This past winter, St John’s Church in Wilson was awarded a Partnership for Mission and Outreach (The Partnership) grant to assist the congregation in establishing a MOPS (Moms of Pre-Schoolers) program at St John’s. When St John’s was searching for a rector a few years ago they read the statistical analysis of the Wilson area provided by the Diocesan Transition Office. That data indicated that the fastest growing population segment in Wilson was pre-schoolers. So…they responded to the needs of their community by being trained in the MOPS model, spruced up their undercroft with bright paint, colorful rugs, rocking chairs, toys, books and pillows for reading and playing on the carpets. It was a beautiful transformation. Then they put the word out, prepared and waited. On February 14, 2018 they had zero moms. On May 23, 2018 they had ten moms and a passel of kids. The final meeting of the program year was May 23 when the moms planted tomato plants in St John’s “Nick’s Garden.” Each child has their own colorful stake, printed with their name. All summer the children can stop by Nick’s Garden to tend their plants and harvest the tomatoes.
These young families have been welcomed to St. John’s with open arms. They have made connections with each other and with the church. Babies have been baptized and a community has been enriched. Priscilla Moot, the coordinator of the MOPS program at St John’s said, “It brings tears to me eyes. God is good.” Yes God is, and may God continue to bless the community of St. John’s Wilson.