South Vancouver Island Women's Institutes
"For Home and Country"
A goodly thing it is to meet in friendship circle bright
Food, friends and kindliness we share,
May we forever mindful be,
Of Home and Country and of Thee. Amen
Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other 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 grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight forward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize that it is the little things that create differences, that in the big thing of life we are one.
And may we strive to touch and know the great human heart, common to us all, and O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind.
"I called it a 'Collect for Club Women' because I felt that women working together, with wide interests in large ends, which was a new thing under the sun and that, perhaps they had need for a special petition and meditation of their own," stated Mary Stewart.
Mary was born in 1876 in Ohio. She earned her BA degree and in 1927 was awarded an honourary degree by the University of Colorado for her distinguished work in education and social and civic service. She held a number of teaching positions in Colorado and Montana and worked as a junior placement officer in the pioneer period of the U. S. Employment services. Mary Stewart died on April 1, 1943.
The Mary Stewart Collect was first introduced to the Women's Institute by Mrs. Alfred Watt, when the women of England began their work. This prayer now has an official place on hundreds of programs of the major organizations, including the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada.
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