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Newberg MOPS

Welcome to Newberg MOPS!

MOPS is a grassroots movement that believes moms are world influencers. We believe that incubating hearts and giving just-because-hugs can change the course of history. That’s why MOPS connects moms all over the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood. MOPS groups are rallying women to be more honest, to feel more equipped and to find our identity by journeying alongside one another.

MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, and by preschoolers we mean kiddos from birth through kindergarten. We know it’s a little confusing so let’s just stick with “MOPS.”

We are moms, and we believe that better moms make a better world.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Serve Your Community As A Family

Marta Oti Sears 
By Marta Oti Sears

Compassion is a quality all parents hope their children will develop. A powerful way for parents to encourage compassion in their children is to engage in community service with them. Follow these simple steps to embrace community service as a family.

1. List your family’s strengths and passions
Make a quick list of things your family likes and is good at. Do you love nature and being outdoors? Do you enjoy music, art, or dance? Is someone in the family good at organizing or building things? List a few passions and strengths for each member of your family. After you’ve made the list, look for any themes. Is there one strength or passion that you all have in common? Do your passions revolve around nature or the arts?

2. List the needs of your community
Make a second list of needs in your community. This can include citywide needs to needs in your neighborhood. Browse a local newspaper to help identify needs.

3. Compare your passions with the community’s needs
American writer Frederick Buechner said that people’s callings are found in the places where their “deep gladness” and the “world’s deep hunger” meet. Do you see any passions and needs on your lists that look like a match? If gardening is one of your family’s passions and you’re aware that food banks typically lack fresh produce, this might be a match. Circle any passions and needs on your lists that might be a match. Don’t worry if you don’t see any potential matches. People often discover new passions as they volunteer.

4. Research nonprofit organizations
Using the needs you circled, do a web search for local nonprofit organizations working on those needs. (If you didn’t circle any, choose two needs that stand out to you.) Websites like www.volunteermatch.org and www.allforgood.org make it quick and easy to find a service opportunity in your area.

5. Contact two organizations 
Once you have a feel for a couple of organizations, contact them. Call or email the organization to ask about volunteer opportunities for families. Tell them the ages of your children so they can give you the best options for your family.

6. Serve as a learner
When the day arrives, set a fun and positive tone and approach your volunteer service with humility. Pay attention to those around you to see what you can learn from staff, other volunteers and your children. In their innocence and simplicity, children often show love in beautiful, profound ways.

7. Celebrate
Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” After you volunteer, consider going out for a special treat to celebrate the small things you accomplished. Tell your children what you saw in them as they volunteered that inspired you and made you proud.

Marta Oti Sears is a pastor at 2nd Street Community Church who is doing her best to nurture compassion in herself and her 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. She is a contributing author of the book Just Moms: Conveying Justice in an Unjust World (Barclay Press).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Introducing our 2016-17 Newberg MOPS Steering Team: ANDREA VALDEZ

ANDREA VALDEZ is this year's Publicity person.  She's in charge of getting the word out about our events, meetings and anything else going on.  She is also in charge of the monthly newsletter and managing our blog, facebook and email.

• Name: Andrea Valdez

• Position: Publicity

• Kids/FamilyHusband Ryan, Andrew (4) and Ethan (2)

• Favorite thing to do with my family: Anything and everything – we enjoy being outdoors, road trips, board and card games, movie nights, bowling, and so much more.

• What a day to myself would look like: I would sleep in, have breakfast at a restaurant and go for a hike.  I would then go somewhere quiet and read a great book and meet my friends in the evening for an awesome dinner out and hours of laughing and talking.

• Why I joined Steering: I felt called to serve and develop some deeper friendships with other women on the Steering Team.  It's been a wonderful, challenging experience.

• What I enjoy most about MOPS: The fellowship.  It’s so nice to be around a group of women that truly “get” where you’re at in life – your struggles, your triumphs.  And the deeps friendships I have developed are truly heaven-sent.

• What I am looking forward to this year with MOPS:  Developing close friendships with my table group and attending as many of the outings as I can.

• What this year’s theme “We Are The Starry Eyed” means to me: I really love the tag line for this year's theme.  "Wonder • Hope • Kindness".  I really want these 3 words and concepts to be bountiful in my life. I want to always feel hopeful about the present and the future.  I want to always find wonder in the simplest of things.  I want to always find kindness to be prevalent in my life.  I want to look at the world like a child on his or her first trip to Disneyland.  I want this even more for my boys...and my husband too!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Introducing our 2016-17 Newberg MOPS Steering Team: NANCY ALMQUIST

We are so fortunate to have NANCY ALMQUIST as our Mentor Mom Coordinator.  Nancy is an amazing woman and mentor to all of us in the trenches of motherhood.  She is in charge of finding, supporting and encouraging the Mentor Moms at each table.

• Name: Nancy Almquist

• Position: Mentor Mom Coordinator

• Kids/Family: Married to Paul 26 years; son Tim, married to Emma; Son Mark, married to Mackenzie and son Andrew - all grown

• Favorite thing to do with my family: hike, play games, cook and eat together

• What a day to myself would look like: getting my hair or nails done; unlimited time in JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts, coffee with a friend, lunch with a friend, dinner with my guy and a bubble bath with a chick flick to end the day

• Why I joined Steering: I am passionate about women seeing themselves as God made them....I hope to impact generations with this message

• What I enjoy most about MOPS: the authentic relationships and lotsa sweet kiddos

• What I am looking forward to this year with MOPS: watching new leaders step up into their God blessed roles

• What this year’s theme “We Are The Starry Eyed” means to me: We have such great reason to HOPE - look up into the heavens...see the God of the universe set the the stars in place - one of those stars is YOU and the ways he has planned to BLESS YOU!

Introducing our 2016-17 Newberg MOPS Steering Team: ANNA DUFF

ANNA DUFF is the queen of all things creative and we are very lucky to have her back as our CREATIVITY person this year.  Anna is in charge of crafts and does a fabulous job finding fun and meaningful projects for our group.

• Name: Anna Duff

• Position: Creativity

• Kids/Family: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 9 years. Derek and I have been together for 15 years. We have a quirky, hilarious and creative 5-year-old daughter named Lily. We also have a 2-year-old son named Hayden who always has a giant smile on his face and is the biggest tease I know.

• Favorite thing to do with my family: I’m a pretty easy gal to please. The simple things in life make me the happiest. I love playing board games and watching TV with family, playing and crafting with my kids, talking with the ones I love and sharing delicious food with family and friends. There is something warm and cozy about sharing a good meal with loved ones. It provokes good conversation, laughter and creates precious memories.

• What a day to myself would look like: Long before I had kids I made a list of my “Top Favorite Things in Life.” I’m not sure why I did this. It seemed important at the time. Wow, I can’ imagine having the time to even begin making a list like that in my current stage of life. One of my top favorite things was and still is 3:00pm naps. I always crash around that time of day, especially since having kids. Nothing, absolutely nothing feels better than a nap. So, if I had a day to myself I would definitely take a nap. Of course, this would follow a full day of shopping, eating and drinking coffee all by myself. You know, the things you did before having kids without truly appreciating the luxury of completing simple tasks without adorable little people hanging off your legs.

• Why I joined Steering:
I joined steering as a personal challenge. I tend to be a shy person and get a little too comfortable with my simple day to day life. I knew I needed to branch out and meet other moms. I needed to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. It was announced at my very first MOPS meeting that the crafts position was open. This was right up my alley. I decided to dive right in and go for it. This ended up being a great decision. This is my 5th year on MOPS Steering! The friendships and comradery I have experience by being a part of steering has been amazing. Some of my dearest friends are ones I meet at MOPS. These ladies have helped me believe I could do things in my life that I didn’t believe I could do.

• What I enjoy most about MOPS:
Hands down, the thing I enjoy most about MOPS is having the friendship and wisdom of dozens of fellow mamas at my fingertips. The knowledge I have gained from other MOPS moms over the past 4 years is priceless. In terms of raising a preschooler and getting through all the stages that crop up between birth and age 5, some moms have been there before, some are there right now and some have yet to get there. Each of us has different experiences and knowledge to share.  It’s fun to share the good times with friends, but also good to know that you are not alone during the rough times. I think there is truly something special and powerful about a woman’s relationship and bond with other women.

• What I am looking forward to this year with MOPS: BUNCO, I’m itching to play some BUNCO! I’m kidding...kind of. I do love the Mom's Times Outs. They are the perfect recharge for my tired “mom battery.”

• What this year’s theme “We Are The Starry Eyed” means to me: Honestly, I really didn’t understand this year’s theme at first. One afternoon while searching Pinterest for MOPS craft ideas I ran across the following theme explanation. It completely opened my eyes to the meaning of the theme. I couldn’t say it better myself.

"Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable. When we reflect back over our lives, this year is going to stand out. It will be the year that we decided to live fully by both sunlight and moonlight. Because audacity is rising in the deepest and wildest parts of our souls. And the best part is, we will experience it all together."

Friday, September 9, 2016

Introducing our 2016-17 Newberg MOPS Steering Team: KELLIE COX

KELLIE COX is our Discussion Group Leader (DGL) Coordinator this year.  She has a very important job, supporting and encouraging each table's DGL.

• Name:  Kellie Cox

• Position:  DGL Coordinator

• Kids/Family: Avalyn, 2.5 years, Grace 16 months

• Favorite thing to do with my family:  Going on family walks.  We live in Dundee so we enjoy walking to Red Hills for a coffee and a cookie then heading to the park to play. 

• What a day to myself would look like:  It would definitely include coffee, a pedicure and going shopping.  Trying on clothes with a one year old and two year old is just about impossible!  I'd hopefully be able to meet up with a friend too, I like some alone time but prefer hanging out with friends more!

• Why I joined Steering:  It's a great way to serve in a ministry that I believe is truly needed.  MOPS is a fantastic way to connect with other moms and feel like your aren't alone in your mommyhood journey.  It also fits in to our family schedule because the meetings are in the evening and childcare is provided at the MOPS gathering so it's not too much of a challenge to serve.  Plus, the fellowship with the other steering members is wonderful!

• What I enjoy most about MOPS:  As I mentioned, meeting other moms that are going through similar stages and phases with their own children is such a comfort and support!  Before I became a mom I was a teacher, so I spent my entire day with people and I loved it.  To suddenly be at home most of the time after my first daughter was born was very isolating.  Having friendships with other moms that I can have play dates and connections with has been so helpful for me.  I know I'm a better mom when I am not feeling isolated or disconnected. 

• What I am looking forward to this year with MOPS:  I have a different position on steering than last year, which was crafts. Crafts was fun, but is was more activity focused rather than people focused.  This year working with the DGLs is exciting to me because its really all about supporting and encouraging all the moms who attend.  I hope to find different ways to help individuals connect with their table group and form long lasting friendships. 

• What this year’s theme “We Are The Starry Eyed” means to me:  My 2 year old asked me as we were in the car one morning, "where did the stars go momma?"  I told her they were still there you just can't see them until it's dark outside.  My answer was not profound my any means but it sort of stayed with me when I thought about our starry eyed theme.  We all know that sometimes in life, things get dark.  But I think its important to recognize the "stars" in life's darkness.  Jesus didn't promise Christians that there would never be challenges or hard times.  But he did promise that he would never leave us or forsake us and he would walk with us through those valleys and dark days.  So being starry eyed to me, means holding on to hope and Jesus even when things are hard.  And noticing the good and beautiful things that sometimes only appear when it gets dark.