This is a collection of the transcripts and audio recordings of sermons from our staff pastors and guest speakers.
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from All Saints: The Pain of a New Start

The Pain of a New Start All Saints Sunday; November 4, 2018 John 11:32-44 Last Sunday I asked you to share with one another and with me your thoughts about what you hope for in Christ. After the service, one of you said to me, "I hope in Christ." And I asked, "What do you hope for?" You said, "Resurrection!" Yes. Although every Sunday we celebrate ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from October 28: What More Do We Need?

  What More Do We Need? Reformation Sunday (O. T. 30); October 28, 2018 Hebrews 7:23-28 There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual (for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God (Hebrews 7:18-19). I do...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from October 7: It Simply Flows

It Simply Flows World Communion Sunday (O. T. 27); October 7, 2018 II Corinthians 8:1-7 Note: I read II Corinthians 8:1-7 from Eugene Peterson's Translation, The Message , and the title comes from that version. The other reading for the morning was I Corinthians 10:16-17. Some of you said that you were struggling to find the connection between toda...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from September 30: One Blood, One Spirit

One Blood, One Spirit Pentecost XIX (O. T. 26); September 30, 2018 John 17:20-23 with Mark 8:1-9 This is the last week in our series "A Place at the Table;" today's theme is "Extending the Table," and the part of the communion prayer that we focus on is the second idea in the prayer for the Holy Spirit: we pray for the Holy Spirit to make us one. T...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from September 23: One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body Pentecost XVIII (O. T. 25); September 23, 2018 Mark 6:34-44 Two different but related ideas are pulling on us today and I'll simply riff on both of them for a few minutes. Both are captured in that moment when Jesus takes the bread and blesses it before distributing it to the people seated on the grass. He blesses the bread. Hav...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 16: Table Manners

Table Manners Pentecost XVII (O. T. 24) Luke 14:12-15 Jesus had terrible table manners. I want to tell you a little more about the story you just heard and then we can see if you agree with me. Jesus was a dinner guest at the home of one of the leaders of the group known as Pharisees, strict keepers of the religious law. Luke says that the others w...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from September 9: A Place at Jesus' Table

A Place at Jesus' Table Pentecost XVI (O. T. 23); September 9, 2018 John 14:1-4 My colleague told me a story that has aspects that really bothered me at the time, and still bother me today, but I'm telling that part of my head to shut up and listen for a deeper point. He said that one Sunday they were having communion in his church and they had a g...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 2: Jonah

  Bible by Request: Jonah Pentecost XV (O. T. 22); September 2, 2018 Jonah 2:1-10 Jonah is, to my mind, one of the funniest (if not the funniest) stories in the Bible. Everything about it is overdone; it is filled with exaggeration and irony, and God constantly teases the prophet. I remember my pastor – when I was a teenager – suggesting that ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for August 26: Stephen

Bible by Request: Stephen Pentecost XIV (O. T. 21); August 26, 2018 Acts 6:8-15 Here's where most of us encounter Stephen: Good King Wenceslaus looked out On the Feast of Stephen, When the snow lay round about, Deep and crisp and even… The "Feast of Stephen" is the 26 th of December, and so we've made this song one of our Christmas carols. In the y...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 19: Esther

  Bible by Request: Esther Pentecost XIII (O. T. 20) Esther 4:12-16 This week I found myself wishing that there were more stories in the Bible of folks who just tried to get through life quietly, raising their children and paying their bills, doing their best to serve God and to love their neighbors. All these folks in the Bible are such heroe...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 12: Job

Bible by Request: Job Pentecost XII (O. T. 19); August 12, 2018 Job 42:1-6 I think of the Book of Job as an opera. It has a short prologue and a short epilogue, and in between a long series of arias and duets. The music may be by Wagner, or it may be by The Who or by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but to me the story makes the most sense when thought of as an...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 5 - Ruth

Bible by Request: Ruth Pentecost XI (O. T. 18) Ruth 1:15-18 The rest of the summer will focus on characters from the Bible that you wanted to hear about. This will give me a chance to say what I think is most important about the people in the Bible: that you are familiar with them. In each sermon I'll probably make comments about ideas and implicat...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 29: "Do not be afraid."

"Do not be afraid." Pentecost X (O. T. 17); July 29, 2018 John 6:1-21 Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and Jesus walking on the water: two amazing miracle stories. Some of you want me to give you a naturalistic explanation for both of them and some of you want to revel in the supernatural power of Jesus. Now, I can...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 22: That Healing Touch

That Healing Touch Pentecost IX (O. T. 16) Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 I guess it must be natural for us to look for a leader who will make everything all right. The Prophet Jeremiah expressed that wish in today's Old Testament reading (Jeremiah 23:1-6): he scolds the government of Judah for being shepherds who drive away the sheep, rather than gather them...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 15 - The Voice of John the Baptist

The Voice of John the Baptist Pentecost VIII (O. T. 15) Mark 6:14-29 The first time in the Gospel of Mark that we hear the voice of John the Baptist is when he is preaching and baptizing by the Jordan River and he announces, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 8: A Prophet Among Them

A Prophet Among Them Pentecost VII (O. T. 14) Mark 6:1-13 "The Prophet Martin Luther King, Jr." Probably none of you was offended by my saying that. But imagine it's April of 1967 and Dr. King has just delivered his speech against the Vietnam War in the Riverside Church in New York City. You've read in the newspaper or seen on TV these words:  ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 1 - Out of the Crowd

Out of the Crowd Pentecost VI (O. T. 13); July 1, 2018 Mark 5:21-43 Few are they who by faith touch him; multitudes are they who throng about him. – Augustine of Hippo I feel blessed to live in a time when so many are coming out of the crowd to be noticed, people who would have been told before to stay in the crowd, keep quiet, don't be noticed. In...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from June 10: Hard Words

Hard Words Pentecost III (O. T. 10); June 10, 2018 Mark 3:20-35 Roseanne Barr referred to her racist tweet against Valerie Jarrett as "unforgiveable" (@realrosanne tweeted on May 30, 2018). Then she deleted that tweet and replaced it with one appealing for forgiveness. Ms. Jarrett responded to her racist comment by saying, "I think we have to turn ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from Dedication Sunday


  "My name shall be there." Pentecost II (Dedication Sunday); June 3, 2018 Matthew 16:13-20 It's been a long road. Before our Presbytery met here last month, I prepared a time-line of our planning, fund-raising, and construction work. We had our first planning meeting over four years ago. And today we dedicate our building and dedicate ourselv...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Three Holies Trinity Sunday; May 27, 2018 John 3:1-17 I used to get really annoyed with a colleague who used the word "triune" a lot. It's a perfectly good word; I just figured that most of the people listening to her didn't know what it meant. It describes God as three-and-one, as the word "Trinity" does. You've probably heard the word Trinity a l...
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