Selma MOPS: Mothers of Preschoolers chapter established in city

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The mother of a two-year-old son, Kelley New longed to join a community support group that embraced young mothers while providing excellent care for their children. But she found no such group existed in Selma.

“I noticed there were no established mother groups in Selma,” she said. “There was no option for young mothers to connect on a social, spiritual and emotional level.”

Email newsletter signup

So New took matters into her own hands.

She researched the Internet and discovered MOPS – Mothers of Preschoolers.

New then established a MOPS chapter at The Salvation Army on Franklin Street, where she and her husband, Donald, serve as co-captains. Every other Monday from 6 until 7:30 p.m. at the Army, mothers can leave their child with qualified babysitters while they partake in a mother social hour just a few feet away.

“We just have a good time,” New said. “Some days we spend the whole time talking to each other, and other times we have made crafts and had a spa night with foot baths and manicures.

“MOPS helps mothers to relax,” New said, “and there’s peace of mind knowing their children are nearby and being taken care of in a good environment with Godly people.”

Founded in 1973 in Wheat Ridge, Colo., MOPS “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.” The organization practices six ministry values:

Dignity: The dignity of each human life and of each individual mother of preschoolers, no matter where she has been, what she has done or how she is choosing to live her life today, embracing both believers and non believers and all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Women: The equipping of women to become all that God has designed them to be.

Mothering: The value of mothering for its contribution to individuals, children, society at large, future generations and eternity.

Relationships: Relationships including the male/female marital relationship, the parent/child relationship, and the ultimate fulfillment of all needs through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Lifestyle Evangelism: Lifestyle evangelism as expressed through Christ-like relationships in an environment for growth and spiritual development as faith shared through actions and words.

Leadership Development: The equipping of women to gain confidence in their leadership skills and guide others through lifestyle evangelism.

“The more I read about it, the more I fell in love with the program,” New said.

Six mothers attended the first MOPS meeting held in March, which New says was a good turnout. Tammy Wilson, a stay at home mom present at the MOPS meeting on Monday, has three children – Elizabeth, 10, Kristopher, 7, and Laymond, 3. She said MOPS is a welcome addition to Selma.

“It’s for moms to try to not forget who they are. It’s for them to remember to take time for themselves and remember their identity,” Wilson said.

“It’s nice to have a little time for yourself.”

Betty Goodman and Vera Riley are MOPS babysitters. They too believe the organization is a community asset. Goodman admitted some children had to warm up to the MOPS concept, but once the fun began, their anxieties faded.

“We do crafts with (the children) and play little games,” Goodman said. “We have a lot of fun.”

New hopes to expand the MOPS chapter, and invite grandmothers and breast cancer survivors to share their wisdom with young mothers.

“We feel like God has called us to this ministry,” New said. We’re going to put 100 percent into it.”

For more information, call 334-872-1646.