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Parish Retreat at Kanuga: Psalms of Thanksgiving

Kanuga Lake

Fog hung over Kanuga Lake on Sunday morning, but the cross is yet reflected clearly on the water.

During Saturday’s program at Kanuga, the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon gave the St. Philippians in attendance a homework assignment: write a psalm of thanksgiving for a person, a place, or an event. Below are some of the psalms we wrote.

Lord God almighty, maker of heaven and earth, your mighty power and righteousness astound me. Your infinite grace and mercy bring me to my knees in thanksgiving. Your love makes me weep for joy.

Thank you, Lord, for all my blessings; my cup runneth over. But for my family I am most grateful. 

Thank you for Jeff, my husband, father of our children, and my best friend. His beautiful smile and infectious joy for life make my heart sing.

Thank you for Parker, our precious, beautiful daughter. Her smile and engaging energy are like a burst of sunshine in our lives.

Thank you for John, dear Lord, our beautiful son. John’s warm heart and sensitivity to others is a blessing to us all.

Thank you for Buddy and Maggie, our pups, who bring us all great joy with their unconditional love.

Thank you for our mutual love for you, the truth, and all things that are good and right. Thank you for our love of the sea and music. Thank you for your everlasting love and the peace which passes all understanding.

by Connie Rink


O God, gracious Father, who in your great mercy formed all things and all people.Thank you for your church, St. Philip’s. The place where I was baptized and sealed as one of Christ’s own. 

The place as a child I visited weekly to be reminded that Jesus loves me by kind and loving Sunday school teachers and where Bishop Allison laid his hands on me as I publicly confirmed my faith in you.

In the undercroft of the chapel at youth group, I felt your calling on my heart so strongly, it was unmistakable.

At the Altar I recited my wedding vows and two became one.

The place where my own three children were baptized and three generations of my family worship together weekly. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of this sacred place.

by Dorothy Lancaster


Oh dear God, Father of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my youngest son, Justin, both physically and spiritually.

Out of the wreck, he was reborn and at the same time, I was set free.

No longer do I fear for his life, because I now know that he is, and always has been, first and foremost yours.

From the moment he was created in my womb until forever––he is yours.

You created him and gave him to me for a time, but you have loved him more and better than I ever could.

Thanks be to God, my Abba and Justin’s Abba. 

by Suzanne McCord


Lord God,

With wonder and awe I fall on my face before You in gratitude that You made us with the ability to know You, that we each have a soul, and because of the blood of Jesus, never have to be away from being in Your presence. Amen.

by Elaine Jarrett


Each Day I wake to the morning with Praise and Joy for your gift of new mercies.

You our God are the Alpha and Omega, creator of all in Heaven and Earth.

You alone are Holy and worthy of Praise.

Thank you for your gift of Life and unconditional love calling us to a Relationship with you, your son, and the Holy Spirit. 

Through these relationships you bless us with gifts of family, friends, and the worldwide community of faith.

This day may I be a blessing to others through your guidance prompting me to obey.

This day help me with pure motives, being humble and bold with prayers, words and deeds.                                 

Thank you for your constant loving Grace and Mercies.

Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

by Gerry McCord


Lord, you give us life and health;
Praise Your Holy Name!
You provide our ev’ry need;
Praise Your Holy Name!

Refrain: Thank you, Lord, for all these gifts
Given with Your Love!

The trees, flow’rs, the sun and moon;
Praise Your Holy Name!
Fam’ly, friends, our church and priests,
Praise Your Holy Name! Refrain

Salvation through Jesus Christ;
Praise Your Holy Name!
Your love filling lives and homes;
Praise Your Holy Name! Refrain

Glimpses of Your glory, Lord;
Praise Your Holy Name!
Promise of a life with You;
Praise Your Holy Name! Refrain

by Pat Gould


Lord God, I thank you for the gift of Pawleys Isand,

under the sands of which lies my father’s wedding ring, pulled from his finger by the first wave he caught on his honeymoon,

where my mother fixed us she-crab soup made from crabs caught off the dock,

where I would hope for rain to quiet the beach,

where Rodney was welcomed into our family,

where Rhett triumphantly caught his first wave, and where you led me to have my camera ready to capture it.

Lord God, thank you for reminding us with each hurricane that what you give, you can also take away.

Each memory you have given me and will give me will forever be a gift. 

by Lea Andrews


Oh God Almighty, Creator of all the Universe, Creator of all time.

And still,  amazingly, my Abba, my loving father, who knows me better than I know myself. 

You knew me in my mother’s womb.

You chose to create me even when a third child was not the plan--You had a plan.You placed me in a family of faithful both at home and at church and you were with me all my days and I knew you.

But when I left home, I sought after other gods--things that I thought would satisfy my deep desire to be loved and wanted. I drifted away from you and your church. I let other gods take your place. And oh how they disappointed me and caused me to sin!

But you did not leave me for one second. You brought me back into your loving, forgiving arms. You taught me forgiveness for myself and others. Through my family of faith and friends, you have rebuilt my broken spirit and have restored the wasted years.

You have showered me with blessings and once again you are my one God and my peace. The lover of my soul. My comforter. My healer. My everything. 

by Suzanne McCord


Father of all people, creator of all things and ruler of the world. You hold everything together. You give all things their boundaries. The devil is here in the world, but only because you allow it. He has his plans, but only as far as you allow him to go. 

I thank you, Lord, for letting me see you at work in one small place in another part of your world called Haiti.

Thank you for showing me through the people of Haiti your sufficiency in a place of emptiness, your joy in a place of loss, your peace in the place of chaos. In a place with so little, a place forgotten and neglected and downtrodden, you are there and you are enough. In you and through you, there is hope. The butterflies, the fruit laden trees, the flambeau trees and the steadfast faith of our friends are all evidence of your love for Haiti and your promise that one day all things will be put right again.

Thank you for the blessed assurance that through you we are victorious, more than conquerors and nothing can separate us from you. 

by Suzanne McCord