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.
“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.
“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.
“So it's not necessarily an overnight thing. And the only person, the only person or people who get to decide if a person should be forgiven, are the ones harmed.”
Season two of The Confessional is coming very, very soon. In the meantime, I invited my good friend Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg on the show to offer a different perspective on repentance and forgiveness.
Danya is the author of seven books including most recently Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder and Radical Amazement of Parenting.
“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.
“I came into software development relatively late in life. You know, I'm in my mid 40s and my training actually started in 2014 inside the walls of San Quentin.”
Chris is the founder and developer of Fitness Monkey, an app that encourages the physical fitness of addicts in recovery.
“I run into someone in Boulder, and they're like you want to do some speed? And I was like, ‘hell, yeah.’ And I do some speed, and I just fall off the map.... I didn't see my daughter for 13 years after that.”
Lenny now lives in Vancouver, Washington where he is doing the crazy thing of starting a new church. His book, Dear Church, a Love Letter From A Black Preacher to The Whitest Denomination in America, is alternately tender and scathing and non-stop truth-filled.
“We would see something terrible that happened, like if there was an earthquake or a fire or floods or hurricanes, or a celebrity died. Everybody around me, my family, the church members, we'd be celebrating and making plans to go and protest the funerals. And, you know, at the same time on Twitter, I'm seeing people mournful and grieving.”
Megan’s memoir of growing up in, and eventually leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, is beautifully written and absolutely captivating. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, Chad (who she met on Twitter) and her magical baby girl, Solvieg.
The first season of The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber will drop weekly starting April 21.
Do you have something you’re not proud of that you’d like to confess? Leave a voicemail at 618-CONFESS, that’s 618-266-3377, and we may play it on an upcoming episode.