Category

Guest Post

Singing in Discomfort

By | Guest Post

Guest post by Bekah Anderson, United Church of Christ
I spent the vast majority of Wild Goose feeling profoundly uncomfortable, and at the same time thrilled, inspired, and energized. I think that’s exactly how I should feel.

UCC_900

From my post at the United Church of Christ hospitality tent, I was in a great position to meet people, because they’d come over to greet fellow UCC folk, or to ask what Queer Clergy Trading Cards are anyway, or, usually in the case of the children, to pick up free Starbursts. I loved talking to these people. I loved learning about where they were from, and what brought them to the Wild Goose. Most of them lived in places geographically far away from my small-town New England life, but in other ways we were often very much alike. We shared a common language. I could talk about being a beloved child of God without feeling like that person who just “made it weird” by bringing religion into the conversation, and I could talk about my passion for social justice without feeling like an “over-zealous” social justice warrior. Several of the worlds I usually find myself inhabiting separately merged together in those conversations, and in some ways, I was more comfortable and at home than I have been in a long time.

At the same time, I was deeply uncomfortable, because my feet were killing me. I spent much of the weekend on my feet at the entrance of the tent, and by about midday on Friday I knew that my body was not going to forgive me for it any time soon. On Saturday we rearranged the tent so I could sit down instead, but for the most part I opted to stay on my feet. Mostly, this was because I felt that people would be more likely to come talk to me if I was standing, waiting for them, but I also felt somehow that my discomfort was part of the point. Should I really be comfortable in a place where so many hard conversations were happening, so many great ideas were being shared, so much of the future was being dreamed? If I stayed comfortable all weekend, it probably meant I wasn’t learning.

I did leave my tent a few times, the first time to attend Stories and Mental Health workshop. Even giving my feet a rest, I was anything but comfortable. The stories I heard that morning were powerful, inspiring, and heartbreaking. They were stories that brought me into contact with experiences and viewpoints I rarely see, and at the same time they reminded me viscerally of my family’s own experiences with mental illness. Sitting in the back of that tent, I was close to tears, moved by the bravery and pain of those around me, even as I remembered my own pain. And this, I realized, is what the beginning of allyship feels like. When you listen to others, when you realize that their pain and experiences are not separate from yours, when you know that for you to be liberated, we all must be.

And later, I attended Set the Captives Free: A Christian Call to End Mass Incarceration. Again, my body was comfortable but my mind was not. Anyone who can be comfortably listen to a discussion about how our criminal justice system targets, imprisons, and disenfranchises black and brown men and other groups is not truly listening. I found myself perched on the edge of my seat, not sure if I wanted to get up and run away from this truth, or rush towards the presenters and beg them to tell me how to dismantle this terrifying, pervasive system. And much to my surprise, they did tell me. They told us all that we can best fight this system when we combine political advocacy and policy work with real human connections and direct support to those who have been caught up in mass incarceration. Hearing these words, I breathed a sigh of relief, although I was still poised at the edge of my chair. “Okay,” I thought. “There’s something I can do. Now I just have to go and do it.” And this, I realized, is what social justice combined with faith feels like. A call to action, a heavy burden of truth, and a spark of hope in our own abilities.

The last moment I would like to remember here is the end of the closing liturgy, where we all stood in a circle and held hands as we sang, “I am.” This, I know, is what community feels like. The circle, linking us all together, and our voices rising and falling together. Singing has always felt like community to me. When we sing together, we can hear that everyone has their own particular voice, their own place in the song, and we can feel that that is right and good. When I sang in that circle, I could hear some people singing the melody loud and proud, others adding sweet harmony, others just slightly off-key, others singing quietly but steadily, and I would be willing to bet that some people weren’t singing at all, but swaying and listening to the music around them with a smile. All of it—and I mean all of it—was right and good. There is no one right way to sing, just as there is no one right way to be a member of a community.

And yes, I was uncomfortable, even as I sang. My feet still hurt, my face was slowly developing a sunburn, and the song was just a little too low to sing easily. And still I felt this was right.

Sometimes, discomfort is purely negative and must be assuaged. But at other times, discomfort is productive. Sometimes, it pushes us to action. When I was singing in that circle, I didn’t want to leave and put on sunblock; I wanted to stay, singing, and add my own harmony. In the mass incarceration workshop, although part of me wanted to leave, I knew I couldn’t really hide from this; I wanted to do something about it. In the mental health workshop, I didn’t want to push away the presenters and the feelings brought on by their stories; I wanted to pull them closer and learn more. And standing in the UCC tent with my aching feet, I actually didn’t want to sit down; I wanted to run down the street, skipping and dancing, sharing my energy with the world and giving my feet something else to do. My hope for all of us, when we are far away from Wild Goose in this uncomfortable world, is that as often as we can, we choose not just to stand, but to run forward, through the discomfort, into our shared future.

Bekah Anderson is a young writer studying religion and creative writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She is currently interning with the Congregational Assessment, Support, and Advancement department of the national office of the United Church of Christ. She hopes that the new, queerer church will have shorter job titles.

Wild Goose 2016 Reader from Chalice Press

By | Guest Post

Is your spirit still on the Wild Goose mountaintop?
Are you still thinking about the new friends you made, the new ways you think about your faith and your purpose in life?

Are you ready to go back next year?

Freemium-booklet-3D-WildGoose2016ReaderHere’s a way to take some of your Wild Goose experience home … Chalice Press and CBP Books are offering a FREE compilation of chapters (more than 100 pages of great content!) from eight amazing authors who led sessions at Wild Goose Festival 2016:

  • Rachelle Mee-ChapmanRelig-ish: Soulful Living in a Spiritual-But-Not-Religious World
  • Chris CrassTowards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter
  • Sarah Griffith Lund Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church
  • Nicole Massie MartinMade to Lead: Empowering Women for Ministry
  • Teresa Pasquale MatheusSacred Wounds: A Path to Healing from Spiritual Trauma
  • Julie RichardsonAvailable Hope: Parenting, Faith, and a Terrifying World
  • Joerg Rieger and Rosemarie Henkel-RiegerUnified We are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities

Go to chalicepress.net/WildGooseReader and find out how to receive your FREE copy of the Wild Goose 2016 Reader.

Jordan: Home to the Wilderness of the Goose

By | Guest Post

Guest post by Jordan Tourism Board

The voice crying in the wilderness.
The desert, the wind, the reeds, the river, the springs.
Flocks from all over the region come for baptism.
The One comes.
John baptizes.
The heavens open.
The Wild Goose descends upon the beloved Son.
The Father speaks.
The mission begins.

Jordan_900

According to the Bible (John 1:28), the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Wild Goose – was first revealed to mankind at Bethany-beyond-the Jordan, where John baptized his cousin Jesus.
What did the crowds do? Could this have been the original Wild Goose Festival?

Jordan, the eastern part of the Holy Land, welcomes pilgrims from around the world to Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, a UNESCO world heritage site. This special place of baptism – the Wilderness of the Goose – is one of many Old and New Testament locations in Jordan awaiting pilgrims who make the journey.

We look forward to telling more of our Jordan story at #WildGoose16. Our friend Benjamin (Ben) L. Corey, blogger and author of “Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus,” will be with us to share about his own experiences in Jordan. Please look for us in the Spirituality Tent and at our pop-up oasis video tent, where we can dig a bit deeper and discover more about each other

Here’s Ben swapping stories about Jordan with a few other Christian bloggers:

JordanPlayVideo

 

 

 

To learn more, please visit MyJordanJourney.com  or our My Jordan Journey Facebook Page

Download a copy of our Biblical Jordan educational booklet HERE

 

An open table for authentic seekers

By | Guest Post

Guest post by Paul Swanson, CAC

I don’t make songs for free, I make them for freedom.
Don’t believe in kings, believe in the Kingdom.
—Chance the Rapper

God is inside you, all around you, and up above.
—Sturgill Simpson

Chance the Rapper and Sturgill Simpson are my musical go-tos during this season of life. Though stylistically different, they are both innovative storytellers who are laughing off the prescribed genres and archaic routes of professional artistry. To me, Wild Goose has taken a similar approach to spirituality—unafraid of the paradoxes that inherently come with stepping out of ascribed spiritual uniforms, belief structure, and religious norms. Rather than taking the easy path of embracing a cynical and iconoclastic spirit, Wild Goose holds the graced space of an open table for authentic seekers.

What brings me back to Wild Goose? The Spirit of participants and presenters is real; I trust their underlying desire to lovingly impact the world through compassionate presence and engagement.

It’s been a year or two since I set up my tent at Wild Goose, but I am looking forward to being back this go around as a part of the team from the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). We are proud to be a sponsor of the pre-festival Mystic Action Camp. Doubly proud to see three of our Living School graduates (Teresa Pasquale, Brie Stoner, and Holly Roach) as integral contributors to this offering.

Wild Goose and Mystic Action Camp embody the same spirit as the CAC. Our founder and wisdom teacher, Father Richard Rohr, says:

The most important word in our Center’s name is not Action nor is it Contemplation, but the word and. We need both action and contemplation to have a whole spiritual journey. It doesn’t matter which comes first; action may lead you to contemplation and contemplation may lead you to action. But finally, they need and feed each other.

If being the and in action and contemplation sounds like your type of conjunction, we hope you’ll join us at Wild Goose to further deepen your contemplative engagement with our beloved world.

See you soon. . . .

Cheers,
Paul Swanson
Director of Curriculum and tallest person at the CAC

So what’s an evangelical for social action, anyway?

By | Guest Post

Guest post by Evangelicals for Social Action

At the Sider Center we make a point of discussing topics your grandmother probably told you not to discuss, like sexuality, money, politics, and racism. We think we can talk about these potentially divisive things with love and respect, even if we disagree, because we value theological diversity as much as we do racial diversity. We don’t pretend to know the all the truth, but we know what love looks like. It looks like Jesus—bold and kind, creative and patient. And it’s to make the radical love of Jesus visible in this world that the Sider Center exists.


ESAbannerThe Sider Center of Eastern University promotes peaceful coexistence and social justice through scholarship, community-transformation programs, and loving dialogue across deep differences. Primary avenues for this work include the following:

Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA)
Founded in 1973 by scholar-popularizer-activist Ronald J. Sider, ESA is the premier project of the Sider Center. ESA promotes peace with justice by educating and energizing the church through online publications (our blog, the weekly ePistle, study guides), hands-on training (such as our Racial Justice Institute), and speaking engagements.

Associate Fellows for Racial Justice
Because racial justice is so important to the Sider Center and to ESA, in 2016 we brought on Micky ScottBey Jones and Darren Calhoun as our Associate Fellows for Racial Justice. Micky and Darren focus ESA’s work on racial justice and reconciliation while leading our campaigns for racial justice and equality through social media, writing, and public actions.

Sider Scholars
Our work is supported by Sider Scholars who work 10 hours per week at the Sider Center, receiving a scholarship for 50 percent of their tuition towards Palmer graduate programs, like the Master of Theological Studies in Christian Faith and Public Policy.

Oriented to Love
Oriented to Love helps Christ-followers gather in loving, respectful dialogue around the topic of sexual and gender diversity in the church. Retreating to a place of beauty and rest for two days, together we discover a unity that is deeper than agreement.

CreatureKind
CreatureKind exists to engage churches in new ways of thinking about animals and Christian faith, with a special focus on farmed animal welfare. CreatureKind also helps churches play a leading role in animal theology and protection.

Family Advocates
The Sider Center partners with the Family Strengthening Network to provide Family Advocates in local churches and other organizations who can work with families on complex issues like employment, housing, childcare, financial management and counseling.

Latino/a Initiatives
In collaboration with Palmer Seminary, the Sider Center helped launch an online Spanish language master’s degree for educators and pastors in México City, México. This is one of the few graduate theological programs in Spanish that emphasizes women in leadership and holistic approaches to community transformation.

On July 7, Evangelicals for Social Action will host a one-day Racial Justice Institute at the Wild Goose Festival to help participants reflect on, heal from, and discover creative ways to confront racism together. Please join us for this important and timely conversation. Even if you can’t make it, please be sure to stop by and introduce yourself! Throughout the festival, Sider Center staff will also be hosting workshops and conversations on animal welfare and how to communicate safely and lovingly around divisive issues in our faith communities.

“It’s really a magical place”

By | Guest Post

Guest post by Sojourners’ Rob and Hannah Wilson-Black

What do you get when you combine the 1960s rock festival Woodstock’s vibe, the Taize community’s singing, the Chautauqua Institution’s events, and the Aspen Ideas Festival’s speakers? Hey, get real — those four things cannot be combined, in part because of geography, brand confusion, and a time-continuum issue.

Souj-FeatImage_900

But imagine they could be and you could attend with your family and friends and survive to tell the tale because you could actually remember them on your ride home? That’s the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, N.C., July 7-10 — and you are officially invited to join us and a couple thousand of your best friends in this surprisingly intimate gathering of faith, art, hymns (and beer even!), rich reflections on life and faith, and good ole down-home fellowship across the tents and river wading. The common metaphor for the Holy Spirit in the British Isles is the wild goose, so that provides a clue as to what you’ll find at the Wild Goose Festival.

Here’s what my 15-year-old daughter Hannah texted me last night about our time at the WG Festival: “The first image that the Wild Goose Festival brings to mind is a small village of bike-riding, creative hippie-hermits who cultivate a culture of sharing. It’s really a magical place. Though everyone at Wild Goose is very different, one thing that ties us all together is a certain knack for making something out of nothing. We make an acre or two of land into festival grounds, hundreds of attendees into a family, trash into art, even, and a collective spirit into music. And if that’s not magic I don’t know what is.”

While I’ve never considered myself a hippie, other than intellectually perhaps (I think by hermit she means her fellow introverts are welcome), Hannah has it right. All three of our children, from when they were very young to now well into high school, have enjoyed their time at the Wild Goose, and as parents we don’t spend much time tracking their whereabouts throughout the day (I hope I’m allowed to admit that — the story of young Jesus being lost on the way out of Jerusalem should give me pause).

What seals the deal for me this year is the amazing Emily Saliers and Amy Ray as the Indigo Girls will be there, as will worship leader extraordinaire Tripp Hudgins and Anna Golladay’s artistic genius. Especially since people claim old friends and new family will be found at Wild Goose, it was a wonderful surprise to discover my college buddy Tripp, elementary school friend Anna, and new songwriting teacher Emily are all connected to Wild Goose! I can’t promise you’ll find your childhood friends and new mentors here, but it would not shock me in the slightest as that is my recent Wild Goose discovery.

Whether you’re enjoying NOT having to be at the kids’ tent with your own wonderful kids, wading in the river and hiking through forests with new colleagues, or learning more about implicit bias, slow church, and social movements’ ties to scripture, you can be sure that at the Wild Goose, you’ll find all this and more. So while you can find new ideas without Aspen, cool institutions without Chautauqua, tent communities without Woodstock, and music without Taize, why not come to Wild Goose and experience a bit of it all? I’ll see you down by the river on my bike singing “Closer to Fine” this July.

Robert Wilson-Black, PhD is CEO of Sojourners (sojo.net) and a board member of The Wild Goose Festival. Hannah Wilson-Black is a ninth-grader at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC and is the creator of www.teensplaining.com

RobWB

Matt Morris invites us to start “troubling the Gospel.”

By | Guest Post

Not having all the answers but being willing to ask the hard questions – this has been an abiding principle of Wild Goose from its earliest days. And providing the time and space to ask those questions through art, music, words, silence and movement – we believe that’s some of the most important work we do at this festival.

Troub-Gospel_900This year, we’re taking that belief even further with the addition of a new tent called Troubling the Gospel, dedicated to questioning our assumptions, interrogating easy answers, freeing the good news from the boxes it’s been put in, and striving to uncover new meaning in our sacred stories, in light of our own personal stories.

Co-curated by Sean Michael Morris, a critical pedagogue, teacher, and contemplative, and Matthew Morris, musician, blogger, and spiritual explorer, Sean and Matt will also be the primary facilitators for the tent. We asked Matt to tell us more of what we can expect from Troubling the Gospel.

Let’s start with the tent’s name. Why “Troubling the Gospel”? What’s that about?

The Gospel is an orientation, a lens through which things are seen, through which the world is turned upside down.The idea of the Troubling the Gospel tent is not as much to change the way we read the Gospel as it is to recognize the deep ways that the Gospel troubles us. When we do troubling the Gospel work, part of what we’re asking is “how is that connected to the kingdom of God”? What words do we use to describe that kingdom (or kin-dom), what images, what sounds, what memories, what hopes? What do we want the Gospel to say to us, and what is it saying to us? How do we hear the Gospel through others’ words, through our relationships and interactions and collaborations in community? Is the Gospel a work of social justice, and if it is, how do we work to translate that into our work, our social lives, our sense of justice?

 

So what we will actually find when we walk in the door?

A place of dialogue, art, and collaboration. With a multitude of art supplies to use— crayons, paper, finger paint, Play-doh — musical instruments, writing tools, and more.

Will there be workshops going on in the tent?

This will be both a space of individual reflection, and also of guided participation — with active workshops led by community teachers and artists. Each day, the tent will host  focused sessions working with a specific aspect or idea from the Gospel through one or another artistic medium, such as:

  • Troubling the Gospel with song
  • Troubling the Gospel through art
  • Troubling the Gospel with reflective writing
  • Troubling the Gospel through movement
  • Troubling the Gospel with story
  • Troubling the Gospel through confession
  • Troubling the Gospel through collaboration
  • Troubling the Gospel through dialogue
  • Troubling the Gospel through community building

There won’t be a podium, stage, or presentation space.  We want the participants to be the center of the discussion and work.

Each day will also include hours when visitors to the tent will be

encouraged to engage with a more personal, individual experience of

troubling the Gospel.

So what about the individual work? Will someone be directing that?

Facilitation will always be available during the tent’s open hours, but these individual reflection times will be primarily self-guided. Art, writing, and musical supplies will be on the tables. Each table, too, will include a prompt — a line from the Gospel, a thought or question for reflection, etc. — for visitors to engage with, if they’d like.

So if you had to sum it up in a sentence: Why visit the Troubling the Gospel tent?

So you can engage in and discover deeply personal relationships with the Gospel, its messages, its contexts, the text itself, its resonance, and all its repercussions.

Why I Hate Christian Fiction

By | 2016 Festival, Guest Post

I am an out-and-proud Christian. So you would think I would love Christian fiction. But no, I can’t stand it. Oh, you’ve read some of it, too? So you know what I mean, then. The squeaky-clean protagonists give me hives. They don’t have any ACTUAL flaws, you know? And that’s just unrealistic. I mean, the Christians I know and love and worship with, week-in and week-out look nothing like the folks you find peopling the Left Behind series—unless we’re talking the bad guys, that is. No, we are seriously flawed individuals who often swear like longshoremen, and screw up in big ways on a regular basis.

And where are all the Gay and Lesbian people? Half of the folks in my church are GLBT folks. I’ve never read a Christian novel where I saw GLBT folks depicted as Christian heroes. I decided that since no one had ever published a book showing Christians as real folks—or at least Christians as I know Christians—I’d have to write it. So I wrote THE KINGDOM. And then I wrote a sequel, THE POWER. I’m working on THE GLORY now. Flawed characters? Check. Real people? Check. Love Jesus? Check. Badass demon hunters? Check. (Yeah, there’s a little bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the DNA of those books, too.)

Is it hard to get something like that published? You bet. It’s like Mark Heard said, “I’m too sacred for the sinners and the saints wish I would leave.” And that’s why I started the Apocryphile Press, because honestly, no one else is going to touch books like this with a ten-foot pole. We’ve got about 130 titles out, many of them pushing (or downright punching out) the envelope of “acceptable” Christian publishing norms. Last year we published a large-format art book called THE PASSION OF CHRIST: A GAY VISION, which shows scenes from Jesus’ last week, his crucifixion and resurrection—if Jesus were a young gay man living in the American South in the 1960s. I know that sounds kind of out there, but in fact this book is stunningly beautiful and deeply moving.

We publish anything Steve Case wants to write, because he’s just a wacky good writer—check out his incredible FR. DARK to see what I mean. We also just published a bold new study of the book of Revelation called THE APOCALYPTIC GOSPEL by Justin Staller that has people buzzing.

So in between the awesome speakers and the awesomer music, please stop by our booth and check out our books. Steve Case, Justin Staller, and myself will be there. We’re giving away free ebook copies of THE KINGDOM and FR. DARK, we’ll be signing books, and selling them. We also promise to be insufferably silly. Most of all, I’m interested in hearing your book ideas—because we specialize in the kinds of books other publishers are afraid of. We are especially interested in Christian fiction that depicts real Christians—folks like you and me—as we actually are, warts and all, not as some idealized role models.

I want Apocryphile to specialize in BADASS CHRISTIAN FICTION. We’ve got a good start on that already. I figure Wild Goose is the PERFECT place to find folks who’d like what we publish, and who write the kinds of books we’d LIKE to publish. So do you have a book for us?

John R. Mabry
Publisher, THE APOCRYPHILE PRESS

How big is that tent, exactly?

By | 2016 Festival, Guest Post

Guest post by Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN

Since our founding in 1855, Christian Theological Seminary has leaned toward the right side of history. We have been inclusive, ecumenical and respectful of all traditions and faiths. Founded as a school that assured “students attending it would not be brought into contact with the habits and manners that exist in populations where slavery exists,” CTS has continued to stand in solidarity with those whom history tries to leave behind. We were among the first theological schools to grant tenure to a woman, and we sheltered a faculty member of Japanese descent during the terrible period of US internment camps during WWII.

But our convictions are tested all the time. The latest? Whether to go to the Wild Goose Festival this year, because it’s being held in North Carolina—a state that just passed one of the nation’s most heinous anti-LGBT bills.

Don’t worry, Wild Goose: we’re coming. After all, we’re from Indiana—a state that’s neck-deep in hateful laws. What right do we have to call out North Carolina?

But that’s the dilemma of being a Christian, isn’t it? Our convictions are constantly tested. And at this stage in history, we may be facing one of the biggest tests of all.

We are among the Christians who believe in a “big-tent,” “embracing” and “tolerant” expression of faith. The tent we pitch is big enough for people of all faiths. But is it big enough for candidates who use hate to curry votes, legislators who work to limit school lunches for poor children, gun owners who quote the Bible to justify “stand-your-ground” laws?

Can we forgive these people? We try. Can we pray for them? We do. Can we learn how to include them in the tent, while also protecting those who are hurt by their actions? We are working on it.

Can we talk about all this at Wild Goose Festival? We will. See you there!

True Story

When potential students apply to Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, they tell us about themselves. High GPAs. Terrific references. Years of devotion to their home churches.

But it’s not until they’ve settled in a bit — when they get through orientation, move into their apartments, go to class — it’s not until then that the true stories come out. Stories of joy, hope, support, epiphanies. Stories of abuse, loss, shame, doubt.

Novelist E. M. Forster used this example to show the difference between facts and a story:

The king died, and the queen died.
The king died, and the queen died of grief.

Jesus’s story is full of joy, hope, support, epiphanies, abuse, loss, shame, and doubt. No wonder we connect to it, are transformed by it, seek to follow his “way.”

We can’t wait to swap stories with old friends and new at Wild Goose Festival this year.

Seminaries, Roads and Stories that become what Everything is About

By | 2016 Festival, Guest Post

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) is excited to be at Wild Goose! Located in Berkeley, CA, it is a little tiny bit like Wild Goose all year long.

There is a story behind every person who comes to seminary, and each story is different. As the Director of Admissions, I get to hear a lot of those stories. I live and work at PLTS. Our campus is in kind of a funny location. Berkeley is funny just on its own, being the birthplace and epicenter of the free speech movement in the 1960’s. The campus is located 8 blocks up the steepest hill a road could be on, Originally intended for a trolley, this road is how Google will tell you to get there, but your car might really fight it. But it’s not the only way to get there.

In fact, the Berkeley hills are made up of a myriad of winding roads and pathways and staircases between people’s homes. You can pass lots of interesting things on the way, like the morning we passed a person having nude pictures taken of herself on some steps.

I’ve been thinking of those multiple roads as a good metaphor for how people come to understand their life story, their calling in life–which sometimes leads to seminary, and sometimes leads a million other places. Or sometimes lead to a million other places and then to seminary. Or sometimes lead to seminary and then to endless other places. Sometimes people wander a bit–up roads that are windier but not quite as hilly. Which path is better is really not the question. God is on all of those paths, and it is your own journey. Each journey has a story to tell.

And along the way of any road there are stories told, like the story in the sacred text of the Bible, where the guys are walking on the road to Emmaus, telling stories about all the things that had taken place in Jerusalem. Then Jesus, telling stories of the prophets, begins to make sense of the stories they are telling, and those stories become what everything is about.

When a person finds themselves at seminary, more stories happen: In the classroom, in coffee shops, during classes and protests and late-night end-of-the-semester paper-writing, new friendships are made, new understandings are born, and new experiences continue to shape a story that becomes what everything is about.

And then, trained as faithful leaders for a future unknown, people are sent out, ready. There is a story in front of every person who comes out of seminary too, which continues to become what everything is about.

Think about bringing your own story, and finding out what comes next.

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: A place for forward-thinking faithful leaders to engage in open-minded, interfaith study to prepare for faithful leadership in an evolving church and world. Come and talk to us about our story. PLTS is a graduate program of California Lutheran University, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and part of the largest interreligious theological consortium in the world–the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Come ask us about it!

Website: www.PLTS.edu

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrvX6HufVTVy4kcXxb_02og

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pltsofclu/

Twitter: @PLTSofCLU

Holly Johnson and Christa Compton will be there!

HollyJohnson_300pxHolly Johnson, Director of Admissions at PLTS, is also a graduate and pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She loves live music, poetry, blurring the lines between sacred and secular, good food, good wine, and she’s a little thrilled that she gets to be at the Festival and call it work. @MinnesotaHolly @PLTSofCLU

 

 

 

ChristaCompton_300pxChrista Compton is a graduate of PLTS, and current pastor in New Jersey. She also likes music, poetry, literature, good food and wine. She describes herself as a southern woman who likes to defy stereotypes. @ChristaCompton