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 Ins...titute and University on July 31, 2006.  Bob enjoys singing, acting, and running as some of his main recreational activities. More
Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 24 - "Where were you?"

​ "Where were you?" Pentecost X (O. T. 17); July 24, 2016 Job 31:35-37, 38:1-11 In working with you through the Book of Job this month, I think that I have not done justice to Job's agony. He has experienced great loss. He was wealthy; all his possessions were taken from him. He was healthy; he is suffering from a terrible skin disease. He had a go...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 17: Mortality and Hope

​ Mortality and Hope Pentecost IX (O. T. 16); July 17, 2016 Job 14:7-15, 19:23-27 I remember who wrote the letter, and about when he wrote it, but I can't find it. Given my obsession with saving and organizing, perhaps it was an email. The disadvantage of emails is they are ephemeral: they come and go; they die in the ether. A written letter, howev...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 10: Dare We Talk About It?

​ Dare We Talk About It? Pentecost VIII (O. T. 15); July 10, 2016 Job 4:1-9, 7:11-21 If you did not hear last Sunday's sermon, fear not; I expect that today's will make sense to you anyway. You may wish that it didn't; one of my colleagues recently told me that in his most recent sermon he had managed to offend everyone in the congregation over the...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 3: Job, the Setup

​ Job: The Setup Pentecost VII (O. T. 14); July 3, 2016 Job 1:1-22 This month our worship is going to take us on a quick tour of the Book of Job. A quick tour is sufficient for most of us; those few who really love a great piece of literature might want to read the whole thing. It includes some of the most gorgeous poetry in the Bible, and really d...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #5: June 24

​ Pastor Bob's GA Blog #5: June 24, 2016 The main thing I missed last evening was discussion and vote on a resolution about the life of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and LGBTQ persons. The original overture would have the Assembly issue an apology for our many years of keeping them on the margin; the resolution approved is more nuanced. You can rea...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #4: June 23

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #4: June 23, 2016 It was a chilly, wet day in Portland - high in the 60s, rain. It reminded me of something Mark Twain said: The coldest winter he ever spent was June in San Francisco. Here up the coast it isn't much different. But the Spirit was warm in the Assembly hall. In the morning we heard about the various entities that...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #3: June 22, 2016

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #3: June 22 This afternoon the Assembly met in plenary again, starting with an opportunity for conversation among themselves and then to consider some proposed actions. They adopted an agenda for the rest of their meeting; Sandie's committee (Middle East Issues) is to report on Friday afternoon and that is, alas, after I leave....
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #2: June 21, 2016

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #2 - June 21, 2016 The Committee I have been observing (Church Polity and Ordered Ministry) struggled today with three related proposals. Background: two years ago our Book of Order was amended to include a statement that any teaching elder (minister) who "renounces jurisdiction" (says, "I'm out of here; I'm no longer a Presbyt...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's GA Blog - June 20

Pastor Bob's GA Blog #1: June 20, 2016 Kathleen and I arrived in Portland yesterday (Sunday) morning, and slipped quietly into the life of the city and the Assembly. The Assembly had already elected its Co-Moderators, teaching elders (ministers) Jan Edmiston (Chicago) and Denise Anderson (Temple Hills, Maryland). This is the first time an Assembly ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from June 12: Faith is not Blind

​ Faith is not Blind Pentecost IV (O. T. 11); June 12, 2016 II Corinthians 4:16-5:10 If you would like, you can find your pick of things to be troubled about. Another mass shooting, this time in Orlando, the aches and pains some of you are experiencing, a diagnosis of uncertain implications, what to do with your children through the long summer. At...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - June 11

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog June 11, 2016 Just before heading off to two church events I want to bring you up-to-date on the progress of the Project Management Team. Oh, as to those events: first Kathleen and I will be at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies Gathering of Presbyterian Women. She is leading a workshop on Reiki and I am leading one called...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for June 5: Yet It Is a Treasure

​ Yet It Is a Treasure Pentecost III; June 5, 2016 II Corinthians 4:1-15 Let me tell you a little bit about Refugio Haddad. She was a little Mexican-American lady, member of a church I served in Arizona. When I knew her she was a widow; her husband (who was Lebanese, hence her interesting combination of names) had left all he had in stock in one en...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 29: To All of You

​ To All of You Pentecost II; May 29, 2016 II Corinthians 2:1-10 Today I'm preaching from the Narrative Lectionary, and will be for at least the coming year. The summer series begins with II Corinthians through June, and continues in July with the book of Job. There are pieces missing from the puzzle to make sense of these words. The main theme – p...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - May 18

Pastor Bob's Building Blog May 18, 2016 This one is not so much about the building as about the Capital Campaign, which will provide the means to do the building work. As I mentioned in my last blog, I will post drawings and floorplans as we have them to show you, so you can get an idea of what we are working on. In addition to the Library window, ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Pentecost: The Spirit's Peace

​ The Spirit's Peace Pentecost; May 15, 2016 John 14:15-17, 25-27 Let's work backwards through the text: I'll riff on that word "peace" for a bit, then back up to the rest of the Scripture. You may have heard the Hebrew word "Shalom," which is usually translated as "Peace." And it does mean "peace" as we ordinarily use the word: nobody invading you...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - May 13

pdf File Name: 2016.5.5_14136_CROSS_BELLTOWER-SKETCH-2.pdf File Size: 8.8 mb Download File ​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog May 13, 2016 "Wow, just wow," Pastor Sara texted me when she saw the news that pledges to the Second Fifty Campaign had topped $1,000,000. The progress of the Campaign is certainly a marvel: it shows your dedication to Jesus Chris...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 8: Completely One

​ Completely One Ascension; May 8, 2016 John 17:20-26 Maybe you remember that my last sermon was about table-talk at the Last Supper. Jesus and his friends had eaten and had completed their ritual for Passover, and they talked. Mostly, Jesus talked to them. Then he started praying, praying for his friends. This is the last part of his prayer; after...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for April 24: Loving into the Second Fifty

Artist Name - Loving into the Second Fifty

​ Loving into the Second Fifty Easter V; April 24, 2016 John 13:31-35 This is table-talk. You know how sometimes when you are with family and friends, you have dinner together, and then you clear away the dishes and sit and talk. Perhaps you are nursing a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of brandy, and you talk over the events of the day. Perhaps U...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog: April 27, 2016

Pastor Bob's Building Blog April 27, 2016 Thank you to the wonderful Special Events chairs (Jean Koerten, Kathy Koslosky, and Winnie Pinch) for the elegant event we enjoyed last Sunday. And thank you to all those who participated in leadership and all who attended. We invited you to pose questions, and you did! All are very good ones, and here they...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for April 17: Creo porque creemos

Artist Name - Sermon from April 17

​ Creo porque creemos Easter IV; April 17, 2016 John 10:22-30 There are a lot of weighty sayings in this short piece of teaching from the mouth of Jesus. There is a lot here worthy of consideration. For some reason – and I will, as usual, attribute it to the work of the Holy Spirit! – the line that caught my attention was, "But you do not believe, ...
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