Baptist Briefs: CBF chief urges Congress to act on immigration reform

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While opinions differ on President Obama’s use of executive power, Congress still needs to act on long-term immigration reform, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leader Suzii Paynter inisted. “No matter wSuzii Paynterhere we stand on administrative action, it’s only a temporary measure, not a permanent answer to a system that isn’t working,” said Paynter, CBF executive coordinator. “Congress simply must act to replace a broken system that is hurting families, communities and our economy.” Obama announced his administration would prioritize the deportation of criminals and recent arrivals, lifting the threat of deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants who have been living in the United States longer than five years and have children who are American citizens. Now it’s now time for Congress to take the lead on enacting “real reform that respects the rule of law, boosts the economy and keeps families intact,” Paynter said.

Baptists in Maryland and Delaware adopt new name. The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware will be known now as the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, reflecting the cooperation of churches in states beyond Maryland and Delaware. Messengers affirmed the new name during the convention’s annual meeting in Severn, Md. Messengers approved a budget of $5,725,996, a decrease of 2.47 percent from the current year. The convention elected William Warren, pastor of Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury, Md., as president.

Baptist World Congress adopts environmental guidelines. The Baptist World Alliance has prepared a “green plan” to guide its environmental practices before and during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, next July. Main elements of the BWA plan include recycling, transportation and digital technology. The BWA will seek to integrate sustainability practices before, during and after the congress. Elements of the plan include waste minimization, environmental efficiency, water conservation, social development and local economic development. In July 2012, the BWA General Council in Santiago, Chile, adopted a resolution encouraging the organization “to develop an equitable plan to offset the carbon footprint of the annual gathering and to recommend ways to reduce the carbon footprint of all Baptist World Alliance business meetings.”

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