Crossway Church provides groups geared towards local mothers

Published 8:05 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

A program at Crossway Church on U.S. 61 South provides a periodic oasis for mothers of children from infants to 12th grade to get away for a while from the stress of child rearing.

Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, for expectant mothers and mothers of small children up to kindergarten, and MOMSNext, for mothers of children from first through 12th grades, meets at the church twice a month from August through May to give mothers an opportunity to share fellowship and discuss issues arising from marriage and raising children.

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“MOPS is an international program,” said Tabitha Burt, MOPS coordinator at Crossway. “It’s just a way to love on mamas and deal with all the crazy that comes with motherhood and to minister to moms, because as mothers we get very exhausted taking care of our kids.

“It’s nice to have a place to come sit, hangout, socialize, have our kids watched, and just support an encourage and love on each other.”

The groups at Crossway have been active since 2003, and are open to the public. The groups meet together the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for two hours during the school year. The church’s preschool department cares for the children while the mothers are in their meeting.

“We have members from Crossway who are here, we have people from other churches, and we have people who are unchurched,” Burt said. “We don’t know who to expect sometimes; we don’t know whose been invited or who saw a poster. You never know who’s going to walk through that door.”

“We have a devotional, we eat and have brunch; we usually have a video or a speaker on a topic that relates to motherhood or something we may be struggling with with or love, and then we have discussion time, where we can kind of dig deeper into each other’s lives and just get to know each other better.

“It’s a wonderful and very safe place to really talk about anything that’s on a mom’s heart; any concern any joy, mom questions, relationship questions, spiritual questions. We try to minister to the whole mom — mind, body, soul; everything — and just love on moms and let them know they’re not alone, no matter what their problem is.”

Discussions in the past, Burt said, included topics like depression, anxiety, child loss, intimacy and marriage. “We even had a speaker on human trafficking last year, and how we as mothers can take a stand and be agents of change. It’s a pretty wide range of topics we talk about.”

A member of MOPS for four years, Burt said the program helped her when she was pregnant with her child.

“I was about 30 weeks pregnant,” she said. “My friend had invited me to come. I was very reluctant; we had just moved here and I didn’t know anyone but her, so walking into a giant room of women was intimidating, but from the moment I walked in, I was welcomed and loved on and genuinely cared about, even though these women didn’t have a clue who I was.

“That support system, being pregnant and alone, not having any family close, I gained a family of women who could minister to me teach me things, give me advice and be there for me when things got hard. It changed my life.

“From the start, they treated me like I’d always been their sister, and I couldn’t give up that family I had found here. So I stayed the whole time and tried to get further involved, because if we can even have one mom who finds us and finds that friendship and support and encouragement, then we’ve done our job.”

Burt says the organizations do not meet in June or July, but even during the break mothers still get together for play dates or family fun nights.

MOPS, she said is based in Colorado and is in more than 50 countries around the world.

“It’s cool to know you’re part of a sisterhood that’s spanning the globe. It’s neat,” she said.

Mothers interested in participating in MOPS can go to the church’s website at and go to events, call the church at 601-636-2596, or go to the church’s Facebook page.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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