June 19, 2023

Local Churches Unite to Celebrate and Honor Community Mothers

Mums At the Table initiative impacted several neighborhoods in the South Pacific.

Melody Tan and Adriana Wales, Adventist Record
Louise Woo and Leslie Gwen (left), moderators of the Ryde Mums At The Table team. [Photo: Adventist Record]

Local Mums At The Table groups in Victoria, New South Wales, Australia, and in Invercargill, New Zealand, organized special Mother’s Day events on May 13 to connect with mothers in their community.

Forty community mothers and their families attended the events held at Warragul Seventh-day Adventist Church in Victoria and 3am Ryde Adventist Church in New South Wales. In New Zealand, seven mothers participated in a Mother’s Day giveaway organized by the Invercargill Mums At The Table group.

Local businesses sponsored food and prizes for a Mother’s Day breakfast at the Warragul church. There was also a pamper area for mothers to receive massages and foot soaks.

“Church leadership swapped our church worship time to straight after [breakfast], which meant for a smooth invitation of guests into church,” Elise Machalek, moderator of the West Gippsland Mums At The Table group, said. “We partnered with the Pathfinders in planning and staffing, and we couldn’t have done it without their help!”

The Mother’s Day events were a collaboration between local volunteer Mums At The Table moderators and their churches or schools.

“[The mums from our group and their families] attended the kids’ Sabbath School, which started out with a combined song service and then split off into different classes,” Leslie Gwen, moderator of the Ryde Mums At The Table group, said. “While kids had their Bible story time and craft, mothers had massages and hand scrubs. After kids’ Sabbath school, families had their photos taken at a photo booth and enjoyed morning tea. There was plenty of support from church members. The women’s ministry at church organized some pot plants and Christian books as Mother’s Day gifts.”

Mums At The Table, a ministry of Adventist Media, supports mothers in the community through online content as well as local events organized by volunteer moderators from local churches.

West Gippsland May 8 1024x620 1
The West Gippsland Mums At The Table team provided guests with a massage. [Photo: Adventist Record]

“Breakfast was really good,” West Gippsland group member Deeana said. “It was really nice to meet new people there.”

“I feel blessed for the invitation and for new connections made,” Agnes, from West Gippsland, added. “I had forgotten what eating without interruption was like.”

The Mums At The Table group in Invercargill purchased two fundraising gift bags from the Southland Adventist Christian School and offered them as a giveaway on the group’s Facebook page. Members of the Facebook group were asked to nominate a mother friend and why she was worth celebrating. The winner was picked at random, with both the mother friend and nominator receiving a gift bag each.

“It’s so exciting to see the collaborations between the Mums At The Table group and their churches and schools. That has always been the intention of the Mums At The Table ministry: the entire church working together to reach and support mothers in the community,” Melody Tan, project manager of Mums At The Table, said.

“All in all, it was certainly a worthwhile event and a good partnership between Pathfinders, church, and Mums At The Table,” Machalek added.

There are currently 19 local groups in Australia and New Zealand, moderated by 44 church members, representing 22 Seventh-day Adventist churches. Depending on the moderators’ availability, local events — or meet-ups — range from weekly playgroups to playground and café catch-ups or even dessert nights.

The original version of this story was posted on Adventist Record.