Nadia Bolz-Weber Leaving Church She Founded
- By Kelly Frazier --
- 06 Aug 2018 --
Nadia Bolz-Weber established the church in 2008.
Nadia Bolz-Weber does not fit the picture of a pastor[/tweetit]: her hair is silver-colored, and she wears dark makeup. She has tattoos as well, their designs inspired from the Bible. To those who have not seen it before, Bolz-Weber was a strange sight as she celebrated her penultimate service as a pastor ministering to the congregants of the House for All Sinners and Saints (HFASS), a church she established in 2008 when she was a divinity student at 39-years-old. She had announced her departure in the middle of June: the mainline Protestant preacher has made her intentions clear to exit her own church and explore life as a “public theologian.” She also made it clear it would be her full-time activity from now on.
Nadia Bolz-Weber Leaving Church She Founded[/tweetthis]
It did not surprise her congregants when Pastor Bolz-Weber quoted Kenny Rogers instead of Jesus during her farewell speech. She reminded her audience, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away. And know when to run." In her concluding statement, she said that her work as the church's founder is now complete. The scene was a fitting end to her leadership of HFASS, who began the church to dispel the popular notion of God being a police state surveillance system. Her church allows congregants to discover strength in vulnerability and forgive offenders. She also pointed out that Christianity provides compassion for the unimpressive, the undocumented, and the unemployed.
Bolz-Weber's concluding service was like any other normal day service in her church. The aisles were filled with playing children and an a capella choir did their thing by singing the opening hymn. The pastor invoked God using imagery which invoked both feminine and masculine traits. The only difference was a larger crowd, packed with first-timers who wanted to hear the celebrity pastor preach possibly for the last time from the choir.
Bolz-Weber was known for her talent of welcoming people who believe that the church will not welcome them. At first, the numbers were unimpressive: only eight people showed up for Sunday evening service in 2008 which she held in her living room. The list of attendees included individuals carrying religious baggage and drug addicts. She knew what they suffered. Bolz-Weber was a former alcoholic and a stand-up comedian with a tinge of dark humor. Her break came in 2011 when a prominent local newspaper put her church on its front page.