Welcome to Field Notes!

All right, let’s do the ‘official stuff’ first: I’m the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed books Jesus Feminist (2013); Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith (2015); and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things (2019). 

My collaborative book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal (2021) was a New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and Globe and Mail Bestseller. I contributed to the book but also served as its editor.

Field Notes for the Wilderness: Practices for an Evolving Faith is my latest book and it was a USA Today, Globe and Mail, Publisher’s Weekly, and Indie bestseller. It’s available pretty much everywhere books are bought or borrowed.

Along with my friends, the late Rachel Held Evans and Jim Chaffee, I co-founded Evolving Faith. I was also the co-host of The Evolving Faith Podcast which has been downloaded by a million listeners worldwide.

And I write this weekly newsletter called Field Notes with exclusive essays, devotional series, conversations, and more. You can sign up for Field Notes here.

I was born and raised in the prairies and foothills of western Canada. I lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and British Columbia over the years, but have returned home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada (on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in southern Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3).

My husband Brian and I have been happily married for 23 years. We are raising our four beloved children, formerly known as The Tinies. The teenagers are all taller than me now, it’s fine. I do tend to keep their personal stories offline. We also have two cats named Amy and Rory (and yes, they were absolutely named after Doctor Who companions).

Credit: Valerie Richer Photography

One of my favourite things is writing Field Notes for you. What began as an “official author thing to do” has become a community and conversation and helluva lot of fun.

Paid subscribers to Field Notes usually hear from me once a week on Tuesdays - sometimes more, sometimes less but that’s the plan.

  • You’ll receive not-available-anywhere-else exclusive essays from me along with weekly features like the beloved Book Corner where I chat about all the books I’ve been reading - and what I really think of them, the Good Things with inspiring or funny or fierce or lovely things I am into at the moment, giveaways, the Back to the Bonfire series where I deep-dive your theology questions, and so much. 

  • I even record the audio reading of some of my essays for The (Secret) Field Notes Podcast.

  • You will also be the very first ones to hear about any new books, projects, or announcements. 

  • I also do a couple of series every year on themes like Advent or Lent for subscribers.

  • And don’t forget to click through the emails to the comments - we’re all commenting like we’re mommy-bloggers-from-2005 (#originstory).

The full year of maximized Field Notes is just $6/month CAD (which is just over $4.50/month USD) or - good deal alert - $40/year CAD (just over $33 USD) for the entire year of full-strength Field Notes.

Don’t worry - unpaid subscribers will still receive a round-up or public Field Notes every once in a while, too.

I genuinely enjoy putting Field Notes together for you. I think it's pretty special but you don't have to believe me... here's what subscribers have to say:

“I love @sarahbessey emails because she's like "f*ck the patriarchy" and also ‘here's my favourite knitting pattern this month’.”

"My friends and I always look forward to seeing Field Notes pop up in our inbox. My favourite text message I get each month is, "Sarah Bessey. Inbox. NOW."

"Getting it in my inbox is like opening the best surprise package each month. I love that it's not just repeat blog/social media material, but is a true standalone set of word-centric goodies. I love how you merge the sublime with the silly (fun links and GIFs!) and I love your book recommendations."

"When I get your email, I save it for a free moment, grab a cup of tea, settle in and read and bookmark your suggestions and recommendations. It's the highlight of my weekend."

"This is the only email newsletter I read on the regular!"

"I appreciate your mix of deep soul-searching wisdom and funny."

"It touches my heart and makes me laugh and cry every. single. time."

"Reading Field Notes feels like we are sitting down together for a cup of coffee."

"I savour your Field Notes each month - love how it's packed with so much!"

"My only complaint is that I wish it came more often."

One last thing: I don’t want anyone to be left out due to money concerns so if you can’t swing the subscription, please just email assistant@sarahbessey.com and we’ll get you sorted out. Promise. It’s our joy to give away subscriptions to literally everyone who asks. Subscriptions aren’t meant to be a barrier, just a way to support me and my work as well as create a quieter corner on the Internet for deeper conversations and comments.

Make sure you add my email address to your "trusted" list - otherwise this email might end up in your spam folder every time it goes out.

Bringing goodness, GIFs, and Jesus-y stuff to your inbox since 2005,

Some housekeeping...

If you can’t find the newsletter after you subscribe, check your spam folder. And please mark this address as ‘not spam.’ If the newsletter isn’t in your spam folder, either, you should look in the Promotions tab.

If you are having technical issues or aren’t receiving Field Notes, please email support+sarahbessey@substack.com

You can always log in to the website to read the full archives and other posts as they are published.

Make sure you add my email address to your "trusted" list - otherwise this email might end up in your spam folder every time it goes out.

I still have a “regular” website.

I'm over on Facebook and Instagram, too, so hope to see you there!

Thanks again, and please tell a few friends if you feel like it.

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The popular newsletter from writer Sarah Bessey with exclusive essays, the books worth reading, good things, special devotional series, theology deep dives, community conversations, and so much more.


Books: Author x 5 including Field Notes for the Wilderness & NYT bestseller A Rhythm of Prayer | Newsletter: Field Notes | Evolving Faith | Canadian | Wife & Mum x 4