A New York City news organization has apologized after it canceled a church's advertising campaign promoting its Easter Sunday services – just three days before Good Friday.
The Journey Church, a Christian evangelical congregation, paid $1,400 to run a series of ads on the Capital New York website. Capital New York is a sister publication of Politico. And for the sake full disclosure, I attend The Journey Church.
The advertisement read: "You're invited to discover #HOPE at The Journey Church this Sunday April 20. Click here to discover how you can find hope when you feel like giving up."
Pastor Kerrick Thomas tells me the advertisement ran on Capital New York's website earlier in the week – but on Wednesday the church received an email notifying them that the ad was being pulled.
"Capital is implementing a new policy company-wide that we won't be running any religious-affiliated campaigns moving forward," the email read.
It certainly seemed rather convenient that the company's new policy was implemented just days before the holiest of holidays for Christians. Heaven forbid Capital New York soil their fine reputation by taking money from Christians.
"It stings a little when someone says they won't work with you because you are religious or Christian or a church," Thomas said. "But we are going to love everyone and keep moving forward to have an impact for Christ in New York."
The news organization's decision put the church in a jam.
"As a church we have limited resources – so we have to be strategic when we invest in outreach," Thomas said. "We thought working with them could be a cool way to bless New Yorkers. The fact that it was canceled the week of Easter made it impossible for us to use our resources to try something new in such a short amount of time. We really felt like it wasted our time and a great opportunity at Easter."
But fortunately, this Easter story has a happy ending.
About an hour after I started sniffing around and asking questions, Capital New York suddenly had a change of heart – a come-to-Jesus moment.
The company reversed course and apologized.
"The Capital New York brand is very young and there was some confusion around the advertising policy," read a statement the news outlet sent me. "In this case, the Journey Church ad should not have been pulled."
Pastor Thomas confirmed that he received an email as well – offering to run the church's ad without charge.
So, let's review. A wrong has been righted. Apologies offered. Forgiveness granted. And all's well that ends well. Happy Easter, America.