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Revelations: Nontraditional 'Pastrix' preaches to reporter

Oct. 11, 2013 at 5:11 a.m.


There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting on the patio in the late evening, sipping on a cup of coffee and turning the pages of a new book.

And with the temperatures cooling down around dusk in recent weeks, I've been spending a lot of time reading on patio furniture lately.

And my newest book love is New York Times bestselling author The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber's book, "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint."

(Pastrix: Female ecclesiastical superhero or emergent female pastor.)

I learned of Nadia - a tattooed, foul-mouthed, Lutheran pastor - two weeks ago at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Austin.

She delivered a talk during one of the lunches, and I was immediately taken with her approach to Christianity.

As a former professional comedienne, she had many years of experience with drugs and alcohol and promiscuity under her belt to share with us. She even disclosed her struggles with alcohol and recovery and victory in sobriety.

She was funny and light and she was able to talk about God's grace and salvation and recovery and spiritual transformation in front of a room of mixed-breed religious thinkers at the conference - some of whom, I'm certain, abhor Christians.

What I loved about Nadia's story - and I'm getting a more clear picture of her in "Pastrix," - is that she doesn't attempt to go out of her way to be something she's not, even as a minister.

You may not expect a Lutheran minister to have tattoos up and down their arms or a Miley Cyrus cropped coif, but it works for Nadia. And it works for her church congregation at House for All Sinners and Saints.

She's preaching to the folks who don't fit at church. She's preaching for people who were turned away from church because they didn't look or think or desire to fit in the perfect Christian bubble.

She's preaching for all the people who tire at the idea of having to pretend to be perfect every Sunday before entering the church doors.

She's preaching to all the people who didn't grow up in perfect Christian families.

She was preaching to me.

And I'm sure if you pick up her book, she'll preach to a few of you.

It's a great book for the fall season, and it goes great with a cup of Joe and patio swivel chair.

Jennifer Preyss is the religion reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535, or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss.

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