Robert Keefer joined PCM on June 1, 2013.  "Pastor Bob" received his BA degree from Dartmouth College on June 10, 1979, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.  His major course of study was Spanish Language and Literature.  He received his Master of Divinity on June 2, 1982 from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his PhD from Union Institute and University on July 31, 2006.  Bob enjoys singing, acting, and running as some of his main recreational activities.

Robert Keefer

Sermon for February 7: Hallelujah, Anyhow

Robert Keefer - Hallelujah, Anyhow

​ Hallelujah, Anyhow Transfiguration; February 7, 2016 Habakkuk 3 When I was a young minister on the staff of my seminary, I was often called on to lead the communion service in our chapel. I would do the communion and one of our students would preach the sermon. One preacher who stands out for me was a young woman studying to be a minister in the ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 31: Blessed Silence

Robert Keefer - Blessed Silence

​ Blessed Silence Epiphany/Ordinary Time IV; January 31, 2016 Habakkuk 2:6-20 As you probably know, I am still officially an Iowan, so I must go to my precinct caucus tomorrow night and express my preference for who should represent my party in the next presidential election. You too will have your chance; the Nebraska caucuses are on Saturday, Mar...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 24 - The Righteous Live by Their Faith

Robert Keefer - The Righteous Live by Their Faith

"The righteous live by their faith." Epiphany/Ordinary Time III; January 24, 2016 Habakkuk 2:1-5 Last Sunday Pastor Sara invited us to think about a story or image from the Bible that is particularly important to us. I got a chance to tell mine to Vicki Meinhardt; now I'm going to tell all of you. It's from the prophet Isaiah (62:6-7): God has post...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 3: Incarnate

Robert Keefer - Incarnate

​ Incarnate Epiphany (Observed); January 3, 2016 John 1:1-18 Some years ago I represented the Presbytery at a Session meeting; the Session was interviewing a member of their Church, a member who wanted their endorsement to go to seminary to study to become a minister. In the conversation, she said something that has stuck in my mind: she said to th...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 10: A God You Can Quarrel With

Robert Keefer - A God You Can Quarrel With

A God You Can Quarrel With Baptism of the Lord; January 10, 2016 Habakkuk 1 Last summer at our Synod School I taught a class on the Prophet Habakkuk. It was a wonderful experience; the group struggled together around our relationship with God as the prophet struggled. I felt strongly I should take an opportunity to share with you what I learned, an...
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Robert Keefer

Prayers for Donn & family

Ann DeLashmutt asked me to post this request: I ask for continued healing prayers for Donn. Sunday (Jan. 3) will be day 17 in ICU and there are more days ahead of us. Please, Lord, wrap your arms around his team of doctors as they strive to heal him. No visitors please, just prayers. Ann DeLashmutt Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayers.
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for December 27: They Grow Up So Fast

Robert Keefer - They Grow Up So Fast

​ They Grow Up So Fast Christmas I; December 27, 2015 Luke 2:41-52 Please don't call Child Protective Services to report Joseph and Mary for negligence. They weren't really negligent. It is possible that the pilgrims didn't all start out in one group, but that the women and younger children left earlier, and the men and older boys followed. Joseph ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Christmas Eve: In the Quiet

Robert Keefer - In the Quiet

In the Quiet Christmas Eve; December 24, 2015 Luke 2:1-20 This year I'm captivated by Mary's response to all the excitement: she "treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart" (v. 19). That Christmas night was noisy. I've never been present for the birth of a child, but I have to believe there's noise – at least the woman in labor doing...
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Robert Keefer

December 20: On "Messiah"

The sermon on December 20 was a performance of several sections of Part I of Handel's "Messiah." Here is the introduction I gave before we sang. On Messiah Advent IV; December 20, 2015 Text of portions of part I of Messiah Music by G. F. Handel, book compiled by Charles Jennens Messiah was composed as a piece for the theater, not for church. George...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for December 6: The Servant of the Lord

Robert Keefer - The Servant of the Lord

​ The Servant of the Lord Advent II; December 6, 2015 Luke 1:26-38 I can't imagine Mary had any idea what she was getting herself into when she said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." She knew she was signing up for a major project: nine months of pregnancy, childbirth – both of those always risky, but ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for November 29: Hope is Hard

Robert Keefer - Hope is Hard

​ Hope Is Hard Advent I; November 29, 2015 Luke 21:25-36 Is anybody else ever tempted simply to give up? To stop trying? I'll tell you about a recent Friday. It was at the conclusion of a difficult week – too many meetings, too many chores, too little rest, too little laughter. That Friday started with a series of text messages urging me to do some...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - November 20

Pastor Bob's Building Blog November 20, 2015 Your Session made three big decisions this week, all to move us forward in our building program toward the second fifty years. This message is to tell you about those decisions and to project what is coming up. The first decision was to sign a contract with Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture to provide...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for November 15: Take Hold of Life

Robert Keefer - Take Hold of Life

​ Take Hold of Life Pentecost XXV (O. T. 33); November 15, 2015 I Timothy 6:17-19 The few wealthy people I have known were folks who were good to be around: pleasant, good conversationalists, interested in public affairs and the arts, and even humble. They didn't make a show of their wealth, but enjoyed it and also were generous with it. But I unde...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for November 8: Relax, the Lord is Near

Robert Keefer - Relax, the Lord is Near

​ Relax, the Lord is Near Pentecost XXIV (O. T. 32); November 8, 2015 Philippians 4:4-9 I'm feeling a little resistant today, both to the stewardship theme and to Paul's instructions. First, the stewardship theme: "free from the uncertainty of riches." Okay, I get it: as long as our basic needs are met, and we trust God to meet our basic needs, the...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for All Saints: Rich Toward God

Robert Keefer - Rich Towards God

​ Rich Toward God All Saints; November 1, 2015 Luke 12:13-21 Once again I paired my theme Scripture with a difficult passage, this time from Ecclesiastes (2:18-23). The Preacher (that's pretty much what "Ecclesiastes" means, "preacher") laments that a person works hard and accumulates money and goods and then dies and leaves them to some idiot who ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for October 25: "For freedom Christ..."

Robert Keefer - For freedom Christ ...

​ "For freedom Christ…" Reformation Sunday; October 25, 2015 Galatians 5:1-6 "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Freedom and slavery: these are themes that Paul writes about. In the United States, we talk about freedom a lot, but we have not been very good at agreeing on what we...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for October 4: The Gift of Friendship

Robert Keefer - The Gift of Friendship

​ Sermon Series: Relationships in God's Family The Gift of Friendship World Communion; October 4, 2015 I Samuel 18:1-5 There are some amazing friendships in the Bible. For today's message, I will tell you about two of them, then remind you of what Jesus had to say on the subject. I've said to you before that in the Bible there is a lot more about f...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 27: The Gift of Work

Robert Keefer - The Gift of Work

Sermon Series: Relationships in God's Family The Gift of Work Pentecost XVIII (O. T. 26); September 27, 2015 Ephesians 6:5-9 I put in the Google search-box "Jokes about work" and in a third of a second 147,000,000 results presented themselves. No surprise there, right? Our general attitude about work is that it is a necessary evil, the means to gai...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 13: The Gift of Marriage

Robert Keefer - The Gift of Marriage

Sermon Series: Relationships in God's Family The Gift of Marriage Pentecost XVI (O. T. 24); September 13, 2015 Genesis 2:18-25 I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to preach a sermon on marriage. The subject needs a series of its own, not simply one sermon. So, let me start by offending everybody and touching on three difficult bullet po...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 6: We Think, We Pray, We Act

Robert Keefer - We Think, We Pray, We Act

​ We Think; We Pray; We Act Pentecost XV (O. T. 23); September 6, 2015 Romans 12:1-2 and Matthew 18:15-20 I did a little web-browsing to see if my hunch was supported by evidence: that decision-making is largely emotional. Apparently it is. Do a little web-browsing yourself and look at the scientific literature: when emotions are impaired, we find ...
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