“A Collect For Clubwomen” by Mary Stewart is recited at the beginning of each Sawnee Woman’s Club meeting, along with the Pledge of Allegiance. Historical accounts of Mrs. Stewart’s purpose and thoughts on the prayer are available from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts and the Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs.
A Collect for Clubwomen
Keep us, oh God from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault finding
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 it is
The little things that create differences,
That in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know
The great, common human heart of us all,
And, oh Lord God, let us forget not
To be kind!
– Mary Stewart