FAITH

MOPS Grace Destin hosts first open house

PAM GRIFFIN 654-8444 | @DestinLogPam pgriffin@thedestinlog.com
Members of MOPS Grace Destin in 2014-2015 include a leadership team with Jen Wendt, Cindy Shanklin, Ellen Kight, Yo Ann Colazo, Laura Lucy, JJ Daniels, Jenny Hernandez, Gili Woodhams, Ashley Abreu and Erika Scannell.

A local women's group, MOPS Grace Destin, invites fellow moms to its first Open House Celebration from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Grace Lutheran Church.

Mothers will have an opportunity to learn more about what the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) organization is about, meet other members and the leadership team, and register for the upcoming 2015-2016 season, which runs from Sept. 10 through May 2016. In addition, attendees can also put their names in a raffle for a chance to win one of two gift baskets.

The organization meets from 9:15-11:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

The local MOPS group, organized in the fall of 2014, has seen exponential growth in attendees in just it’s first year. At the end of last year, there were 34 moms, 13 support staff and 64 children.

“We are beyond excited to kick off this second year of MOPS hosted here at Grace Lutheran Church," Jen Wendt, community leader and coordinator for MOPS Grace Destin, told The Log. "We welcome all moms to come out to our Open House Celebration to learn more about who we are and what we do. Throughout the year, the moms really look forward to our meeting time where we can share some enlightenment in our walk as moms, wives, teachers, housekeepers, decorators, yard workers and the hundreds of other roles we play out each and every day. We are so blessed to have such great moms in this community, and I’m happy that we can provide an opportunity for them to come together.”

Every year there is a theme that ties all activities and teachings together. The theme verse for this year's theme, A Fierce Flourishing, is Isaiah 55:12 —"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

"After some sips of coffee and delicious brunch dishes, we do a Christian-based study of encouragement, enlightenment and/or discussion," Nicole Scott, member of the leadership team, told The Log. "This year, we will discuss topics including self, family, and friends. We also will bring in guest speakers to talk on the related subject of the day, as it all relates to mommyhood. After our study, we do a craft which is always fun. "

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MOPS, an international non-profit organization, provides a Christ-centered, caring ministry for mothers of children ages birth through kindergarten. It is about celebrating motherhood, meeting needs, making connections, and experiencing God's love through relationships and resources. There are more than 3,900 groups across the United States and in 35 countries.

“It’s truly become its own sisterhood of sorts, and we are able to lean on each for support," Erika Scannell, member of the membership team and mother of five, said. "I think the ability for these women to share their testimony and their raw sense of courage, compassion and camaraderie with other women in this community is what has made the difference.”

Childcare is offered for children ages infant through preschool. The organization is still looking for childcare volunteers, known as "Moppets." Interested individuals can contact Jen Wendt at mopsgracedestin@gmail.com.