Monday's News & Ideas - 7/15/2019

  • Religious freedom summit creates awkward alliance
  • Baptists flock to help at border
  • Congregants ask for Riverside minister to be reinstated
  • Why short-term missions appeal more than living together
  • Ancient evidence of women clergy
  • Meet Moxi, the friendly robot

Trump’s religious freedom conference creates awkward alliance
Politico: This coming week, the Trump administration is hosting an event promoting religious freedom that’s uniting the president’s fiercest human rights critics with his most fervent supporters.
RNS: Brownback wants religious freedom summit to spark ‘global grassroots movement’

With more migrants stalled in Mexico, Baptists may play larger role on border
Religion News Service: Waves of Baptist volunteers from across the Mid- and Southwest have flooded Texas in recent weeks to offer aid to the influx of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The deluge of evangelical relief groups has surprised some because the Catholic Church has historically dominated the aid operation in Texas.

Riverside Church congregants call for reinstatement of first female minister after her exit following a sex shop visit
Washington Post: Eleven congregants introduced a petition at an all-congregation meeting Sunday — convened after morning services in part to discuss the Rev. Dr. Amy Butler’s exit — and asked the church to schedule a vote to bring back Butler as senior minister.

Why so many Christians want to go on mission trips to help kids but don’t want them here
Relevant: A former missionary in Nicaragua writes: “I understand why people get excited about a short-term trip but shudder at the thought of wading in with undocumented people. I promise, if you commit yourself to doing something about this cruelty and abuse, you’ll be forced to face your own limits. I mean both the limits of your power and the limits of your generosity and goodness.”

Researcher: Artifacts show that early church women served as clergy
National Catholic Reporter: New research recently unveiled in Rome suggests women had a greater role in the early church's ministries and liturgies than previously thought and were present at church altars as deacons, priests and even bishops.

The Spark

A hospital introduced a robot to help nurses. They didn’t expect it to be so popular
Moxi is a robot designed to make nurses’ lives easier. But the friendly bot is so popular that its creators programmed superfluous activities for Moxi to do once an hour so that the robot would wander around the floor and flash heart eyes at people.

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