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 August 6: Armed and Ready

Armed and Ready Pentecost IX (O. T. 18): August 6, 2017 Ephesians 6:10-20 Our brother Pastor Lazarus - member of this congregation and leader of our Sudanese community - has been in the hospital recovering from something he contracted when he was in Africa. In the hospital in Khartoum the treatment was ineffective and has left him with additional d...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 23: Is God Home?

​ Is God Home? Pentecost VII (O. T. 16); July 23, 2017 Ephesians 2:11-22 Ever since the front wall of the new Commons went up, we have been able to imagine what the new space will be like and what we will be able to do in it. We can also imagine light flooding in the great front windows and enjoying looking out at what will be our beautiful courtya...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 16: The Purpose

​ The Purpose Pentecost VI (O. T. 15); July 16, 2017 Ephesians 1:1-14 My friend told me a story from a committee meeting that I think perfectly sets up the one point we need to take away from this convoluted passage of Scripture. I am a Rotarian; we are dedicated to creating an international community of peace and goodwill and, among other things, ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 9: Dust?

​ Dust? Pentecost V (O. T. 14); July 9, 2017 Psalm 103 "For the LORD knows whereof we are made and remembers that we are but dust" (Psalm 103:14, Book of Common Worship ). The minister used that phrase in the prayer one Sunday, and a child in the congregation whispered to his mother - just loud enough for everyone in the church to hear - "Mommy; wh...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from June 25: A Cup that Overflows

​ A Cup that Overflows Pentecost III (Ordinary Time XII) June 25, 2017 Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Don't those words touch most of us somewhere? I knew a couple who had a spiritual practice of saying this psalm together regularly; as he was dying, she sat next to his bed and they would say it together. At funerals I often ...
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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

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

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

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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Sara Tonje

Sermon for April 2, 2017

Sara Tonje - Sermon for April 2, 2017

​This is the audio of the sermon that Rev. Sara Tonje preached on April 2, 2017
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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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Sara Tonje

Sermon for February 19, 2017

Sara Tonje - Sermon for February 19, 2017

​This is the audio of the sermon that Rev. Sara Tonje preached on February 19, 2017
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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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