Bap­tist leader hopes to en­cour­age ‘or­phan care’ min­istry

The Oklahoman - - SPIRITUAL LIFE - Reli­gion Ed­i­tor chin­ton@ok­la­

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 New­ 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.

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