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The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber
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The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber

Author: The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber

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Forget the selfies and social media updates of everyone at their best, three-time New York Times best-selling author Nadia Bolz-Weber’s new podcast, The Confessional, invites guests to share stories about times they were at their worst. Guests talk honestly about what led to that moment, what they learned from it, and how they changed as a result. A former stand-up comic and a recovering alcoholic, Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran Pastor and the founder of House for All Sinners and Saints, in Denver, Colorado.

Everyone needs grace and healing, no matter your beliefs. Step into The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber - a carwash for people’s shame and secrets.
26 Episodes
“I was dressed up looking the part, but deep inside, I was just vacant. I just was not someone I was proud of anymore.” Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div. is Co-Founder of Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., the one of the world’s first ministries serving the white collar justice community. Jeff co-hosts with Babz Rawls Ivy the Criminal Justice Insider podcast and hosts the White Collar Week podcast. He also leads a weekly online confidential White Collar Support Group. Twitter: @RevJeffGrant
"And that was the moment ... where I was like, 'Girl, you can be a good mother and a happy, embodied woman, but you can't be a good mother and a liar.'" Elizabeth Lesser is a bestselling author and the co-founder of Omega Institute, the renowned conference and retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York. Elizabeth’s first book,The Seeker’s Guide, chronicles her years at Omega and distills lessons learned into a potent guide for growth and healing. She is also the author of Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes; Marrow; and Broken Open. Instagram: @elizlesser
"I got the super squad, the dirty dozen. Nobody needs to know what's going on here; I'm handling everything." Dr. Raymond Christian is a retired US Army paratrooper who grew up on the poverty-ridden streets of Richmond, VA. He has taught African American History and Storytelling at Appalachian State University and is a 12-time Moth Story Slam Champion and winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam. Ray is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar as an expert in Education and Storytelling Narrative, and the host and producer of the podcast “What’s Ray Saying?” Twitter: @whatsraysaying
"If you can call people to a higher standard and tap into that fear, that ‘I'm not trying hard enough. I'm not really loving God enough. I'm not sacrificing enough,’ there is always going to be another person coming along with a book or a conference to sell that is going to tap into that and say, ‘You're right. You're not doing enough. Let me show you how you can do more.’” Joshua Harris is a storyteller and owner of the marketing company Clear and Loud. He is a former pastor and author of the now unpublished book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." He told his story in the DOCSology film I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Twitter: @HarrisJosh
“I just remember the feeling of having his arms around me, and I just felt so sickened that I had chosen this instead of my mother.” Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief and the author of three books about grief and loss. Visit her website to find her offerings including courses, meditations, one-on-one grief sessions and more. Instagram: @clairebidwellsmith
“I essentially told her to override that very important internal compass called your gut instinct. And I told her that that wasn't accurate. She was just scared and that this is normal, that you hit up against fears that are going to stop you from your true potential … I told her to trust me, and I just, I wonder where she would be now if she’d just stayed in Vancouver and not done ESP.” Sarah Edmondson is a Canadian actress who has starred in the CBS series Salvation and more than twelve films for the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. In 2019, Sarah published Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life, with Kristine Gasbarre. She and her husband Anthony “Nippy” Ames host the podcast A Little Bit Culty. Instagram: @sarahedmondson Twitter: @sarahjedmondson
“We would also be very conscious of preaching anti-communism because people were saying that the African National Congress, you know, former President Mandela's political party, they were really not liberation fighters, they were terrorists.” Wilhelm is a facilitator and researcher based at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. A dedicated peace activist, he is also the author of several books, including most recently Verwoerd: My Journey Through Family Betrayals.
“You know, it comes down to a human error, but one of massive proportions because you're dealing with humanity and people's lives.” Maria is the host of Latino USA and one of the most respected journalists in the country. She also has a new memoir. It’s called Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America.  This episode marks the end of season two, and the show going on a brief hiatus. But I promise we’ll be back with a third season three in the not too distant future.
“My attachment to success prevented me from doing the one thing that I value the most in my life, which is showing up for other black women.” Amber is a storyteller, creative content strategist, and reproductive justice activist whose work imagines a world where Black womanhood is an expansive overwhelming experience of safety, pleasure, and joy. The book I mention in the intro to this episode is I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. When you’re done listening to this one, I recommend watching this video of Sonya Renee Taylor performing her poem “What Women Deserve.”
“So what I ended up doing was being an incredible dick to my father. That's what I ended up doing.” Jonathan Williams is the Lead Pastor of Forefront Church in Brooklyn, New York. He co-wrote his first book She’s My Dad: A Father’s Transition and a Son’s Redemption with his father Paula Stone Williams.
Joel Leon, Storyteller

Joel Leon, Storyteller


“But like being a father, I have to excel at that because a lot of people were expecting me not to.” Joel was born and raised in the Bronx. He is the author of A Book About Things I Will Tell My Daughter and God Wears Durags Too. His recent TED talk on co-parenting is recommended viewing for everyone who listens to this episode.
“I truly believed that we had gotten Bruce Springsteen to commit to this benefit compilation. And so when I went to present that to the group, I went back through my emails and there was no such communication.” Kasey currently serves as a program coordinator for a recovery services nonprofit in Portland, Oregon. Between around 2004 and 2013, he was best known as a recording artist, releasing a string of three solo albums and two with his band Kasey Anderson and the Honkies.
“I didn't feel like, oh, I need to call my lawyer or anything like that. I felt like I was totally with it. And then I did the breathalyzer and I can't remember exactly what number I blew, but it was like, I think, two times the legal limit. And I thought, this machine is broken.” When Abby retired from professional soccer in 2015, she was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion, and the all-time leader in goal scoring for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Today, she is also known for her speaking, activism, and writing.
Darin Strauss, Writer

Darin Strauss, Writer


“And then all the emotions sort of flowed and I started crying in a way I don't think I have since or probably didn't before. I was just sort of heaving and then I thought, wow, this is going to ruin me. This is the end of my life. You know?” Darin lives in New York City. His memoir Half a Life won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography in 2011, and his latest book is called The Queen of Tuesday: A Lucille Ball Story.
“We would also be very conscious of preaching anti-communism because people were saying that the African National Congress, you know, former President Mandela's political party, they were really not liberation fighters, they were terrorists.” Wilhelm is a facilitator and researcher based at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. A dedicated peace activist, he is also the author of several books, including most recently Verwoerd: My Journey Through Family Betrayals.
Melissa Febos, Memoirist

Melissa Febos, Memoirist


“You know, it was like very hot - with that particular hotness of a terrible, terrible thing driven by desperation beyond the immediate situation.” Melissa is a literary phenom who has won a gazillion awards for her incisive, honest, colorful writing.  Her third book, Girlhood comes out in the Spring of 2021. I was her camp counselor for 3 years when she was in middle school.
“I held Nate's face as far away from me as I could so that he couldn't hit me. And then with my right hand I tried to destroy him” Mishka has an MFA in writing, but prefers to live out of his van while touring as a musician. He is a storyteller, a songwriter, and a shipwreck survivor.
“I just was super hungry sexually. I was super out there. I just didn't want to be the victim. You know, I wanted to run the show. And I did.” Amy has a degree in comparative religion from Harvard, but most folks know her as a famous actress. She’s a mom, a producer, an activist and the host of The Challengers Podcast.
"So I just googled, 'how to tell if your boyfriend is a Satan worshiper.'" Eric lives in Baltimore with his husband. He’s a playwright, a columnist for Elle, and the author of Here For It, a book of essays about how to save your soul in America.
“On the playground, people would be singing this song, Yo Mama's on Crack Rock. … And I love that song because I love chanting it and everything. And I also loathe that song because it was my truth. I grew up in the height of crack cocaine in poverty, and my mother was on crack rock.” Theresa lives in Princeton, NY with her beloved Kenny and their insane dog. Having a Doctorate, a Masters and a faculty position at Princeton is cool and everything, but Theresa believes there should be more curvy Black women leading yoga classes and as such, has just completed her Yoga teacher training.
Comments (8)

Tina McFetridge

I love what you are doing, thank you.

Sep 30th

Beth Waugh

Oh, this was so beautiful and amazing.

Sep 15th

Barbara Aldrich

Oh my, how that tugged at my heart. Hearing the Lutheran church in the 1960s tell me I wasn't right because I was gay. I loved the faith and Lutheran doctrine and rights, but left the church at 19. I always felt such a deep loss. I wandered in the wilderness for the next 30 years. I never believed God condemned me. But, oh boy, the church sure did!!!

Sep 2nd

Susan Larson

I recently did something regrettable and feel remirse. What i did was brought on by triggered C-PTSD. While I own what i did, and don't excuse it, there's a reason behind it. This was comforting.

Aug 25th

Terra Jean

l love this podcast!

Jul 10th


I didn’t expect this conversation to be inspiring. Chris paid a price for what he did and it’s not easy to learn to forgive yourself: He is right when he said that without learning/attempting to forgive himself, he wouldn’t where he is today. Good look Chris

Jun 22nd

Sarah Garcia

Preach!! I'm a Wiccan [20ish years] married (5 years ) to a lifelong Evangelical Christian. We have a wonderful 4.5 y/o. He's raised in both faiths. We differ on religion (obviously), politics and favorite hockey teams (😆). You know, all the important stuff. We often wonder, if we can get along, even grow; why can't others? Great message, much love.

Apr 24th
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