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Moms Group combines religious, social activities
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When Rhonda Mix moved to Manteca four years ago, she was like a new kid on the block.
“I was just so bored because I didn’t know anybody,” said Mix who is a wife, mom, part-time student and part-time veterinary technician all rolled into one.
She didn’t stay bored too long once she discovered the United Lutheran Preschool and the church’s Moms Group, in that order.
She happened to have a three-year-old son at that time, so she went looking for a preschool where she could have him enrolled.
“Some people recommended United Lutheran Preschool, so I went over there and I enrolled my son, and it was just fabulous!” happily recalled Mix who was not even a member of the church at the time, nor of any church in town for that matter.
Lorene Box happened to be the director of the preschool at that time. Mix was struck by her devotion to the preschool.
“It was her baby,” Mix said.
Tragically, after being at the helm for just a few years and not too long after she got married, Box died. But she passed on a legacy to Mix that the young mother will not soon forget.
“Lorene was very much a part of why I got involved in the Moms Group. Because I didn’t know anybody, she said to me, ‘do you know Lisa Weaver?’”
Weaver, the daughter of longtime Manteca dentist Joseph Giulian and his wife Sue, happened to be one of the leaders, and is still the head of the Moms Group.
So, following Box’s suggestion, Mix got in touch with Weaver.
“She invited me to the Moms Group and the rest is history,” said Mix about her involvement in the Christian-based fellowship of young mothers.
She had been involved for a while in the Moms Group when Weaver “invited me to come to church service, if I wanted, and I did,” said Mix.
Now, she is a proud and active member of the Lutheran church on Northgate Drive located on the east side of the Tidewater Bikepath.
“I just felt very comfortable there at that point. We’re a small group but a lot of people like that (kind of) church family, and that’s what we have there,” said Mix who alternately works as a receptionist and technician two days a week at Sylvan Veterinary Hospital in Modesto while going to school part time to become a full-fledged veterinary technician.
She has also become a very active member of the Moms Group, which she could have joined even without becoming a member of the church.
“You don’t have to be a member of the church to come to the Moms Group” and join in their various activities which are a combination of religious and social events, Mix explained.
They meet on a weekly basis at the church and “usually do Bible study or just fellowship,” she said.

Dollar dinner
every Wednesday
They also host a “dollar dinner” every Wednesday, and put on different events for the church. The last one they hosted was a “ladies’ night out” where they invited the women of the church to come and “have a good time” complete with a karaoke raffle and games. In the summer, they put together an activities calendar that includes day trips such as a group trip to the Micke Grove Zoo. Also in the summer, the weekly “dollar dinner” becomes an ice cream social.
Because they are all young mothers – Mix has two boys, with the younger one now in the church’s preschool – child care is always made available during the members’ get-togethers.
This spring, they are embarking on a new project which, “if it’s successful, will become an annual thing,” Mix said. It’s a church boutique which will feature a wide array of vendors selling a smorgasbord of things such as jewelry and candles. They will even have a Pampered Chef booth, and Sue Giulian of Sue’s Country Barn will have an antiques booth.
The event will be held on Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church’s social hall. That way, rain or shine, the event will go on as planned, Mix said.
Vendors are still welcome. The fee is $25 per vendor which will include a table with a couple of chairs provided.
Anyone who wants to make a booth reservation, or to get more information about the Moms Group can call Lisa Weaver at 403-1474.
United Lutheran Church is located at Northgate Drive on the east side of the Tidewater Bikepath and Northgate Park.

To contact Rose Albano Risso, e-mail or call (209) 249-3536.