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Saturday, May 27, 2006
Hi! I'm Sarah! Let's play!
Hi, I'm Sarah Notton. I attended the Emergent Women's Re-Gathering in April 2006...it was my first face-to-face meeting with non-local Emergent people. And wow...the Women of Emergent rock. Take every chance you can to get to know them.

A little about me...I'm 32 years old, live in Indianapolis, Indiana, facilitate the Indianapolis Emergent Cohort, work as a technical writer for a software company, and have been fabulously married for 10 years. I have three cats who are gracious enough to allow us to leave them alone for extended periods while we travel. I like to read, write, run, eat good food, and drink delicious, dark beer. I enjoy extended conversations about topics that don't have a "right" answer, films that make you think, and Irish music. I am currently experimenting with life as a redhead. When I grow up, I want to be a bohemian sage/mystic...maybe even "crone", so I can become the stuff of scary legends for the neighborhood kids.

As for my church background...I grew up in church. My family attended a Baptist church while I was young (complete with graded choirs, Wednesday-night potlucks, and the entire Bible in flannel-graph). Through my teenage years, I got to experience the spiritual drama which is Pentecostalism. I attended an Assemblies of God college in Springfield, MO, where I studied English, Bible, and music, and during which time I attended a healthy church that didn't scar me in any way (though I'm not sure we can ever convince the pastor that it was a really, really good example of how people should relate to each other). Not having married a pastor, and not knowing what kind of job to get with said academic training, I found myself getting a Master's in Writing, focusing on the mysterious yet lucrative world of technical communications.

After all of this schooling, the husband & I found ourselves in Texas. We went to a large-ish non-denominational church for a while, at least until they disbanded our healthy, successful home group full of Jesus Newbies for not being "evangelistic" enough. Next, due to a lack of denominational choices, we ended up at a Southern Baptist church...at least until they tried to relegate me to children's ministry. (Note to self: If ever in a Baptist church again, use Tech Writing skills to forge documentation that requires me to stay at least 50 yards from anyone under the legal driving age.)

Our next adventure was helping to plant a church in Round Rock (outside of Austin). Should've been ultra-cool, right? Austin, all live music and sincere heathens and even public nude beaches—a spectacular place for church experimentation, yes? Oh...very much NO! Folks who were older and more financially secure than us decided that the area needed yet another Purpose-Driven church for suburbanites that met in an elementary school. Alas, too much attention on production left not enough time to focus on people. RIP, poor little baby church.

And now, we're back home in Indiana, enjoying our Sunday mornings out by our neighbor's Tiki Barge. No longer slaves to the congregation, we build relationships around the neighborhood bonfire, pass out water on the local hiking trails, invite folks over for movie nights and theology pubs, and plan field trips to exhibits and experimental theater that might stretch our faith or show us something delightfully new about God. What we are doing is not church, but it's a mighty fine way of life.

My place in our femergent community? To cheer y'all on and give you the thumbs-up to run with these wacky-whirly-wonderful ideas God is planting in your heads and hearts. You can do it! You must do it! All those reasons why you aren't doing it...they are silly and you need to let them go. Now. I mean it. Seriously, if you can run a household and do all the other stuff you do in life, then you are more than capable for these fun new adventures in Jesus-seeking.

Oh, and YOUR place, for now, is to tell us what you’re doing. Your stories inspire us beyond what you can imagine! If you don’t have time to write it up, shoot me an email & I can do the whole interview/write-up thing on the phone, or I can come visit & get pics and a feel for your community/vision. (The cats will be just fine while I’m away.)

p.s. Does “femergent” make you think of Austin Powers-esque fem-bots, too?
 
posted by Sarah Notton at 4:15 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


3 Comments:


  • At 5/28/2006 11:00:00 AM, Blogger lydia

    Hi Sarah. Im' glad to meet you. :)

    What we are doing is not church, but it's a mighty fine way of life.

    But I have to respectfully disagree with this. I think what you're doing is church. Jesus spent a great deal of his time talking to people about God in casual settings, after all.

    :)

     
  • At 6/01/2006 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Sarah - you rock. I really enjoyed reading your story and your take on past church experiences! thanks for sharing.

     
  • At 6/01/2006 08:32:00 PM, Blogger From the Margins

    Hi Sara ... this is Sherri! What's up friend? Think of you all the time. Glad to know the Tiki barge is happening!

    I'm almost ready to write! :-)

    Love your stories!

     

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