Monday, October 31, 2005
Waco is Wacko: Electricity and Baptisms Don't Mix
WACO, Texas - A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after adjusting a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said.
The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.
Water in a baptistery usually reaches above the waist, said Byron Weathersbee, interim university chaplain at Baylor University.
Lake was pronounced dead at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said. The woman being baptized apparently had not stepped into the water and was not seriously injured.
Pastors at University Baptist Church routinely use a microphone during baptisms, said Jamie Dudley, the wife of Ben Dudley and a business administrator at the church.
"He was grabbing the microphone so everyone could hear," she said. "It's the only way you can be loud enough."
About 800 people attended the morning service, which was larger than normal because it was homecoming weekend at nearby Baylor University, Dudley said.
Lake had been at the church for nine years, the last seven as pastor. He had a wife, Jennifer, a 5-year-old daughter and two 3-year-old sons.
At a remembrance attended by about 1,000 people Sunday night at First Baptist Church, Ben Dudley told the UBC congregation that they would move forward as a church.
"I don't know how, when, why, where or what's going to happen, but we will continue as a church in the community because that is what Kyle would have wanted," he said. (Link)
Holland made my Hallowe'en
Gorgeous, delightful... There is nothing like the word witch to draw out the fanatics.
APPELSCHA, Netherlands - Dutch witches were guaranteed a financial treat when the Leeuwarden District Court reaffirmed their legal right to write off the costs of schooling — including in witchcraft — against their tax bills. Those costs run to thousands of euros.
The case is brewing political fury in the halls of Dutch government where a member of parliament for the ruling Christian Democrats demanded an explanation.
"It's just because the word 'witch' was mentioned that they have woken up," said Margarita Rongen, clad in flowing black velvet robes and wearing a Wiccan talisman. "This write-off has been around for a long time."
The court found that a witch can declare schooling costs if it increases the likelihood of employment.
Lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt was astounded.
"If we spend euro1,000 on a witchcraft class, that's euro1,000 we can't spent elsewhere," Omtzigt said.
When he asked about it in parliament, Junior Finance Minister Joop Wijn wrote, "Under the circumstances, the cost of a course to become a witch qualifies as school fees."