Church Honors Well-Known Film Critic for Litter Campaign

Post a Comment » Written on April 18th, 2008     
Filed under: News
MERCER ISLAND, WA (April 18, 2008) – Residents of Mercer Island have become accustomed to seeing the man wearing his usual hat, walking alongside roads, scaling embankments and working his way through bushes as he picks up litter with his “grabber,” says Greg Asimakoupoulos, pastor of Mercer Island Covenant Church.

“Then when you get closer, it turns out to be Michael,” Asimakoupoulos says, still amazed. That’s because Michael is the well-known film critic and syndicated radio talk show host.

LitterOn Sunday, Mercer Island presented a community service award to Michael Medved because of his campaign against littering. Medved is a resident on the island, which stretches six miles long and two miles wide and is home to about 22,000 people.

Asimakoupoulos says Medved’s example is important. “I’m amazed that given the level of affluence on the island, the amount of litter that’s here.”

Medved already has influenced the church’s men’s ministry to spend time picking up litter around the downtown area after the group’s monthly gathering. For Christmas, Asimakoupoulos’ wife presented him with his own grabber.

Asimakoupoulos says the church occasionally presents the award during worship services, when time is allotted for the pastor to interview the recipient. Medved, who described himself as a conservationist and not an environmentalist, told the congregation that picking up litter was important because when garbage is left around and buildings are abandoned, communities are affected sociologically.

Recalling the honoree’s remarks, Asimakoupoulos says, “People get the hidden message that no one is in charge.” Medved, who is an orthodox Jew, added, “We know as people of faith that someone is in charge.”

Following the worship service, Medved spoke to the church’s adult Sunday school class, which has been focusing on faith, film, and culture. Asimakoupoulos was struck by irony in Medved’s life. “As a media critic and as culturally engaged as he is, he doesn’t have a TV in his house.”

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