Litany of Thanksgiving for the Presbyterian Camps, Saugatuck

For the Chicago Presbytery Assembly, September 17, 2013
By Rev.’s Carol Allen and Joellen Hosler

Photo © Cushman and Wakefield

All Sing: For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

Creator God, we thank you for all who have enjoyed times at the Camps in Saugatuck. For Lake Michigan whose rhythms have nurtured a multitude of lives, its waves, sometimes stormy and crashing, sometimes gentle and caressing.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For swimming, sometimes very cold, but always refreshing, For the shoreline with its stones and wind and sparkles, For warm sunny days and blue skies when it just feels so good to be alive!

Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise. 

God, we thank you for campers. We thank you for all the children, youth and families who have come to the Presbyterian Camps over the years. What a privilege it has been for staff to know them and join with them in growth.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

We thank you for campfires and singing and s’mores and dark starry nights and full moons reflecting on the water.

We thank you for hikes and cookouts and craft times and everything else that has been part of camping there. What a blessing, God!

We thank you for each camper and all they have experienced together, for all they have come to mean to one another.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

O God, who has created all things and given us the beauty of this earth and our relationships among your people, come and dwell with us as we mark the closing of Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck. Thank you for the life-transforming ministry that has happened there and for the ways it has impacted so many of our lives. Send your Holy Spirit as a powerful reminder to all who have been involved in camping there that the love shared and the memories experienced will remain as long as we desire to recall them.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

Bless all campers, camp directors and staff members, and members of camp oversight bodies who have been part of the long and fruitful history of Camps at Saugatuck , dear God, and fill them with your loving hope in the promise that even though heaven and earth will pass away, your love will never end.

Strengthen the faith of all of them as they seek to remain steadfast in your care, following your call and doing your work, being gentle and kind with each other, enjoying the natural world, and in all things, giving you thanks and praise.

Bless and guide our Presbytery and all those who will explore and propose future possibilities for our presbytery’s outdoor ministries, that we all might be surprised by the gracious inventiveness of your Holy Spirit in opening up possibilities we might not otherwise imagine.

For Thy church that evermore lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore her pure sacrifice of love,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise. 

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