Purpose Statement

MOPS Purpose Statement: MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another great blog for Mums

Here is a link to another great blogs for mums looking for ideas and inspiration for activities to do with little ones at home just for fun or learning or a mix of both.

This site has a lot of great activities broken up into categories (see the labels on the Right Hand side of their blog) such as ABCs, Craft and Cooking as well as plenty more.

Take a look at the site by clicking on this link Totally Tots

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Looking for things to do with your Preschooler?

Looking for things to do at home with your Preschooler (or perhaps considering Homeschooling or already Homeschooling).

Just came across this excellent website while looking for more information on "Lapbooking" and thought I would share it here.

Lots of great ways to extend your child's interest in a book or topic.

Link here to the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star page as an example or search through all the others for loads more fun. See this page for many many more - they are all broken down into age groups

More on Lapbooking here or here or here or here or  here

Friday, January 22, 2010

Currently Recruiting MOPS Leaders

Are you interested in 
becoming part of the
Leadership Team in 2010.

Positions are vacant in both a Leader and Helper/Assistant capacity.

What is it like being part of the MOPS Leadership Team?
  • Its good fun
  • It stretches and challenges you in many varied ways
  • You get to use all those excellent skills and gifts you have from your life BC (before kids) but don't always get to utilise as a mum
  • And also the many skills that you already utilise in the role of Mum (multitasking, networking)
  • It will give you many opportunties to learn lots of new things along the way
  • You get to work with a great group of women (who are busy mums just like you)
  • AND you get to bless a great group of mums each week
  • And ....finally ....its something to do outside of the house (! for those like me that need an escape and an excuse to not do the housework).

You may feel as though as a busy mum you may not have the time.

All team members are mums too so we understand this concern.

One idea is that roles can be shared/done in a team fashion
(e.g.,2-3 mums can work as a Hospitality team).

There is plenty of flexibility here.

You may be concerned you don't "have what it takes" or possess the 
right skill set. personality etc.

You can do it! If you are keen and feel prompted to put your hand up that is the most important part. Please know that you will be supported in your role by the existing team members and there are also handbooks/training DVDs/Forums/Conferences etc to guide you in this role. Many current and past leaders have felt exactly the same but stepped into the role knowing that they would grow into it. Not one of us on the team are "perfect" or hold all the skills and qualities asked for by each role description - but we know that we do our best and grow each week and collectively as a group (with Gods help!) we get there and so MOPS gets up and running and is great fun every week.

Team Positions are as follows (with a brief description of each role. Please see MOPS Handbooks for further detail):*

Co-Ordinator: Coordinates all the team members, hosts planning meetings, responsible for the overall running of MOPS, may "MC" the meetings or share this role with others on the team. liases with the host church where required
Assistant Coordinator: Assists the Coordinator to do the above
Finance/Admin: Collects and processes registrations, handles and records incomings/outgoings, banking, reimbursement, database, fundraising etc
Hospitality: Coordinates morning tea at each meeting, decor, meeting and greeting, making mums welcome, washing up
Publicity: marketing/promoting MOPS, newsletter, Blog etc
Discussion Group Leader: Supports/trains/encourages Table Leaders, comes up with discussion questions to faciliate discussion after guest speakers/DVDs,
Table Leaders: Responsible for hosting a table of Mums (6-8 approx), a regular attendee/familiar face at the table, connecting with the mums and supporting them, facilitating the mums on a table getting to know each other better while at MOPS and in between meetings ie social events, making them feel welcome at each MOPS, contacting Mums in between MOPS, pastoral care (ie coordinating meals when unwell or new baby)
Creative Activities: Organising and sourcing and preparing craft and other creative  activities (ie demos - how to make sushi, cover a book with contact, do a manicure etc)
Service: Supporting the community
Mentors: An 'older' mum further down the track than current MOPS Mums, a prayer warrior, mature Christian, Wiser Older Woman to mentor the mums. May be involved as a Guest Speaker, be part of Discussion Groups, walk alongside mums and support them in this season of being a Mother of Preschoolers
MOPPETS Leader/Carers: Care for children/babies while the mums meet (Blue Card)

12 Ideal Qualities of a MOPS Leader
  • Christian - has faith in Jesus Christ, and follows him in all areas of her life. Romans 10:9
  • Called - recognizes that God has summoned her to a position of influence and submits herself to that call. Luke 9:23
  • Christ-like - is intentional about growing godly character as expressed in Scripture and evidenced by behavior and attitudes. Galatians 5:22-23
  • Courageous - chooses to persevere even in the face of challenges. Psalm31:24
  • Accountable - is willing to accept responsibility to God, to others and to herself. Romans 14:12
  • Servant - serves that she leads.Matthew20: 26-28
  • Growing - has a teachable spirit and takes responsibility for growing toward personal and spiritual. Philippians 1:6
  • Hopeful - knows Jesus as her source of hope and points others to him. 1 Peter 3:15
  • Gracious - receives others willingly with a generous spirit. Romans 15:7
  • Authentic - knows and accepts herself and is honest about her strengths and weaknesses in her relationships with others. Romans 12:3
  • Adaptable - embraces and manages change.1 Corinthians 9:22
  • Humble - recognizes her dependence upon God and others.1 Peter 5:5-6

Please speak to the Coordinator/your Table Leader/any of the current team if you would like to find out more about any of these positions.

* Please be aware that there are specific criteria set by MOPS International  that must be adhered to for each role - e.g., must be a mother of a preschooler (except for Mentor/Carer role), must be a Christian to hold a Leadership position, must hold a current Blue Card to be a MOPPETS Carer etc.

See the co-ordinator more further information or if you have any questions.

MOPS for 2010 - Start Date

We start back at MOPS on Feb 12th.
See you there!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Info on Operation Christmas Child


I realise Christmas 2009 has come and gone but wanted to add this link (Operation Christmas Child FILL A SHOEBOX FOR A CHILD NEXT CHRISTMAS) early in 2010 so those that want to fill a shoebox (or several) with gifts for a child in poverty have a head start and can collect items throughout the year.

With all the other costs of a little family and being mindful of stretching every dollar I find it helps to start thinking about Operation Christmas Child at the beginning of the year. This way the cost of filling the shoebox can be spread over the year and it also prevents scrambling around at OCC collection time and having to race around trying to fill the box in a hurry/all in one go.

This way you also have all year to talk to your child about Operation Christmas child and many opportunities to involve them in the process and get their help in looking out for fun/interesting/appropriate little items as well as more time to look for bargains throughout the year/things on sale etc (as all the little items can add up).

Here is a link to a You Tube video of one very frugals mums tip of how she managed to fill 45(!) shoeboxes for $45 !!! Yep $1 a box (OS info though I realise) - so 45 children who may never have got a Christmas gift did because of this woman's efforts.

So please be mindful that cost need not be a barrier. *

* at the same time I don't believe in filling these boxes with "junk" . We put in a lot of thought when filling ours as to what would a child of this age really enjoy/get a lot of use out of /items that would make a difference to their lives etc. Less money spent doesn't always equal inferior quality items - just good prices and less damage to the Family Budget (trying to be a good steward of our finances)

As for me I think I will make a start with 2 boxes this year - one for a girl my daughters age and another for a boy the same age as my son. And then see how we go from there.

As the year goes past and the boxes fill up I'd love to be able to keep going with additional boxes.

* Be sure to check the Samaritans Purse OCC site for all the things to LEAVE OUT OF THE SHOEBOX, stuff that CAN NOT BE SENT for safety or cultural reasons.

School Readiness - From Childhood 101 Blog

School Readiness Tips - from Childhood 101 Blog

Given many of you (like me) will have a little one starting school or kindy this year I have also added this link to one of Chrissys posts that talks about School Readiness

Link to a Blog MOPS Mums may like

Childhood 101 - Parenting Blog

Click on this link to go to a parenting blog called Childhood 101. A mother of a toddler writes about her experiences of parenting, low cost actitivities to do at home, her experience and tips for meals/discipline/adventures with your toddler drawing on her experiences as a Child Care Director prior to being a mum.

Theme Scripture

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Annual MOPS Participation Fee

The annual MOPS Participation Fee of $10 assists MOPS Australia in covering the cost of training for Regional Coordinators to help other MOPS groups to develop around Australia. It also allows more MOPS group leaders around Australia to access regional training.

This will go a long way to helping MOPS Australia bring MOPS to more Mums around Australia.

When you register for MOPS each year, you will be handed an Annual Participation Fee form, and we ask that if you are able to pay this $10 participation fee, please do so before the end of April 2011.

The payment options are...
1. Direct Debit to MOPS Australia bank account
2. Credit card
3. Cheque payable to MOPS Australia
4. Cash to MOPS@MBC front desk

Thank you, from the MOPS@MBC team.

How did MOPS begin?

It was a Tuesday morning, at about 9.30. They each had faced spilled cereal, tangled hair, and a few had even been forced to change their outfits due to a last-minute baby throw-up on a shoulder or lap. They had driven, or pushed strollers, to the church and had dropped their little ones off in the creche. They had made it!

And now they sat, knees almost touching, in the circle of children's chairs from the Sunday school room. Hands held hot cups of tea and biscuits in utter freedom because this treat did not have to be shared with a child's sticky fingers. Mouths moved in eager, uninterrupted conversation. Eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. Hearts stirred with understanding. Needs were met.

That morning in 1973, was the first morning of MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers. Little was it known that from this small beginning in a church in Colorado, USA, the seeds of the MOPS concept and format had been planted. The needs of the women were met even then, through the opportunity for friendship, creative outlet and spiritual emphasis. MOPS International now charters approximately 2,500 MOPS groups in churches in the United States and 13 other countries throughout the world.

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

Nineteen years later and thousands of kilometres away, the same mutual need for sharing was realised by a group of mums with children under school age in Melbourne. After reading about the MOPS concept in the US, leaders introduced the program to the Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship in early 1990 and MOPS was born in Australia. From this small beginning, the seeds for future growth were planted, resulting in the formation of an affiliated body to support the ever-increasing number of Australian groups and the mums they served.

Since its formation in June 2000, MOPS Australia, Inc has grown rapidly and there are currently over 100 groups throughout Australia. In the last year alone, 35 new groups have commenced, with groups starting up regularly throughout different Christian denominations. Groups now meet in every state and territory in Australia, with an estimated ministry to approximately 2500 mums and 3000 children.

How did MOPS begin at MBC?

A Brief History of MOPS at MBC by Karen Askey-Doran (COordinator of MOPS til 2008 and currently Regional Coordinator).

In 1999, the leader of MBC’s women’s ministry caught the vision of MOPS. At that time I was a new Mum with little inclination to help; I was interested but not convicted!

Roughly a year later another meeting was held to generate interest. At this time I had another little baby girl, a 16-month-old toddler and, although I was unaware of it, Post Natal Depression. And once again people were interested but not compelled to lead.

In 2005 Holly, caught the vision of MOPS and began to sow the seeds of interest throughout the young Mums in our church. Robyn Robertson came to our first meeting and inspired us into action…the seeds Holly planted took hold!

People came slowly at first to fill the positions, it seemed there were a lot of blanks for a long time! Holly was going to be our Coordinator and when she filled out the charter she realised that a Mother of Preschoolers should really fill that role…. So she called me! Very graciously, Holly took a side step into a Mentoring role (very appropriate really).

God was moving in our midst, we had been blessed with an inspired team of 15 Mops Leaders and 9 Moppets Leaders, each one having a testimony about how God had lead them to this ministry!

I suspect that God has big plans for our group. I still feel very inadequate sometimes but I do trust God and I want to serve him and to reach out to Mums who are hurting, to support them. I want to encourage, you know, to build up… to make a difference in people’s lives, especially my children’s!

I know I’m not alone… In Romans 8:28 it says “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He planned for my girls, my twins, my battle with PND. He planned for MOPS - at this time - in our church! The door has literally been flung open!

What happens at a MOPS meeting?

When a mum enters a MOPS meeting, she is greeted by a friendly face and escorted to MOPPETS, where her children enjoy their special part of the MOPS program. In MOPPETS, children from infancy through to school age experience a caring environment while they learn, sing, play and make crafts.

Once her children are settled, the MOPS mum joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can grab something to eat and not have to share it! She can finish a sentence and not have to speak in words of two syllables!

The program typically begins with a brief lesson taught by an older mum who's been through the challenging years of mothering and who can share from her experience and from the truths taught in the Bible. Then the women move into small discussion groups where there are no "wrong answers" and each mum is free to share her joys and struggles with other mums who truly understand her feelings. In these moments, long-lasting friendships are often made on the common ground of finally being understood.

From here, the women participate in a craft or other creative activity. For mums who are often frustrated by the impossibility of completing anything in their unpredictable days, this activity is deeply satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and growth for many mums.

Because mums of preschoolers themselves lead MOPS, the program also offers women a chance to develop their leadership skills and other talents. It takes organisation, creativity, and management skills to run a MOPS program successfully.

By the time they finish the MOPS meeting and pick up their children, the mums feel refreshed and better able to mother. MOPS helps them recognise that mums have needs too! And when they take the time to meet those needs, they find they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families.

Meeting the needs of Mothers of Preschoolers

The MOPS program is dedicated to meeting the needs of mothers of preschoolers. These needs have been identified by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall in their book, What Every Mum Needs:

The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to be understood

The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

Here's How Some Mums Describe MOPS

"MOPS means that I am able to share the joys and frustrations and insecurities of being a mum. Our meetings provide the opportunity to hear someone else say, "I was up all night," or "They're driving me crazy!"

MOPS mum, Perth

"As a single mum, this is the first group I've felt accepted in for who I am."

MOPS mum, Canberra

'On my first day at MOPS, I knew my life had changed forever! The women made me feel so relaxed. I had a peace I hadn't felt for a long time. They were so caring, pleasant, helpful…the list goes on! I just want to say, "Thank you MOPS!" If it weren't for MOPS, I wouldn't be where I am today.'

MOPS mum, Melbourne

'When I first started MOPS, I was very, very lonely. MOPS gave me a chance to get out of the house which I was grateful for. The talks were very informative. I found out a lot through these talks. My problems seemed to become smaller. When I first started at MOPS, I thought I was a Christian. I wasn't. Through MOPS I can now say, 'I am a Christian.' MOPS to me is not only Mothers of Pre Schoolers, but My Own Private Salvation!'

MOPS mum, Canberra