Abusing a Precious Gift

When all is not what it seems,

when evil masquerades as good,

when it seems the wrong path is calling us,

Jesus, we need your help.


When sexually explicit images appear before us,

when curiosity and desire urge us to linger,

when it seems innocent just to look,

Jesus, we need your help.

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First Love Prayer

In the sweet light blossom of first love,

God of new beginnings, be near us.

Let us discover wonder and beauty

    in the smile of another.

Let us feel ourselves embraced

    in arms and open minds.

Let us be giddy with happiness

    at the world’s freshness.

In the wide swoop of love’s new dance

    you are the ground beneath our feet,

    the air we breathe together 

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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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