Mutiny on the Disciple Ship

Getting on board the disciple ship
was not what I expected.
I imagined clear sailing,
Jesus at the helm,
the congregation a happy crew
learning the ropes together. 

Back then, I didn’t know how close quarters
can sometimes drive us
to gnawing on the ties that bind.
Conflicts rolling over us like sea billows.
Doctrines, finances, personalities,
all these loomed large
until they were dwarfed by
a tsunami of debate on inclusion and exclusion.
The wind came from every direction,
and we either cut or lost the anchor somewhere.
It was a dark and stormy night,
and though the call was for
“All hands on deck”,
we were tossed over like Jonah.
Adrift on the sea, we tread water,
looking for a whale of a solution. 

Imagine our surprise when Jesus appears
walking on this wind-swept sea.
Looking at both the overthrown
and the throwers-over,
he throws out the one-word life-line:

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.

  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner”

    Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used.  You can reach me at