St. Andrew MOPS Steering Committee goes on retreat

Mothers of Preschoolers, also known affectionately as MOPS, is an international organization dedicated to upholding motherhood to the glory of God. For many new moms, it provides a relaxing environment to explore the issues facing them while raising toddlers. Coffee, hot breakfast and camaraderie enhance every meeting. Crafts offer a creative outlet for the moms and speakers inform the moms about nutrition, child raising techniques, coupon savings and healthy relationships.

St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Gibbsboro chartered its Mothers of Preschoolers group in 1993. It serves from 40-60 mothers every year.

This year Sister of Saint of Joseph Sharon White, a licensed clinical social worker who holds a doctor of ministry degree, led a retreat for the MOPS steering committee in Ocean City. She explored the theme “Transforming the Autumn Heart.”

On Saturday, Oct. 23, Sister Sharon explained the Myers-Briggs personality inventory.

“She explained the characteristics giving rise to the 16 personality types and helped the group understand each person’s strengths and challenges,” said Teresa Bongiovanni, a member of the committee. “Understanding ourselves helps us to work better as a steering team and reinforces the respect we have for each other’s unique perspective.”

Sister Sharon introduced the group to the idea of the Autumn Heart based on a meditative book by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr called “The Circle of Life.” The authors describe a distinctive change in the personality of life from spring and summer. Fall moves you into bright colors, swirling leaves, abundant harvests, waning days, and preparation for surrender to the season of winter. The darkening days give people the opportunity to come inside, slow down, join together as family, and appreciate fall’s traditions. The meditative afternoon reflections gave these mothers much needed time to refresh and return to the duties at home.

“The steering committee formed stronger bonds, discovered new talents, enjoyed much needed respite, grew as a leadership team, and felt more confident in its ability to guide the members in Christian motherhood and spirituality,” said Bongiovanni.

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