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 June 18: How Long, O Lord?

​ How Long, O Lord? Pentecost II; June 18, 2017 Psalm 13 The guest preacher told me a story and asked, "Can I use this in my sermon?" I thought about it and about the congregation I was serving at the time and told him that I thought he should not. So he didn't. I'm going to tell you, but I'm changing the offending word. A woman talked to her pasto...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - June 14, 2017

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog June 14, 2017 I figure it's time to give you an update on our progress – and our delays – since it has been a while since my last "building blog." The weather has created difficulties and delays in some of the project, but you can already see quite a bit of progress in Phase 2. Have you seen the new windows in Fellowshi...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from June 11: For Why?

​ For Why? Trinity Sunday; June 11, 2017 Psalm 100 Sometimes when I'm saying my prayers I feel something like a great weight on my heart, as though an enormous force is pressing in on me. It feels like awe, the sense you have when you're face-to-face with the scope and majesty of reality. Perhaps you and I feel something similar when we're out on t...
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Robert Keefer

The Holy Spirit

​On Pentecost, Pastor Sara asked me to talk about "Five Things Presbyterians Believe About the Holy Spirit." Here they are, and are taken largely from our  ​Book of Confessions ​. 1. The Holy Spirit did not suddenly come into being on Pentecost, but has always been the agent of the activity of God: brooding over the waters on the first day of ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 21: All God's Critters

​ All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir Easter VI; May 21, 2017 Upon the Retirement of Vickie Jones Psalm 150 All God's critters got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now. The poet who wrote the words to Psalm 150 put it...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 14: Just as God did to us.

​ "Just as God did to us." Easter V; May 14, 2017 Acts 15:1-11 When's the last time you heard yourself say, "Why can't they be more like us?" Don't tell me you've never said that. Okay, perhaps some of you haven't. But I know I've caught myself at least thinking it, and have heard people say it a lot. People born in this country say it about immigr...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Easter: Joanna's Witness

​ Joanna's Witness The Resurrection of the Lord; April 16, 2017 Luke 24:1-12 Most of you have probably heard of Peter, James, and John. You are likely to have heard of Paul, who wrote so much of the New Testament. And you may have in your mind a visual picture of Jesus and the folks he traveled with, those who heard his teaching and learned his les...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - April 14, 2017

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog April 14, 2017 So you wonder why I am writing about the building on Good Friday? I could give you a theological justification, but the real reason: we're at a transition point in the construction work, and I want to let you know about it; even though my heart is heavy thinking about Jesus' crucifixion, the daily life of...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Palm Sunday 2017

​ If Only… Palm Sunday; April 9, 2017 Luke 19:29-44 John Burg told me one of the best evangelism stories I've heard, although he didn't know it was an evangelism story. He leads a company that makes robotic systems for manufacturing (Acieta); two of his sales representatives were traveling in Texas. They passed a factory that had a sign out front: ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from March 19: Consideration

Robert Keefer - Consideration

​ Consideration Lent III; March 19, 2016 Luke 16:19-31 Some of you are afraid I will use this story as an opportunity to dump on rich people, and some of you are hoping that I will. Paying close attention to the story does not let us do that, not really. Full disclosure: by the standards of most of the human race and for most of human history, most...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from March 12: Salvation Manure

Robert Keefer - Salvation Manure

​ Salvation Manure Lent II; March 12, 2017 Luke 13:1-9, 31-35 In Clarinda, Iowa we have a big parade every year on the Friday evening of Thanksgiving. It commemorates the time the county courthouse burned down and fire departments from all around responded, and so there are fire trucks and floats and horses and, at the end, Santa Claus. And everyth...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for March 5: Hard Lessons

Robert Keefer - Hard Lessons

​ Hard Lessons Lent I; March 5, 2017 Luke 10:25-42 Imagine yourself as part of the group in Mary and Martha's house. Jesus is headed toward Jerusalem, and he knows what's going to happen there. Those who have been traveling with him also know, but I presume that Mary and Martha don't know. They are honored to have Jesus in their home, and Martha hu...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for February 26: Transfiguration Day

Robert Keefer - Transfiguration Day

​ "Let these words sink into your ears." The Transfiguration of the Lord; February 26, 2017 Luke 9:28-45 In a book full of strange stories, this is one of the strangest. Not only for what happens in it, but for the shadow that looms over it. It's the shadow of a cross. The cross was an instrument of execution, and the practice of crucifixion as a m...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from February 12: What do You Think?

Robert Keefer - What do You Think?

​ What Do You Think? Epiphany VI (O. T. 6); February 12, 2017 Luke 7:18-35 This is one of those moments in the Gospels when the Evangelist goads you and me to ask ourselves, "What do I think of this Jesus?" All four Gospels have a certain genius about them, in that you can't just read them for pleasure. They prompt you to ask yourself what you thin...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from February 5: The Lord's Compassion

Robert Keefer - The Lord's Compassion

​ The Lord's Compassion Epiphany V (O. T. 5); February 5, 2017 Luke 7:1-17 The most interesting thing about religion is not propositions or principles, but people. So let's look at some of the people in these stories. The Centurion is a very interesting character. You who appreciate good story-telling probably noticed that the Centurion isn't actua...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 29 - Sabbath Thoughts

Robert Keefer - Sabbath Thoughts

​ Sabbath Thoughts Epiphany IV (O. T. 4); January 29, 2017 Luke 6:1-16 My Dad and I used to argue over his telling me to mow the lawn on Sunday. I said that it was inappropriate for the Sabbath, and he would tell me to do it anyway. Since he was my Dad, he always won. Well, in the long run I won, because now I don't mow the lawn on Sunday. For toda...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - January 27, 2017

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog January 27, 2017 Wow! It is now really going to happen! I've refrained from writing anything until I had something more definite to tell you; now put on your seat belt and look down this road with me. First note: we closed on our loan from Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program on January 13 (See! Friday the thirteent...
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Robert Keefer

Thoughts on my Friend

​ ​A very dear friend died this week. In her will, she asked her preacher friends to write something, and I wrote the following. I thought I would share it with you; you can see the sort of positive impact you have on your pastors. The poem that's quoted in it I used as part of our devotions at staff meeting this week. Some of you have seen or hear...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 22 - You're in for it now

Robert Keefer - You're in for it now

​ You're in for it now. Epiphany III (O. T. 3); January 22, 2017 Luke 5:1-11 Several minutes ago you watched or participated as those involved in confirmation were commissioned to go on this journey, along with their mentors and teachers. They spent a lot of time here at the church-house this week, learning, playing, and – I hope! – getting some sl...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 8 - "There is no try." Really?

Robert Keefer - "There is no try." Really?

​ "There is no try." Really? The Epiphany of the Lord; January 8, 2017 Luke 3:21-22 To the reader: The former "Presbyterian Church of the Master" and the former "Benson Presbyterian Church" were formally merged into one congregation on December 31, 2016. The new church retains the name "Presbyterian Church of the Master," at least for now. This ser...
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