November 12, 2013, Carol Stream, Ill.—Tyndale authors Matthew and Nancy Sleeth founded the educational nonprofit Blessed Earth, which “inspires and equips people of faith to become better stewards of the earth.” This organization was recently awarded a $1.495 million grant to work with churches and seminaries on Sabbath-living practices across the next three years. 

This grant, awarded by the Duke Endowment, will “help clergy and their congregations step back from the demands of our 24/7 world and begin adopting healthier, more balanced 24/6 lives,” said Matthew Sleeth, a former ER physician and the executive director of Blessed Earth.

The Blessed Earth grant will focus on partnering with the nearly two thousand United Methodist congregations in North Carolina, where the Duke Endowment is based. In addition, Blessed Earth will be hosting conferences, workshops, and retreats in cooperation with seminaries in North Carolina and throughout the country.

Dr. Sleeth says that this three-year grant will “provide a unique opportunity to track how the weekly rhythm of work and rest impacts issues such as stress, depression, and burnout.” One important goal of the program is to develop a model that can be shared with congregations throughout the country.

This message is consistent with Dr. Sleeth’s message in his book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life, wherein he shares his experience as an emergency-room physician who has identified the need to slow down and honor the Sabbath to counteract the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual toll of our 24/7 busyness. He contends that we are slaves to technology and frenetic lifestyles and are suffering as a culture because of it. Sleeth shares his personal testimony of how his family was dramatically transformed by adopting Sabbath practices and provides practical advice for all of us to do the same.

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