Saturday, March 4, 2017


It was never my intention to work in the city of Plymouth. I have never experienced a sense of “calling” to the West suburbs of Minneapolis. It was not until speaking at Plymouth Creek Christian Church this last Summer that I learned that the Disciples of Christ even existed as a denomination. So, I am surprised to find myself as the lead pastor of a Disciples of Christ church in Plymouth, Minnesota. I am sure many of my new friends at PCCC might be surprised too.

But for me it has become more and more clear, while I may have had my own plans for 2017, the Lord has had something else in mind. In my arrogance when Deb Knight spoke with my wife, Kelly, about needing someone to speak at PCCC I thought I was doing a favor for my wife’s coworker. I was oblivious to the Lord’s orchestration of these events. Maybe Deb or Kelly had a sense of what God’s spirit was doing in this whole process, but I was in the dark.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
In their hearts, humans plan their course,
     but the Lord establishes their steps.

I have always prepared sermons hoping God will speak to people’s hearts through the thoughts that I share. Now I believe God was trying to speak to my heart by having me share at PCCC. God was doing a work in me when I hoped God would do a work through me. Funny how that works.

Six months ago I thought 2017 was going to be a year of testing my resolve, but March is here and 2017 appears to be a year that is going to test my ability to adapt.

Adaptation is an important trait of anything that wants to survive into the next season of life. As our oceans warm around the world, coral reefs are dying at an incredible rate. Some corals have proven resilient though as others die around them. They continue to multiply despite the new warm conditions. Scientists have even begun transplanting resilient corals to other reefs hoping to combat the large scale loss of life as these habitats die. Some corals have adapted, and many have not.

Plymouth Creek Christian Church wasn’t planning for a lot of the struggle it has faced in the past years. But look how much has happened. For over a year without a pastor, the church held services, celebrated communion weekly, visited and prayed for those in need, cleaned and remodeled a building facing so many problems, hired a new pastor, and many more great things I’m sure I don’t know about. This resiliency, this ability to adapt, is what kept PCCC healthy.

I need to adapt by learning all about Plymouth Creek Christian Church. I need to learn the history, values, leadership structure, denominational structure, and most importantly the names and stories of every person who calls Plymouth Creek their church. I need to learn about the city of Plymouth and find out what God is already doing there.

The Lord has been with each of us on our journeys, and now the Lord has brought us together. It has come as a surprise to me, but I am so pleased with the work we have ahead of us as a church.

Mark Keeler
Plymouth Creek Christian Church Pastor
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