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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Blog

​ Pastor Bob's Thoughts for Today July 14, 2017 Sixty years ago today, the Rev. Duncan MacPherson of the Mechanicsburg (Pennsylvania) Presbyterian Church took an eight month-old boy in his arms, poured water on his head, and said, "Robert Alan, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." I don't remember that d...
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Robert Keefer

Fellowship with our Nicaraguan Partners

​July 15 to 23 we will be blessed with a visit from our partners in the La Concepcion area of Nicaragua. Our Presbytery has been partnering in mission with these friends for many years and now some are coming to visit us. Here are opportunities for you to be with them. For any event: just show up or contact Joyce Serenil (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 402...
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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

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

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

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

Longest Night Service

​The Longest Night Service has been an important part of my Advent since I first attended one in the early 1990s. Soon after I started hosting it at the church I was serving. It is traditionally held on the longest night of the year; hence the name. It can be held at other times and is sometimes called a "Blue Christmas" service. The invitation is ...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - November 16, 2016

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog November 16, 2016 Your Session took a bold step last evening: they committed us to a contract with Lund Ross for $1,853,946. Many of you work for companies and organizations that have had much larger building projects than that, but I'm still a little stunned by the scope of this project. Let me catch you up on progress...
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Robert Keefer

Pastor Bob's Building Blog - October 12

​ Pastor Bob's Building Blog October 12, 2016 Wow, I haven't written one of these in a while. And I still don't have as much to write about as I was hoping… still, it's time for an update. We gathered in the Courtyard after worship on October 2 to break ground for the project. Max Petersen handled the shovel used in every groundbreaking in thi...
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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

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

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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Diana Coleman

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear people of God: I have a beat-up red book published by the Presbyterian Church; it's called Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer. It's designed for individuals, families, and groups to use for prayer every day, and includes a wide variety of options. It has prayers that people can say when they're sitting in the Sanctuary waiting for the servic...
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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

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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