I'm a sucker for stories about the liturgical calendar, so my eyes lit up when I saw the headline for Chris Moody's piece at The Daily Caller:
Episcopal Church: This Good Friday, let’s celebrate Earth Day
The story is a mostly straightforward report -- albeit written in The Daily Caller's winking, knowing fashion -- about how the Episcopal Church's office of Economic and Environmental Affairs is asking Episcopalians to stay mindful of global warming, recycling and reducing carbon dioxide emissions this Good Friday:
"This year Earth Day falls within Holy Week, specifically on Good Friday, a profound coincidence," said Mike Schut, a church spokesman. "To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is 'very good,' is holy. When we fully recognize that, our actions just may begin to create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life."
Christians observe Good Friday, the day reserved to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, on the Friday before Easter, which is not celebrated on a fixed date. First observed on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is celebrated to raise awareness about efforts to protect the environment.
Schut continued: "On Good Friday, the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, God in the flesh, might we suggest that when Earth is degraded, when species go extinct, that another part of God’s body experiences yet another sort of crucifixion -- that another way of seeing and experiencing God is diminished?"
The article is very brief but I wanted to highlight it. For one thing, announcements like the one above are somewhat common on the Episcopal Church news lists. The church ties its liturgical calendar to the secular calendar somewhat frequently.
However, for some reason the mainstream media never cover this kind of thing. I imagine that part of the reason for the lack of coverage is general disinterest from reporters. But reporters may also not be aware that the church's decision to specifically highlight the combination of Good Friday and Earth Day will be noteworthy among, praised by or condemned by others. In other words, this is a hot-button subject, this kind of baptizing of a cause during the most holy days of Christian faith.
There is no question that this is an interesting story that elicited quite a bit of interest. I saw it mentioned on Facebook, Twitter and various blogs throughout the day, yesterday.
So, kudos to the reporter for recognizing the news value, even if a lengthier story could have used a balancing quote or two from other groups.