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Rick Meredith

Open Call for 2018 Co-Creators

By | 2018 Festival, Goose News

It’s time again to let us know what YOU would like to do at Wild Goose!

The contributions of our “self-submits” each year are at the heart of what make the Goose a unique co-creation experience, surprising and unlike other “festivals.” This is a festival where people come together to make things,  wonder and ponder and discuss, cross boundaries, fire up imaginations, undo expectations.

This means that in your submissions, think about how you can design experiences that engage rather than lecture, raise questions rather than shut them down. How could you tailor your work to involve your audience, making space for participation? How can you go outside normal boundaries to increase the level of interactivity? Whatever your role – artist, musician, speaker – push beyond the expected in ways that will actively involve your audience. See yourself as an instigator not a “presenter” and invite others into an experience of co-creation.

Because this festival is about the intersection of Spirit, Art, Music and Justice, we ask all our co-creators to consider how they can create integrated experiences – so you might, for example, want to look at justice through the lens of spirit and/or music, or at spirituality through the lens of art and/or justice.  And in whatever you do, keep in mind the power of Story – it’s part of the Goose DNA: What are our shared narratives? How have they shaped us?

Stories bring us together, stories can change us – whether we’re telling them or hearing them. We believe stories can change the world. So we hope that you will let the power of story weave its way into any type of experience you bring to the Goose.

We’d like to also suggest that you keep these words in front of you as you craft your contribution: Lament. Welcome. Identity. Evolve. Revolution. Love. Freedom. Liberate. Resist. Believe. Converge.

What do these concepts say to you and how might you integrate any of them into your performance or presentation?

Entries will close on February 1, 2018.

Dream the Dream that will Co-Create the world.

Something so cool it’ll register on seismic meters

– or at least will be fun or challenging

or perhaps even a bit unsettling.

 

Here’s how the process works

There’s no fee for this initial phase of entries. Use a new entry form for each idea, and submit as many ideas as you like.

Our programming team will review the submissions and you’ll be notified of your status by March 15. If accepted, you’ll be asked to create your own personal login to our system and submit your personal bio, a photo, and a detailed description of your presentation suitable for publication in our program and on our website.

You’ll also be asked to submit a $40 payment to cover administration costs (this can be waived if it makes participation difficult for you – your ideas are more valuable to us than your money). All co-creators (that’s you) who are selected are entitled to one free festival pass including a campsite and plus one (please use the “plus one” for “actual plus ones” not a random free pass). This includes yourself and any band members or co-leaders for your session.

Questions? Click HERE to contact us.

Thank you for all your ideas.

Wild Goose Co-Creation Starts Here

Looking for a summer weekend event for your youth group?

By | Goose News | No Comments

Looking for a summer weekend event for your youth group?
The Wild Goose Festival is it!

The Wild Goose Festival is an art, music, and story-driven transformational experience grounded in faith-inspired social justice. The Youth Tent is located in the middle of this festival of co-creation, faith, and spiritually fueled fellowship.

The Youth Tent provides programming on subjects that matter to teens. Few other events speak so much to the passions of teenagers in the church with open conversations about gender identity, active collaboration on faith inspired justice work, and authentic open dialogues on the topics that matter to them most.

Some reviews from teens who attended last year’s festival

“These were all things that may not be discussed as much as they should be.”

“We got to discuss things I couldn’t discuss with others.”

“They were incredibly honest and vulnerable and
offered incredibly safe space for questions.”

“This experience has transformed me. The kids each bring a new perspective.
I will greatly treasure these moment we shared in the youth tent
and Wild Goose as a whole.”

This unique opportunity for youth groups becomes a favorite event of the year, bonding them together in a way that only a four day camping trip uniquely can. You’ll find that after your youth group’s first trip to Wild Goose, they’ll keep talking and telling stories about it all throughout the year.

For Wild Goose Festival 2018, we’re working to make attendance as accessible as possible for youth groups. That’s why we’re now offering an all-inclusive plan that covers the costs of tent camping and 3 meals a day, as well as your students’ tickets.

$50
covers the cost of one student festival ticket.

$125
provides you with a ticket plus everything needed for camping for four days (tent, air mattress, camping chair, evening fire).

$175
gives you everything listed above as well as all meals from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon.

Interested? Contact Us.

Find a quiet place to read this

By | Guest Post | One Comment

May the Sacrament of the Word and the hunger of our hearts meet, leading us ever more deeply into your heart, O God. Amen.

Guest Post by Gwen Fry

Having grown up in The Episcopal Church the most cherished memory I have as a child in the pew was hearing the sentence at the end of our Gospel reading today spoken/read during the service out of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. I distinctly remember setting aside the weekly hang man game I was playing with my friend in the pew when the service neared that point in the liturgy in anticipation of the incredibly freeing and hopeful string of words. This is how it sounded to my youthful ears all those years ago. “Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” I can still feel the lightness in my heart and weight off my shoulders as those words of comfort washed over and through me.
I was happy to see that with the Book of Common Prayer revision that the comfortable words were still there in the Rite 1 Eucharist. What I did not expect was what appeared with the new addition of Compline to the prayer book. This office instantly became my favorite daily office because of its pastoral tone and ease with which it flowed as the last office of the day. It really did, at least for me, make for a “peaceful night and perfect end.” I think part of that was because of the prayer that begins “Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night”…. But the biggest reason was because of one of the reading options. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

And so I’ve carried these particular verses as a touchstone throughout my life. I never totally understood the profound transformative effect they have had on me until rather recently. I mean, I knew they were restful and brought a deep sense of peace to my inner life. But it wasn’t until two years ago that it was literally made manifest in my life. It was in July of 2015, the first time I attended The Wild Goose Festival, a four day festival at the intersection of spirit, justice, music, and art, in Hot Springs, North Carolina. I was invited to be a panelist in a session titled Sacred Wounds: Healing from Spiritual Trauma. I was scared to death, for many reasons that summer, and I don’t mind letting people know that in the least. I had never participated in a national event before. I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested in what I had to say. I didn’t know how hundreds of festival attendees would react to me. My experience everywhere I went drew attention from people. And in those days it wasn’t positive attention. What I experienced upon my arrival at the festival was nothing short of transformative. The first thing I noticed was that those few hundred I thought that were going to attend was more like 5,000. And there wasn’t one single smirk or stare. No sideward glances or people pointing at me and saying something to their friend. It was so noticeable because of the absence of those things.

For the first time in a long time I was accepted, no questions asked, and I felt absolutely safe in that space. As luck would have it my session was on the first day of the festival. That first evening I was introduced to an event called Beer and Hymns. Yes, it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. People gathered and sang good old time Gospel hymns while having a beer. Well, most of them were gospel hymns. The one that drew me into the circle like a magnet was actually a song by U2 off of their Joshua Tree album titled I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. It is an amazing song, well gospel hymn. Listen to it if you haven’t heard it before. It’s a song about searching for God, searching for Christ.

The opening lyrics are:

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for

Later in the evening the Episcopal tent at the festival hosted the nightly Compline service. There were about 100 people gathered in a circle as we prayed. Lord, grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. And then, those amazing peaceful transformative words, those particular verses that have been a touchstone for me throughout my life, washed over and through me like never before.
While I walked back to my room for the night it suddenly all fell into place for me. We all are constantly searching for God and the sacred in life and rarely do we find what we are looking for. We carry the heavy burdens that fill our lives with us wherever we go and they weigh us down to the point that it doesn’t seem possible to take another step or climb yet another wall in our search. But there will be that day – and time – and place – where those words of comfort and comfortable words become manifest. When you least expect it as you find yourself in a very scary place in your life that touchstone will be there waiting for you. And the word will become flesh before your very eyes. It will be obvious to you because there will be no stares or sneers, no pointing and whispering. There will be only total unconditional acceptance where you will discover that heavy yoke has been lifted and replaced with one that is easy and light. It will be made manifest in your presence and look like 5,000 people gathered because they too have come there searching hurting and carrying their own heavy burdens to find them loosed in a place that gives them rest for their souls. It will be obvious, oh so obvious, because when you least expect it Christ will be made manifest before your very eyes with outstretched arms saying; “Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I return to the Wild Goose Festival for a third year this coming week and I can already feel that lightness and peace.

Gwen Fry

The Reverend Gwen Fry is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Arkansas. Her experience coming out as a trans woman of faith makes her keenly aware of the necessity for the equality of all God’s children.
Experiencing the effects of discrimination first hand, she has been actively involved in the work of justice in the transgender community both in Arkansas and across the Episcopal Church.
Gwen is an advocate and activist for the transgender community who was a leader in the coalition of organizations who fought back the anti-transgender bills introduced in the Arkansas General Assembly this year. She is the Vice President of National Affairs for Integrity USA. She is a board member of Pridecorps, an LGBTQ youth center in Little Rock, Arkansas. An active member of TransEpiscopal, Gwen, also serves on its steering committee.

At the center of a just world, there is a farm.

By | Goose News, Guest Post | One Comment

We’re from Ohio!
When you read the word Ohio, what do you think of? You might think of cows and corn, or of a particular university which refers to itself as “The” university in Ohio. One summer afternoon I was sitting in a classroom on the campus of that university, listening to a young activist/historian lecture high students about colonialism. He was teaching about the violence necessary to wield power over an indigenous people in a foreign land and what it takes to mount a political and economic revolution against such a power.

Suddenly, he said something that blew my mind.
He explained that, when it comes right down to it, there are two basic economic resources: land and labor. As I reflected, it made sense. Of course, resources like food, water, clean air, shelter, and the care of others are critical to physical life, but land and work, and the connection between the two, are the stuff of economic development and power. Taking power over an established culture requires controlling its land and its labor.

From our earliest sacred stories until now, land and labor have been in constant tension.
In the beginning, God provided perfect land for humans. In fact, humans were made of the very humus of the Earth. As we rejected the self-sustaining, self-creating nature of God’s new world, and instead assumed control over it, we found the work harder than expected. In fact, working the land became a primary sentence for human Sin.

A context for injustice.
In the sacred Hebrew stories, we find a people taken from their land and put to work building and serving foreign powers in Egypt, Assyria and elsewhere. And, in the American story, we find that very same thing; people separated from their land and forced to work for the benefit of a violent, profit-driven foreign power.

Also a context for reconciliation and Reign.
It is certainly true that land and work are the basic resources of exploitation for power and profit. But, it is also true that – when used in relationship with God and others – they are the resources for a flourishing community. They are the basic earthly ingredients for a new economy, for God’s will being done on Earth.

For us, farming is at the center of a just world.
At Methodist Theological School in Ohio, we understand farming as a way to reconnect people with land and life, a place where humus and human remember each other. Through Seminary Hill Farm, MTSO’s 10-acre, USDA-certified organic farm, we grow fresh produce and gather fresh eggs for our community. At the intersection of our learning and work in economic, ecological, food, racial, and other forms of justice, we resist…by tending the soil. It’s our practical contribution to God’s “just society.”

Come and see. And, if you see justice in what we do, come and learn with us.
For more information about MTSO and/or Seminary Hill Farm, visit MTSO.edu or SeminaryHillFarm.org.

For anyone who’s ever struggled with “worship” – we feel you.

By | Goose News | 4 Comments

By Lenora Rand

One word you won’t see mentioned a lot on the Wild Goose Festival schedule this year is “worship.” That’s not because we won’t be having times in which the Goose community is invited to come together to sing and pray and speak and move and open ourselves up to God, and to each other, and to another way of seeing the world, another way of being in the world, a way that’s true and empowering, that promotes justice and makes a difference…which is an activity which you might refer to as “worship.”

We will be doing that a lot. It’s just that we won’t be calling it “worship.” Intentionally.

Why not? Not just to be different. Or difficult. It’s because we are honestly not sure it’s a word that really works anymore. It may be too weighted with history and hurt, like a broken piece of stained glass…it may still be pretty, but watch out…it cuts deep.

For many of us who find ourselves at the Goose, the word “worship” doesn’t feel right because it conjures up images of rooms full of people who all look very much alike in the color of their skin, in their socio-economic status, in their politics and world-views, where people talk about how God loves them and no one not like them, so that it seems like, when they sing words like “how great is our God,” what they really mean is  “how great is our tribe and the God of our tribe.” In these rooms what goes on is meant to make everyone feel better, reinforce a particular insular worldview, call people to personal piety, and not challenge assumptions about race, or inequality or gender or power or privilege.

It also often brings to mind gatherings where people remain silent about their unbelief, about all their doubts and questions and sadness and shame, where God is offered up as the ultimate escape, a way to avoid whatever is too painful to look at, whether that’s the NOT-miraculously-fixed-by-the-love-of-Jesus shit inside us, or the deep systemic issues of our society.

Also there’s the fact that the word “worship” actually comes out of a time of kings and rulers and gods who demanded subservience and adulation in order to let their subjects continue living…in order not to slay them on the spot. It is a word born of violence and oppression, perhaps first adopted by Christians as a way of subverting the belief that the kings and rulers of the day had any ultimate power over them, any power to harm them or to save them. It was, perhaps, a way for the fledgling, rag-tag group of Jesus-followers to thumb their noses at the whole world order. Much like many in the LGBTQIA community have reclaimed the word Queer, taking a word that was once hurtful and subverting it into a proclamation of pride, this was a way for the early church to basically say “we won’t bow down to the ruling class’s view of people, of what’s important, of what’s acceptable and good and just.”  

Unfortunately the word “worship” seems to have shaped and interpreted our gatherings through the years, more than our gatherings have reinterpreted and reshaped it. Too often in our Sunday morning worship times we sing songs of praise to God as if our lives depended on it. As if God needed it. We often seem to miss the point that our coming together is not something we do to appease the gods. Or to celebrate our power and might to win the war for our tribe, our point of view, our exclusive hold on the truth.

So, at the Goose, we have been making space throughout the weekend when we can come together as a whole community, not to appease a kingly God of wrath, and fall down at God’s feet in submission and fear, but rather to join in praise that our God doesn’t need appeasing. We have a team of people, the TOGETHERINGS Guild, who have been imagining and creating these gatherings as celebrations of the God who loves us desperately, and loves this whole wide world. Gatherings meant to disrupt the status quo and help us stop worshipping the gods of violence and greed and division and exclusion and scarcity that surround us. Gatherings meant to build our courage to live our lives under a different kind of rule –  the rule of love.

You will find these Goose-wide Togetherings happening every day on the main stage – Gathering the Goose with Nadia Bolz-Weber on Thursday night; Waking the Goose with William Barber on Friday morning; Waking the Goose with Otis Moss III and the Trinity UCC Choir on Saturday morning: and Sending the Goose with Sister Simone, Trinity Choir, a full Community Parade, Jeff Clark, and more on Sunday morning.  (If you want to sing in the choir for these gatherings, by the way, you can come to a rehearsal at the main stage Friday and Saturday afternoons at 4:30.)

You’ll also find many other opportunities to come together throughout the weekend to sing and dance and pray and lament, to offer praise and confession, share bread and wine and hopes and fears, to welcome Spirit…in all kinds of different ways, everything from a Catholic Mass to a  Christo-Shamanic Transfiguration Ceremony, to, late Friday night, a Wild & Holy Rite of Resistance with Claudio Carvalhaes (a participatory performance art meets liturgy meets music experience, culminating in communion) — and so many more it would take too long to list them all here.  

We hope you will find time to join in some of these scheduled gatherings… though who knows where and when and how many other unplanned ones will happen in tents and around campfires, over a beer or an ice cream.

Oh, and if you want to call any of these times “worship” you’re more than welcome to. No judgment. Plus, if you’d like to join in some conversations about worship and justice and inclusion, you’ll find several workshops on that topic at the Goose this year too.

Finally,  if you have any brilliant ideas for a word (or symbol) to replace the experience formerly known as “worship,” (“Togetherings”? “Openings”? “Love Feast”? “Disruptions”?) we’re all ears.

Holy troublemaker Sister Simone at Wild Goose!

By | Goose News | One Comment

Wild Goose is thrilled to announce that Sister Simone Campbell of Nuns on the Bus will be the 2017 Wild Goose Festival Sunday closing speaker! Lawyer, poet, author, and executive director of the Network social justice group – Sister Simone is a holy troublemaker – or as she proudly claims, “stomach acid in the body of Christ.” Get to the Goose this summer!

We’re honored and EXCITED that she’ll be joining what promises to be a powerful and passionate conclusion to the Wild Goose 2017 weekend. From the speakers to the music to the incredible, inclusive community gathered together once more, the 2017 Wild Goose Festival promises to be a life giving, life changing, and genuinely co-creative experience.

Censured by the Vatican in 2012 for promoting “radical feminist themes,” Simone and fellow nuns, determined to continue their activism and advocacy, responded by launching “Nuns on the Bus,” a yearly cross-country tour. Simone and Nuns on the Bus travel far and wide each year fighting for the voices of everyone on the margins to be heard. Sister Simone Campbell speaks truth to power, and is known to raise holy hell when the situation calls for it.

Sister Simone Campbell has appeared on 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report, testified before Congress, spoken at the Democratic National Convention, has been invited to a one-on-one Oval Office meeting with President Obama.

We’re ready to be holy troublemakers, shakers and movers – co-creators of justice, peace, equality, and love right here and right now! Let’s do this!

Reaching for new metaphors: An interview with Diana Butler Bass

By | Goose News | One Comment

Perhaps no one looks through the past to the future more clearly than Diana Butler Bass.

Diana Butler Bass, who is returning to the Wild Goose this summer, is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University and has written nine books, including the influential Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (2012) and the award-winning Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution (2015). She also writes at both The Huffington Post and The Washington Post, and comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. We were happy she could take some time out of her busy speaking and writing schedule to chat with us.

WG: One of the things we love about your books is that you bring so much knowledge to the table, but also new language…so much beauty and metaphor and lyricism.

DBB: Thank you, I struggle and slave over that part of it but it matters to me. And to me, probably the biggest problem in the church right now is that the metaphors have failed. The metaphors have come to wound people.  The metaphors make no sense, in relationship to science and the way we live in the world today. In order for a metaphor to function, it has to be able to connect to our hearts and to our minds. So, reaching for new language is a serious part of leadership in faith communities today. It’s a big deal.

WG: That seems to be at the heart of what you’re doing in your newest book, Grounded.

DBB: Yes, Grounded is about an attempt to find a different kind of metaphor… the driving question of Grounded is, “Where is God?” For centuries in Christianity we’ve had an answer to that question and it’s a metaphorical one.  It’s an answer that shaped theology and worship and it shaped the way we did church and that answer is, “God’s up in heaven.” I think that’s one of the central failed metaphors of our own time. People don’t get that. People don’t believe that. People don’t even think of it as a metaphor any more. People just think of it as being some sort of…I don’t know… pious lie.  And so in Grounded what I tried to do is say, “Okay. Where is God?” And then I went the other direction and I said, “Well God is with us here.” And that’s a very legitimate personal, theological, and biblical answer to that question because it draws off of the doctrine of the incarnation.

WG: So instead of the metaphor of God in heaven you offer up some different metaphors…

DBB: Yes, Grounded was looking at God in nature and God in and through our neighbor. I think it’s such a better way of trying to address our spiritual lives and God, than the idea that God lives in the clouds far away in the highest heavens.

WG: Though it is the image most of us grew up with…it’s got some history.

DBB: There are historians who argue that the first 1000 years of Christianity was actually marked much more with the idea of the earth being the primary location of divine presence. They built their churches as domes. And the whole architectural vision was that the dome of heaven rested right here on earth. Western architecture didn’t go that way. We went with the steeple. And the steeple is like an elevator shaft up to sky…God’s way up there and we’re way down here. And we’ve got to figure out how to ride that elevator right up into heaven.

WG: It’s like we’re spending all our time looking for the up button…

DBB: Yes, and so something else needs to emerge. And I think that’s what we’re struggling with right now. With the shape of faith. What’s the deeper spiritual structure of faith going to be as we move forward?

WG: So do you feel hopeful? Do you think it’s going to be possible for something new to emerge?

DBB: I actually kind of vacillate on my hopefulness. I am hopeful for what I believe the church ultimately is… the living, breathing, organic body of Christ, animated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and moving towards the original intent of God for all of creation, which is compassion. Jesus embodied compassion in a unique and beautiful way and if we, as human beings follow and imitate the body of Jesus in that regard, that becomes the church. And the church becomes a community not an institution. And right now, although I know there are clergy and amazing churches and remarkable congregations, I think that overall the institutions are further from that sacred intention than they should be. And whether or not they can bring themselves back in line with that, I really don’t know.

WG: Many of your books, including Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, have talked about the demise of institutionalized Christianity. What do you think is causing so many people to leave the church these days?

DBB: I think we’re living in a time of the most intense spiritual longing that American society has been in for at least half a century and maybe the whole century. But there’s this huge gap between institutions that are worried about having enough money to keep the roof on the building and making sure the coffers are full, and then, on the other hand, people who are trying to connect with meaning and purpose and gratitude.  But they don’t find those things in the institutions we have.

WG: So do you think it’s possible for this to change?

DBB: I think fear is probably the largest inhibitor of this kind of change. It’s hard to move forward when churches, pastors, and committees are terrified that if they change something their biggest givers will leave the church. Jesus is calling the church into change, and the church says, “We have to check the budget first.” And I get it. But really church people need to be braver.

WG: We hear you’ve been at Wild Goose before…

DBB: Yes, I was at the first one…

WG: …and in fact you were even in on some early conversations about the festival, and what it could be, before it was ever born…

DBB: Yes, actually…about 12 years ago, I was with some people at Washington National Cathedral and somebody asked me a question about how to open up creativity in the church… and I said “What if we took the Cathedral Plaza in front of the Washington National Cathedral, and turned the whole thing, for maybe three days, into a sort of gigantic medieval festival village, and do it in a very interesting contemporary way where you would have stages, and medieval mystery plays, and you would have preaching, and you’d have art booths, and you’d have all this stuff happening. It’d be sort of like Greenbelt meets medieval cathedral meets city, urban space.” Three of us ended up going to Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York, and presented them with this idea, and Trinity then gave a first grant that eventually went to Sojourners to plan something along the lines of Greenbelt.

WG: And that ended up becoming the start for Wild Goose…

DBB: Yes. I was dreaming of a whole different way of storytelling and embodiment…. So I’m really happy that Wild Goose has sort of become that.

WG: We’re so happy you’ll be back with us this year to see how Wild Goose has grown and developed since its beginning.

DBB: I’ve truly been dreaming about this kind of thing for a long time, about new forms of performance of faith in public. I actually wrote about that in Christianity After Religion, how that would be the way into what I call the Fourth Great Awakening. And I think of Wild Goose as one of those places, one of those kinds of stages, one that could address spiritual longing and also bring us along a path to new metaphors and a deeply lived theology.

2017 Wild Goose Music Lineup

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The 2017 Wild Goose music lineup is fresh, hopeful, and more fun than you can handle! It might just be the most eclectic, diverse, dance-worthy, celebration style mashup in Goose history!

The 2017 Wild Goose music lineup is fresh, hopeful, and more fun than you can handle! It might just be the most eclectic, diverse, dance-worthy, celebration style mashup in Goose history!

Only at the Goose can you hear “The Voice” favorite Sarah Potenza’s blistering, get-on-your-feet rock, hip-hop artist J.Kwest’s eloquent calls for justice The Collection,’s soulful lyrics and folk-inspired melodies, welcome back Goose favorite the amazing Jennifer Knapp, lose yourself in the high energy of John Mark McMillan, and dance to Big Ray and Chicago’s Most Wanted and more and more, including folk legend Tret Fure, Melissa Greene, iStar, Namoli Brennet, Lyric – and a gospel choir from the gospel choir capital of the world, Chicago, IL – all in one amazing weekend?

And more and more – yes, we’ve already said “and more and more” but with the addition of a new “side stage” at “Main Stage” we have more than 30 musical experiences on the schedule this year.

Music unites us. It inspires our courage and our spirit to keep working for justice and peace. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and so many others understood this. They made a conscious effort to develop a soundtrack for the Civil Rights movement. And it made a difference. That’s what we’re trying to do at Wild Goose, too, help make a playlist for this movement to create a more just and generous world. By welcoming established and emerging musicians alike, together they’ll help us sing along, march along, and keep moving forward.

Music of the Goose

The CollectionCombine the orchestral ingenuity of Sufjan Stevens with the powerful vocals of Mumford & Sons and you get the best description of this Greensboro, NC based band.

Jennifer Knapp Grammy nominated, Dove Award winning artist with a powerful voice, Knapp’s albums include Kansas, Letting Go, and Set Me Free. In addition to crafting music, she advocates for others: in 2011, Jennifer launched Inside Out Faith, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ people of faith.

J.KwestLives in the space between soul music and souls period. As an artist, this Chicago native and Morehouse Man; Pastor, advocate, and EMMY Award winner has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of deep meaning inside and out of the church.

LyricWhen words fail, LYRIC sings. With an enlightened mixture of pop, soul, and FUNK; LYRIC awakens an undiscovered spirit within their audience. Described by many as the best band in Asheville, LYRIC delights crowds across the region.

Sarah PotenzaSarah Potenza is a singer songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. Rolling Stone stated that “Potenza is to the Blues what Adele is to pop.” Sarah wowed judges and fans alike in Season 8 of The Voice, causing a sensation with her powerful, soulful voice. She recently released an album, Monster, and is currently touring the US.

John Mark McMillanA singer songwriter who’s not afraid to explore difficult subjects. His songs have been described as “…an ongoing dialogue with God, ever-wrestling for some kind of blessing and usually at volumes most suited for rock clubs.” Don’t miss Mercury & Lightning, his upcoming release.

Big Ray and Chicago’s Most WantedA huge presence in the Chicago Blues scene, Chicago’s Most Wanted is a band of world renowned musicians. Big Ray’s charismatic style and soulful voice knows how to draw a crowd, and along with his band, they form the best of what Chicago has to offer.

I,StarI,Star’s performances are a dynamic interplay of hard-hitting rhymes weaving through evocative refrains, building to harmonies in the hooks. Their wholly original “folk-hop” carriage bears keen commentary on personal and global spiritual transformation, stewardship of the Earth, social justice, and visionary love.

Tret FureOne of the most prolific artists in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Tret Fure has released 15 albums and CDs over the course of her 47 year career. In addition to being a gifted songwriter, Fure has engineered and produced countless recordings by a variety of artists, including her own work.

The ManyWeaving together indie-folk, pop and gospel into one unique sound somewhere between them all, The Many deliver songs for people to sing together, filled with questions, doubts, laments, and longings for justice and restoration, always with an eye out for the God who so loves the world.

Namoli BrennetDubbed, “Among the best folk-rock artists in the US,” songwriter Namoli Brennet has been touring with her own brand of moody and inspiring music since 2002. She’s a breathtaking and moving performer, and her sweet, road-weary voice is as quick to deliver her wit and humor as it is a turn of phrase. She’s been described as a cross between Patty Griffin, Lori McKenna and Amy Ray, and Zocalo magazine calls her music, “Gorgeous and introspective.”

Melissa GreeneMelissa Greene was a part of the Grammy Nominated and American Music Award wining Christian Music Group, Avalon, for almost 7 years. Now she serves as the associate pastor and pastor of Worship and Arts at Gracepointe Church.

Ken MedemaKenneth Peter “Ken” Medema is an American musician and singer-songwriter who has been performing in the United States, Canada, and Europe for more than forty years. Some of his best known songs began as live improvisations.

In Solidarity with Standing Rock

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By Jeff Clark
Water is indisputably a core element of our existence, crucial to every part of our lives on this planet. It ripples throughout our human story, a fundamental relationship that inextricably connects us to the earth and to each other.

Credit: Sacred Stone Camp Facebook

Photo credit: Sacred Stone Camp Facebook

When such an important relationship is threatened, when the racist underpinnings of a situation are thinly (if at all) veiled, when basic human rights are challenged, as people of faith and as members of the human family, we cannot look away. And I personally must stand in solidarity with the protectors of Standing Rock.

As you are probably aware, Sacred Stone Camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota currently sits at the heart of a protest sparking national attention. In an attempt to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, thousands of people have gathered in land held sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The pipeline would transfer as much as 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois, and is proposed to travel underneath the Missouri River, a primary source of drinking water for millions. Facing a high possibility of water contamination, the desecration of burial grounds, and broken treaties, the protectors of the area include indigenous and non-Native people alike. The pipeline presents a multifaceted dilemma in the arenas of public health, environmental stewardship, and indigenous rights.

There are many ways to stand with our brothers and sisters in this crisis. #NoDAPL lists a number of solidarity actions on their website. The Atlantic magazine also reports that Standing Rock protesters have requested people “contact leaders in the Army Corps of Engineers and the Obama Administration in opposition to the pipeline.”

To these I would add two more: lament and pray. Lament the racism and injustice that indigenous people have suffered and continued to suffer in this country. And pray for change. As Mark Charles, a friend and past contributor of the Goose wrote in a recent blog post, what is happening to the Standing Rock Sioux is part of a broader systemic problem. May we all join in prayer that this broken system is repaired and may we also be a part of working to let “justice roll down like water.”

In Solidarity,

Jeff Clark
President & Producer
The Wild Goose Festival