The Travellers

Now the Lord said to Abram
“Go from your country and your kindred
and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”
A journey; a far journey
to see lands he had never seen,
to meet people he had never known.
Imagine Abram packing his donkey, saying farewell to his family,
leaving behind everything that was dear to him and going forward,
forward into God`s invitation, “to the land that I will show you.”
Abram, the journey-man was the first of a long-line of travellers.
Hagar and Esau unwillingly sent into the wilderness,
Isaac trekking to find a wife.

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Sermon: Jonah…Journeying with a Man on a Journey – Jonah 1:1-16

I hope we can approach the story with curiosity and an open mind. In our reading of this book in the coming weeks, I hope that we don’t try to reduce Jonah to a pithy little nugget that we can put in our pocket. It’s polyvalent…it has many meanings; it’s a story that can journey with us, because it’s a story about a journey. A journey that involves storms and amazing creatures and amazing conversions in foreign lands. It’s a big picture story that points to God and the nature of creation. I hope you are as excited as I am to be taking flight with Jonah. What does a man named Dove have to tell us?

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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.

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Crossroads Offering Prayer

Every time we come to the moment of offering,
it’s a crossroads.
There is an inner struggle between selfishness and generosity,
a pull between fear of the future and belief in God’s providence.
We give our offering this morning, God,
stepping out in faith down the road of grace.
We do this together, as your people,
called and sent to be a blessing for all the world.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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Spring Journey Congregational Prayer

On our journey through the year,
we give you thanks for this springtime season:
the heady aroma of millions of blossoms bursting around us,
the excited hum of busy bees doing your work,
the breathtaking beauty of green, so welcome to our eyes.
You are a great God, the painter of incredible landscapes
that we pass through each and every day.
We come to you today at many different stages of our faith journey.
Some of us are wondering, should we make a commitment to you?
For some of us, baptism happened last year, for others decades ago.
Thank you for your faithfulness in our lives….

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Journey Call to Worship

God of the open road,
God of the twisting path,
God of the narrow and upward way,
your people are gathered for worship!
In this hour, give us provision for the journey,
courage and faith and compassion,
and endurance to face any hardship.
Open our eyes to see you walking beside us,
protecting us, encouraging us, loving us.
We pray this in the name of Jesus,
who moves us, Amen

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Journey of Love Congregational Prayer

Holy Spirit,
we need your presence here on planet earth.
Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem,
it is there he was crucified.
Today many still suffer in that same city.
Racism and oppression are rampant;
a giant dividing wall of hostility runs near it.
Jerusalem struggles to find the things that make for peace.
We need your Spirit to shine there in dark places,
and to offer hope for those who are mired in hopelessness.
Raise up peacemakers who reject hatred,
whose integrity can inspire loyalty,
whose wisdom can chart a path for peace.

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Good Friday Prayer for Those Who Suffer

Jesus, you walked a dark path;
you took on the suffering of the world as your own.
And so today we pray for all who suffer.
We see your face in the face of those in captivity,
and so we pray for inmates in _________________ [our local jail]
whose pain is muffled by high walls and barbed wire.
We see your face in the face of those unjustly accused,
and so we pray for those who are being held without a trial,
who fear they will not get out alive.
We see your face in those who are tortured,
and so we pray for all who are chained,
and whose bodies flinch with every blow.

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Emmaus Road Call to Worship

Our call to worship is from Matt 18:20
For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.       

Let’s pray together:          
We need your presence on the long road, Lord.
The road between fear and hope,
the road between the place where all is lost
and the place of resurrection.
Like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus,
we are in need of your company!
Jesus, stand among us, in your risen power,
let this time of worship, be a hallowed hour.

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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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