Nadia Bolz-Weber speaking on campus for 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Nadia Bolz-Weber. Photo courtesy of Concordia College.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, Nadia Bolz-Weber will speak at a public event on Concordia’s campus hosted by the Forum on Faith and Life.

Bolz-Weber is the New York Times best-selling author of two memoirs, “Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint,” and “Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People.” She is also a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and founder of the House for All Sinners and Saints congregation in Denver, Colorado. She will be speaking twice on Thursday, first at 9:50 am in Chapel, and later at a public lecture in the Centrum at 7:00 pm.

“Nadia brings her whole, authentic self to her audience. Regardless of one’s faith background, witnessing Nadia embrace her flaws will be powerful,” said Leslie Bellwood, the administrative assistant and event planner for the Forum on Faith and Life.

According to Dr. Jacqueline Busse, director of the Forum on Faith and Life, Bolz-Weber’s visit was scheduled to align with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which falls on Oct. 31, 2017.

“Nadia is well-known and well-respected for being a major reformer in ministry today,” Bussie said.

Prior to writing two bestselling memoirs and starting her own church, Bussie said that Bolz-Weber was a stand-up comedian, attributing to her atypical nature as a pastor.

“It shows. Nadia is funny, genuine, and inspiring,” Bussie said.

Bolz-Weber is highly praised by many publications and has been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, CNN, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and The Atlantic.

“[Bolz-Weber] is a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left,” a review in the Washington Post said.

Bellwood said that Bolz-Weber challenges her audience to “truly live out the phrase ‘All Are Welcome,” which is reflected in the fact that nearly half of the House for All Sinners and Saints attendees are members of the LGBT community.

In an interview with NPR, Bolz-Weber said, “Some churches might have a hard time welcoming junkies and drag queens. We’re fine with that.”

Not only is Bussie excited about bringing Bolz-Weber to campus, but she knows her students are as well.

“A lot of my students love reading Nadia’s books and many of them also listen to her podcasts; I am so excited for those students to finally get to meet her in person,” Bussie said. “Students keep saying how super excited they are to have the chance to talk to Nadia about her faith, her journey, and her calling as a writer.”

Other students around campus are excited for Bolz-Weber’s arrival as well.

“I really enjoy her life story and it just stuck with me. Also, she was the first pastor that I came across who didn’t fit the pastor stereotype. She continues to challenge that stereotype and I’m so thrilled to hear her speak again,” said senior biology major Taylor Smith, who has one of Bolz-Weber’s books and has seen her speak once before.

Bussie said that Bolz-Weber reminds her audience about diversity’s gift.

“Students, faculty, staff and community members alike are going to learn a lot from her wisdom and experience,” Bussie said. “Nadia has a beautiful gift for taking theological truths and breaking them down into language everyone can understand and relate to.”


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