invocation- young voices

We say good bye to our ambassadors

young voices raised in farewell to their homelands

embarking on adventures in a new land.

New friends, new food, new realities

new dreams, new wishes, new knowledge.

Let us be thankful for the safe harbour of home

and let us be thankful for the journey to the unknown

Let us be thankful for the journeys that our Rotary Exchange Students

embark upon, and the many voices that bring knowledge,

understanding, and peace to the world.


When my daughter departed on her year in Spain, I was fearful.  I had had a wonderful year as a Rotary Exchange student in Finland, so I had faith in the process, but I am a mother, so I worried about her safety: bombs, rapists, pick pockets, that sort of thing.  I claimed this quote, and quietly accepted that the most important part of parenting is letting go.  

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

~John Augustus Shedd 

Peace invocation

Shawn L. Bird

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. 
    And it isn’t enough to to believe in it, one must work for it.

Today, as we consider our role as Rotarians in our community, let us remember that while we work on local and international projects, we are working for peace. 

 We must promote peace with our words and in our daily decisions.  There can be no peace in the world if there is no peace in ourselves.  When we, as a world of Rotarians at all levels of society, reflect our conscientious desire to promote peace, we embrace this belief.  Peace will be possible. 

First ourselves.  Next our club.  Then the world.

(c) Shawn Bird 2011  Free use with Rotary.  Please credit Shawn when you share this in your club; as well, please leave a comment to let us know your club  and when you intend to use it.  With thanks.

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invocation- fellowship month

The Oxford dictionary defines fellowship as “[mass noun] friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests.”

We are a mass. While as individuals we come to Rotary with a wide variety of skills, abilities, and understandings, we come with a common interest in service.

We are a mass of service, associating in friendship to make the world a better place.

We are a mass of clubs formed by individuals, but we are a mass that can change lives.

Let us be thankful to be part of such a wonderful, friendly association en masse, together here for fellowship that has the power to change the world.