Valparaiso church reaches out to “Modern MOMS”


A project of

First United Methodist Church organized M.O.M.s (Moms Offering Moms Support) eight years ago to help mothers learn, grow and become greater disciples for Christ. Now, they’ve reorganized into “Modern MOMS” with an eye on meeting moms where they are and growing the ministry from an average of 15 women to 30 or more each week. With fresh new materials and plans for a more robust program, “Modern Moms are enjoying God and each other amidst the rapid pace of our daily lives,” said Heather Curlee Novak, leader of Modern MOMS. “We work to support and encourage each other through our work, play, parenting, marriage and other facets of a woman’s life today. Our group serves women at every life stage as individuals first, then as mothers, wives, partners and friends. “

While many expenses were previously covered by individual moms on an as-needed basis, Novak said that she thought it would be a great sign of support and encouragement if the moms could just enjoy, be refreshed and educated with fewer demands on their brains and wallets.

“This Modern MOMs ministry can be run on very little,” she said, “but investing in these women now could bring great returns for our church and community in the future.” So Valpo First Church’s UMW and UMM stepped up and contributed. Pastor Jacob Williams suggested the program for the 100 Points of Light grant, and the church communications built fun graphic materials and placed them in the weekly bulletin.

They now have two stay-at-home dads attending, one a seasoned MOMS group attender and one a new member.

“We have a variety of new attenders that are quite different from our usual core group,” Heather said, “I love what this says about the women attending and how we are succeeding at welcoming ALL moms. I do still want to get more veteran moms to attend and will be working on that. We are advertising online, in the paper and in local downtown businesses and preschools near the church. We have an active Facebook page. With our church focusing more on Modern Moms, there are some changes in our church too! We have added a Sunday School class to our 11 a.m. contemporary service where before we only could support Sunday School at our 9:15 service. I have seen several young families joining the church this year who are now involved in and creating new ministries: Faith in ACTION! I’d like to think that our Modern Moms group is showing them that First United Church of Valparaiso actively seeks and cares for the families of Northwest Indiana.”

If you’re interested in more information on the Modern MOMS, you can reach Heather at or 574/360-4702.

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