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 for July 7: Our Names are Written

Our Names are Written Pentecost IV (O. T. 14); July 7, 2019 Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 When I'm putting together our worship for the Lord's Day, I look for psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that go well with the Scripture for the day. Our hymnal has an index that gives guidance in doing that, so it's often easy to find things we can sing that echo the me...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for June 30: Do or Do Not


  Do or Do Not Pentecost III (O. T. 13) June 30, 2019 Luke 9:51-62 Two weeks ago we got to witness the baptism of R. A. F. [1] . Kathleen, my Aunt Esther, and niece Patty worshiped at the First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head, as has become our Sunday custom when vacationing there. And the service included a baptism. As strangers, we didn't...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Pentecost: The Spirit Is Here

  The Spirit Is Here The Day of Pentecost; June 9, 2019 Acts 2:1-21 and John 14:8-17 Well, that was exciting: tongues of fire, the sound of the rush of a violent wind, people speaking in unknown languages. People can get really hyped on things that are flashy and give that sort of adrenaline rush. We Christians pretty regularly pray, "Come, Ho...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Ascension: Meanwhile

Meanwhile Ascension Sunday; June 2, 2019 Acts 1:1-11 You and I spend a lot of our lives waiting for something to happen. And sometimes what we wait for we would prefer to hold off as long as possible; I'm thinking about mortality this week. Two of our folks are in hospice care, and our sister Ruth died on Friday. And we had another mass shooting in...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Easter V

"When they heard this…" Easter V; May 19, 2019 Presbyterian Heritage Sunday Acts 11:1-18 This today isn't going to be a sermon, properly speaking. Instead, I'm going to talk about a few things prompted by receiving a new member today and by today being Presbyterian Heritage Sunday. I'll touch on today's Scriptures for each of them, but I won't dign...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Confirmation Sunday

The Shepherd Knows You Easter IV; May 12, 2019 John 10:22-30 There is a lot happening today, and all of it contributes to our experience of the Word, so I will keep these words brief. Two of our young people are professing their faith and being baptized today, and another is professing for herself the faith into which she was baptized. Although the...
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Robert Keefer

Easter III: How Do We Know It's the Lord?

How Do We Know It's the Lord? Easter III; May 5, 2019 John 21:1-14 When people see a patch of mold on the side of their refrigerator and claim that it is, miraculously, the face of Jesus, I wonder how they know. I mean, how do they know that it's Jesus and not Caesar Augustus or maybe Xena Warrior Princess? Jesus' closest associates – the Apostles ...
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Robert Keefer

Easter II: Believing Is Seeing



Believing Is Seeing Easter II; April 28, 2019 John 20:19-31 Those who study such things have said that the age we are living in is very much like the age of the Apostles and the generations immediately after. We are seeing the crumbling of social institutions and the growth of inter-religious conflict, very much like the first centuries A.D. So it ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Easter: An Idle Tale

An Idle Tale The Resurrection of the Lord; April 21, 2019 Luke 24:1-12 Peter went to check it out. The others waited, skeptical of what the women told them. Typical, right? Some women come with a remarkable story and the men don't believe them; they call it "an idle tale." But Peter interests me; Peter checked it out. I realized that that's pretty ...
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Robert Keefer

Lent V: For the day of my burial





"For the day of my burial" Lent V; April 7, 2019 John 12:1-8 ​Tau Cross & Passion Cross People have different reactions to perfume and to perfumed oils. As a singer, I tend to run away from a strong dose of perfume or men's cologne, because it makes it hard to sing. But I love the smell of incense in church, or of olive oil prepared for anointi...
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Robert Keefer

Lent IV: This Pilgrimage



This Pilgrimage Lent IV; March 31, 2019 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 My theme today is "pilgrimage." I'll tell you why in a bit. So the sermon is more a series of stories and images with that central theme than it is a coherent message. Perhaps the Holy Spirit's will this week is for me to tell you those stories and thoughts and let the question at the end ...
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Robert Keefer

Lent III: Who Needs to Repent?

Who Needs to Repent? Lent III; March 24, 2019 Luke 13:1-9 The question is, "Who needs to repent?" The answer is: I do. You do. Amen. No, the Lord's not letting us off that easy. The three pieces of today's story from the Gospel of Luke will do very nicely to elaborate on the question and its answer, and the prophecy in Isaiah (55:1-9) will do very ...
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Robert Keefer

Lent II: To See What Others Don't



To See What Others Don't Lent II; March 17, 2019 Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 This picture is from the 1989 Batman movie and shows the Gotham City skyline. Here's what I want to call to your attention: the tallest building in Gotham City is the Cathedral; it towers over the city. Anton Furst's design is of a city where loyalty to God is designed to be pr...
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Robert Keefer

Lent I: Time to Focus

Time to Focus Lent I; March 10, 2019 Luke 4:1-13 Your Worship Design Group has decided this Lent that we should focus on the Cross in its various forms. For years we have had a wonderful selection of crosses hanging in the front of our Sanctuary during Lent, but in the years I have been here we've never talked about them. This year we'll tell you a...
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Robert Keefer

Ash Wednesday: An Acceptable Fast

An Acceptable Fast Ash Wednesday; March 6, 2019 Isaiah 58:1-12 Ash Wednesday is a day to be disturbed, at least a little. So that I should read from the prophet Isaiah some words that start out, "Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins" is not so surprising. After all, we pay attention to two things today, both of th...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from February 24: Undoing Duality


Undoing Duality Epiphany VII; February 24, 2019 Genesis 2:18-25 In June 2016 a circuit court judge in Multnomah County, Oregon decreed that legally Jamie Shupe was neither male nor female, but non-binary. Jamie's birth certificate was changed appropriately and Jamie uses the pronoun "they," not "he" nor "she." [1] I first heard about Jamie on a pod...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from February 10: The Soul of Jonathan

The Soul of Jonathan Epiphany V; February 10, 2019 I Samuel 18:1-9 I'm going to tell you the story of the biblical character of Jonathan and I have struggled with the conclusion to draw from it. As usual, I prefer to tell the story and encourage you to draw your own conclusions. But I need to put it in context for us; that is, why this story and wh...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for February 3: Hagar's Way

Hagar's Way Epiphany IV; February 3, 2019 Genesis 21:8-21 I don't know if Hagar's story really figures into this series on sexuality and gender as much as I want it to, but her story is an important one and I want you to know it. Like Abishag's story, her story is of a woman who is used as a tool, and it is certainly instructive. But what I admire ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 27 - Abishag: #MeToo

Abishag: #MeToo Epiphany III; January 27, 2019 I Kings 1:1-4 I'm going to tell you the story of Abishag the Shunammite, but first I'll give you my commentary. As I mentioned last week, I'm going to do a few sermons on topics related to questions of gender and sexuality. But I also realize that the most memorable sermons are the stories of people. S...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for January 20 - Marriage & Jesus' Glory

Marriage and Jesus' Glory Epiphany II; January 20, 2019 John 2:1-11 Our Session appointed a group of folks who are exploring the question of whether we, as a Church, ought to become part of the More Light movement in the Presbyterian Church. More Light Presbyterians are Christians who are committed to inclusiveness, particularly (but not exclusivel...
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