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This past Friday, March 6, 2015, was a day I’d really been looking forward to.  I had a ticket to hear one of my faith heroes, Nadia Bolz-Weber, speak at the Lutheran Seminary in Columbia, SC as part of their John L. Yost Lecture Series.  A good friend originally planned to go with me, and then was unable to go due to some work responsibilities.  Thankfully Will had some business in Columbia Friday and I was able to tag along with him.  He dropped me off at the seminary two hours before the event, which was WAY early.  I brought my iPad and planned to just read and entertain myself.  It was cold, so I walked into the Student Center to find a place to wait, and sat down on a bench outside the Faculty Lounge.  About five minutes later, Nadia walked past me into the lounge, which was so fun!  She looks just like her picture on the cover of her book Pastrix, and it was delightful to see her in the flesh.  Well, of course she had clothes on!  Jeans, Danskos, a cool black shirt, and her belt with a Mary icon on the buckle.  I wish I had a picture of that to show you.

At the lecture, Nadia read from her upcoming book Accidental Saints, which will be released September 7th of this year.  It was real and beautiful and haunting, and made me rush to Amazon to preorder. It’s not available yet, but here’s a link to Pastrix if you haven’t read it yet.  It’s amazing.

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Link: http://amzn.com/1455527076
She spoke about authenticity and what the life of a Christian is intended to look like.  She said that growing in faith is to become more aware of your need for grace over and over and over and over again.  I liked that, as I find myself daily needing more and more and more grace from Jesus. Nadia closed by talking about what the church is for, essentially preaching the gospel, administering the sacraments and proclaiming forgiveness for sins.  She said there is nothing else in our culture that can say or do these three things.  I think this is true.  Her closing sentence was this: “The church is fine.” This sentence pierced my heart, as I struggle so with church, what it looks like in my world, what I want it to look like, what I think it should look like.  It was just nice to have someone I respect so, to tell me that the church is fine.  May it be so.

On the way home from Columbia, I received an email from someone at Harper Collins, who is publishing Rachel Held Evans new book Searching for Sunday, asking me to be a part of a launch team for Rachel’s book.  It sounds more glamorous than it is, as I think the publisher literally chose the first 300 of Rachel’s blog readers who applied. Thankfully one of them was me!  The publisher sent me an advanced copy of Rachel’s book to read and to help get the word out about the book, which releases on April 14th.  As I read it, I’ll let you know how what I think.  My expectations are high, as I’ve read and re-read both Evolving in Monkeytown, which has been retitled Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions, and A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”. Rachel’s new book is available for pre-order on Amazon:

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
by Rachel Held Evans
Link: http://amzn.com/0718022122
So all in all, it was a great day for this reader, lover of theology, and girl in need of grace.  Let me know if you are familiar with Nadia or Rachel’s books and how you felt about them.

1 Comment

  1. Christy on March 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Really cool that you were able to go Friday. Even more cool that you are going to be on the launch team. Let me know what you think of the book!

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