Sermon: The Transformative Call to Welcome Strangers – Genesis 18:1-15

We look at this story, and we think, “Boy, that Abraham, he sure is putting on the ritz for these strangers, what a guy!”   But for the average Ancient Near East person reading this story, they’d just go, “So?”  Abraham was not some maverick hospitality guru breaking social norms…on the contrary, he was doing exactly what was encouraged and expected by his culture… What is our culture of hospitality?

Read More »

Letting Go Fall Congregational Prayer

Thank you for the extravagant letting go in nature all around us.
The clouds letting go of moisture in rain and snow.
Trees letting go of their leaves, revealing their naked beauty.
The winds letting loose and blowing everything away.
As the days grow short, and the nights grow long,
help us to open our hands and drop what is not essential.
Help us trust that nothing is wasted,
that all of life is held in your hands,
and finds a purpose that is beyond our knowing.
Help us let go of the fears that plague us in the long nights.
We pray for parents who are learning to let go of their growing children,

Read More »

Message from the Manger

We love you in the manger, Jesus.
Your little hands and feet,
your soft breathing,
your eyes closed in sleep.
You may be a revolutionary,
but we like our revolutionaries in diapers.
Forgive us, Lord,
for preferring a Saviour that doesn’t talk;
a Saviour that has no words of judgement
for our callousness to the suffering of others,
whose arms aren’t tossing over tables,
whose feet aren’t leading us to Jerusalem.,,,

Read More »

Crossroads Congregational Prayer

We come to prayer this morning
at the crossroads of summer and winter.
Summer still shines, asters blooming with yellow and orange vividness,
warm days calling us to walk outside and enjoy the sun,
fresh fruit and vegetables still fill our tables and delight our tastebuds.
And yet, the nights grow cold, we see our breath in the morning,
yellow and red creep into the leaves of the trees,
the days get shorter, the earth tilts
and there’s no stopping the coming of winter….

Read More »

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

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.