Mary Stewart’s Collect


Mary Stewart, a high school principal in Longmont, Colorado, and a member of women’s clubs, wrote “A Collect for Club Women” as a prayer for the day. The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs officially adopted it in 1920. The Metropolitan Woman’s Club also adopted the Collect when the club first formed in 1971.

(A Collect for Club Women)

Keep us, O God, from pettiness,
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with faultfinding
And leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
And meet each other face to face,
Without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
And always generous.
Let us take time for all things;
Make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
Straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize that it is
The little things that create differences;
That in the big things of life we are one.
And may we strive to touch and to know
The great, common human heart of us all.
And, O Lord God, let us forget not
To be kind!

…Mary Stewart
April 1904