Step One

On the journey with Jesus

there is always the first step;

the first prayer,

the first self-less act,

the first encounter with scripture,

the first true repentance,

the first enemy loved,

the first sin renounced,

the first gift discovered,

the first falling away,

the first return to a God waiting

with open arms.


Baptism is a first.

A first public commitment,

a first joining the church,

a first communion,

a first dedication,

body, mind and soul for Jesus,

who also took first steps

wading into the river to be baptized.


Bless our beginnings,

for we know that simplicity and innocence

are often casualties on the rocky road.

Creator God, make the seed of our first beginnings

grow into a sturdy tree.

Holy Sprit, make the tiny drops of our first beginnings

join in the rush of your mighty river.

Jesus, train from these humble first beginnings

disciples who will walk with you

on the long road to Jerusalem.

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