MOPS and COVID-19

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Dear Sweet MOPS Moms,

We have been thinking of you all.  You’ve been our hearts this week as we’ve watched the developments of COVID-19 locally and have been discerning as to how we best plan and respond as a MOPS Group. After some high-level decisions from SBPC, our host church, and some innovative and creative thinking from our leadership team, we believe we have a solid plan in place.
If you are not a part of the SBPC community or are but haven’t yet had the time, we strongly encourage you to click the following links to watch the heartfelt video and read the letter from our Senior Pastor, Mike McClenehan, to our church community, which MOPS is a part of. Out of deep love, compassion, and care for our community and those that are most vulnerable in it, SBPC is closing its campus beginning this Sunday (March 15th), through the end of the month. This means no groups will meet on site (including MOPS) and in-person worship services will be suspended with everyone invited to tune in to services which will be streamed online at 8:30am and 10:30am on Sunday mornings.
What does this mean for MOPS? 
Aligning with SBPC and the cancellation of schools throughout the county, many of which are closed through early to mid-April, we will be cancelling the following planned MOPS events:
  • March 20th MOPS Meeting
  • March 20th MOPS Appreciation Luncheon
  • March 25th MOPS-Wide MNO
  • March 27th MOPS Steering Leadership Meeting
  • April 3rd MOPS Meeting
In addition to cancelling these meetings and events, no new events or gatherings will be planned or hosted by MOPS leadership on or off campus. As this situation is so rapidly changing and evolving, we will reassess things at the end of March (as will SBPC leadership) and we will be in touch with you at that time regarding plans moving forward.
That’s a long time, how can we stay connected?
Our team will be working with everyone’s DGLs and Mentor Moms in the days to come to discuss ways we will continue to provide community, continuity, connection, support, and care to all our MOPS moms. We recognize this is a time of high anxiety and fear, as well as isolation as schools and programs shut down, and we don’t want anyone to feel alone as we are all in this together!
We will be stepping up our social media game posting conversation starters, prayers, encouragement; crowdsourcing resources for time home which we will subsequently share, and more! Please join in and participate and if you aren’t already, be sure to:
In the days to come we will be encouraging and equipping your DGLs and Mentor Moms to utilize existing and new modes of technology to remain connected at the table level (ex. messaging via GroupMe App or group text, live group video chats via Zoom or JusTalk, and/or ongoing walkie-talkie type group video chats via Marco Polo or JusTalk). We trust your individual table to find what works best for your group, but hope you find and lean into connecting in one or more of the aforementioned ways. We will also continue sharing Joys & Challenges as a way to support and pray for one another during this time apart. Please remember that the MOPS Confidentiality policy extends to all these virtual opportunities to connect as a table. Anything shared in these chats will be respected and held confidential at the table level. Each person will honor the trust of those who share by giving personal encouragement to or praying for them, and will refrain from repeating what was shared to others outside the group unless a member gives express permission otherwise.
Each table will also continue to navigate table care needs. This may be meals for a mom after a birth or loss, a mama who is simply out of TP/can’t find any and needs a sister to help her out, a dual-income family that’s in a childcare pinch one day or a SAHM who needs a kid break who you could trade playdates with, or a mom really needing extra listening ears, prayer, and support as she wrestles with anxiety or isolation. The list is endless. We also recognize that given the size of our group and the number of immediate (and extended family) members represented that someone may at some point be diagnosed with COVID-19. We sincerely hope that if this happens to you or a loved one that you reach out to and lean into this group as a safe space.  Here you will be given prayer, care, and should in no way fear being stigmatized or talked about.
School is out and I am freaking out about how to talk to my kids about COVID-19, not to mention how I’m going to survive at home the next few weeks!
 
We feel you mamas! This has been heavy for us and we all want to be intentional with if, how, and when we talk to our kids. We have gathered a few articles about how to talk to your child(ren) about COVID-19. Scan through and use what works for you with what is age-appropriate for your child(ren) at this stage:
We know a few weeks off school without advanced mental preparation may be overwhelming for you – especially given the rain we’re having and CDC recommendations for social distancing (two year olds totally get it and are great at that, right?!) One of our favorite mom blogs for activities is https://busytoddler.com/ (we love her instagram account over at @busytoddler as well)! While you may not have supplies for all the activities, we’re sure you have some around the house (or can hit up Amazon Prime) and hope that they may allow you and your little one(s) to engage in some fun and new activities during your time together over the coming weeks. We also plan to crowdsource your favorite blogs/accounts and rainy day/stay-at-home home activities to share on social media as well, so be on the lookout for that! Lastly, MOPS Appreciation cards were supposed to get handed out next Friday, so this extra time at home could be the perfect chance for your kiddos to create some artwork in advance to love on the staff and volunteers who support MOPS! ; )
Anything else we should know?
These decisions have not been made lightly nor have they been made from a place of fear, but from a place of love, care, and compassion. With the constant bombardment of opinions and updates, it is easy for us to get lost in fear and despair. This is not what God desires for us, as our theme verse this year expresses, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10b (NIV).  Amidst the uncertainty and unknown, how do we continue to live life to the full – living grateful, joyful and hopeful? We can choose love over fear – look for the helpers as Mr. Rodger’s mom always told him – they’re everywhere! In fact, we know many of you are the helpers – working doctors and nurses in our group taking on extra hours, caring mamas offering up toilet paper rolls to anyone in the neighborhood who is out and can’t find any, calling to check in on your Community Serve Day flower delivery recipient to see if they need anything given they’re high-risk and shouldn’t go out, as well as to chat a bit given they’re probably lonely since they’re homebound. These postures don’t stop the fear or anxiety, but they shift the lens to one of love, giving us back some sense of control in a time we feel everything happening is out of control. When we see these things happening around us or participate in them, they shine God’s light in the darkness and remind us that He is present and at work amidst the brokenness in this world.
May you have eyes to see these things in your midst, and may you especially remember now and in the weeks to come that one of our theme tenants is to Find Your People.  While we may not be seeing you in person, we are here for you, we are praying for you and your family, and we hope you will reach out with any questions, concerns, or needs!
With love and prayer for you and families all over the world tonight,
Solana Beach MOPS Charter Oversight Committee
Jen Engelhardt
SBPC Director of Early Childhood Ministries/MOPS Charter Oversight
Danielle Kruger & Bridget KerMorris
Solana Beach MOPS Co-Coordinators
Dorothea Wilson & Nancy Moore
Solana Beach MOPS Lead Mentor Moms

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