2015 Festival

The Wild Goose Flock Reflects: The Second Blog Roundup of WGFEST15

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

The mornings are growing cooler as summer winds to a close, but your thoughts and experiences at #WGFest15 continue to burn and blaze. As the flock ruminates, here is a second installment of everything that is on your mind.
Read, think, share and repeat.
(You can find the first blog roundup here.)


Happy Wild Goose Kids

Everything Old is New Again

“…liturgies abound. Some of them were rather traditional. The Episcopal tent, for example, held Compline services every night. They also broke out of the mold and hosted a songwriter circle and an agape feast. The Goose is like that.”

— Tripp Hudgins

Slippery Fish

“In many ways, faith for me is a slippery fish. Whenever I seem to get a firm grip on belief, something happens in my life that makes truth squirt out of my hands. Because of this history, I enjoy talking with people about controversial topics, especially people I don’t agree with. However, with all the news about confederate flags, marriage equality, and Obamacare, I find it hard to have safe conversations with almost anyone of faith. That is what The Goose is becoming for me. A safe place to explore, be vulnerable, and pursue truth, that slippery fish that fights my desire to keep God in my grasp and finite, not the multi-faceted, infinite being that powers my world.”

— Slippery Fish, Paul Stanley

Buddha Inside/Jesus Outside

“I lie in the French Broad River of North Carolina in early July and expose my palms announcing, pleading really, ‘Open my wounds to grace and reveal God’s glory!’. I really need a God with open wounds like mine.”

— Emerging Voices, Anita Brown

Re-Wilding The Goose

I couldn’t believe it, I had become the fidgety kid kicking the pew and I had successfully upset the status quo. The status quo at the WILD Goose?!?!?! Anger kept me from an appropriate engagement so I packed my things and left to ruminate.

Ian Lynch

Voices of the Wild Goose Festival

“The Holy Spirit, the Wild Goose, the Wind that formed all things out of chaos and called them good, leads this celebration. The Wind blows where it will with power like the twister with tongues of fire at Pentecost. No walls can trap this Wind. No laws can cage this Bird. No bigotry can quiet this crowd singing love.”

J. Marshall Jenkins


Wild Goose Eucharist in the woods

Scaring the Hell Out of Christians

“For me, this is what the Christian faith is all about: restoration. Restoring our souls, restoring our connection with creation and with our Creator, restoring our relationships with other humans — even restoring a healthy relationship with death. All reasons for hope.

Sadly, modern Christianity often leads people away from a sense of loving restoration and into a land of judgement, contempt, and fear — fear of God, fear of hell, and fear of people who think or believe differently — which tragically results in many professed Christians working against justice because they fear empowering “the other” and must defend “their” faith from attack, as if God needs to be protected from dangerous outsiders.”

— Melanie

God is Wild

“The Wild Goose Festival is home to a lot of people who are wondering where God will live next. Some of us have big plans for building houses for God, and moving the divine presence right in so that we can have ready access. But the very metaphor of the wild goose evokes the myriad ways in which God cannot be domesticated.”


New Revised Goose Version

“Underneath the fuchsia, violet, green and blue French braids, the spiky mohawks, the luxurious beards, the shaved heads and the dreadlocks…there’s something stirring within and among the gathered ones at the Wild Goose Festival. It’s not the Spiritual But Not Religious crowd. And it’s not the Nones, the Unaffilated or the Dones.

It’s something different. It’s what I’m calling the “New Revised Wild Goose Version” (NRWGV) of Christianity… I did the math and I’ve preached at least 400 sermons. I know some things about the Bible. But the way that Mark Charles,  a Navajo activist and educator, talked about how white settlers in the Americas lacked a “land covenant” with God to guide our relationship, or the way Bree Newsome talked about how Jesus worked for peace, not order, or how Tony Campolo talked about the love of Jesus moved in his heart to advocate for GLBT persons in the evangelical movement—literally, OMG.”

Sarah Griffith Lund

Christo Shamanic Ritual

Call of the Wild Goose

“After being in ministry for so many decades; fulfilling almost every role a local church could offer (from youth leader, young adult leader, worship leader, choir director, crisis counseling, curriculum and Bible study author, senior pastor and church planter) and in most every form of church expression (community churches, house churches, alternative churches) – I found myself so hurt and damaged by shrapnel of this implosion that I put myself in exile. Self-imposed exile.

Little did I know that THE Wild Goose, Herself, was orchestrating something that was crucial to my healing … and little did I know what excruciating pain I was about to endure.”

Sacred Touch, Pastor Nar

Lithium and a Prayer: A Few Thoughts on Mental Illness, Medication, and Spirituality

“Ultimately, we’ll need to do the work of going into our darkness, of poking around in it. Whether that’s a matter of spiritual direction or some other practice of faith, it’s only by going in and through that we can discover our true selves and begin to work out what it is that we are called to be.”

Emerging Voices



Live shows are always a blast, but the LIVE CultureCast at Wild Goose festival was a new kinda awesome. Hear from Lisa and Michael Gungor, Romal TuneTony KrizLeroy BarberChristian Piatt, Josh Linton and Micky Scottbey Jones, among others!

Homebrewed Christianity

A Reading List

Here are twelve essential recent / forthcoming books by authors speaking at Wild Goose… From Forward Together to Redeeming Sex.

The Englewood Review of Books

Link To Ticket Page

Read At Wild Goose 2015

The Beauty of Peace: Art At Wild Goose 2015

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival, Goose News

troy bThere are more ways to explore peacemaking than just through music and speaking. This year, our theme will permeate through every segment of the festival, including the visual arts. In fact, there are some ways that peace can only be explored through art.

“In curating the theme Blessed are the Peacemakers, we noticed that peacemaking included everything from making peace, to reconciling worlds to being prophetic in the world about what is at peace or at war,” explains Troy Bronsink. Troy is this year’s art content leader for the festival.

So, what will you see at Wild Goose this year? Here’s a small sampler.

1. Stations of the Cross: Mental Illness

Mary Button Stations of the CrossAs you walk around the the festival you’ll notice Mary Button’s installation, Stations of the Cross: Mental Illness. Take some time so see how her artwork both tells a story and creates space for new encounters with what it means to be at peace, long for peace, and make peace.

2. Live Art!

You’ll also see the work of Dan Nelson who will be painting the festival at the Live Art Tent. Take time to talk with him about your experience of peacemaking as he listens for the voice of the Goose and depicts this powerful weekend and burgeoning community through his art.

3. The Art Tent Gallery & Beyond

dewayne barton and artThere will be work from at least five artists in the Art Tent Gallery with very different perspectives and approaches as well as hosts who can walk you through an experience of that work. Stefan Gustafsson and Fred Wise are two of the artists that will be featured there. Stefan is from Sweden and his works involve lengthy processes of mingling minerals and pigments to explore reconciliation and differentiation. Contrast that with the work of Fred whose watercolor and oil paintings depict stories of struggle and mystery. Art will appear around the festival as well. For example, DeWayne Barton, pictured above, will have a sculpture on display somewhere on the grounds.

4. Maker’s Space

DSC_0338We’ll have a maker’s space for you to participate in making materials for the Art Liturgy on Saturday at 2 pm, which will include a large acoustic stringed instrument orchestra. So bring your guitar or banjo if you have it!

5. Thoughtful Discussions

menewhorizonsThis year, author and long time friend of the Goose, Frank Schaeffer, will be showing some of his recent paintings. Also on Saturday, he’ll be in conversation with A’Driane Nieves (pictured above) about the role of our own stories and family’s stories in making and reading art. Nieves’ work is a reflection on her experiences as a mother, a woman of color, someone who has battled with mental illness, and as a minority in the growing liberal city of Austin, Texas, all lived through the perspective of faith. Her work has been featured in regional and national #blacklivesmatter forums and she’ll be including a recent book of works and excerpts from her blog.

6. Art as Spiritual Practice

Patrick MahonThere are other artists showing this year who identify their work as direct spiritual practice. Cassandra Lawrence develops art with worshippers and within worship to enable participants to corporately participate beyond words. Patrick Mahon is a contemplative and student of Merton. (One of his photographs is pictured above.) His photography is intended to cultivate peace within the viewer, calling you not to simply “see” but to be present in the seeing.

Faithmarks Gallery At Wild Goose

Faithmarks: Yes, You Can Get A Tattoo At Wild Goose This Year

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

Faithmarks Gallery At Wild GooseLast year was Faithmarks’s first time at Wild Goose. They are coming back and they are bringing a little something special for the Wild Goose flock: tattoos, both permanent and temporary.

FaithMarks is a photographic gallery show exploring the intersection of spirituality and the art of tattoos. Initially conceptualized by St. Marks Church, this inter-denominational, interfaith ministry used models from all over the country. It is an experience meant to take each person on their own spiritual journey. The show provides a non-threatening experience for those who visit, evoking the opportunity for spiritual conversation to flow naturally.

Faithmark Tattoos At Wild GooseAlthough founders Carl Greene and Anna Golladay heard the whispers (or far-off honking) of the Goose in the past, last year they finally decided to take the
leap and attend.

“We have been really warmly accepted everywhere we have taken the show,” says Anna. “But, Wild Goose? It is absolutely, hands down, the coolest and most exciting place the show has ever traveled. The warmth and true excitement from folks was palpable.”

The show includes professional photography of tattoos along with the model’s story, explaining why they received it. The blend of the visual and written really sparks spiritual conversations. “The Wild Goose Festival provides a forum for open and honest dialogue,” says Anna, “Something that is encouraged when the Faithmarks show travels other places.”

FaithmrksThis year, seven team members will make the trek from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Hot Springs, North Carolina. They will be bringing a set on new images this year. Last year, Faithmarks consisted of 22 canvases and stories. Anna is excited: “We’ve doubled the number of images and stories! Just because you spent some time with the show last year doesn’t mean that it won’t still be new and fresh in 2015.”

The word seems to be spreading about the tattoos as well. They will have both permanent and temporary tattoo artists with them this year at the Goose.

“I’m not sure I could be any more giddy about this if I tried,” says Anna.

“We’ll soon launch a sign-up for those folks wanting to get a real tattoo during the festival, so keep an eye out! What better way to commemorate your experience than to head home with a Faithmark of your very own?”




Disabling Guns And Forging Peace At Wild Goose

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

RAWtools Disabled HandgunThis year’s festival will feature an exciting opportunity to “forge peace” in a very literal way highlighting our theme—Blessed are the Peacemakers.

RAWtools, with the help of Tim Coons and Justin Bullis, will be leading two peacemaking liturgies at the Wild Goose Festival next month. The liturgy includes the usual singing, scripture readings and testimonies, but with an added dimension. Together we will also create a physical representation of God’s prophecy in Micah and Isaiah of “beating your swords into plowshares”.

The gun will be disassembled and, using a small furnace, the metal components melted down to create a tool of creation. Romal Tune will be speaking at the PeaceMaker on Gun Violence Liturgy and John Dear at our PeaceMaker on War Liturgy.

RAWtools Wild Goose FestivalFounder Mike Martin had considered the concept for RAWtools for many years. His anabaptist faith background coupled with experience in the family landscaping business combined to birth the concept. But, it was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012 that propelled him into action.

In 2013, Mike launched the RAWtools at the Justice Conference, held in Philadelphia that year.

“Our goal is to create new narratives of nonviolence and peacemaking, instead of narratives of violence,” says Mike.

Guns used during the liturgy are donated by individuals who no longer want a weapon in their home and sometimes by  police officers. Mike hopes to formally partner with police departments, offering a constructive way to dispose of confiscated weapons. “We want to let them know that we’re an option as far as what what we can do with weapons, that we’re an option for police departments or even just for people who are uncomfortable having a gun in their home,” he explains. At the end of the liturgy, the newly made tool is given to someone involved in the service or sold to help fund the work of RAWtools.

RAWtools peacemaker-shirtMike can’t wait to get to Wild Goose this year. The two liturgies being held at the festival are part of the PeaceMaker Tour which was launched this January.

He knows that, in some ways, he’ll be preaching to the choir.

But for Mike, peacemaking is about more than the occasional liturgy; it’s a daily practice.

“It’s living out the witness of Christ, being a listener, loving alongside people,” explains Mike.

“Being a peacemaker is about a lot of little stuff—being in relationship—and not necessarily big, grand, Nobel-Peace-Prize stuff,” he says. The hardest part is having patience and practicing peace toward those with whom we strongly disagree or even dislike. Not that Nobel Peace Prize scale is bad (Nobel Peace Prize nominee John Dear is speaking at our Friday Liturgy.).

In fact, he has a practical suggestion for how to ‘forge peace’ this week.

Have lunch with someone you don’t like to be around, suggests Mike, “an enemy, someone that hits all your pet peeves.”

“To sit down and listen and have lunch with somebody,” says Mike. “That is an act of peacemaking.”

RAWtools logo

Meet Jeff Clark and His List Of 8 Must-Hear Music Experiences Appearing at Wild Goose 2015

By 2015 Festival, Goose News
Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark

“Music at the Wild Goose for many is the soundtrack of the experience—sometimes in the foreground, when we’re attending a performance, and otherwise a near constant presence drifting among us in the background—holding us into conversation and lifting us through connection to freedom and hope,” says Jeff Clark, president of Wild Goose Board of Directors.

What are the highlights?

“Diversity, inclusion, gifting—musically, it’s an amazing line-up this year and it’s made more amazing by the fact that most of the performers are coming as a part of The Wild Goose community,” says Jeff. For example, in addition to their “on-stage” feature performer roles, you’ll also see Michael Gungor, Matt Morris, Emmanuel Jal, David Gungor, and others serving as worship leaders, speaking, and participating on panels. “This individual connection and commitment to the Wild Goose community is perhaps unprecedented,” he adds.

Jeff is deeply invested in this year’s music (he’s the 2015 music programming leader). Here are his top eight highlights for this year’s line-up!


“Emmanuel Jal’s “We Want Peace” and “Brother” from The Brilliance–are both powerful songs that are on my playlist daily.”


 “Like a lot of the Goose family I’ve been repeatedly viewing Matt Morris’ beautiful performance on Ellen (with Justin Timberlake backing him up).”


“The music of Timothy’s Gift, with our “own” Melissa Greene, is made even more powerful by the stories behind their work and Ty Herndon’s story is a deeply personal account of redemption and courage.”


“We’re breaking the sound barrier! Sort of… we actually found a great way to have fun without breaking the Hot Springs, NC sound ordinance law. The Goose this year will have a Silent Disco (dance party with headphones) powered by SilentEvents, AcoustaGoose (a late night acoustic “jam” event with a different host band each evening), and Beer & Hymns on the schedule every night!”


“This year there will also be a lot Wild Goose favorites returning (including The Collection and Charles Pettee and FolkPsalm) and some wonderful new talent coming into the community.”


DSC_0860“The Café should become a popular gathering place for refreshment and relaxation and will host performances from noon until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The on-site coffee shop setting, rather than local restaurants, may become the Goose living room for many.”

Ready for Round 2! 

By 2015 Festival, Guest Post

uts at wild goose festival

The Admissions Team at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is back again at the Goose.  Last year we had such a great time greeting our fabulous alumni/ae and meeting prospective students that we couldn’t stay away!

The idea of theological education can be a big step.  We are grateful to again be able to share our Union experiences as students and alumni/ae. We were also really moved to see folks from all over the country, and the world, connecting at our recruitment table. That we played a role in facilitating these surprising connections was a real highlight of our experience.  And we are grateful.

At Wild Goose, there is no shortage of booths to visit and people to meet. Between the warm welcome from the people of Hot Springs, NC to the visiting community that’s built especially for this weekend, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest and feeds your passion. We hope that Union Theological Seminary can be on that list of inspirations.

So come and find us in the Spirituality Tent this year.  Just look for the large “Union” banner.  We will again have a team of folks ready to answer any questions you may have, from “what is seminary like,” to “how do you manage living in New York City?” and anything in between.  And if you don’t have any questions, you are warmly invited to share some of your story, reminisce about Union, or simply say “hello.” We look forward to seeing you!

– The Admissions Team of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York



Slow Church in the face of Deep Injustice?

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival, Goose News

Last year I was pleased to be at Wild Goose for the first time and to talk about my book Slow Church (co-written with John Pattison), and how the Slow Food movement and other burgeoning Slow movements might offer wisdom for us as we seek to cultivate community in the patient way of Jesus. One of the questions that I was asked at Wild Goose last summer was: “What is the meaning of Slow Church in situations that demand urgent responses: e.g., situations of deep injustice?” This question echoed through many of the conversations that I’ve had about Slow Church over the last year, especially in the wake of racial injustice in places like Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, NY, Baltimore and most recently McKinney, TX. The question was a central one in several conversations I had with my friend Brandon Wrencher (an African- American UMC pastor in rural NC). We decided to co-facilitate a conversation on this question at Wild Goose next month.

Brandon_WrencherA post of this sort is entirely too brief to tackle a question of this kind of significance. However, I do want to offer a couple of thoughts that I believe are vital to answering this question. My first thought in answering this question is that an essential part of what we are calling Slow Church is it is not enough simply to respond to crisis situations, but we must be ever attentive to how we respond. Or in other words, our means must fit the ends that we seek. In this regard, I am reminded how vital prayer vigils were to the Civil Rights movements, as a way of preparing marchers to bear witness non-violently to the sort of peace and justice for all humanity that we have been called to in Jesus. On a similar note, I recently heard Rev. Traci Blackmon, a UCC pastor and community leader in Ferguson, tell the story of an elder in that community who in the midst of the marching and the escalating tension between police and protestors would daily drive up to a parking lot near the protest zone, and set up tables of abundant food and serve whoever was hungry. This Eucharistic sort of story reminds us of the space that the table – and especially a table that is seen as the Lord’s Table, at which anyone is welcome – creates for getting to the basic roots of humanity (e.g., the need to eat) and for conversation in which we begin to know and trust others.

A second thought in response to this question is that we live in an interconnected creation. Deep injustice is never merely a problem to be fixed, but is interwoven in intricate ways with other forms of injustice. One of my favorite theologians, Dr. Willie James Jennings of Duke Divinity School, emphasizes, for instance, that the racial injustices that are on the front of many of our minds today, had their origin in the early modern era in the social, economic and ecological injustices of human disconnectedness from land and place.

This complex web of injustice that has given shape to modern life as we know it in the twenty-first century eludes easy solutions, and might even be so massive and deeply embedded in life as we know it to tempt many of us to give up hope. The hope that we need, and the hope that lies at the heart of Slow Church, is the possibility of an alternative community, a community that embedded in the struggles for justice, but one that that is oriented toward the hope of God’s reconciliation of all things in and through Jesus. Our fundamental call as churches is not to be networks of religious individuals, but rather to be communities rooted in our particular places that are seeking to offer an alternative to the rampant injustice of our age. We should walk alongside our neighbors who are having injustice heaped upon them, and lament these injustices with them, but our primary call as churches is to imagine and to begin to embody in our life together a social order that is defined by the conviction that God desires peace, justice and reconciliation for all humanity and all creation.

These thoughts, I realize, hardly begin to scratch the surface of the basic question of Christian faithfulness and the deep injustices of our world, and especially when our concepts of Christian faithfulness – as Willie Jennings and others have argued – have threads of injustice interwoven into them. And so, I challenge you not to lose hope in the face of overwhelming injustice, but to continually seek to embody an alternative community that is rooted in the person of Jesus, whose life, teaching, death and resurrection was the very epitome of peace and justice.

And I invite you to join with Brandon and myself as we host a conversation at Wild Goose about these essential and unavoidable questions.

C. Christopher (Chris) Smith is a part of the Englewood Christian Church community on the urban Near Eastside of Indianapolis and is senior editor of The Englewood Review of Books. The co-author of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus (IVP Books, 2014), he is currently finalizing a new book entitled Reading for the Common Good: Toward the Flourishing of our Churches, our Neighborhoods and the World.

Making Peace with the Church

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival, Guest Post

lane_author-photo_compressedLike all good anthropologists, I started research for my new book Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe with a list of questions, not answers. Why is it so hard to belong to a local church? How do we know when we’ve found the one, and if there is no “one,” how do we make do with one that’s good enough? Can we really share flesh in Christ and not get eaten alive by one another? And when does a church go from being an imperfect one to a toxic one? Will we ever be able to make peace with a church that’s not a place of peace for all?

I am not a natural born peacemaker.

Although Erin means peace in Gaelic, I like to tell people my name is more aspirational than prophetic. At the age of five, I fought with the Catholic Church to receive my First Holy Communion two years early. At eight, as part of my parents’ divorce proceedings, I went before a Jewish arbitrator, argued, and lost my right to choose my own religion. At fourteen, I rebelled against the court orders and attended a non-demoninational church in which the Holy Spirit – and the handsome boys – set me aflame. When I married a Methodist pastor at age twenty-two, some friends worried I’d been domesticated. Four years later – and still happily married – I legally returned to my maiden name because his “just didn’t feel right.”

Making peace with the church and its people has been lifetime work for me. Despite my generation’s reputation for being a bunch of affiliation-averse, individualistically-inclined, spiritual-DIY-ers, I think many of us have struggled to make peace with the church not because we don’t care about this community of Christ-followers but because we care it’s done well – with excellence and creativity and accountability. The late poet John O’Donohue called this type of intense lover of the church the “artist.” We often think of artists as living on the edge of culture, the innovators and free thinkers, but O’Donohue described the artist this way: “He inhabits the tradition to such depth that he can feel it beat in his heart, but his tradition also makes him feel like a total stranger who can find for his longing no echo there.”

The artist makes her home not on the edge of culture but amidst her own near-constant heartbreak.

I have never been to the Wild Goose Festival before. But I suspect that among this group of faithful rebels, hearts are raw. I want to know about these hearts, the reckless hearts, the brave hearts, the skittish hearts, the open hearts. Author Parker Palmer points out that the word heart as its most ancient comes from the Latin cor and represents that hidden wholeness within each of us that holds together the intellectual, the emotional, the bodily, the imaginative, and all our ways of knowing. This heart stuff isn’t for the faint. If we want to be true peacemakers with the church and others, we must first make peace within our selves.

I don’t have answers for how exactly each one of us is called to do that. I’m hoping that’s what we can share and explore at the festival breakout session together. But I do know that each of us has a choice in how we will respond to our heartbreak. We can either let it take us out of the action in favor of a simpler life where we belong without question or question without belonging, or we can let it lead us into a more wholehearted life in which the contradictions of our faith open us to the death of illusions, the suffering of community, and the resurrection of our real selves as members of God’s household.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9

Erin S. Lane is author of Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe and co-editor of Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith. Confirmed Catholic, raised Charismatic, and married to a Methodist, she facilitates retreats for clergy and congregational leaders through the Center for Courage & Renewal. To find more of her writing, visit


Letting Kids Fly At The Wild Goose Festival

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

From beer-and-hymn sings to best selling speakers, there is plenty of fun for adults at the Wild Goose Festival, but folks often want to know what the experience will be like for their kids.

Being Creative At The Wild Goose Festival

Being Creative At The Wild Goose Festival

Well, meet the curator of the kid experience at Wild Goose, Jamie Rye. He started developing the kids program when the Wild Goose Festival was just a twinkle in a handful of folks’ eyes over five years ago. He’s been growing and managing it as a programming volunteer ever since.

“In the kids tent our primary focus is around three things: belonging (community), creativity and safety,” explains Jamie. “In its simplest form we want kids to walk away feeling belonging, like they were able to uniquely express themselves, that they were safe and a part of the bigger story unfolding from God through the Goose.”

DSC_0133The kids program provides a two-hour session each morning and afternoon of the festival. Equipped with a secure check-in system, the program is designed by Jamie and his wife Kelly and facilitated by a team of volunteers, all of whom have received a background check.

Age appropriate activities are offered, with extra time to play in the nearby playground for children under the age of 6. But, the program is anything but a babysitting service. The kids will enjoy intentional Flock Groups, creative arts, creative storytelling and movement in music.

DSC_0121Jamie is emphatic that the program would not be complete without the help of his volunteers. “In all my years of doing Goose I have had incredible volunteers. These are folks that have given up vacation time, given up sleep, and suffered through the heat of the day to create an engaging, creative, intentional and safe place for kids.”

“Last year we had a hand full of volunteers who deeply loved kids and truly caught the vision for the kids space at the Goose,” Jamie continues. “The leadership team took ownership over the program and put in lots of hours not only in prep, but also on the ground. They worked so hard to welcome families. From providing supplies for the kids’ graffiti wall to running an amazingly fun creative-arts stations. The kids had fun, they were safe and they walked away from each session a little more creative, a little more valued and a little more loved.”

Kids Getting Creative At Wild Goose“Without volunteers like this the Goose kids couldn’t be what it has been over the last 5 years. I am honored to be surrounded and serve alongside such amazing people,” concludes Jamie.

He and his wife, Kelly, feel particularly drawn to Wild Goose: “Having been raised relatively-conservative evangelical we found that our progressive beliefs, ways of questioning and generous orthodoxy placed us on the outskirts of our subculture. Our lack of belonging was only amplified by the fact that I am a pastor in an evangelical denomination. The Goose brought us community, belonging and a safe place to embrace the good of our background and yet find space in a community that understood where we were coming from. I love that the Wild Goose creates the same safe space year after year for others like us.”

Jamie and Kelly Rye

Jamie and Kelly Rye

Thanks to Jamie and his team, safety and creative learning are also available to children at the festival, while their parents have time to go do some exploring on their own.

This year promises another great batch of volunteers to run the kids program, says Jamie. “I am excited to watch them engage the kids and for the kids to respond with their natural expressive, wild, child-like abandon.

“Kids have the most fun at Goose, the adults should come and learn from them.”




What Does It Mean To Be A Peacemaker?

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

John Dear QuoteIf you haven’t heard already, this year’s theme for Wild Goose is Blessed Are The Peacemakers. And, for one of our keynote speakers, that’s more than just a theory.

John Dear is a Catholic priest who has been arrested over 70 times in acts of civil disobedience against war. He spent eight months in prison for a Plowshares disarmament action and has been nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This will be John’s fourth time at the festival; he’s only missed one festival on the east coast.
He loves meeting all the wonderful people that attend, says John. “Going gives me hope.”

This year, he is scheduled to be the morning keynote speaker. “I will reflect on Jesus as a peacemaker and the calling of any Christian to be a peacemaker,” he says.

For John, peacemaking is more than a good idea: it’s all encompassing. “We must make peace with ourselves,” he says, “and everyone we know, all creatures, the whole world. And we must join the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.”

Making peace is at the core of what it means to follow Jesus.

John Dear“It’s not enough to just sit back, say your prayers and complain,” he says. “You have to get involved in the struggle to end war, poverty, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction and put Gospel nonviolence into action.”

It’s a challenging message, but a challenge John believes Wild Goose, on its fifth anniversary, is ready to meet.

“If American Christians are going to become mature, they must become universal. That’s how peace begins,” says John. “We must move into Saint Paul’s vision of citizens of the Kingdom of God.”

“I expect people at Wild Goose Festival to not just listen, but prepare to go home after the festival and take action. To start working to change the church. We must actively work to create peace, otherwise the church may as well close up shop.”

Are you ready to start making peace?