There By Grace: Nadia Bolz-Weber
Best-selling author and Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is fiercely protective of her congregation, House for All Sinners and Saints, in Denver, Colorado. "The are very willing to share me," she says, referring to her rising celebrity status, "but when I am there, I need to be their pastor. Not take selfies."
In our conversation, Bolz-Weber discusses her conservative upbringing, her addiction and recovery, and her journey to become a pastor and church planter. We talk about her new book, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People.
Rev. Bolz-Weber has a lot of tattoos, and admits she swears like a sailor. She seems an unlikely fit for the ordained pastorate. Yet she praises Lutheranism for giving her the clearest understanding of the human condition she has ever encountered.
"At the same time - sinner and saint, always needing grace," she says. She saw herself, and everyone she knew, reflected in that description. She embraces broken people, addicts, and weirdos as her kind of people, but she has a fierce love of tradition and liturgy. "I know. I'm a unicorn!" she proclaims, acknowledging the relative rarity these days of being theologically conservative and socially progressive.
She pastors a small church in Denver, at the same time that she has become more of a celebrity and well-known writer.
In 2013, she published a memoir, Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint.