Our Mission: To achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information.


2016–17 Officers at the Conference

The Collect: An In-Depth Look

by Kathy Kellums, PSP

In 2006 then BPW/OHIO State President Kathy Wilson asked Kathy Kellums, Past State President to do an in-depth look at the Collect, this was printed in the Winter 2006 issue of the OBW.

How many of you have asked or have been asked: why is it called the collect? What is the collect?
The other question is which comes first, the pledge or the collect. God before country is accepted protocol; but a poem or recitation is not considered a prayer and should be done after the pledge. So what is the collect?
The definition in Webster’s dictionary is: “a short comprehensive prayer, a short prayer adapted to a particular occasion”. So now we know what Mary Stewart wrote over 100 years ago.

She wrote the Collect in Longmont Colorado and had it published in 1904 as a Collect for club women, because at the time she believed that women working together with wide interests and important goals was a new phenomenon, and that a special Meditation of their own would give them a sense of unity.

Little did Mary Stewart know that over 100 years later women working together is still a phenomenon and yes we do need a special meditation of our own to give us a sense of unity. BPW/USA officially adopted the Collect written by Mary Stewart in 1920.

I am one of those people who does not like to hear the collect being recited in MASS; I believe we lose the meaning of it. when it is said by one person, I think we tend to get more out of it. I am sure that not all of you agree with that but let us not be hasty in judgement.

Keep us, oh God, from pettiness;
If only he could, somehow women deal in pettiness much more than men. why do we waste our time on things that are so small and trivial? Is it because women need to have things in order more than men or is it jealousy or envy? I don’t know but women can be very petty.

Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Why can’t we be large in our thoughts and in our word and in our deeds? There is nothing to gain by having small thoughts, words or deeds. NOTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED BY NOT THINKING BIG. We need to expand our thoughts and deeds and take a chance on ourselves.

Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self seeking.
Oh boy wouldn’t that be great! There is a fine line between finding fault and constructive criticism. How do we deal with the work and ethical environment of today? We can all attest to the fact that many people, not just women today, seem to do less and want more. People have become lax in meeting deadlines, returning call, e-mails, whatever, expecting other people to pick up the slack.
We need to put our best foot forward in everything we do but remembering that those who only do things for their own self satisfaction are not working for the greater good. We all need to think of others and the big picture rather than just ourselves.

May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face…without self pity and without prejudice.
We don’t need to pretend we are something we are not; we are all women seeking a better life for ourselves and for the next generation of women. We shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves or have any bias for ourselves or others. We should be able to meet each other as EQUALS on common GROUND.

May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Can we in our world today always be generous and not jump to conclusions? There is no doubt it is difficult with the world today; BUT WE HAVE TO TRY.

Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle
Our busy worlds tend to let us forget the important things of life….we need to stop occasionally and smell the roses. I think we need to teach ourselves to be calm, serene and gentle. TAKE TIME FOR ourselves BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight forward and unafraid.
We need to act on our better impulses and not be afraid of the consequences. If we don’t make a difference who will?

Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences, that in the big things of life we are at one.
Yes it is the little things that create differences but we have to remember that a little thing to one person is a big thing to another. But we are all here for the same reason, to better the lives of women.

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!
We need to take time to know each other and NOT FORGET TO BE KIND. please read the collect and see how it fits into today’s world.


About BPW/Ohio

The Business & Professional Women of Ohio was established in 1920 and was part of the Business & Professional Women/USA. BPW has a proud history of working for women’s rights and issues. Over the years BPW has worked for the women’s right to vote, allowing women to serve on juries, pay equity, health issues, discrimination in the job market, etc. We are now a legacy partner of the BPW/Foundation based in Washington DC and continue to promote the legacy programs of BPW i.e. Young Careerist, Individual Development and National Business Women’s Week® Our locals work to better the lives of women by offering scholarships, donate to domestic violence shelters, food banks, rape crisis centers and the America Legion Buckeye Girls State. BPW is an organization dedicated to women helping women.

Join the Conversation!

Check recent Blog posts below, the Events Calendar above, and follow BPW/OHIO on Facebook or Twitter.

ERA Webinar

ERA – a Presentation from the ERA Coalition March 16, 2017 7:30 PM EST StartMeeting http://www.startmeeting.com/wall/155-373-584 or phone 800-644-9070 *6 to mute contact me leona.phillips@aol for questions

read more

Human Traffiking

Human trafficking is an issue that is more prevalent than most people realize, and it’s a lot closer to home too. Please read the attached brochure and share with others. Human Trafficking...

read more

BPW Shirts – Buy Online!

Order your BPW TEACH t-shirt online and receive free shipping! Just select “Pay Online” on the Home page. When you fill in the Type of Payment, select Other, and where it asks for a Brief Description, enter your size and color (blue or melon.) In the...

read more