STATE COLLEGE MOPS
MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. Here at MOPS, we gather and support moms. We believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together, face to face. That’s why we rally women to come together in their own neighborhoods and help each other through this thing called motherhood, one gathering at a time.
MOPS is international. Our acronym stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers” because we began in 1973 when a group of moms of young children banded together to share their lives and parenting journeys. Over the past 45 years, MOPS has expanded our reach to include moms with older kids, partnering with churches and organizations worldwide to equip and encourage moms in more than 60 countries.
In 2006, New Hope Church started the MOPS group in State College with a vision to connect moms to each and help them grow in their relationship with Jesus.
ABOUT STATE COLLEGE MOPS
Are you a mother of children 0-5 years of age? Join our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group!
When: Our 2020-2021 year begins in September on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 7:00-8:30pm
This year will start off looking a bit different, but some things will never change-- walking alongside other of moms in their brightest and darkest times. Together, we learn new things, celebrate hope-filled moments and embrace the messiness in our stories as we grow in faith together.
For more information or check us out on Facebook
Sponsored by New Hope Church.
THEME FOR 2020-2021
This year, we want to tell you two things that will change your life if you believe them.
First, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 Second, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you have work to do; meaningful work that was built into your DNA before you were born. Work that you were made for. Sometimes, we believe that our motherhood is a constraint that limits what we can do in this life. We want to remind you that motherhood isn’t a constraint – it’s a catalyst. In fact, God appointed a woman named Deborah to be a judge over the nation of Israel. She was a leader, warrior and prophetess who ultimately helped an entire nation rediscover its identity and destiny as the people of God. And she declared that she accomplished it because she AROSE AS A MOTHER.
The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be until I arose; I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel. Judges 5:7 (ESV)
Before God appointed Deborah, the inhabitants of Israel were distressed and had no fight left in them. Does this sound familiar? Is it possible that through this MOPS community of ours, each of us could reignite a sense of strength, joy and courage back into ourselves, our homes and our culture?
This is the year we arise as mothers to awaken a weary and sleeping world. The year to accept and believe that God will fulfill his promises to you, and to embrace your motherhood as a catalyst to his plans and promises for you.
Here are the three things we will do to remind ourselves of who God made us to be:
Arise as a mother. This is your year to get strong physically and mentally. To own the body you’ve been given and build muscle and stamina so you can do all the things that God is calling you to do; important things like chase your kids around the backyard, carry groceries for your elderly neighbor, or even build a mud house for a family in Rwanda. To embrace your own body’s abilities and build it up – whatever your physical ability may be. It also means being strong mentally. Sometimes our thought life needs a little tightening up. It might mean seeing a therapist who can give you tools for dealing with anxiety, or maybe developing mental stamina so you can endure the daily toddler meltdowns. Often we wait for all the right details to come into place before we act, but maybe this is the year God is saying, “Stop waiting and get to it.” Body and mind – this is the year we embrace the self that God gave us.
DO YOUR WORK:
Doing your work happens in big and small, but always significant ways. It’s about persevering through the daily grind of essential but mundane tasks; and it’s also about making brave choices to do new things. Doing your work looks different for each of us, but everyone’s work will require some grit and courage. Maybe it’s choosing forgiveness, healing from past trauma, or making amends to those you’ve hurt. Maybe it’s sharing the secret you’ve been carrying for years, or unlearning harmful patterns of behavior. And when it comes to mothering … God gave those kids to you, Mama! You’ve been appointed and no one else can mother them like you. You are made of brave spirit. You’ll figure it out because you always have, and you have God and your MOPS sisters by your side.
Actively seeking out joy is how we fight discouragement and fear. It’s how we fight our tendency to complain, accuse or be offended. Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you will respond to life in all its circumstances. Joy is the most magnetic and contagious force in the universe, the type that people around you can’t help but notice – especially those looking up toward their mom. It is a gladness that’s not just reserved for happy moments, but particularly during the hardest days that come your way. Joy is the deep knowing that you were made for more than anxiety, depression and fear. This is your year to reclaim joy and share it with others!
Together, may we all courageously Decide To Rise.
[An “exegesis” is a deeper interpretation and explanation of the Biblical basis of our theme for Leaders.]
In the 13th century B.C., the nation of Israel was in crisis. They were a people who were freed from captivity in Egypt, wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, claimed the Promised Land, and then found themselves without a centralized government for a long period of time. This resulted in a total breakdown of order.
Israel had lost its spiritual moorings and chaos ensued. Scripture says that the nation was oppressed and life in the village ceased. There was no vitality; an entire nation was in the fetal position. They had lost their will to fight and were cowering in the corner. That was true until Deborah was appointed by God as a judge and there arose a mother in Israel, a mother who had the courage to step out in faith.
You can find her story in Judges 4 and “The Song of Deborah,” an ancient poem (also, one of the oldest writings in the Bible), can be found in Judges 5. You’ll learn that Deborah was a woman who heard and obeyed God. In order to end Israel’s oppression, she summoned the warrior, Barak, and commanded him to gather a force of 10,000 Israelite soldiers to confront Sisera, their oppressor’s general. Barak’s response to Deborah: “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” (Judges 4:8)
Deborah agrees to accompany Barak, prophesying that God “will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Deborah and Barak, together with their army, climb Mount Tabor and then charge down the side against the Canaanite forces, defeating Sisera’s force of iron chariots. Sisera flees on foot and is lured into the tent of a woman named Yael. She lulls him to sleep with milk, then drives a tent peg through his temple (you can’t make this stuff up). In an unexpected way, Deborah’s prophecy that a woman will defeat Sisera is fulfilled.
Here are three important notes about Deborah:
Deborah was strong and courageous. She was a warrior. She said things that made people uncomfortable, and she made decisions that required courage. At different points in our lives we come to crossroads, a space in time where we need to make big decisions and take risks that we might otherwise prefer to avoid. The good news is we have access to the same source of strength and confidence that Deborah had access to: God. Therefore, we can trust that God has a good future planned for us and we are capable of great things, just like Deborah. Be bold and have courage. God is with you.
Deborah did her work. Appointed the fourth judge (or leader) of Israel, God raised her up to deliver his people from bondage and sin. Do you know how she succeeded and gained respect in her appointed role? She did her work and served God to the limit of her ability and capacity. She was not expected to fulfill the plan on her own and she knew that doing God’s work required teamwork. She led from a place of reliance on God, and people looked to her for guidance because of her faithfulness. If God is telling you to go somewhere or do something, take action.
Deborah found joy in listening to God. Everything she did and said was preceded by a conversation with God. When we trust God and surrender to his plans, we can find rest and joy in the process, even in the midst of difficult situations.
In Psalm 139, King David describes how God intentionally designed human beings and gave them value and worth. From knitting together our bodies to understanding the complexities of our minds and souls, extreme intention is involved in the creation of each person.
Here are a few key takeaways from Psalm 139:
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. David talks to God because he understands God has personal knowledge of him. Other gods at the time were understood to be distant and to not personally care about individuals. Yahweh was different, he was the all-knowing God who took intimate concern with each individual.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Using a proverbial phrase, David reiterates that God knows everything about him, even the most everyday mundane things. In Matthew 10:30, Jesus says that God knows the number of hairs on our head, which further enforces the truth that even the smallest details, thoughts and casual experiences are under God’s continual watch.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. David makes a clear statement about the intention that God had in creating us and in the amazing abilities of the human body he gives us. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:15-16 ESV). Composed of billions of cells and over a hundred thousand miles of blood vessels, our physical body is a miraculous combination of physical matter and supernatural soul. Our task is to enjoy our bodies, keep them strong, and utilize the vessels we have been given to do good work to glorify God.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! … Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. David uses the image of sand to illustrate how often God thinks of us. We do not need to worry or fear that we are forgotten or passed over, we are continually on his mind.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, See if there is any offensive way in me. David approaches God knowing he is a God of love, and trusting God to search him because God knows him at the deepest levels. David recognizes that God knows the depth of his heart and thoughts better than even David does. This is why he asks God to reveal things to him that he can’t see – hidden sin, unknown impurity, so he can become a better version of himself and live into the creation God made him to be.
Are you prepared to step toward the thing God is calling you to, trusting that he will take care of the rest?
This is your year to embrace the truth that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
To arise as a mother and make the brave decision to
Be Strong, Do Your Work and Chase Joy
This year's leadership team trying our best to social distance while taking a group photo!
This year at MOPS....
MOPS will look a bit different this year but some things will never change, our heart for creating a vibrant community of mothers of preschoolers who learn from one another, forge strong friendships with one another and who grow in faith together; and our God is not surprised, even in the unprecedented.
MOPS is a place to meet other moms of preschoolers face to face, (even though we will be in masks!) to share the journey of motherhood together. And we really take seriously the call to love one another, without judgment. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey you are welcome. MOPS is for all moms.
We are also committed to your health and safety and will try our best to create a meeting place that will be uplifting and strethening to you while providing the things we need to protect each other in this time of COVID-19.
The Vision and Mission of MOPS International
“MOPS International encourages and equips moms of young children to realize their potential as mothers, women and leaders, in relationship with Jesus, and in partnership with the local church.”
What are MOPS International’s Organizational Values?
Excellence: The achievement of organizational excellence by conducting all the affairs of the ministry in accordance with biblical principles, sound management, personal and organizational integrity, financial stewardship, and empowerment of the staff to accomplish organizational outcomes.
Heritage: The historical MOPS group structure serves as a model for ministry.
Faith Position Statement: A commitment to the MOPS International Faith Position Statement.
Partnerships/Alliances: Partnership/Alliances where individual strengths are shared for a common purpose.
Local Church: A relationship with the local church, embracing a spectrum of diverse denominations, which are in agreement with our Faith Position Statement.
Governance: The building of the board to model good governance, ensure the election of qualified and committed directors, constantly refine the Standing Policies Manual, and inform board members of major developments.
What are MOPS International’s core Ministry Values?
Under God, MOPS International embraces the following values statements, which we hold to be essential to our ministry, and which are the foundation upon which our ministry is based:
Dignity: The dignity of each individual life and 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 nonbelievers 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 relationship needs through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Marriage, Family and the Single Life: God has instituted marriage — the covenant relationship between one man and one woman — intended to be a life-long union of husband and wife. The single life, either by call or circumstance, is honored by God. Unmarried people are an important part of the Christian community.
Human Sexuality: Sexuality is inherent in God’s creation of human being in his image as male and female. Husbands and wives are called to exclusive sexual fidelity to one another and single persons are called to abstinence. God intends and enables all people to live within these boundaries with the help of the Holy Spirit and in the fellowship of the Church.
Relationship Evangelism: Relationship 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, volunteer leaders, volunteer staff, staff and board to gain skill and confidence in their leadership ability, to understand their influence in their family, community and world, and to guide others through relationship evangelism.
Leadership Qualifications: Personal relationship with Jesus Christ and growing towards maturity in relationship with Jesus Christ, evidenced in godly character, behavior and attitudes, as expressed in Scripture.
What is MOPS International’s Statement of Christian Character, Faith and Mission?
Statement of Christian Character: This Corporation is a community of like-minded Christian believers consisting of those who serve the mission of the organization as its representatives, including all of the directors, officers, employees and volunteer staff of the organization, each of whom is an integral part of the community. The organization maintains this faith-based community as an exercise of its Christian beliefs and as an expression of these beliefs to the larger community. In addition, the Corporation subscribes to the Christian belief that all of its activities should express the Corporation’s beliefs and be rendered as a service to God. In short, both the mission of the organization and the association of its directors, officers, employees and volunteer staff are an exercise and an expression of the organization’s Christian beliefs. Under God, MOPS International embraces our Statement of Faith (click here to read), which we hold to be essential to our ministry, and which are the foundation upon which our ministry is based.