Located in both Branson and Springfield, Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, provides local moms of children five years old or younger with the opportunity to take a couple of hours away from the rugrats and come together for games, crafts, speakers and fellowship. Co-coordinators for Branson’s morning MOPS group, Erika Grimmer and Katrina Cramer, answered our questions about their group.
What is the purpose of your organization and who is your target audience?
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.
Our target audience is any mom who has at least one child age 0–5 years old.
How often do you meet?
We meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, September–May, 9:15–11:15 a.m. at Woodland Hills Family Church.
What is the cost of the meeting or membership?
The cost of membership is $90 for the year, or a mom can pay $50 per semester. We also offer partial scholarships and lend-a-hand opportunities to moms who may require financial assistance.
What can a mom expect when attending your meeting?
A mom can expect two hours of great fellowship, teaching, craft time, games and food while her children are cared for by background-checked and trained workers. She can expect to get to know other moms in her same stage of life, find encouragement from these moms and her table mentor, and feel better connected to the moms in her community.
How can moms-to-be benefit from the meeting?
Moms-to-be can benefit from our meetings by receiving encouragement, support and direction from moms who have “walked in her shoes” or may be expecting themselves. A mom-to-be also gets to create a great community of support so that when her baby does come, she has moms who will bring her meals, encourage her through the tough times and be there to walk with her through the newness of motherhood.
What are some activities you’ll be hosting for the adults?
Every meeting includes ample time for “adult conversation”… uninterrupted by kids! Our meetings may also include a craft, a mentor speaker, a community speaker, or games. Occasionally we host MOPS & POPS events. These are usually evening activities, intended to create a fun date night for MOPS moms and their husbands. For instance, last October, we hosted a “Mom’s Night Out” at Vintage Paris in Hollister, and in December, we hosted a “Birthday Party for Jesus” where families celebrated the true reason for Christmas together. Additionally, each mom is “assigned” a table for each meeting and this small group of moms will try to organize times, outside of our regular MOPS meetings, to get together for coffee or dinner or some other fun event.
What are some activities you’ll be hosting for the kids?
Last October, we invited all moms and kids to join us at a pumpkin patch for a fun MOPS outing. There will be several more events scheduled for the spring semester, which can be found on our website, http://bransonmops.org/.
What are some advantages for moms when joining a support group like this?
The advantages of MOPS includes fellowship with moms in the same stage of life, encouragement for the good and hard days, four hours per month of childcare, an opportunity to become more connected and involved in her community, and a chance to create real and meaningful friendships.
How did MOPS come to be in Branson?
In 1997, Darla Spears, who had been in a MOPS group in Houston, founded Branson MOPS. This group began as an evening, MOPS PM, group with about 15 moms meeting in the parlor of First Baptist Church. Before the end of that first year, Darla moved away and Dee Goodwin and Jana Brown took over as co-coordinators.
In 2001, a group of women from that group saw a need for a morning group and thus MOPS AM was founded. At first the PM group supported the AM group financially until they could get their ministry up and running. By 2006, there were over 150 moms in the two groups combined. MOPS PM still meets at First Baptist Church and MOPS AM meets at Woodland Hills Family Church.
MOPS of Branson
Meets: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays each month
Time: 9:15–11:15 a.m.
Location: Woodland Hills Family Church, 3953 Green Mountain Drive, 65616
Phone: (417) 336-5452
Meets: 2nd Tuesday of every month
Time: 6:00–8:30 p.m.
Location: First Baptist Church, 400 S. Sunshine Street, 65616
Phone: (417) 336-5452
MOPS of Springfield
Meets: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month
Time: 9:30 –11:30 a.m.
Location: Central Assembly of God, 1301 Boonville Avenue, 65802
Phone: (417) 866-5013