Have some questions about MOPS? 

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about MOPS that you may find useful if you decide to join us (we hope you will!). Don’t see your question here? You can always e-mail a Steering Team member directly or contact Julie our group’s coordinator.

I’m a stay-at-home mom/working mom/single mom/new to the area... am I welcome?

YES! MOPS International exists to meet the needs of every mom - urban, suburban and rural moms, stay-at-home and working moms, teen, single and married moms - moms with different lifestyles who all share a similar desire to be the very best moms they can be! MOPS recognizes that the years from infancy through kindergarten are foundational in a mother-child relationship and are filled with unique needs.

Do I have to attend Essex Alliance Church - or any church - to be able to come?

You do not need to be a churchgoer or from a specific denomination to join MOPS. We want all moms to “come as you are.” Christian prayers and themes will come up, but please know that all moms are welcome. 

May I come when I’m pregnant, or do I have to wait until my baby is born?

MOPS is for moms who are pregnant right up through moms whose youngest child is in kindergarten. When all of your children are in 1st grade or older, you then “graduate” from MOPS.

May I come once just to try it? May I bring a friend?

Yes! Your first meeting is free. Bring a friend!

When does MOPS meet?

Our MOPS group meets on Tuesdays. There are two meeting times to choose from: 

  • Monday evening from 6:30pm - 8:45pm
  • Tuesday morning from 9:00 am - 11:15 am

MOPS meetings typically are bi-monthly; however, our schedule follows the Essex school calendar, so our bi-monthly schedule may vary due to school vacations. 

Do I have to choose one meeting time to attend?

We ask that you pick one consistent meeting time. Part of your MOPS experience is participating in your small group, with whom you will meet for part of each meeting to discuss the speaker topic. Being consistent helps friendships form in small groups. However, if you have a change in your schedule or a conflict arises, you can always attend another meeting.

May I bring my kids?

Yes! MOPS Kids is our Tuesday morning children's program where your kids are taken care of by volunteers - many of whom are your fellow MOPS moms. Children are assigned to a classroom based on their age where they have time to play, do a craft, hear a story and have a snack. To ensure we have enough volunteers to make MOPS Kids happen, moms attending the morning meetings are asked to volunteer in MOPS Kids with their small group at least twice per year.  

Due to a number of factors, including a declining need, childcare will not be offered on Monday evenings.  If this presents an ongoing challenge (i.e. prevents you from attending MOPS for the 2018-19 year), please contact our Coordinator.

I heard that it costs money to come to each meeting. What does the money go toward?

Because we are chartered through MOPS International, each member is required to pay MOPS’ registration fee of $32. This fee gets you a monthly magazine & encouraging e-mail, and other great benefits that change from year to year. Please note that our charter agreement states that we must register all moms with MOPS International. 

Our local MOPS chapter dues are $5/meeting. This money covers things that we use to run our chapter and put on each meeting, such as: the purchase of coffee, tea, and other basic refreshments; supplies for the creative activities and Spa Day; mailings; expenses to cover our MOPS Special Events; and much more.

If any of these fees present a financial hardship to you, please talk with the Finance Coordinator to discuss a MOPS Scholarship. Don’t let the fees stand in your way of coming to MOPS!

What are the meetings like?

When you arrive for a MOPS meeting, you check yourself in at the registration desk and check your kids into MOPS Kids if needed. After that you head to the Fellowship Hall, which is where we have our meetings. Once you find a seat, you can help yourself to some hot coffee or tea, some breakfast or light appetizers (depending on the meeting time), do a creative activity and socialize.

Once everyone has arrived, the Morning or Evening Coordinator will begin the meeting. She may share some MOPS-related announcements, tell a funny story from her week, or show a brief video related to that day’s topic. Then one of our Mentor Moms will get up and share an encouraging story or reading. Next, the day's guest speaker is introduced and shares his/her talk for the next 20-40 minutes. When the speaker is finished, we break into our small groups - these are the same for the whole year - and discuss the topic presented by the speaker.

Each small group has a Small Group Leader who will present questions for discussion, give guidance and be the point person for the group. There is also a Mentor Mom assigned to each small group. Mentor Moms are moms who have children that are teenagers or older. They encourage us and share their perspective of the preschool years now that they are out of them.

What’s my responsibility as a MOPS mom? Do I have to volunteer?

Each MOPS mom is asked to help their small group provide the meetings meal twice a year.  Additionally, moms attending the morning meetings are asked to serve in MOPS Kids at least twice a year.  We do understand that unexpected events come up that complicate life, so if either of these volunteer needs present a hardship to you at the time you are asked to help, please let your Small Group Leader or a member of the Steering Team know.

Beyond this, it’s up to you if and how much you want to volunteer. There are tons of opportunities to serve as part of a team, which many moms find is a great way to get to get to know other moms and deepen friendships. To find out more about our teams, visit the MOPS Teams page.

How can I get more information throughout the year?

For up-to-date information on current events happening in MOPS, you can visit this website or join our Facebook page. You will also hear announcements at the beginning of each meeting from the Meeting Coordinator or other MOPS moms. In addition, you can always talk with a Steering Team member, your Small Group Leader or your Mentor Mom to find out more about MOPS, or even if you just need some encouragement or someone to talk to.