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 from September 25: Providence and Grace

Providence and Grace

​ Providence and Grace Pentecost XIX (O. T. 26); September 25, 2016 Genesis 37:3-8, 17b-34; 50:15-21 You heard in the first part of the story how Jacob, also called Israel, favored Joseph over his other sons, and how that got Joseph sold into slavery. If you know the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , then you know the rest of t...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 18: Faith like Abraham's

Faith Like Abraham's Pentecost XVIII (O. T. 25); September 18, 2016 Genesis 15:1-6 My theology teacher in seminary told us what it means to have faith. He was working in their backyard, and his young son had crawled up onto the roof of the garage. When the son realized that David had seen him, the son cried out, "Daddy, catch me!" and jumped. David...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 11 on Adam & Eve

​ "Where are you?" Pentecost XVII (O. T. 24); September 11, 2016 Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17; 3:1-9 The Narrative Lectionary, which we are using this year, has four different cycles of readings: one for each Gospel. And the Sunday after Labor Day it always starts at the beginning, but it's not the same beginning every year. One year it is Noah, another y...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 4: Lead us not into temptation

​ ​Note to readers: The version printed differs from the recorded version in several places. I made some changes that morning in response to a news story, but decided to put the original here on our website. "And do not bring us to the time of trial." Pentecost XVI (O. T. 23); September 4, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 I wonder what I can tell you folks about t...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 21: Daily Bread

​ "Give us each day our daily bread." Pentecost XIV (O. T. 21); August 21, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 A lot of what we call the Lord's Prayer is challenging or difficult. But, from our point of view, perhaps the silliest line in the prayer is "Give us this day our daily bread." If you think it through, nothing in that line conforms to the way people think ab...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - August 23, 2016

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog August 23, 2016 The day draws near when I can unscrew that shovel from its plaque and we can start digging. Well, not just yet: the end of September or beginning of October. But it's nearer and the progress of your Project Management Team helps me feel it near. We have chosen materials and colors for carpet, flooring, c...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 31: Job Replies

​ Job Replies Pentecost XI (O. T. 18); July 31, 2016 Job 38:25-27, 41:1-8, 42:1-6 Last week I introduced God's aria at the end of the book of Job: the Lord God sings rapturously from the whirlwind about the morning stars and the sea, and then reflects on sunlight and snow. There is this brief piece (38:25-27) from a long section about the rain (Not...
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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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