Question: Baptism & Shunning

So, since the release of SEASONS: THE REAL STORY OF AN AMISH GIRL I've been getting a few questions...good ones. I thought it would be fun to share one since there might be others out there curious about the same thing.

One of my readers, Jennifer, said this:

Elizabeth, I LOVED the book. Yes, I finished it. =) The first half reminded me of Francine Rivers' book Her Mother's Hope. I would say more, but I don't want to spoil it for others. I'll say it was a great book that left me with questions. I think any good book should leave you wanting more. I do have one random question for you... Was it your parents who didn't get baptized?

My parents were baptized into the Amish church when they were teens, which is typical in the church. When someone is baptized into the church and then leaves the church...they will be shunned. So, my parents were shunned when they left back in the early 80s. My sister, myself, and my brother, however, are NOT shunned. We were not baptized into the church so we were not shunned when we left the church. 

There, of course, are rules with being shunned. The basic ones...can't eat a shunned person's food, can't eat from the same table, shunned person can't drive a church member in their vehicle nor can they accept gifts from a shunned person. My parents families, after some time of healing, really were amazing with embracing us and we have had a wonderful closeness with them. The family would often eat potluck style and we were not required to bring food (since many of them couldn't eat from it anyway) and eat buffet style so eating from the same table/dish wasn't truly an issue. Instead of my parents driving them around, let's say for a doctor's appointment or something, my siblings & I would do it...the same with giving gifts. 

Keep in mind, every church has their own set of standards with these things. This is just what was acceptable with our families and the church they were a part of. We were very blessed. There have been some issues off and on over the years (but, let's be honest, what family doesn't), but the majority of the time, things have gone smoothly. 

I think that answers that question mostly. 

If anyone else has a question that is related to something you read in the book or something you're just plain curious about, I will do my best to answer....based on MY experiences with the Amish. 

Cheers!

Elizabeth