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Holy troublemaker Sister Simone at Wild Goose!

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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

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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.

Rev. Barber Returns to the Goose!

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Reverend William Barber, known around the world for his dedication to peace and his demand for justice,
returns to the Main Stage at this year’s Wild Goose Festival, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

 As you may remember, it was largely because of his counsel that Wild Goose chose to remain in North Carolina as part of the resistance against HB2. His call to action at the DNC last July brought the crowd to tears and then to their feet, and put racial, social, and economic justice at the center of the 2016 presidential campaign.
When Rev. Barber steps up to the mic at the Wild Goose, get ready for the experience of a lifetime. Among the most beloved activists and leaders of the U.S. progressive Christian movement, this prophetic voice will challenge you to take action, and inspire you to hope–two things so desperately needed by anyone troubled by the cultural and socio-political landscape of our times.

Reflecting on hearing Reverend Barber speak, a regular Goose-goer remarked:
“When I hear him, I expect to be inspired. But even more, I know that I’ll also be educated.
He gives us all vital, perspective-giving lessons on empire and our evolving understanding of white supremacy,
and the hope of liberation that Jesus brings in his invitation to join the Beloved Community.”

You’ll never forget the summer you gathered with community on the banks of the French Broad River in Hot Springs, North Carolina to hear his lyrical, soul-stirring call for truth and justice. Rev. Barber, president of the NC NAACP and mobilizer of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, is a foundational member of the Goose community. In the culmination of working together toward common goals, we welcome him back with joy!

“We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with the power of mercy.
We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all. We can’t give up on the heart of our democracy, not now, not ever!”

– Reverend Dr. William Barber II, excerpt from speech at the DNC, July, 2016

For The Kids

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Bringing kiddos to the festival? Between our Kids Tent programming, playing in the mud, and creating music and art, there’s plenty to keep them busy. We recently caught up with Emily Griffin, one of our Kids Tent Co-Coordinators. Emily, Nancy St. John, and Sally Thomas, are ready to guide our goslings with tons of creativity and joy: it will be an experience your children never forget!

wildgoslings900 Wild Goose Festival: What’s your vision for your role at the Goose?

Emily Griffin: We want to invite children to see and hear biblical stories in a new way in the Kids Tent, to wonder authentically about them (rather than being told what they mean), to find their place in those stories, and to use their God-given creativity to respond in some way – whether through art or play. We use a method called Godly Play to help kids name and value their experiences of God and then practice how that God calls us to live with each other. By being playful and creative, we connect with our playful Creator!

WGF: How did you first hear about the community? How long have you been involved?EmilyG_300px

EG: A member of my church works with Jeff Clark (Wild Goose President/Producer) in one of his day jobs and told me about the need for help with children’s programming last year. 2016 was my first Goose, and I’m looking forward to coming back with at least a year’s worth of experience under my belt.

WGF: What kind of work do you do the rest of the year?

EG: I’m a priest in the Episcopal Church and work primarily with kids and families at St. Alban’s in Washington, DC. I also (along with Nancy and Sally) moonlight as a trainer for the Godly Play Foundation.

wgfkidsbubblesWGF: What’s your favorite thing about the Goose?

EG: I love the openness of the community to anyone of any age who is on an honest search for truth or goodness or beauty – who wants to help create a more just and peaceful world. No one has to leave any part of their identity behind to be here.

 

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And outside of the Kids Tent…Don’t miss bestselling author Matthew Paul Turner give a reading of his latest book, When God Made You. Also a gifted photographer, Matthew travels across the globe documenting the vast effects of poverty and marginalization. Written in whimsical rhyme young readers are sure to enjoy, When God Made You celebrates children’s burgeoning gifts with tenderness and charm.

Don’t forget your tickets to Wild Goose 2017!

Big Ray and Chicago’s Most Wanted

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Big Ray grew up in the South Side of Chicago and began his music career as a singing bartender, singing along with bands like Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, Jody Christian, Willie Kent and the Gents, and J.W. Williams. As a solid drummer and dynamic singer, Ray was soon in nonstop demand. In 1995, Ray was asked to join the legendary Otis Rush blues band. They toured in Japan, Europe, and across the U.S. Currently, Big Ray tours with Jimmy Johnson, and also plays with his own band, Big Ray and Chicago’s Most Wanted. They’ve got a steady gig at one of Chicago’s oldest and most respected blues clubs, B.L.U.E.S on Halstead. Chicago’s Most Wanted is a band of world renowned musicians, and together they form the best of what Chicago has to offer.

Meet Our Volunteer Coordinator

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Say hello to our new Volunteer Coordinator, Bec Cranford, a self-identified “Bapticostal misfit preacher” from Atlanta, Georgia. Though Bec’s new to this role, she’s a veteran community member and committed to bringing radical welcome and hospitality to our volunteer family and the Goose at large.

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Wild Goose Festival: What do you consider your vision for your role or offering at the Goose?
Bec Cranford: Stirring apocalyptic hopefulness and co-conspiring subversive hospitality.

WGF: Can you say a little more about what that means to you?
BC: Spreading apocalyptic hopefulness manifests itself every time we offer love to others and contribute to the well-being of our community during difficult and uncertain times. It’s an unwavering optimism despite political climates or power hungry structures.

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I hope to inject volunteers at the Goose with this kind of crazy joy in action.

Volunteers will engage in subversive hospitality by making everyone feel like they belong. From making sure we feel safe, and keeping the grounds clean, to stooping down to actively listen to five year olds, we will practice a radical welcome!

WGF: How long have you been involved?
BC: Since the very first Wild Goose festival in 2011, held at Shakori Hills, NC. Anybody else remember those tics?

WGF: What kind of work do you do the rest of the year?
BC: I make my green by engaging community at one of Atlanta’s homeless service agencies (Gateway Center), hosting mission teams for educational and experiential learning, occasional preaching, and teaching a contextual education practicum for Candler School of Theology. The greenness stored up inside comes from painting acrylic and chilling with my dog, Basil.

WGF: What’s your favorite thing about the Goose?
BC: I enjoy the conversations on the trails and watching hurting souls transform into wounded healers and servant leaders of justice.

Ready to join Bec and the rest of our volunteers? Apply now or email Bec here with questions.

The Relentless Affection Of God

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Even though William Paul Young’s bestselling novel The Shack was adapted into film and will be released in theaters tomorrow, (Friday, March 3) he took some time out of his schedule to sit down and chat with us. Get out and see The Shack this weekend! And then continue the conversation with Paul this summer at the Goose.

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Wild Goose Festival: What role has creativity had in forming your faith?

William Paul Young: Creativity requires mystery. Much of propositional theology, largely the work in which I grew up, does not. The former was and continues to be essential to my faith, while the latter has been an impediment to overcome. Please don’t misunderstand me, there is a vast creative resource in the works of theologians, but to the degree that they understood that relationship itself is a mystery. The entire cosmos is brimming with creativity, and if faith is not an expression of that, we have accepted something as a temporary covering for our broken hearts.

WGF: How does our image of God impact our relationships with the earth, each other, and ourselves?

Young: I think this works in both directions; we project an image of God that is an expression of our damage and shame. My father was an abusive disciplinarian. And surprise, so was my god for many years. So we can be a source for our image of God or we can allow the creation and revelation and beauty and music and art and children and joy and longing to speak to us rather than our interpretations of our experience.

This is why Jesus, and the Scriptures that speak of him, became central in my understanding of God. This witness is outside of myself and invites me to take the risk of trusting. If the declaration of Scripture and history is true, and we understand that Truth is a Person, then what does it shout to us in our pain, and whisper to us in our longing? We hear that God has a high view of humanity and creation. If that is true then our relationship with the earth, with each other and with ourselves becomes an essential and unavoidable canvas on which we paint our understanding of God.

WGF: Your fiction work, particularly The Shack and Cross Roads, prominently features people of color not only as protagonists, but as the very reflections of God. We’ll be seeing this on the Big Screen soon as God in your fiction is always Triune and always far, far kinder than we’re used to encountering in Divinity, whether in religion or pop culture. What inspires you – as a white man – to see God reflected in the faces and bodies of historically marginalized people?

Young: What a great question, and one that many are not courageous enough to ask. Thank you! Because I have come to believe that God is only Good, and therefore trustworthy, I want to see all of creation, especially the human creation, with the eyes of God. As I have come to understand that God has an inestimably high view of the human creation, I am also learning to see that way. And what I see, despite all of our broken expressions of our own self-loathing, is too beautiful for words. This is only one of the reasons that I love Jesus; he never treats the marginalized people as projects or missions, but as friends and insiders. He draws a circle big enough to even include the religious. In fact, I don’t think Jesus ever draws a circle; we do. And God is One who respects the circles we draw, but loves us too deeply to allow our circles to remain unchallenged.

WGF: You have a nonfiction book coming out soon, Lies We Believe About God. One of the guiding values of the Wild Goose Festival is setting a table wide enough to include everyone God welcomes. What are the lies that keep us from living and loving as we’re created to be?

Young: Wow, where do I begin. When some friends talked about the lies we believe, we easily came up with at least a hundred. To your question, here are a few from the new book:

God is a Christian

God blesses my politics

God doesn’t claim everyone as God’s children

God created my religion

God is more he than she

God is good, I am not

God is disappointed in me

WGF: What’s been your favorite part about having The Shack adapted into film?

Young: It feels similar to when the novel was published; I love being invited onto the holy ground of other people’s stories. I am convinced that I didn’t write the book by myself, but God didn’t write it without my participation. So it is human and flawed and not without error, but I have watched God climb inside the words of this book and now the images and creativity of the film, and find broken hearts over and over again.

God finds us in the places where we get stuck and are wounded and lost and begins singing us into the Relentless Affection that heals. I am grateful that the book and movie are the bones that will continue to help precious people flesh out language in a conversation about God that is not religious but relational. And I hope those conversations bring hope and comfort and sometimes confrontation. We need both, so that we don’t give up, and that the dark places of our hearts can be set free.

www.wmpaulyoung.com

Ready to continue the conversation? Make sure you take advantage of our winter ticket special – $229 includes festival admission + tent camping.

2017 Speakers and Storytellers Annoucement

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We’re thrilled to announce that Diana Butler Bass, Otis Moss III, and William Paul Young will be at the Goose this year, sharing their wisdom, insights, and unique voices with the community. Want to get to know them a little better before the festival? Check out some snippets of their stories and what they’ve been up to lately. (And don’t forget your tickets!)

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Tweet: At #WGF2017: Diana Butler Bass, Otis Moss III, and William Paul Young…because these are voices we need to hear, now more than ever.

Diana Butler Bass

WGF17 Diana Butler Bass

On Co-Creation: “Awe is the gateway to compassion. It is a deep awareness that we are creators, creators who work with the Creator, in an ongoing project of crafting a world. If we do not like the world or are afraid of it, we have had a hand in that. And if we made a mess, we can clean it up and do better. We are what we make.”

Diana Butler Bass keeps busy as an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. The late Phyllis Tickle called Dr. Bass’ most recent book Grounded “…a wise and beautiful book. It is, in fact and in places, almost an anthem to the sacred unity of the physical and the spiritual in the formation of human faith and in the maturation of the human soul.” In this discovery of the sacred unity of the physical and spiritual, Dr. Bass notes:

Much to my surprise, church has become a spiritual, even a theological struggle for me. I have found it increasingly difficult to sing hymns that celebrate a hierarchical heavenly realm, to recite creeds that feel disconnected from life, to pray liturgies that emphasize salvation through blood, to listen to sermons that preach an exclusive way to God, to participate in sacraments that exclude others, and to find myself confined to a hard pew in a building with no windows to the world outside. This has not happened because I am angry at the church or God. Rather, it has happened because I was moving around in the world and began to realize how beautifully God was everywhere: in nature and in my neighborhood, in considering the stars and by seeking my roots. It took me five decades to figure it out, but I finally understood. The church is not the only sacred space; the world is profoundly sacred as well. And thus I fell into a gap – the theological ravine between a church still proclaiming conventional theism with its three-tiered universe and the spiritual revolution of God-with-us (Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution).

www.dianabutlerbass.com

 

Otis Moss III

OtisMossIIIRev. Dr. Otis Moss, III has “civil rights advocacy in his DNA” and built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.

Dr. Moss says that his father’s role as a civil rights activist “had a huge impact on [me.] I grew up believing it was the call of the church to make an impact in the immediate community and in the world. I also grew up thinking most churches were highly into the community and politically active. It wasn’t until I got to college and realized that there were some churches that didn’t engage at all and that was a part of their theology. There were other churches that didn’t have any concept of prophetic ministry—they thought prophetic ministry was telling the future versus speaking truth to power. That was a shocker to me growing up knowing Andrew Young, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, Daddy King and Wyatt T. Walker. Every person involved in organizing the Civil Rights movement was part of our extended family and they were connected to the church. I thought it was normal…until I went to college. I assumed the only way you could love Jesus was to demonstrate your love instead of speaking your love. Demonstrate it through how you love those who were the most vulnerable in the community.”

www.trinitychicago.org

 

William Paul Young

WmPaulYoungWilliam Paul Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Shack, which has recently been adapted for film and is set to release March 3rd. Though The Shack was a story originally written for his six children with no intentions for publication, Paul’s creative re-imagining of the Trinity in the midst of tragedy resonated with millions across the world.

Paul calls his own story “both incredible and unbearable, a desperate grasping after grace and wholeness. These few facts also do not speak to the potency of love and forgiveness, the arduous road of reconciliation, the surprises of grace and community, of transformational healing and the unexpected emergence of joy.

I have finally figured out that I have nothing to lose by living a life of faith and trust. I know more joy every minute of every day than seems appropriate, but I love the wastefulness of my Papa’s grace and presence.”

www.wmpaulyoung.com

 

Can’t wait to see them? Our winter ticket sale is happening now: $229 includes festival admission + tent camping. Hurry, sale ends Sunday, March 19th.

BUY TICKETS NOW

Volunteer Spotlight – Jenna Bowman

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 Want to volunteer? You might just meet people that are like family…Check out the application here

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Meet Jenna. We’re pretty thrilled that she’s a part of our community. She brings an endless well of energy, and a deep love for others and for God. Jenna truly helps us create this festival – we couldn’t do it without her, or people like you!

1) Tell us some about how you first heard about the Goose and why you were interested in volunteering.

I heard about Wild Goose from my then youth pastor, now friend and mentor, Papy Fisher when I was in high school. It was first presented as an opportunity to go and practice for a trip to Romania with what my team had been training to do – bless others with free dream and tattoo interpretation. We also offered encouraging words, prayer coloring, destiny prophecy, foot washing, and really anything to bring love and peace to others. Since we were mostly all young (broke) kids, we decided that volunteering would be a great way to get tickets to the festival; and we fundraised before the festival to be able to have a vendor spot. We also saw the opportunity to love, encourage, and bless others by offering our time. I signed up to work as a volunteer with the Set-Up crew so I could have the festival off to work in our team’s tent.

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Jenna Bowman, Site Operations Team

2) What’s your current volunteer position with the festival? 

Currently, I have the pleasure to work with Site Operations for the festival.

3) You’ve lived all over the world and have a variety of interests and skills. Can you tell us about how your travel and past work relates to what you do at the Goose?

Ever since I was 12 years-old, I have had the crazy blessing to travel and share love to people all over the world. I’ve worked with churches, missionary non-profits, festival ministry, and just being Love where, or should I say when I travel, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. To me, it seems to all be a beautiful quilt woven together. I tell most people that the Goose helped raise me. I started going when I was 15 years-old and feel like I had the unique opportunity to “grow up” at the Goose, as a wild gosling.

While I have held other jobs that are similar to my role at the festival, but the heart and love of the Goose and its community has helped build me into who I am today. Being a part of the Goose is this beautiful relationship of giving and receiving. Whether you want it or not, you get family. A dirty, hard, beautiful, and true family. I was taught to love just simply because I was loved by others. I experience community, peace, and fresh air, and ever since I was 15 I have been loved, encouraged, challenged, and supported to doubt, grow, and change. I’ve absolutely loved and cherished the support aI received from the Goose. It helped me discover who I am. When my “work” is to love and you have a group that helps you love, everything seems to work out.

4) Are you in school? What are you studying? Any favorite topics?

I am a part-time college student. I completed my Early Childhood Education credential back when I was 17 before I moved to Kenya and did a few other college classes then as well. Since being back in the States I have continued to take classes for an associates in arts degree with the hope to transfer to get an official interpretation degree for Sign Language.

I hope to not only know American Sign Language, but to continue to expand my love and knowledge of Kenyan Sign – I worked with the deaf in Kenya for 6 months. I also hope to learn some Indian Sign Languages as well, along with Swahili. It’s possible I’ll work toward having a double major in Global Sustainability or work around public policy and international relations.

The other parts of my time go to working 25 hours a week to pay bills and building my relationships and my favorite festival ministry community, Desanka.

5) Who are your favorite artists, musicians, or writers from the Goose community?

My favorite artists? Oh, there are so many. I got introduced to amazing singers, songwriters, poets, and leaders of all sorts at the festival so it’s hard to narrow it down. But a few are David Wimbish and The Collection, Songs of Water, Run River North, Gungor, The Brilliance, for music as well as wonderful friendships. For artists/speakers Emily Wimbish is a close friend and sister to me and extremely talented. While I’m running around the festival, I don’t always catch the deep discussions, but I love the representation of inclusion from all different backgrounds, styles, and beliefs.

6) If you could be an animal, what would it be?

Hmmm, to pick one animal – that is hard! I would have to say…after growing up at the Goose, having a goose tattoo and goose gauges I should say that my favorite animal is a goose, right? And in one way they are (like the symbolic way), but they terrify me in real life when I have to walk past them! While I cherish that geese are solo mate creatures, I would have to go with an elephant. That’s been my favorite since I was young.

Questions? Email our volunteer coordinator. Or, sign up here to join us!