Lee Griess took me to Camp Carol Joy Holling’s Camp IDEA. I hid in my room most of the weekend! I was a shy kid. 

When I was in high school I attended my first workcamp with my youth group in Seminole, Oklahoma. I turned sixteen on that trip and spent the week under the hot Oklahoma sun, repairing the roof, siding, and porch of a woman who gave me far more that week than I did in serving her. She gave me my life’s mission, though I didn’t know it at the time. 

It wasn’t until I arrived in Japan, firmly convinced I had left the church entirely, that ministry finally took hold as the calling. The Japanese pastors with the JELC continued to help me put language to the call to ministry, which is funny given that we were operating with a language barrier! They returned to me the faith and knowledge that our God is a God of love. I left with a simple four syllable phrase to define my life’s direction: Ke Ten Ai Jin. It means Revere God, Love People. 

Here in Hildreth they strongly believe in this primary command of our Lord. They are active in service ministry, raising money for seminarians, and growing crops to be sold for Growing Hope Globally, a food initiative. I am delighted to be called here to this space at this time. Dear church, our God is so good! Blessings to each and every one of you, from your family here in Hildreth!