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Elisa Morgan

I remember turning fifty. (It was a while ago…)

I celebrated by throwing a party for myself, inviting a group of women who had been influential in my life. I chose a special restaurant, decorated the table with my favorite flowers and secured a favorite singer to serenade. My gift to my guests was a personalized name plates which included a unique word for each person, describing what they meant to me.






My heart bubbled as I was able to love back those who had loved me well!

Back at the office of MOPS International where I worked for that long season, I was celebrated by the staff and board with a fifties-themed surprise party. I donned a poodle skirt, and was seated at a festive table where Cokes and cake were served all accompanied by The Temptations and Frankie Vallie.

A few days later my husband and I flew to San Francisco where along with my brother, we toured my birthplace before slipping away for a few nights alone overlooking the ocean.

Yes. I remember turning fifty.

What makes a birthday special is more than the day or even the year of the celebration. The day is exceptional because of all the events that roll up to make it a milestone. From birth to crawling to toddling, through the excitement of elementary school and the rollercoaster of adolescence, on into young adulthood, relationships, marriage, careers, children and grandchildren, a lifetime is the sum of oh-so-many moments, each valuable and each building on the previous one.

2023 is the year that marks the fiftieth birthday of an international nonprofit ministry that has impacted millions of moms, their children and their families - mine included. For fifteen of those fifty years, this mission was completely led by volunteers with no paid staff. For twenty of those fifty years, God recruited an inexperienced thirty-four-year-old (me) to lead. Today, fifty years after its birth, hundreds of thousands of women have said yes to leading and learning and living their lives through the work of MOPS International. Below is a picture of me, celebrating MOPS International's 50th birthday!

MOPS belongs to God – it always has and always will. It was his idea and remains his work. For its fiftieth birthday, this ministry by moms for moms is giving itself the gift of a new name! Long encumbered by the well-intentioned but misunderstood name of the 1970’s, today’s wise leadership has rolled out a new name for a new age.

Happy Birthday MOPS International! Welcome to the world in Spring 2024: The MomCo by MOPS International! And congratulations on the unique descriptor that accompanies your new name, giving new hope to our world of mothers.

It was powerful to stand at MOMcon this past weekend with a group of 5000 leaders and hear President and CEO, Mandy Arioto, explain the need and the solution. “The steadfast piece of MOPS has always been to create a mom community that offers mothering resources and the opportunity to encounter Jesus. We were the pioneering mom community with this mission in the 1970s. We grew to a USA-reach mom community and then into a global mom community, a military mom community, a mentor mom community, a MomsNext mom community, a working mom community and even an online mom community. We introduce moms to Jesus through MomCommunity, where moms of little ones can thrive. Therefore our new name is shorthand for The MomCommunity. We are ‘TheMomCo by MOPS International!’”

It was a lifetime privilege to share in the consecration prayer of the new name with Mandy Arioto, President and CEO.

The name change will allow more moms around the world to join the mom community and grow closer to Jesus.

“Our mission has not changed,” says board chairman Greg Bowlin. “We still exist to encourage and equip moms of young children to reach their potential as moms, women and leaders, in relationship with Jesus and in partnership with the local church. This new name is built on a strong legacy of biblical integrity and community building.”

What a gift MOPS is giving itself for its fiftieth birthday! A new name - and the unique expression of its impact on millions of lives over the past fifty years and God willing, over the next fifty to come.

Elisa Morgan is the author of You are Not Alone. She is the cohost of the podcast, God Hears Her. She is also the cohost of Discover the Word and contributor to Our Daily Bread. Her other books include , Christmas Changes Everything, When We Pray Like Jesus, Hello, Beauty Full, and The Beauty of Broken. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, and @elisamorganauthor on Facebook and Instagram.


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