Hello, my name is Christie Schauer, I am the coordinator of the new MOPS Ministry we are starting at Saint Thomas of Canterbury Parish. MOPS, which stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, is a non-denominational organization founded on the belief that better moms make a better world.
My own MOPS journey began five years ago. In 2010, my friend Angela invited me to check out a local MOPS group. It was at Campbell Church of Christ, a location I’d always driven past, but had never set foot in. My son, Jacob, was about 2 1/2 and I had just found out I was pregnant for the second time. I decided to go with Angela and check it out.
When we arrived at the church, there were signs in the parking lot welcoming us and directing us to the free child care that was provided during the meetings. Jacob got to play in a safe environment with other kids and I got to be me, still a mom, but able to do things like eat and talk without constantly being interrupted or worrying about what he was getting up to. I enjoyed the conversation that flowed freely at our table, being able to drink and eat while everything was still hot and I think we may have even done a craft. I registered with MOPS immediately.
Three months later, my water broke unexpectedly and I lost the baby. I went back to MOPS, heartbroken. The wonderful women there consoled me, hugged me and prayed for me, my family and the baby we lost. I was blessed to get pregnant again 4 months later. When that pregnancy was deemed high risk, I again turned to MOPS for support. They helped provide dinner for my family and daycare 1-2 times a week for Jacob. All of this done without anything expected in return: just moms taking care of another mom.
My daughter, Audrey, was born full term and healthy in Dec. 2011. I am convinced it is due in large part to the care MOPS provided me with.
A few months ago, I came to the church to pick up my cell phone from our catechetical director, Sherry Scott, after having left it at church during catechism. I told Sherry I had been at MOPS meeting that morning. When she asked what MOPS was, I shared my story with her. We then decided this was something needed at Saint Thomas.
Starting in September, MOPS will be meeting here at Saint Thomas once a month. We will open our doors and our hearts to women and their children, we will give them a safe place to be and build friendships and faith. We will give that to them through MOPS. But in order for MOPS to flourish, which is our theme for the year, we will need you. We want moms and their children to join us. We will need workers for childcare and we will need mentor moms who will be the ones to guide us, pray for us and hold our babies so we can eat. We need you because Saint Thomas needs MOPS. Even if you are not a Saint Thomas parishioner, we invite you to join us as we flourish in our new MOPS Group!
MOPS of Saint Thomas of Canterbury meets every 3rd Thursday from 9:30-11:30am. Free childcare provided. Visit us at http://stcsj.org/outreach/mops-of-st-thomas and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stcsjMOPS. You may also reach Christie Schauer, coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 340-0296.