Saturday, August 23, 2003

Mothers bond together

Faith Matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

FORT THOMAS - About three years ago, Kimberly Murphy was taking care of a 9-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old, with no friends in a new city.

Now, thanks to her participation in a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International group, she's not only found other moms she can relate to, she's found a faith in God.

"I just thought it would be wonderful to go someplace to be with other mothers," said Murphy, the coordinator of the morning MOPS group at Highland Hills Baptist Church. "It was literally a godsend for me. It seemed to fill a void in me."

MOPS reaches out to mothers of children from birth to kindergarten to provide a network of support, educational programs and materials, and gives moms a chance to connect with others. Groups meet at churches of all denominations all over Greater Cincinnati.

Kirsten Ballman of Loveland, who coordinates the MOPS group at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, said the group is a way to meet the needs of moms.

"As a mother of a preschooler, your needs come last because you're concerned about your children," Ballman said. "This is a way for moms to get a break from that and re-energize themselves."

That's exactly the kind of thing Terri Beth Faust of Delhi is hoping to do for west side moms. Few MOPS groups meet in her area, so several women at Westwood Cheviot Church of Christ are trying to create a group.

The church hopes to have the group started by January, but most MOPS groups will have their next meeting in early September. There is a $20 registration fee to be a part of MOPS International, and most churches have an additional fee for supplies for their individual meetings.

To learn more about MOPS International or to find a group near you, visit

Days of prayer

Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave., Norwood, will have its annual Day of Prayer and Mercy on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

Thousands of people gathered at the center each year from 1994 to 1999 on Aug. 31, hoping to see a vision of Mary, the mother of Jesus, after a Batavia woman said she appeared to her.

Services start Aug. 31 at noon and Sept. 1 at 9 a.m. For more information, contact the center at 351-9800 or e-mail

To submit religion news, e-mail or send a fax to 755-4150.

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