LOMA LINDA, Calif. — Loma Linda University Church has kickstarted a campaign to promote what it calls an “Adventist Innovation.” The idea in a nutshell: All members must carefully wash their feet before arriving at church for Communion Sabbath foot-washing ceremonies.
“Members are requested to give their feet a through scrubbing instead of the cursory rinse that has become all too common for a growing pack of consistent offenders. Some of our flock seem to think foot-washing ceremonies are a chance for a deep cleaning at other members’ expense,” said a bolded notice in the church bulletin.
In recognition of different approaches to Sabbath celebration, the announcement added that “for those of our members that forgo Sabbath morning showering in favor of pre-sunset Friday baths, a simple Febreezing of your feet on Sabbath morning would be deeply appreciated.”
The large church’s pastoral staff stressed that they are not trying to minimize the symbolic importance of service through foot washing. “We simply believe that it is equally service-minded to save wash partners from particularly unsavory odors and debris,” said Associate Pastor Tony Sanchez. “We serve the most healthcare-obsessed community in Adventism so we feel a special responsibility to promote hygienic practice of our faith.”
The church’s website lists additional tips for the faithful that include highlighting the importance of selecting “fresh socks with minimal lint loss tendencies” so as to avoid “embarrassing fuzz balls floating in the foot water pails.”