Sunday, October 02, 2005

So for starters: an introduction. My name is Jessica Murie (pronounced like the dog's name on Mad About You, not "Marie" like most other girls) Perkins Marcus, but only my mom calls me Jessica. To everyone else, I am known as "Jessi", which started in kindergarten where there were three other Jessicas in my class.

I grew up quite literally in the middle of nowhere in South Western Missouri. My family co-owned an exotic animal farm and my mom was a speech pathologist. Therefore, in school, I was the girl with perfect grammar and a giraffe.

The "town" (if you can even call it that) that I grew up in had a population of less that 20 people. There was only one church, so I went to that one. It did draw upon a larger circumference of surrounding towns, so there were about 150 of us when I was younger. It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. We were/are a family. I had at least 3 extra sets of surrogate grandparents. We shared everything from food to gossip, from laughter to tears. We held each other's babies and buried each other's dead. I will never forget what it was like when my sister, at the time a missionary in Hungary, just home for the summer, baptized me in the local creek and the entire congregation gathered around singing Now I Belong to Jesus as I came up out of the water. What a poignant picture of the hands of God those people have portrayed to me.

I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to go to Westmont College when I was 17 years old. There I would be stretched and pushed in ways I had not expected. I spent a semester in Egypt and Israel, and another semester in Sevilla, Spain. My picture of God grew in astronomical proportions. I was surrounded by people who could not have been any different from me. My idea of what it meant to be the church in the world was ever shifting and changing. It was also during that time that I met my future husband, Todd Marcus, an incredibly attractive soccer player. It was only later that I would find out what a kind, sensitive and thoughtful person that he is.

After College, I proposed to Todd and we got married in my parent's backyard the following summer. We lived in Santa Barbara for two years, where I worked for a Construction Company and Todd was the assistant coach of the Westmont Women's soccer program. That was our true passion at the time. Those girls were an intrinsic part of our lives as we learned what it meant to minister to and be ministered by those college students. They still hold a special place in our hearts and we long to be back in that type of an environment. It was during that second year that I felt God tugging me towards Fuller Seminary. Todd was extremely supportive and we upped and moved without jobs!

That first year was a trying time, as we struggled financially and tried to find community. It has continued to be a struggle as we have felt disillusioned by our experience at two different churches in the area. Much of that is our own fault, as we considered this place a temporary move. But the entire experience has raised many new questions for us as we have tried to become a part of two different communities in our three years here. We have questions about what Church is, who we let in, who we leave out, and why.

Herein opens the discussion of our class. I am deeply interested in these questions as we dialogue with one another about the shape of the Church. I am open and ready to listen!


Blogger Me Over Here said...

Hi Jessi!

One of my best friends is currently serving God in Israel. Her link is on my blog: "The Example".

Very nice to read about you. You sound very blessed in your life. May God continue to bless you as you serve His will!

9:44 PM  
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9:46 PM  
Blogger Lea M. Chavez said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Lea M. Chavez said...

Hi Jessi, I just read your blog, I feel a sense of comfortableness around you, it's prob. your sense of community, also I see your genuine. Wow, you proposed! Here is my blog address, it's not posted yet on the class blog, I'm working on research, hopefully I'll get that far this attempt, then I'll start with feed back. Have a blessed, amazing weekend!

4:03 PM  
Blogger C. Wess Daniels said...

i found your intro really enjoyable and funny - do your parents still have a giraffe? and i think it is really awesome that you proposed to your husband.

4:13 PM  

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