Asbury Alumni Authors: Emma Sleeth
This summer, Asbury University will shine a spotlight on some of its alumni who have published in a variety of fields. Emma Sleeth ’10 published her first book, “It’s Easy Being Green: One Student’s Guide to Serving God and Saving the Planet,” as a sophomore. Previous articles in the series include Asbury Alumni Authors: Marilyn Sue Shank and Bible & Theology Alumni Release New Books.
It could have been a tough experience for a middle-school girl: her parents became convicted about their stewardship of God’s creation, so they downsized into a house the size of their previous garage and made dramatic lifestyle changes to reduce fossil fuel and electricity consumption.
However, Emma Sleeth ’10 didn’t get upset. She started writing. By the time she finished high school, she had written a manuscript about the experience to share the lessons her parents had taught her about living sustainably as a way of practicing her faith.
“After attending a Lead-On workshop about goal setting, I got up the nerve to actually send in a book proposal to Zondervan and was bowled over when I found out they had accepted my submission,” Sleeth says. “The book was published my sophomore year — anyone who was in the vicinity of Glide-Crawford probably heard me squealing when I got the first copy in the mail. A year after I graduated, my publisher contacted me about doing a revised and expanded edition of my book, which gave me the chance to include lessons I’d learned about living sustainably in college.”
Today, Sleeth continues to put her foundation in Christian stewardship to work as the special projects coordinator at Blessed Earth, a Lexington, Ky.-based non-profit organization that raises awareness of creation care practices and opportunities among people of faith. The organization was founded by her parents, Matthew and Nancy Sleeth — both of whom have written books, as well — to provide a framework for the newsletters, films and other resources that groups across the United States are using to learn more about creation care.
“Going to Asbury really helped me as a writer,” Sleeth said. “My English professors taught me to organize and articulate my thoughts more precisely, and I got to see great public speakers at work during Chapel. I also had the opportunity to go to India for a semester during my junior year, where I learned a lot about environmental practices in the developing world.”
For more information about Sleeth’s book or Blessed Earth, visit blessedearth.org.