Ther side of the service coin Nadia writesAnd receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world I don t want to need it Preferably I could just do it all and be it all and never mess up That may be what I would prefer but it is never what I need I need to be broken apart and put back into a different shape by the merging of things human and divine which is really screwing up and receiving grace and love and forgiveness rather than receiving what I really deserve I need the very thing that I will do everything I can to avoid needingSo this is a super easy book of anecdotes and stories and vignettes about her parishioners and people she s encountered who forced her to confront grace And I much appreciated the down to earth tone On a 0 100 scale what I now about Christianity comes MUCH closer to 0 than to 100 Believe me Note I m not repeating believe me as does The Donald so you can trust that I m neither lying nor using truthful hyperbole Born Jewish and still Jewish I unfortunately don t Janae (Blacktop, know what I ought tonow about my own religion much less anyone else s And before I discuss Nadia Bolz Weber s book I should also confess that my desire to increase my familiarity with Christian theology has never been strong enough to measure When I bought Accidental Saints I did not realize that I was in a sense registering for Religion 103 Introduction to Christianity A few days ago our Sabbath I pulled it from my to read shelf and SURPRISE Page 1 offers an old Christian hymn that begins Rejoice now I recommend the audiobook as well because NBW reads it herself Here we have a continuation a collection of stories from one Saint Cookies day to another five year later when the cookies are accidentally forgotten The author is a Lutheran pastor in Denver with her church of and for people who don t really fit in the usual churches There is a set of discussion uestions at the end and a short interview with her We get to read of various events both in Denver and on author s travels within US and elsewhere You get to see her in all her goods and flaws here which in the end mirror the goods and flaws of all people And yet God shows mercy grace and humor in catching us all You get to witness some of the traditions of her church the cookies the tulips etc and to meet some interesting peopleYou end up thinking about your own versions of events featured here your own weaknesses and fears and get a feel of God s mercy and sneakiness in a good way over and over It s uite uplifting I think this book may be a good or better even companion to her previous book Pastrix and there s many details that I can see myself pondering on even later Very enjoyable a read Very readable and extremely relatable If you ve been around the block a few times or are a woman with a past you will find peace and a judgment free place to land While her liberal use of cursing was very unusual it did not bother me as I can be a bit of a potty mouth myself when having a hissy fit over something unfair or cruelI was going to give it 45 stars but I bumped it up to 5 when I read her last chapter on her new BeatitudesBlessed are those are not over it yetBlessed are the losers in a world that only loves winnerSpoke to me spoke to my pastKudos This book was recommended to me by someone at work who I THINK believes I am edgy and is also aware that I love reading about religion I think SHE thought I d embrace this cool approach to Christianity But this book was not for me Nadia Bolz Weber comes from an extremely conservative background So her fresh ideas were stale to me Catholics are NOT THAT WEIRDI m a Catholic I hang out with REAL GAY PEOPLE I mean that is great and perhaps conservative people reading this will find it refreshing and innovative and maybe it will change their opinions and that is cool But I am looking for someone to stretch Christianity much farther Bolz Weber eeps bragging about hanging with sinners Jesus loved sinners But when you re hanging out with sinners at the same time saying I M HANGING OUT WITH FILTHY ASS SINNERS doesn t it defeat the purpose Jesus led by example and hung out with everyone but he didn t brag about it He just did When Bolz Weber spoke at the funeral of a gay man who committed suicide she called him a sinner reassuring people that they should not be ashamed that he was gay and illed himself If you really want to embrace the sinners treat them as people with as much respect as you d treat anyone else Maybe I m being too critical But if I were at that funeral and that gay deceased man was my. He least likely of people a church loving agnostic a drag ueen a felonious Bishop and a gun toting member of the NRA As she lives and worships alongside these “accidental saints” Nadia is swept into first hand encounters with grace a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and like being hit with a blunt instrument But by this grace people are transformed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own In a time when many have rightly become disil.
35 I new of Nadia Bolz Weber through Greenbelt Festival She s a foul mouthed tattooed fairly orthodox Lutheran pastor This brief enjoyable memoir is about how she eeps believing despite her own past issues and the many messed up and outwardly unlovable people who show up at her church House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver I especially love her new set of BeatitudesIn my favorite section she zeroes in on one Holy Week and shows the whole range of emotions and trauma that religion can address The Ash Wednesday chapter is the overall highlight contrasting the funeral of a suicide with the birth of a new baby People often think that ritual and liturgy are lifeless and empty but Bolz Weber shows how they can be full of meaning and foster connections between the unlikely folks encountered in the Body of ChristHere s a few tastes of her writing I m not running after Jesus Jesus is running my ass down we ve lost the plot if we use religion as the place where we escape from difficult realities instead of as the place where those difficult realities are given meaning the really inconvenient thing about being Christian is the fact that God is revealed in other people and other people are annoying I understand the impulse of not wanting to be in community I can t argue with that But I think the experience of bumping up against other people has changed me in ways that I never could have been changed if I was just reading books and practicing meditation We don t get to be Christians on our own So here s the thing I grew up in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was baptized confirmed and then went to high school and found nothing in the liturgy or the service to make me stay in the churchAnd then I went to live in Japan and had to wrestle with a WHOLE COUNTRY of folks with a 1000 year old history that has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus So I stopped believing the church or Christianity had anything to do with me I m a flaming liberal and a religion that makes outsiders of people is not for me I wanted religion that was inclusive and activeand so I leftBut somewhere along the lines I wanted to sing in a choir again So I started coming back to church And somewhere along the lines I realized I could say the words of the Apostles Creed sing the hymns and say the Lord s Prayer and it didn t matter one bit whether I believed it or not It was about doing things that helped me be a better personAnd then I got breast cancer and had to go through chemo and yadda yadda yadda I couldn t be a strong independent person any and had to accept help And somewhere along the lines of accepting help of being weak and needing others I found friendship I found a church communityBut my terrible secret remained I m not sure the God in the ELCA liturgy is the god I believe I mean I certainly don t think 1000s of years of Japanese people are condemned to a fiery pits of hell because Jesus happened to live in the Middle East A God of love would not work that way And that s the long way of saying Nadia Bolz Weber s book speaks strongly to me She writes about her failures as a person and as a PASTOR to love the people around her the very people who show here the most grace when she commits to speaking in Australia instead of officiating at good friends weddings or avoids a parishioner with halitosis and boring stories And she verbalizes the twin sides of the blessing and neediness issue that have been a thorn in my mental side since the first time I did volunteer work in high school If you go out to do mission and give service it s so very easy to fall into a mental trap Here she explains it better than meWhile we as people of God are called to feed the hungry and clothe the naked the whole we re blessed to be a blessing thing can still be ind of dangerous It can be dangerous when we self importantly place ourselves above the world waiting to descend on those below so we can be a blessing they ve been waiting for like it or not Plus seeing myself as the blessing can pretty easily obscure the way in which I am actually part of the problem and can hide the ways in which I too am poor and needing careHow do we go about doing service without making a distinction between those who are receiving and those giving I think part of the answer lies in stop giving into the sin of pride about being strong or independent or being a go getter or organizational maven or the one who nows where all the spoons go in the church itchen It s about being open to the help we all need We are all broken in our own ways And about this NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWhat if that person you've been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace todayAnd what if that's the pointIn Accidental Saints New York Times best selling author Nadia Bolz Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not so spiritual life” Tattooed angry and profane this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly sometimes hilariously resists the God she feels called to serve But God eeps showing up in
Family member I would be offended I was almost sort of offended that this book was recommended to me in the first place Has that ever happened to you I felt the EXACT same way when someone recommended Blue Like Jazz The person who handed it to me thought it was hip because the author doesn t speak like he was born in the 12th century and doesn t have extremely conservative religious views and speaks to me on my levelI think some would call Nadia Bolz Weber s sense of humor self deprecating but you can tell with each self put down she is boosting herself up I m awful I drink beer and have tattoos I do evil things sometimes JUST LIKE YOU but I m still a good person But does a coolgood person have to say it so much It s also very clear she wants to come off as badass and cool I believe she is a good person but I don t think she s cool Cool to me would be someone who makes me think of Christianity anew Who really and truly lives the message of Jesus every single day without bragging about it Because they want to and not because they are image conscience When that book comes around will someone please let me Why Diets Make Us Fat know There is something about dropping F bombs and making fun of worship music with a bishop that makes me feel warm and fuzzy Pastor Nadia minister behaving badly on page 43After discovering Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber via her latest release Shameless just a few weeks ago I decided to check out her previous books Her biographic debut Pastrix is on deck for me later this month I imagine that the edgy chapters in Accidental Saints are indicative of her style of sermons Accidental Saints is a collection of nearly twenty anecdotes and observations Pastor Nadia is very effective like the best clergy who are gifted in penning thought provoking sermons that are not overbearing in preachiness in effortlessly shifting her tone between humorous serious and simply inducing the feels Maybe that s just too slang of a descriptive term for a nearly middle aged man to use but there were at least two instances the consecutive chapters Frances and Panic Attack in Jericho where she induced an emotional response in me with her raw but honest experiences I think a common refrain in her work is that she and her congregation members and by extension the readers are damaged or imperfect people but that s okay because Christ loves us anyway She conveys this message in a direct but reassuring manner that I did not find treacly or pandering Grace happens But it doesn t happen only to the observantly devout For Grace forgives us ALL And can shower us all with its warmly human well beingThough I nevernew what to expect next as the movie reels of these stories unwound what CAN you predict in stories about Grace among Bay Area Rainbow Outsiders some fairly comfortable others down for the count where Up is Down and all middle class markers of polite behaviour are out the windowShe is one BRAVE pastor this no holds barred ringmaster in a Night CircusWhat a tripYet grace always manages to peek out from under disaster wearing as always its patient happy sad face of comfortAnd if you read my attached excerpts you will readily agree that this is a book that can challenge your beliefs to the core and with patience and understanding elevate them into a much widely expansive stratosphereSo prepare to be challengedIt will rock you it will sock you And it might just make you compassionate to others I freakin love Nadia Bolz Weber She released the incredible Pastrix just two years ago and she s gathered enough stories since then to have a brand new inspiring challenging funny book about God and people that made me cry on at least three occasions This book is structured over the course of a liturgical year beginning and ending at All Saints Day though she draws on stories from multiple years My takeaway from this book is that I don t need to try harder to be a good Christianperson I need to work harder to internalize grace mercy and love and then God will be able to use me in the lives of others regardless of what I myself try to do I can practically hear her saying I now that doesn t make sense but that s how God works And then she has six stories to illuminate her thoughts She challenges those who think they can find God and live faith without being in community with other people Her raw honesty complete with appropriately placed curse words is like balm on the soul of a Christian who wants to follow Jesus example but can t figure out how to apply typical Christian platitudes to real life I d recommend it for basically everybod. Lusioned with Christianity Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine struggle with scripture together and tell each other the truth about their real lives This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices From the Hardcover edition.
House for All Sinners and Saints an