A Prayer for a Peaceful Winter Solstice
As we enter the darkest time of the year, the winter solstice, we can find light in our connections at NFBPWC. We are fortunate to have such inspirational members working to accomplish our goals as we continue to educate, unite, and advocate for women. It is an honor to be connected to such a diverse community of women at various stages of their careers and from different backgrounds, each with her own unique story about being a business and professional woman in the United States of America.
Our network is further broadened through the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW) which includes members in over 100 countries in 5 continents. BPW UK, through a registered IFBPW project: https://www.bpw-projects.org/a-van-for-chernihiv/, recently sponsored a “Van for Chernihiv – BPW Help for Ukraine.” NFBPWC members across the USA donated over $1,000 in support of this project. BPW UK President, Jo Kinsey, sent us her thanks for our assistance with this project and stated:
“The help you have sent will let those women [in Chernihiv, Ukraine] know they are not forgotten; they are valued by all of us.”
Unfortunately, this is not the only region of the world that is being affected by the tragedy of violence and war. The loss of human life, and the loss of humanity itself, around the world is heartbreaking. Women often act as advocates of peace in times of strife and uncertainty while bearing the consequences of violence; this time is no exception. As a non-partisan and secular membership organization, we aim to communicate our solidarity with all women by offering them a hand in friendship and support through even the most harrowing of times. In the USA, many of us will comfortably celebrate with our friends, family, and community in December. Despite being secular myself, I would like to take a moment to invite you to pray for peace on Earth. To that end, I would like to share the “Collect” written by Mary Stewart in 1904, in hopes that it helps guide us all to be the better version of ourselves as this year ends and the new one begins.
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, straight-forward 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, 1904 (adopted by NFBPWC in 1920)
Let’s continue to celebrate and honor one another, as each member brings their own gifts to the conversation. The women of today need to hear us. The women of tomorrow want to see us standing strong against war, misogyny, racism, violence, and injustice. We have the power to make a difference as we continue to honor our interconnectedness as humans, more specifically as women.
NFBPWC will continue to light a path for our future that promotes justice, solidarity, diversity, inclusion, innovation, and more in 2024. Sending personal wishes of celebration, health, and peace around the globe.
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