Group brings moms together

RANGELY I It’s a breezy Thursday morning, chilly enough that mothers catch little ones at the door and tug on an extra layer of fleece or cotton.
In the basement of Grace Baptist Church, it feels like Hawaii. Ukulele music drifts up the stairway, greeting the mothers, who have shrugged off jackets and ushered children into upstairs rooms staffed by volunteer caretakers. Women wearing leis place food on flip-flop clad tables and chat before the blessing is said and breakfast begins.
Last week’s routine was a familiar one. Since 2008, the Rangely Moms group has invited mothers of young children to gather on the first Thursday of every month from August to May. The number of moms who attend range from 10 or 12 to more than 30 women.
“Our mission is to bring moms together to share the journey of motherhood,” Rangely Moms co-coordinator Kristen Thayn said. “When new moms move to town, they don’t always know how to meet other moms, so coming to the meetings is a great way to find connections.”
The group is a Christian ministry with a distinctly local outreach. Originally affiliated with the international MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) organization, Rangely Moms went local in 2010 so that its funds could benefit Rangely families more directly.
“Making the shift (from MOPS to Moms) was a better fit,” said Tarrah Patch, who started the group after attending MOPS meetings in Grand Junction, Delta and Glenwood Spgs.. “Doing that made the group something that belongs to Rangely.”
Town businesses have responded as though it is, supplying Moms with donations that made the end-of-school-year event something to be talked about.
“It’s nice to give back to the group,” Rangely Moms attendee and local potter Elizabeth Robinson said. “Moms fills an important niche in this community.”
Even as the group’s focus has become more Rangely-centered, its vision is much the same as it was four years ago.
“We want to continue to reach out in the community, to be the hands and feet of Christ,” Thayn said.
This year, the group has added evening potlucks to its offerings so that working moms can get involved. With the help of fundraisers, like an annual Super Bowl pizza event sponsored by Giovanni’s Italian Gill, the Moms group provides baskets and meals to families of newborns and looks for ways to help mothers with financial or childcare needs.
“I came to meet new people and get out of my house,” Moms attendee Janette Shonts said. A stay at home mother of three boys, Shonts has been going to the Moms group for almost two years. “If you have a problem, you can talk to another mom. And I like how friendly everybody is.”
Formal meetings of Rangely Moms resume in August. During the summer, moms gather at the Elks Park playground around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, after the Rangely Library’s story time at 10:30 a.m.