- Page xvi: “when I experience God it comes in the form of some kind of death and resurrection.”
- Page xvii: The story told in this book is not chronological, but rather thematic. It’s about the development of Nadia’s faith, the expression of her faith, and the community of her faith.
- Page xvii: “How the Christian faith, while wildly misrepresented in so much of American culture, is really about death and resurrection.”
Chapter 1: The Rowing Team
- In this chapter Nadia writes about how she was called to be a pastor.
- Page 4: “We all find different things challenging in life. Speaking in front of hundreds of people was far less challenging for me than scheduling dental appointments.”
- Page 8: In writing about her friend, PJ, who committed suicide, she says, “He wondered about God: Was he beyond the pale of God’s love?”
- Page 8: Writing about being asked to do PJ’s funeral service, Nadia says, “This is how I was called to ministry. My main qualification? I was the religious one. … These were my people. Giving PJ’s eulogy, I realized that perhaps I was supposed to be their pastor.”
- Page 9: “here in the midst of my own community of underside dwellers that I couldn’t help but begin to see the Gospel, the life-changing reality that God is not far off, but here among the brokeness of our lives. And having seen it, I couldn’t help but point it out. For reasons I’ll never quite understand, I realized that I had been called to proclaim the Gospel from the place where I am, and proclaim where I am from the Gospel.”
Chapter 2: God’s Aunt
- In this chapter Nadia writes about what it was like as a young girl growing up in the Church of Christ, and touches on the gender attitudes that exist within the Christian tribe.
- Page 11: “In the church of my childhood (Church of Christ) it was taught that the ‘age of accountability’ was somewhere around twelve. To hit the age of accountability was to spiritually go off of your parent’s insurance.”
- Page 12: “Because twelve was the age of accountability, it was also the age at which boys could no longer be taught in Sunday school by women.”
- Page 13: “I was a strong, smart and smart-mouthed girl, and the church I was raised in had no place for that kind of thing even though they loved me. By the time I left the church, I questioned everything … I still didn’t manage to be an atheist, as one might be expect. I had never stopped believing in God.”
- Writing about her experience with Wicca. Page 14: “There was something safe about being around women. They let me hang out with God’s aunt, and I couldn’t help but think she liked me.”
- Page 15: “I can’t imagine that the God of the universe is limited to our ideas of God. .. In a way, I need a God who is bigger and more nimble and mysterious than what I could understand and contrive. Otherwise it can feel like I am worshipping nothing more than my own ability to understand the divine.”
- Page 16, Nadia writes “in order for me to be the kind of pastor I would want to be, I would need to look at some of my own personal stuff, … I was experiencing a feeling of purpose, perhaps for the first time in my life.”