Who was Mary Stewart?
Mary Stewart was born in 1876 in Ohio, but spent her childhood in Georgetown, Colorado, high in the Rockies. As the principal of a high school at Longmont, Colorado, she was described as a little bundle of energy, dignity and personal charm. She wrote this collect while she was principal and it has been used ever since by the Women’s Institutes and other organizations around the world as their club creed. Mary Stewart died at the age of 67, on April 1, 1943, in Ohio.
Keep us O Lord from pettiness, let us be large in thought, in word and 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.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight forward and unafraid.
Let us take time for all things; make us grow calm, serene, gentle.
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 know the great human heart common to us all,
and O Lord God,
Let us not forget to be kind.