Social Fabric Prayer

The transgender man beaten,
and the woman harassed on the bus.
The disabled student not accommodated,
and the bomb threat at the Jewish child-care centre.
Racial profiling at the border
and another refugee told to go home.
A million tiny teeth ripping at the webs that connect us,
fissures fracturing the social fabric.
Reading the news my heart feels tattered,
and all that’s good seems lost
and left behind.

Can we defend, say, “Not here!” to hatred,
hold firm to every last strand of civility?
We are not over and done with.
Threads of mercy shuttle between us
and even when we feel like running,
we are being woven, a work in progress.
For every breaking thread,
a new wisp, strong as spider web.

On a night like this,
when darkness looms
and every light seems small,
I stitch a prayer into the night sky.
God of all graces, rip every seam
I’ve sown in hatred.
I want to be stranded in love,
reaching out to touch,
in this material world,
the hem of your garment. 

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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    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. 

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