Looking at the photos now it’s easy to see that our Mothers on the March (MOTM) was many things for those of our MOPS community who were able to participate. For those of us organising it it was a chance to “hold up our banner” in the community; for those leaders planning for conference it was a chance to work towards a little less expense; for the husbands who supported us it was a chance to catch up or meet for the first time; and for the kids it was a chance to play with good friends.
We had never held a MOTM event before and to be honest, we weren’t quite sure how we would go making it our own. So to start with we had a good think about what our goals would be. For us there were three major goals. The first was to use the opportunity to offer our husbands and partners the chance to build their own friendships, the second was to build some visibility in the community in the hope of encouraging another local church to catch the vision of MOPS, and the third goal was to raise some money.
The pre-paid sausage sizzle seemed pretty clever on a few accounts… it gave the men a focal point; it provided us with a meal and very little clean up; and lastly we were able to raise a some money with it. Like clockwork the men moved straight to the BBQ and left the women and children to gather and do a sort of token walk with our banner across the park.
We have tried a number of fund-raising and social events with our group previously but what made MOTM stand out was that we gathered as families. Our regular MOPS mornings are so special and valued because we gather as women on a shared journey in a safe environment to encourage each other. It was great to compliment these mornings with a weekend event aimed at broadening our scope of encouragement into the lives of the men and older children (and a few welcome ring-ins) who usually miss MOPS.
As for the publicity side of things, we are excited to have gotten in touch with the local Christian paper who were eager to hear about MOPS and MOTM. Because we already have a waiting list, one of the focusses which we wanted the article to have was on inviting other churches to catch the vision of MOPS. To this end, our mentor was able to speak to one of the journalists and we have forwarded photos to be included in the next monthly publication.
Though we didn’t raise any record-breaking amounts of money this year, we feel so encouraged that we did raise awareness of the relevance of MOPS in the community; we did raise the spirits of our men by allowing them the chance to build community with each other; and we did relish a lovely family morning as we raise our kids with the priceless support of our MOPS group.