Caring for the Earth – Good Stewardship, Not Politics

Post a Comment » Written on August 6th, 2008     
Filed under: News
OMAHA, NE (August 6, 2008) – First Covenant Church will host J. Matthew Sleeth, a former hospital chief of staff and emergency room director who dramatically downsized his lifestyle and later wrote the well-reviewed Serve God, Save the Planet:  A Christian Call to Action.

Sleeth will preach during the congregation’s 10 a.m. worship service on August 17 and will answer questions afterward.

Sleeth says that as a physician, he felt like he was straightening chairs on the deck of the Titanic, saving one patient at a time while the whole ship – the earth – was going down. He also believed that his lifestyle of very conspicuous consumption violated his own Christian ethics. In response, he, his wife and two teenaged children, cut back on their fossil fuel and electricity use by more than two thirds.

In his review for Books and Culture, Andy Crouch wrote, “In Sleeth’s stories of medical missions to Central America, anecdotes from the emergency room, and narration of determined progress toward reducing his environmental footprint, we glimpse a whole life formed by Christ.”

Sleeth’s appearance is part of initial steps being taken by the church to become more environmentally conscious, says Amy Anderson, chair of the Christian education committee. The church also is forming a “green team” to help the church consider possible actions the congregation can take.

So far the congregation has taken “baby steps,” such as trying to eliminate Styrofoam cups and plates during church functions and making recycling easier. “We hope to get a lot of information from (Sleeth) about more we can all do,” Anderson says.

Anderson adds the church is not making a political statement. “It’s just about being stewards of what God has given us.”

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