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Starting a Motherless Daughters Group: Step 2 — Choosing a Firm Foundation: Faith-based or Not?

By Mary Ellen Collins

Many of you are considering whether or not you might want your motherless daughters group to be faith-based. When the Motherless Daughters Ministry began, I did not realize how important it could be to have a strong guiding philosophy and principles to guide the ministry.

There are many things to consider in this decision. The first is to explore your own biases or perceptions. Though I have always been a Christian, I felt inadequate when I was nudged to transition the Motherless Daughters Group into a faith-based organization. I had been raised in a denomination where we just didn’t read the bible. It was read to us. I did not know what was in the Old and New Testament. I had to have those little tabs on my bible to find my way around. I had to keep in mind, Where God guides He provides!

The Motherless Daughters Ministry didn’t start as a faith-based organization. It started as a book club. Our first group focused on early loss, then evolved. Five of us, all good friends, had never talked about our mother loss. We kept our hurt private because we all thought that no one would understand, right? Once we began sharing, our healing was profound.

How similar does your group need to be? This will be important when choosing women to join you. We started with women whose experience was similar to ours. We later grew to include other types of mother loss—later loss, emotional absence, double loss, and eventually women who had narcissistic mothers. You must define your group. Who is a Motherless Daughter?

We used the book, Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman but found as Christians we needed a scripture-based workbook to accompany the book. Our faith-based workbook was written and is now in its 3rd edition.

Women from all cultures, religions, all races, Christians, non-Christians and atheists participate in the ministry. The core values we created when we began a 501(c)(3) organization along with our statement of faith have guided us in embracing any motherless daughter that finds us.

Today, the Motherless Daughter Ministry has ministered to hundreds of women who have in return ministered to many, many other motherless daughters. Women are changed by this ministry. They will be changed by the group you are starting also. I firmly believe if you are reading this blog right now, God has led you here. God does have a plan for your group!

If you have read this far, then you are ready to begin your journey. We encourage you to not do this alone. Find an accountability partner—someone to talk to. Gather a group of motherless daughters. Start a class Keep your group to no more than 6, so everyone has a chance to talk.

Making the Motherless Daughters Ministry a faith-based organization provided a firm foundation and gave us strong guiding principles in decision-making. It is the strength of our present and our future.

What will you choose for your group?

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