Goose News

Contest Winner!

By Goose News

Thanks to everyone who entered our #WildGooseBumps contest for sharing your moments of community, joy and transformation. Since every entry was delightful, we picked a winner by writing everyone’s names on slips of paper, and picking one at random. So we are happy to announce our winner is: Bill Petersen! Congratulations! We encourage everyone to share your #wildgoosebumps via social media during #wildgoose14!

Here is Bill’s entry and a sampling of others to warm your heart: 

“Wild Goose Bumps came from a circle of 15 people in the midst of concentric circles of other Wild Geese gathered in a field receiving bread of the earth and a taste heaven from one another. We were fed with forgiveness and freedom in those circles, communion of the Spirit that rippled out of Hot Springs into the world like the rings of a pebble dropped into a pond, each empowered person embodying peace from that time and place.” – Bill Petersen

“I attended last year solo. I was a little hesitant….but the moment I walked onto the grounds two things happened. I first saw a banner asking ‘Who would Jesus Torture?’ Then saw a young man pick up and brush off a child who had fallen. It wasn’t his child, in fact he didn’t even know the kid! My heart said…’You are HOME!!'” – Vanna Fox

“Campfire Communion! We can’t stop smiling at the Goose!” – Tim Kerr (photo below)

“The Wild Goose Festival is another world in itself. A unison voice of song, praise and laughter declares the unexplainable joy among its fledglings. A voice that yearns for God, a voice that craves God’s love is heard among those who come to learn and explore their spirituality. But the most powerful of these voices is the voice of serenity. The voice that is hushed so softly that one can truly experience God in the quietness.” – Samantha Assael, 17 years old (photo below)

“One of my Wild Goose Bumps happened at Hot Springs in 2013 when I observed John Dear and Brian McLaren walking side by side in the campground. When I think of John Dear I think of peace and I knew that Brian McLaren was working on a book called We Make the Road by Walking. When I saw them together the phrase ‘peace walking’ came to me. I want to “peace walk” with my neighbor and my stranger and my enemy.” – Cindy Buckley

“The entire festival was so moving and inspiring. The best Goose Bumps that came out of it though, was our birth of our healthy baby boy Etienne, who was conceived there.” (Photo below!)
wild goose baby“My new friend and I sat up, long into the night, after the Indigo Girls, after the sing along, after the impromptu fire dancer, talking about the painful things said in churches. We talked about the salvation, the new life, in a theology of the embrace of women, of the Magnificat as revolutionary call. We uplifted each other, sisters (and brothers) as yet everywhere to be midwives evangelizing a bigger, healthier, stronger gospel.” – Jennifer Berry-McNulty

“Watching my 11 year old sing along at her first Indigo Girls concert (and my 20th!). And then watching her become an activist later that year after she heard at the festival about the protests for fair treatment of the farm workers in Florida.” – Beth Birkholtz

Dan Haseltine and Questions about Liberation

By Goose News
Photo by Wesley Duffee-Braun

Photo by Wesley Duffee-Braun

“We dream of a movement where everyone is welcome to participate.” – The Wild Goose Invitation

One of the most important ways we can grow in faith is to ask questions. At the Wild Goose, we are working to build a space where questions are welcome, where experience is valued, where scripture is deeply engaged, and where the Holy Spirit is invited to speak. We don’t think the conversation should stop at the edge of the festival grounds or at the doorstep of a church, and we are thrilled that Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay, has had the courage to raise difficult questions about the intersection of scripture and society in an honest search for greater understanding.


We’re going to be imperfect in how we ask questions. That Dan began a discussion on Twitter meant some things might have come out less than perfectly, but by asking his questions there, Dan invited a broad community to join with him in this exploration. We are excited to join with Dan to shine light into areas where we had previously been blind, including areas where we have used scripture to justify oppression and where we have used self-righteousness to discount devotion.

Sure, we should ask questions one-on-one, but we should also ask questions in the public sphere. In “Areopagitica,” his defense of intellectual freedom, poet John Milton wrote, “I cannot celebrate a cloistered virtue.” If our beliefs are so fragile that they have to be shielded from the world, maybe it’s time we found something more sustainable. We’ll continue to seek those rugged truths on Twitter and on a festival stage, in coffee shops and in riverside conversations. We’re proud to see Dan Haseltine sharing his questions too.