Goose News


By Goose News

stay woke advent

The Wild Goose wants to wish you a meaningful Advent season.

As our country experiences upheaval after the non-indictments of the police officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner, this time of waiting for the light feels especially profound. And as we ponder difficult questions, we are thankful for our friends like Micky ScottBey Jones for leading conversations under the hashtag #StayWokeAdvent. Jones explains in a recent blog post, “This is the time, the time of Advent, to stay alert…to ‘stay woke’…to your senses, your mind, your body, your feelings, your spirit to where to Spirit is stirring and leaning. Stay woke….to the impact your life has on others…Stay woke…to the injustice that we either contribute to or diminish…Stay woke….to the groanings of the world…Stay woke…to the humble, radical, empire-upsetting ways of Jesus…Stay woke…to the darkness…Stay woke…to the light…and to the sacred and profane in both.”

Follow #StayWokeAdvent hashtag on twitter and Facebook to read the insights of folks looking at the Advent through this particular lens of awareness.

progressive christian festival

Grateful Geese

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

Many thanks to everyone who purchased “Grateful Goose” tickets and who entered the #gratefulgoose contest on Facebook and twitter. We’ve posted some of the entries below. It warms our hearts to hear about the ways the Wild Goose touches folks. Congratulations to contest winner Shawn Blackwelder! Stay tuned for details on our Christmas ticket special!
progressive christian festival

Grateful Goose Contest Entries:

Thankful for creative ideas and actions in one playful place.

I am grateful to the Wild Goose Festival because it opens up my mind and heart to new ideas and people.

Thankful for a place where I don’t have to explain why injustice breaks my heart.

Grateful for creative, passionate,  generous, loving people.

I am thankful for the work and education about intersectionality, racism, and the welcoming community to LGBT at the Wild Goose Festival.

Every summer I am grateful to hang out with my awesome friends at Wild Goose Fest and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Thankful for community of faith thinking and playing together.

We are thankful for the blessing of inclusion and the wonderful justice oriented community experienced Wild Goose Fest. – Eastside United

I’m grateful for the friends–new and old–from the Wild Goose Festival who have given me a sense of what Christian community can be like, and I’m always looking forward to the next time we gather.

Wild Goose Fest is a creative and innovative space to hear the stories of Kingdom work and find renewal. For that I’m thankful.

I’m grateful to Wild Goose Festival for brilliant ideas and art that challenge and inspire deeper Christian spirituality.





A Call to Our Friends

By Goose News

Dear friend,

rosa lee hardenSomething truly extraordinary occurred in Hot Springs, North Carolina before the start of the festival this summer.  I had gathered with a group of volunteers who had come to prepare the site for Wild Goose. One of our co-founders, Mike King, welcomed them and asked them to share their stories, stories of why they had come, why they were willing to work so hard for the festival and what the Wild Goose meant to them.

An epiphany occurred in me as I listened to these dear folks share their stories.  They were amazing stories of transformation, stories of pain, stories of miracles, stories of restoration and hope. True to the theme of the festival, all of these stories from this Wild Goose flock were stories of liberation. More than ever, I sensed the critical need and importance of the Wild Goose. 

I heard the story of an elderly pastor, who had lost hope for the future of the church. He shared how his adult daughter had convinced him to come to the Wild Goose because “what’s happening there is something that you’ve dreamed about and now it’s a reality.” He talked about how through the Wild Goose his hope had been restored for the future of the church and faith. His enthusiasm was contagious.

I listened to a woman who told the story about herself and her husband. She described how they were good and faithful church members until her husband revealed that he was gay but committed to stay in the marriage. The church not only forced him out but also told her she would have to go unless she divorced him. Through tears she recalled how that same church had provided the setting for her to declare, “until death do us part.” “I made that vow and could not renounce it.” Her church threw her out. “Thank God, I have a home here at the Wild Goose.”

A twenty-something man with a strong British accent described how he was on a “find myself” tour of the U.S. when he encountered a youth group who befriended him while they were on the way to the festival. “The youth pastor invited me to continue my search by coming with them to the Wild Goose. Here I am and I can sense that what is happening here will profoundly impact my life.”

Person after person described how the Wild Goose Festival had become a spiritual home for them and the community had become family. Others described how Wild Goose had literally saved their lives and brought them from despair to hope. An African American woman expressed how the Wild Goose was tearing down walls of division and could help change the landscape of civil discourse in the USA.

These stories were all shared before the festival had even officially started. The stories of liberation and transformation continued to flow throughout our time together in Hot Springs, NC like the powerful French Broad river that runs through our site.  And the stories of Wild Goose continue on year round because the Wild Goose is not just a festival. The life-giving transformation emerging from the Wild Goose is not only about an event. The Wild Goose soars on year round and creates emergent dynamics that fuel the imaginations of those who love gathering at the intersection of spirituality, justice, mercy, friendship and beauty. I run into people all over the country who identify themselves as a part of the Wild Goose Family and they carry on the passion of our shared story.

This is why it is so important for the Wild Goose to continue to soar and gain altitude. This is the reason I’m writing you right now because the Wild Goose is at a critical juncture. I believe this is an historic time for Wild Goose. This is the time to broaden the impact and become accessible to more people who will discover the Wild Goose community. We must add some key staff positions that will help to take the festival to the next level. We need to create infrastructure to facilitate the reality that Wild Goose is more of a movement than a one-off event. We cannot do this without your help. We need your passion. We need your support and energy. We need you to spread the Wild Goose story.

The few months after the festival are always the most difficult financially. When we really need to ramp up the work for the next festival we find ourselves in a cash flow lull. When we are aware of opportunities to take the festival to the next level and fuel the dynamic of Wild Goose as a movement we are hindered because of the lack of financial resources. Will you please consider a generous and sacrificial gift right now for Wild Goose? Without an influx of financial help right now we are grounded instead of soaring.

I have served as the Director and Producer of Wild Goose for about a year and a half. In that time I have come to believe that Wild Goose has the potential of changing the civil and religious landscape in North America. I often meet people who have never even been to the Wild Goose and they tell me, “We need the Wild Goose so desperately in our country, please keep it going and growing.”

We have rarely asked so directly, outside of the festival context, for your financial support but today we really need you. We want the Wild Goose festival to grow. We want the movement to gain momentum. We are talking about smaller Wild Goose gatherings throughout the year with one possibility that is on the radar being an Urban Goose in the Spring, and another being more organized House Goose events. We want to find ways for our Wild Goose community spread throughout the country to gather more than just once a year. Let’s do this together.

Some good friends of the Wild Goose at key times in our development and evolution have made sacrificial gifts to help Wild Goose exist. Now is the time for our broader community to kick in and together fuel this beautiful thing called Wild Goose into the future.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


rosa lee signature copy



P.S. We really need to hear from our friends. Please take some time to consider what you can do to help financially, by going to to make a gift. Thank you for passionately embracing the Wild Goose.

wild goose closing


photo by mike belleme

Mountain Moral Monday August 4th

By Goose News

photo by mike belleme
Join folks from across the region and state for another Mountain Moral Monday – “Moral March to the Polls Rally” on August 4, from 5-6:30 pm at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, NC.

The Mountain People’s Assembly, a coalition of WNC organizations (including the Wild Goose Festival), and regional WNC NAACP Branches will host the return of Mountain Moral Monday, a non-partisan program that will highlight the destructive policies enacted by the N.C. statehouse over the past year while strongly focusing on the voter empowerment campaign, “Moral March to the Polls.”

The event will feature Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP and other guest speakers, as well as musical entertainment. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to get involved in voter registration, education and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts during the current mid-term election cycle. Moral Freedom Summer organizers and volunteers will be available to help register voters.

Photo by Mike Belleme.

Wild Goose TV Video Booth

By 2014 Festival, Goose News

“What’s Your Story?!?” We encourage you to stop by the Wild Goose TV video booth during the festival. Our goal is to capture and share the voices of our community, we hope yours will be one of them. This short video from Rick Meredith shows what you can expect:

Wild Goose Revisited

By Goose News

Have I ever told you how I met Speech from Arrested Development? Not the TV show, but the 1993 Rolling Stone band of the year, whose smart and visionary hip- hop shaped a sound in the 1990’s and provided the earliest soundtrack for my young adulthood. (If you haven’t heard the song “Tennessee” by Arrested Development, stop what you’re doing and go buy it.)

Anyway, I met Speech, the cofounder and leader of Arrested Development, at the Wild Goose Festival in 2013. This was just one of many momentous moments at last year’s Wild Goose Festival, to say nothing of the momentous moments of previous years. Sadly, this year circumstances prohibit me from attending, so I’ll be at Wild Goose only in spirit.

Fortunately, my friends and coworkers from InterVarsity Press will be there again, in what will be IVP’s fourth year sponsoring Wild Goose. We sponsor each year because it only makes sense; so many of our authors are fixtures of the festival that Wild Goose is a sort of homecoming for us every year. This year is no different: we’ll be reunited with Kathy Khang (coauthor of More Than Serving Tea), Leroy Barber (author of Everyday Missions), Fred Bahnson (coauthor of Making Peace with the Land), Dave Csinos (coauthor of Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus), Mark Van Steenwyk (author of The Unkingdom of God) and Noel Castellanos (author of the forthcoming When the Cross Meets the Street). And those are just the authors we know about!

3649 3661 4114But wait, there’s more. This year Wild Goose has put together a “publishers’ tent,” which means we’ll be exhibiting alongside our other publishing friends. We’ll also have book signings by a handful of our authors, namely Tim Soerens (coauthor of The New Parish), Chris Smith (coauthor of Slow Church), Alexia Salvatierra (coauthor of Faith-Rooted Organizing) and Mark Scandrette (author of Free and Practicing the Way of Jesus).

And if you’re an author or aspire to be, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a “literary track” a Goose this year, too. One session, entitled “Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! How to Promote Your Book,” features our very own online publicist, Adrianna Wright. Or if your bucket list includes photo bombing a publisher, keep an eye out for our videographer Nathan Baker-Lutz (Nate), who will be collecting footage of all the goings-on. And of course the tireless Andrew Bronson will be around as well, making sure the whole thing goes smoothly. If you happen to stumble upon any of them, do me a favor and tell them I miss them. Then tell them to get back to work.

I’m envious, I admit it, that I won’t be with you at the Goose this year. The Goose is many things—a music festival, a curated conversation, a camping trip—but it’s also an answer to a broadly felt need. I’m reminded of the lyrics to “A Sort of Homecoming” by U2; what they sing about is what people come to the Goose in search of, and what they leave the Goose remembering with fondness:

And you hunger for the time
Time to heal, desire, time
And your earth moves beneath
Your own dream landscape.

Or as Speech might say about the Goose: Love is contagious.

by Dave Zimmerman, InterVarsity Press

Preparing for the Wild Goose

By 2014 Festival, Goose News

The festival is almost here! We hope you are as excited as we are! To help you prepare, we’ve compiled some logistical information: Click here to read.  And the Wild Goose Invitation will guide everything we do, so we encourage you to read it if you haven’t yet.

As you plan what you want to see and do next weekend, you can read over our program book. It is full of a wonderful abundance of offerings. Read it here: WGF_2014_Program

A few thoughts on the 2014 Theme: Living Liberation!
We want to live in a world that is set free from the bonds that have been placed on us and the bonds we place on others. We want to be free from the barriers of discrimination that keep us from living as one body. This year, the Wild Goose invites you to celebrate a new way of life.

Please let us know if you have ANY questions by emailing




Festival Schedule Posted!

By 2014 Festival, Goose News

Do you want to start planning your Wild Goose weekend? With such abundant offerings, we’re sure that looking over the schedule will get you excited about the Wild Goose experience!

The festival will have 15 venues with over 200 contributors to inspire, entertain and delight you! A myriad of options to touch your heart, mind, and soul.

Click here to see what’s in store!

(Note: that link is a Google doc, each day is on a different tab.)


By 2014 Contributor, 2014 Festival, Goose News

“Indeed our survival and liberation depend upon our recognition of the truth when it is spoken and lived by the people….[t]o know the truth is to appropriate it, for it is not mainly reflection and theory. Truth is divine action entering our lives and creating the human action of liberation.” ― James H. Cone, God of the Oppressed

Anika GibbonsAs the birthplace of Black Liberation, Mujerista, and Womanist theologies, Union Theological Seminary has long incubated truth-tellers and justice-makers.  In her film Journey To Liberation:  The Legacy of Womanist Theology and Womanist Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, filmmaker Anika Gibbons, a 2013 alumna of Union, takes a deeper look at groundbreaking social justice activists and many of the founding mothers of Womanist theology and Womanist ethics such as Dr. Emilie Townes, Dr. Jacquelyn Grant, Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas and Dr. Katie Cannon. This film will be shown as part of the festival’s Films track.

In the documentary, filmed in the oral tradition of storytelling, the women and current Union Theological Seminary students discuss their life experiences, their road to black womanhood, and the important role Union Theological Seminary has played on their road to scholarship.

Union will be present in the Discernment Area throughout the Festival, or for more information, contact Union at212-280-1343 or