RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- In an absolute first for Seventh-day Adventism, La Sierra University Church has added a camel to its pastoral staff. Abu the Camel made his debut appearance this week in a Christmas-themed La Sierra University chapel service as he casually walked down the sanctuary's center aisle to "We Three Kings."
News of Abu the Camel spread like a Southern Californian wildfire after La Sierra University Church confirmed that Abu had been put on the church's payroll. "For years we have felt a camel-sized hole in our pastoral team," said LSUC spokesperson, Manny Garcia. "After several rounds of interviews our search committee is fully confident that Abu is the best camel in the Inland Empire and we are delighted that he has chosen to join the La Sierra family."
Abu's job description extends far beyond acting in nativity plays. La Sierra University has committed to paying half the camel's salary in exchange for his services as a brand ambassador. Abu will begin his official duties as a university guide next week. He will be giving rides around campus for prospective La Sierra students on week days, as well as providing transportation to church for qualifying students on Sabbath mornings.
Since Abu's arrival on La Sierra' campus, Adventists universities across the United States have scrambled to find camels of their own. "Abu is quite the trend setter," said North American Division Education Director Jeanette Granson. "Within days of his hire, Southern, Walla Walla and PUC have posted job vacancies for camels. Union has already narrowed its search to a short list of three camels from the greater Lincoln area."