Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Name: Jen Etzel
Husband: Blase
Child: Hannah (2)

This is my second year attending MOPs and my first year serving on the Steering Team! I have been married to my husband for 5 years this fall and our daughter is 2 years old. I stay home with our daughter during the daytime and work with young adult and adult individuals with special needs on weekends and during evenings, as a private consultant and trainer of daily living skills and transition planning. I strive to find a balance between my part time work and my relationship with my family, and am blessed to have a husband who will race home from work to switch with me and support my dream to be both a stay at home mom and a working mom. I live most days in the chaos of finding the balance of it all, while trying to kiss and snuggle my toddler as much as I possibly can (if I can catch her!)

I love sharing my journey of motherhood alongside the girlfriends and mentors I have found here at Derwood MOPs. Before finding this group of outstanding women (thanks to my awesome neighbors!) I was missing a huge piece of the spiritual and emotional support that I have now gained from this group. I am excited to connect with the women attending this year and support their children in MOPPETS. My own daughter struggled last year in the transition away from me during meetings and I hope to help each child (as well as my own!) grow and become excited to learn and play with new and old friends.


Name: Megan Dickens
Husband: John Ross
Kids: Graham (2), Lincoln (7 months)

Welcome to all of the MOPS moms!  My name is Megan Dickens and this is my third year being involved with this wonderful, supportive group of women. I am looking forward to this upcoming year! This will be my second year on the Steering Team as the Hospitality Chair. 

I have been involved with several hospitality type roles in the past and look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to Derwood MOPS again this year!

I am originally from Ohio and my husband is from Alabama. We met while we were in school at Western Kentucky University. We moved to the DMV shortly after college and shortly after we got married for my husbands job with the federal government. We just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this past July. We have lived in Rockville, Gaithersburg, and are now in Germantown. We have two very handsome little boys, Graham, age 2 1/2 and Lincoln, age 7 months. I am very fortunate to be a SAHM with a part-time job out of the home. If you haven't checked out Lillybee U you should! :) I have been working in the shoe industry for the past 6 years. 

When we found out we were pregnant with our first I knew that I needed to quickly find a group of women that were just like me, A MOM! My older sister had talked to me about how much she loved her group in Colorado and so I set forth to find one in our area. It also just so happened that our neighbor was in Derwood MOPS and mentioned it to me as well. I quickly reached out while I was pregnant and joined shortly after. I can honestly say that I made the best decision to join Derwood MOPS. I have been able to forge friendships and further my relationship with God. My wish for all of you this year is that you find exactly what you are looking for in MOPS. Whether that be 2 hours of quiet time, a lasting friendship, a few play-dates, a mom's night out at the Melting Pot, or most importantly a space where you can grow, flourish, and nourish your relationship with God. Here's to an awesome year at Derwood MOPS!


Table Leader

Name: Sarah Newens
Husband: Andy
Kids: Evalyn (3), Ethan (8 months)

I joined MOPS when Ev was a newborn, and this is my first year on the Steering Team as a Table Leader!  As my children get older, I’m realizing that parenting is not for the faint of heart; and it is all the more we need God’s grace in our lives.  When I’m not with my husband and children, I work part time to help create safer products for consumers.  (Keep those laundry packets away from your children!)

I live right around the corner from Derwood Bible Church, and while I don’t promise a perfect home, I promise an open home, an open heart, and a cup of tea.

Table Leader

Name: Joy Ahlman
Husband: Mark
Kids: Devric, River, Kelvin

This will be my 8th year in MOPS!!! I have been involved as either a table leader or on steering for the past six years. Being a table leader is very important to me - I want to be sure my group of moms know that they have someone who cares for them during this amazing and stressful time in our lives! 

Table Leader

Name: Sarah Zuber
Husband: Stephen
Kids: Anna Belle (7), Simeon (5), Gracie (9 months)

I first joined MOPS in Louisiana after returning from living overseas and was immediately hooked! After moving to Maryland a year ago, one of the first things I did was search for a MOPS group. It is a joy for me to be a table leader this year. I love the sense of community and connection we have as MOPS moms, and I look forward to getting to know the ladies at my table on a deeper level this year.

Table Leader

Name: Lucy Silva
Husband: Matt
Kids: Amelia & Isabel

My husband Matt and I have lived in Derwood for 3 years with our two little girls. While we have lived in the DC area for several years now, Matt is originally from California, and I am an Army brat.

I am an RN, and up until last year when my second baby was born, worked as a recovery room nurse at Georgetown. I absolutely loved it, but with a growing family and my husband pursuing a new career path, I felt like I should take a step back for a time to let things settle out.

That said, as grateful as I am for this transition in our family life, it has not come without serious struggle. My second was born last September and I joined MOPS in November. I found it to be a huge source of encouragement and rest in a time during which I found to be emotionally unsettling, to say the least! Giving up my job (which I really enjoyed!) to come home, while I believed it was the best decision for us, forced me to restructure my week around 2 very unpredictable kiddos (aren't they all!) Coming from a very structured work environment, that was really hard!! MOPS played an important role in getting me through this transition and connecting me with other moms who were going through similar or other equally difficult struggles.

I'm honored to join the Steering Team this year and serve in whatever ways I can. I hope and pray that we can all laugh, be encouraged, and find grace for growth as we journey together down this somewhat bumpy road called parenting!

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Name: Rian Ryan
Husband: Phil
Kids: Ferris (6), Dax (3), Lorelei (1)

Rian has been in MOPS since January of 2010. She served 3 years as a MOPPETS coordinator and this is her third year as Co-Coordinator for the group. Rian has been married to her husband Phil for 9 super-awesome years and they have been blessed with three energetic and funny kids. When Rian had her first child she was drawn to ministry for moms with young kids. She has a passion for encouraging moms during this time in life when it goes from blissful to "are-you-freaking-kidding-me?!?!" at the drop of a hat... or the throwing of a cup. Rian is (desperately) looking forward to growing as a woman and a mother with this year's MOPS group.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Name: Robin Purdy
Husband: Jason
Kids: Elijah (5), Kenzie (3), Addie (1), and baby boy due in November

I have been married to my best friend Jason for 7 years. We have been blessed with 3 crazy kids who we wildly love and another one on the way! This year I am thankful to have the joy of co-coordinating with Rian again. I was able to serve on a ST in North Carolina several years back and ever since I joined MOPS I found a great need for moms of little ones to come together for the purpose of encouragement, support, and prayer. My family has traveled extensively and lived overseas, so I have seen firsthand the great need for community that we as mothers desire but the loneliness that can often accompany these years. Since joining Derwood MOPS 2 years ago I have been blessed to meet incredible moms who are just like me in the trenches of raising little people, and I look forward to meeting many more this year!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Mom's Night Out!

Join us at the Melting Pot in Gaithersburg as we kick off another year of MOPS!

We'll meet at 7:30pm on September 30th.  Please bring $10 to cover your portion of the fondue and tip (drinks not included).  This is always a great evening of delicious chocolate and getting to know each other better, we hope you can join us!

Please RSVP in the comments by Friday, September 26th, so that we can confirm our reservation with the restaurant.

See you there!
Joan & Kari