The Church United

For centuries and millennia
the church divided.
In fragments,
polarized, incensed
and with bees in their bonnets,
Christian denounced Christian,
sending one another to hell,
or to their graves,
quoting scripture or creed
as the occasion demanded.
Or not.

For centuries and millennia,
churches worked in silos
of their own theological making,
ignoring each other completely,
repeating, “I’m not listening, I’m not listening,”
as songs of praise to God
drifted in through windows
that someone forgot to close.
Or not.

This year, to everyone’s surprise,
the Spirit rolls down Church Street
like an ice cream truck
playing its good news song.
Jesus, like a holy pied piper
who cannot be resisted,
pulls the children of God outside.
With no walls between them,
they meet one another’s eyes,
all lined up smiling,
waiting for God.

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

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  • 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