WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. --- With the state of California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, the Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists has banned baptisms in any California church until further notice. So as not to slow evangelism efforts in the state, the Union has ordered the transport of all Californian baptismal candidates to neighboring Oregon where several Adventist churches are promising hassle-free, full-tank baptisms.
"We are determined to be good stewards of limited Californian water supplies," said Pacific Union spokesperson Marcia Davis. "We flirted briefly with substituting sprinkling for immersion but nixed that idea because it was way too Catholic. Ocean baptisms are still too cold on most of the California coast so we struck out there too. That's why we decided to bus people to Oregon."
To assist with transportation costs, the Pacific Union has offered to subsidize bus rentals for baptismal candidates and their immediate family members providing the buses are full for each trip. Northern and Southern California Conference officials have been tasked with tallying baptismal head counts to facilitate effective bus packing.
"A huge thank-you goes out to the team of tireless Pacific Union employees who were able to talk Oregon pastors into allowing the baptisms to take place in their churches," said Davis. "Many were reluctant to go along with the plans unless they were allowed to add the converts to their own baptismal tallies."