We Are People Confession

We are people here like Peter sinking.

We step out in faith because we want to follow you,

but we fall short in so many ways.

We are afraid of what other people think of us.

We are not sure we have the ability to do what you ask us.

We think the job is too big for us.


We are people here like Thomas doubting.

We are not sure what it means to be a Christian.

We are not sure what good it does to come to church.

We are not sure what you can do in this world that is so wounded.

We won’t take one step until we see the whole way ahead.

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Confession: You Great Searcher of our Hearts

God, you great Searcher of our hearts,
is this the place where remorse begins?
You know our lives through and through.
You’ve seen the wrongs we try to hide,
the wrongs we dare to do in plain sight
and the wrongs we don’t even notice.
As we pause in the awareness of your gaze on us,
is this the place where repentance begins?

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A Prayer for when Sexual Abuse is Discovered

My God, my God,
where were you?
My innocent child,
my beautiful innocent child,
a child of God, your child,
this child has been abused.
First and foremost,
protect my child, Lord.
Keep them from further harm.
Heal the hurt.
Mend the memories.
Restore what is lost….

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A Poem for Joseph and His Brothers

It wasn’t the colourful coat

or even Joseph’s dreams that tipped the balance.

Maybe it was the day—too hot,

or maybe just the fact that there was a pit.

If the traders hadn’t happened by

they would have all had supper together,

Reuben’s voice as eldest

would have decided the outcome.

But instead the cup of resentment,

filled drop by drop for years,

is drained in one sudden act of violence.

The deal is done, the money changes hands

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Rain Grace Upon Us

On our dry journey,

forgiveness is the water on the horizon,

and we’re the pilgrims in the desert

who cannot possibly walk there.

Tied up tight,

revenge is a hot little bundle

we hug to our chest.

We are plagued with hurt;

the betrayal, the murder,

the verbal barbs, the abandonment

the lack of love, whatever.

We have been robbed

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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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