Baptist leader hopes to encourage ‘orphan care’ ministry
BY CARLA HINTON EDMOND — Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, will speak at “The Gospel, the Church and Foster Care” set for Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Edmond. Hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, the event will focus on solutions to Oklahoma’s foster care crisis. Moore discussed foster care in a recent telephone interview, which has been edited for brevity and clarity. Read more of the conversation on NewsOK.com. Q: In a story you wrote for National Review, you said foster care is the key to family stability. Can you expound on that? A: Foster care is critical for keeping families together . ... In many cases, foster care is a mini-step while families work to get help to get themselves together, sometimes not. Sometimes, foster care is the beginning of something more permanent. In either case, preventing children from getting lost in a nameless system is key. Q: You have talked about churches encountering barriers in foster care. What are some of those obstacles? A: I think the primary obstacle is simply not asking the question of where the need is and how to be involved. The Bible says in James 1:27, Christians, all Christians, are to care for widows and orphans in their distress. Sometimes, we assume that only means that people are called who are equipped to foster or adopt, but that’s not the case. There’s a place for everybody in caring for vulnerable women and children. Q: What are you hoping to accomplish through the rally? A: There are churches in Oklahoma that are doing remarkable and innovative things in caring for vulnerable children. I want to encourage those churches and also find ways for those churches to serve as models for other congregations around the country.