“The earth doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. We should pass it along to future generations in as good or better shape than we received it.”
News Bureau Director
Those are the words of Nancy Sleeth (author of the book Go Green, Save Green: A Simple Guide to Saving Time, Money and God’s Green Earth). And, if that charge – that faith and our environment must be intertwined – doesn’t move you, perhaps her two appearances at Georgetown College on Tuesday (Feb. 9) will.
Both worship opportunities in John L. Hill Chapel are free and open to the public. Sleeth will speak at the College’s 11 a.m. service, and give a practical workshop for going green from a faith perspective during Common Ground at 7 p.m.
Bryan Langlands, the College’s Interim Campus Minister, said, “Part of what it means to live, learn and believe at Georgetown College is that we engage questions about how to live out our faith in concrete ways. We are excited that Nancy Sleeth will be helping us to think through the relationship between faith, sustainability and creation care. My hope is that we will be challenged to commit to specific steps to lessen our carbon footprint both as a campus community and individually.”
Langlands encourages everyone to visit www.blessedearth.org for more about the mission of Blessed Earth, an organization Nancy co-founded with her husband Matthew Sleeth (author of Serve God, Save the Planet) and devoted to environmental sustainability and activism from a faith perspective. They now live that life in Wilmore, KY.
Will Samson, an assistant professor with Georgetown’s Sociology department, calls the Sleeths “dear friends” and “the real deal.”
“A lot of people talk about making the better place, but the Sleeths are taking the steps necessary to be involved in healing the earth as a Christian,” said Samson, who – with his wife – lives a similar lifestyle. “They’ve made tremendous sacrifices to leave the American Dream and live God’s dream.
“Nancy is brilliant at articulating why we should care for the earth and why it’s an inherently Christian thing to do,” Samson said.
To further see what’s in store if you attend one of Tuesday’s events on campus, here are more thoughts from Nancy Sleeth:
“Becoming a follower of Jesus changed everything in my life – the books I read, the people I hung out with, and most of all the way I learned to show my love for God and my neighbors by caring for His creation.”
“We had always thought of ourselves as good environmentalists, but when we took an honest accounting and measured how much energy we used and how much trash we produced, we found out we were exactly average for America, which was pretty bad in world terms. We knew we had to make some drastic changes. Eventually, we moved to a house the size of our old garage and cut our energy use back by more than two-thirds, and our trash production by nine-tenths.”
“Six times in Genesis 1 God says his creation ‘is good.’ We’re supposed to love what God loves. That’s reason enough for me to become a better steward of God’s creation.”
“The first job assignment God gives to humanity is to tend and protect the earth. That’s still our first job – to be good steward of the land, air, and water that God created for us to use, but not abuse.”
“How do I love my neighbor? At a bare minimum, I should ensure that everyone has access to clean water, clean air, and healthy land to grow healthy food. If nearly a billion people around the globe don’t have access to clean water, then I’m not doing a good enough job of loving my neighbors.”
Blessed Earth is hosting a worldwide simulcast on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day – Wednesday, April 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. – the largest gathering ever of the Church to celebrate God’s creations, according to Nancy Sleeth. Students can sign up for the streaming simulcast at www.blessedearth.org. They can also get a free monthly newsletter, tons of resources, and “one of the coolest trailers they have ever seen on the home page!”
Blessed Earth is an educational non-profit that inspires and equips faith communities to become better stewards of the earth. Through outreach to churches, campuses and media we build bridges that promote environmental change and spiritual growth.