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Alyssa Aldape

Rev. Alyssa Aldape is the Associate Pastor for Young Adult and Youth Ministries for First Baptist Church of Washington, DC. She is a missionary kid who grew up in Pune, India. She is an active faith leader along Jen Butler and William Barber for Faith in Public Life and Repairers of the Breach ministries. She holds a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology.

Emily Joy Allison-Hearn

Emily Joy is a writer and spoken word poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy and writes at the intersections of gender, bisexuality, activism and faith metamorphosis. Emily has released two studio albums of spoken word poetry, competed in the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, and travels the country performing for churches, schools, conferences, festivals, and more. In addition to being a full-time artist, Emily is also the Communications Coordinator for Open Table Nashville, a non-profit interfaith homeless outreach organization, and a board member of East Nashville Hope Exchange, a non-profit that seeks to improve the literacy of at-risk grade school students in her neighborhood. When she is not traveling, Emily spends time practicing yoga and supporting the local Nashville activist and poetry communities. She lives with her spouse, two cats, and an adorable puppy.

Marita Anderson

Marita Anderson is a Chaplain with a Master in Jewish Studies from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. She has served as Chaplain Intern at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, providing spiritual care to families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Rehabilitation Unit. Additionally, she served as an Interfaith Chaplain at Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center, working with patients on the Oncology and Maternity Units. She is passionate about the exploration of spiritual resilience and courage in times of crisis. Marita also holds a Master in International Affairs with a concentration in Security Policy and Middle East from Columbia University. In her early career, she studied Arabic and Hebrew, while working as a researcher for various non-profit organizations and agencies in New York City. She was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine and immigrated to the United States at the age of 11.  Marita currently lives in Atlanta, where she is working as a freelance writer and educator. She shares her life’s journey with her husband, Rabbi Spike Anderson, and their three children.

Rev. Vince Anderson

Born in Fresno, California (the raisin capital of the world), Vince moved to New York City in 1994 to study at Union Theological Seminary with the intention of becoming a Methodist minister. The Reverend lasted three months in seminary, before sensing a new direction to take his music and message to where the people were – into the bars and taverns.

The Reverend calls his music, “Dirty Gospel”, a term reflecting both his musical influences and his theological perspective. He has released four albums, as well as playing a weekly show in New York City for over 20 years with his Brooklyn based band “The Love Choir”. He’s toured internationally as well as playing with artists such as The Roots, Daniel Johnson, and Melvin Van Peebles. His band includes members of TV on the Radio, Run the Jewels, Nick Waterhouse band, and Burnt Sugar.  Rev. Vince is currently setting the book of Psalms to music.

Rev. Vince Anderson   LISTEN

Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock

Rev. Dr. Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer with Convergence US. Prior to joining the Convergence team, Lindsay initiated, negotiated and implemented a unique merger between The Beatitudes Society (for whom she was Executive Director) and Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. She is an ordained Baptist minister who has served congregations in Virginia and Massachusetts, four years as an Advocate for Women and Children focusing on anti-human trafficking education and child sex tourism prevention in Southeast Asia and is the former Executive Director of National Farm Worker Ministry.

Andreolli-Comstock worked alongside indigenous leaders in Southeast Asia to conduct anti-trafficking campaigns in rural villages in Indonesia as well as developed and distributed child sex tourism prevention kits in Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia. During her time on the Board of Directors with the Alliance of Baptists, she served as Chair for the Ministry Partners Committee, was a member of the Justice for Israel and Palestine Committee and helped craft the Alliance’s statement in response to the death of Trayvon Martin.

Andreolli-Comstock is an accomplished speaker, consultant and preacher. She holds a BA in Religion from Chowan University, an M.Div from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and a D.Min from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her dissertation, “”More Than Charity: Educating and Equipping Lay Leadership for Social Justice Advocacy and Action””, can be purchased at the Theological Research Exchange.

Andreolli-Comstock speaks fluent Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of The Republic of Indonesia. She and her wife, Mary, reside in Atlanta, Georgia with their dog, Amber.

Shannon Axtell Martin

It has been almost five years since Shannon Axtell Martin started working for the NC Council of Churches as a PHW Regional Coordinator. She previously worked as a hospital chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Health, received her M.Div from Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and her BA from Catawba College. Shannon feeds her soul through outdoor adventures, art, music, cooking, time with her sisters and friends, and a weekly self-care tradition of walking with her family (her husband, daughter, and two dogs) to a local ice cream shop.

Nathan Baker-Lutz

Something sacred happens when people sing together. Nate Baker-Lutz and Josh Rockett launched Beer and Hymns Chicago after experiencing it at Wild Goose in 2013. With local musicians playing banjos, mandolin, guitar, accordion and anything else laying around they lead spirited sing-alongs where the only rules are faster and louder. They’re committed to minimal amplification, relying on those gathered to lead the way and guide the singing. They’ve also helped a group launch Holland, MI, spreading the joy to more saints, sinners and spirited sojourners. Each time people gather to drink and sing they also laugh, shout, dance and make joyful noises with the hope of rediscovering what it means to gather in the Spirit and allow great hymns to move through God’s people. All are welcome as we join the voices of the past with people in the present and look toward the future we can create together.

Find Nathan on Instagram and on Twitter.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, NC and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013.
He has keynoted hundreds of national and state conferences, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and has spoken to a wide variety of audiences across the country
Dr. Barber has served as president of the NC NAACP, since 2006 and sits on its National Board of Directors. He is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary New York and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Dr. Barber is regularly featured in major national media outlets and is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award. His two most recent books include Forward Together (Chalice Press) and The Third Reconstruction (Beacon Press).

Blyth Barnow

Blyth Barnow is a queer femme raised working class in Ohio. She now lives in Oakland and is a writer, preacher, and community organizer. In 2015 she launched Femminary, an online ministry with a working class, femme, perspective. She is a harm reductionist, survivor advocate, and practical theologian. Her work focuses on the reclamation of dignity and finding Divinity in the profane. She graduated from Pacific School Of Religion where she received a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and the Paul Wesley Ying Preaching Award. More of her work can be found at

Scott Bass

Scott Bass grew up in rural, southeastern North Carolina when schools in the region were desegregating – and churches were not. Messages from home, school and church about how to interact across lines of race were confusing. Racial tensions and inequities were commonplace.

Scott is now a family therapist living and working in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also offers spiritual direction, coaching, workshops, retreats and consulting. Current projects include working with a non-profit to increase inclusivity and working with a faith community to nurture meaningful communication about racial and political differences. Scott also works as Director of Victim Services for the nonprofit North Carolina Victim Assistance Network. He is married to Marcelle Clowes. They have 15-year-old twin humans and two cats.

Cynthia Bauer

Through her example, speaking, writing, and networking, Cynthia advocates for children with disabilities in Kenya, Tanzania, and the U.S. with increasing global interest. Cynthia co-founding “Kupenda for the Children”, with a Kenyan teacher, is narrated in a recently published book “An Unlikely Gift.” Born without her left hand, Cynthia was moved to action when she learned of the stigmas connected to disability in Kenya. Cynthia encourages others with disabilities to meet their God-given potential by sharing the message of God’s inclusive love in multiple ways including playing her guitar to demonstrate what is possible when opportunities are available to everyone.

Randy Bell

Randy Bell is the Director of Spring Creek Spirituality, a non-denominational spiritual setting independent of a specific religious dogma, welcoming all faiths and backgrounds as we explore each person’s individual spirituality using our everyday language. His spiritual path has taken him to many diverse sources, though he is principally a follower of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, Lao-Tsu, and has been a Zen practitioner for 40 years. He has written extensively on various spiritual topics; offers a spiritual sanctuary for individual retreatants in the mountains of western NC; provides instruction in various meditation practices; serves as a guest speaker/session leader; and leads spiritual and personal growth workshops and retreat sessions. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and the North Carolina Writer’s Network.

Jennie Belle

Jennie Belle was born and raised in Savannah, GA. She moved to Texas for her undergraduate education at Rice University, during which time she studied in Mexico, Peru and Argentina and participated in service projects in Central America. After graduation she moved to Spain for a year to teach English. Jennie then came to North Carolina for a dual degree M.Div./M.S.W. graduate program at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill where her work focused on advocating for farmworkers and organizing churches for social justice. Jennie currently works at the North Carolina Council of Churches where she is the Program Director for Farmworker & Immigrant Rights.

Bryan Berghoef

Bryan Berghoef is a pastor, writer, pub theologian, and author of the book, Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God.  He insists that good things happen when we sit around the table together and talk about things that matter, and what better setting than at the pub, over a pint. Bryan has been facilitating weekly pub conversations for the past seven years, recently in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, and currently in Holland and Saugatuck, Michigan.

Bryan and his wife Christy currently live in Holland, MI, where they are helping form a new progressive faith community:Holland UCC. They both sense that community is at its best where all feel welcome, where love of neighbor is extended and received, and simplicity and depth are at the core. Bryan’s writings have appeared in the Huffington Post, Sojourners, and Patheos, among other places.

Michael Birkel

Michael Birkel is Professor of Christian Spirituality at Earlham School of Religion and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader in Quaker, ecumenical, and interfaith gatherings. He has written several books, including an introduction to Quaker spirituality (Silence and Witness) and an exploration of the interpretation of the Qur’an among North American Muslims (Qur’an in Conversation).

Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People(Convergent, 2015), available in bookstores now. She’s also the author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury 2008) and the New York Times bestselling theological memoir, Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint(Jericho, 2013). Nadia has been featured in BBC World Service, The Washington Post, Bitch Magazine, NPR’s Morning Edition, Fresh Air, More Magazine, The Daily Beast and on CNN.

Jordan Bowman

Jordan has been coming to Wild Goose since 2011. He has volunteered for many years and now is serving as a contributor. Jordan also contributes to Goose and many other gatherings by serving with Desanka. A passion for loving and for being love to strangers all over the world coupled with a deep respect for the teachings of Jesus led him to Desanka and he jumped right in.

When it isn’t festival season, Jordan splits his time between perusing a Business degree from NC state University and leading a boys mentoring organization in the Raleigh area called Journeymen Triangle.

Jordan aspires to do many things during his short time here on this Earth. He plans to use his degree and life experiences to assist in the spiritual revolution, this time of global conscious awakening that we are living through and can be a part of.

Shawna Bowman

Shawna Bowman is a Presbyterian Pastor and a Theological and Liturgical Visual Artist. She pastors a quirky and radically gracious community called Friendship Presbyterian Church that meets in the Norwood Park Metra Station in Chicago IL.  Shawna works with churches, faith communities and not-for-profit organizations to help them tell their story through visual arts. She also paints, builds and invites others to encounter God through art-making during worship and other events. Shawna is passionate about empowering others to integrate visual-arts in their spiritual and worshiping life. She teaches workshops and leads retreats in order to provides space for artists to integrate their spiritual and creative selves as well as learn how to incorporate the arts in their worshiping communities.

You can find Shawna’s work and words at and her sermons and lectionary reflections at Her church is also on the web at

Kimberly Braun

Rev. Kimberly Braun, Minister, M.A., CSP and Meditation Coach has been devoted to meditation from the age of 5, with over ten years as a Carmelite monastic nun. Her Masters in theology was completed in 2001 in Washington D.C., and is concentrated upon the adult spiritual journey. She has a unique way of connecting to the heart and mind that of those with her, inspiring an experience the Spirit in which we live, move and have our being. Her style is playful, deeply inquiring, and intelligent in the synthesis of not only how to access this part of ourselves, but how to live from that place more consistently. She is a retreat and workshop facilitator, TEDx speaker, meditation faculty at the renowned Omega Institute, and fellow seeker on the path to living freely. Check out her Book, Love Calls, CDs, or book her for your retreat, church, or private session.

Ben Brazil

Ben Brazil directs the Ministry of Writing program at the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Richmond, Indiana. He has worked as a scholar, a reporter, and a travel writer, publishing in venues ranging from The Washington Post to Killing the Buddha.

Namoli Brennet

Namoli Brennet had already been pursuing a career as a touring songwriter and working as music director at a liberal-seeming church when she came out as transgender. People were both vocally opposed and supportive, and the church was ultimately forced to fire her despite the success of the music program. Since then she’s firmly established herself both nationally and internationally as a gifted, passionate songwriter and performer. She’s played on stages in the US, Canada, Europe and Mexico and was recently included in the Bilerico list, “50 successful transgender Americans you should know.” Namoli has been heard on NPR, German Public Radio and her music was featured in the Emmy-Award-Winning documentary, “Out in the Silence.”


Charles Bretan

Both of my parents were Jewish, but that is not what makes me a Jew. I am a Jew because I choose to be: because I choose to live my life in a Jewish way. I choose to study Torah and to live by its precepts; I choose to keep Shabbat and to follow mitzvot; and I choose to eat toasted bagels with a shmear of cream cheese, lox (not nova), and a nice slice of onion. Born and raised in Miami, I now live in Greensboro, NC with my wife, Gail, and our two sons, Lee and Evan. I am a teacher by trade and by disposition. With degrees in education from the University of Florida and from Nova Southeastern University, I have taught almost everything from composition to scuba diving and from leadership to life saving.

Anita Grace Brown

Anita Grace Brown is a wife, mama and yoga + meditation teacher hailing from beautiful South Jersey. Each day she enters the meadow with Sierrra, her golden retriever to affirm that ‘Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is”. She loves being a student of life even more than her role as teacher and humbly returns to Wild Goose for all the gifts of music, art and justice. Anita leads practice from her sacred heart connected to the Christ mystery in us all.

Poor Clare / Lacey Brown

Based out of Seattle, WA, Poor Clare creates original music inspired by the mysteries of God and life. Poor Clare’s music echoes the beauty of the Pacific Northwest: melodies that soar from the peaks of the mountains, lyrics exploring ocean depths, textures that rain from the clouds like a dream. Led by songwriter and performer, Lacey Brown, Poor Clare invites you along on a musical journey reflecting the beauty and pain of life.

The name is inspired by Clare of Assisi who (with St. Francis) founded a second monastic order that was later named the Order of Saint Clare (or, the Poor Clares).

May these songs be a source of light and hope in a world that is often too dark.   LISTEN

Whitney Brown

Whitney Brown is an artist-theologian, freelance writer, and educator who is always seeking adventure. Whether through work, volunteer opportunities, or just to support friends, Whitney has traveled throughout the Eastern United States exploring many avenues of ministry-in-action. Now settled in Memphis, she seeks to lead and serve through the arts in multiple venues. Whitney’s ministry has been most impacted by the movement of God in her own life through the love of family and friends along with the simultaneous brokenness of creation. While poverty, addiction, racism, and fear seem to abound at every turn in our world, Whitney’s goals in ministry are to make this world more like the Kingdom, beginning with her own heart and vision. Whitney received a B.A. in Religion from Maryville College and an M.A. in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary.

Find her on twitter @whitneymbrown

Claire Brown

Claire Brown is a writer, minister, and mama living and working in Tennessee. She is the author of  Deep Blue Life, a narrative-based, liberative spirituality children’s curriculum, and blogs about parenthood and theology at

Claire serves as the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. An alum of Vanderbilt Divinity School, she is a candidate for ordination to the Episcopal priesthood and is currently studying at the School of Theology at Sewanee. Claire and her partner have one young son.

Brother’s Bear

Brother’s Bear returns to the Goose with a new full-length album’s worth of stories and sounds to share. Brother’s Bear is a Baton Rouge based multi-instrumentalist quartet spanning the sounds of Indie Folk, Americana, and Roots Rock, while representing a wide range of cultural and spiritual backgrounds. They are working on their second full-length album. The band aims to add to the beauty of the world by creating honest, open-handed art.


Jeff Burns

Dr. Jeff Burns, a recovering evangelical/charismatic Christian and former minister shares about his peacemaking journey with Muslims in the U.S. and abroad in a series of popular stories that he has shared around the world in churches, mosques, and synagogues. Jeff has been a peacemaker between the Muslim and Christian community since 2005. As a charismatic pastor, his world got rocked, and he became a peacemaker and friend to Muslims when he discovered the core message Jesus which is loving my neighbor and treating other people the way we desire to be treated. His stories have given a lot of hope to people.

He lives in Carolina Beach, North Carolina with his lovely wife of 31 years Oceana, and their ten-year-old beautiful, energetic daughter Olivia. When Jeff is not working and traveling, his greatest joys are walking with his wife on the beach, body boarding with his daughter at low tide and writing.

Cody Burton

Cody is a passionate advocate for for social Justice and full inclusion of within the Church. He is an active member of The Well at Springfield in Jacksonville, Florida. Cody has helped to launch Beer & Hymns Jax in 2014 as well as The Intersections Festival earlier this year.

Jacqui Buschor

Jacqui Buschor is a justice-obsessed organizer, policy wonk, and soon-to-be-seminarian living on the Westside of Columbus, OH. With nearly ten years experience, her deepest passion is teaching and leading people of faith toward new, creative ways of doing justice together and experiencing the transformative power of community.

Diana Butler-Bass

Diana 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 is the author of nine books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015) and the widely influential Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012). Her other books include A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009), nominated for a Library of Virginia literary award, and the best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (2006) which was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY. Diana regularly writes at 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.

Joseph Caldwell

Dr. Joe Caldwell currently serves as the President of the Memphis Center for Urban and Theological Studies a fully accredited college level program devoted to making higher education available to some of Memphis, Tennessee’s lowest income neighborhoods. Additionally Joe has served in teaching and administrative roles at Gardner Webb University and Golden Gate Baptist Seminary. Deeply committed to social and educational justice Dr. Caldwell is currently chairing the “Memphis Teach-in on the Church and Civil Rights” which is part of the National Civil Rights Museum’s one year commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tony Caldwell

Tony Caldwell, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice, a Social Work educator at the University of Mississippi, and Director of College Ministry at Oxford-University United Methodist Church in Oxford, Ms. He is a member of the Memphis-Atlanta Jungian Seminar and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. As a public speaker, human rights activist, project facilitator, town hall moderator, and workshop leader, Tony has partnered with The William Winter Institute For Racial Reconciliation, The Human Rights Campaign, Mississippi Racial Equity Community of Practice, the W.W. Kellogg Foundation, The Sarah Isom Center For Women and Gender Studies, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Radical South Conference. Tony and his colleague, Dr. Jandel Crutchfield, have enjoyed success in their grassroots Together Projects promoting interracial and interfaith dialogue across the state of Mississippi. Tony loves writing about the intersection of theology, depth psychology, and social justice. You can find some of his writings at

Darren Calhoun

Darren Calhoun is an advocate, worship leader, and photographer based out of Chicago. He works to bridge relationships between people of differing perspectives through story and relationship. Intersectionality is his primary lens when facilitating dialogue and education about justice and inclusion for people marginalized based on race, gender, and/or sexuality. Currently, Darren is Worship Leader at Urban Village Church – South Loop, Associate Fellow for Racial Justice at Evangelicals for Scoial Action, in addition to owning Darren Calhoun Photography. He’s also an extrovert who loves hugs. Follow him on social media at @HeyDarren

Michael Camp

Author of Craft Brewed Jesus (2016) and Confessions of a Bible Thumper (2012), Michael Camp’s insights as a former conservative evangelical and amateur historian will open your eyes to spiritual paradigms rarely imagined today. Michael spent twenty-five years in the evangelical movement, as a missionary to Muslims, a development worker in Africa, and a lay leader in independent, charismatic, and Baptist churches before experiencing a huge faith shift.

Today, he blogs, attends pub theology gatherings, participates in non-conventional spiritual community, speaks to secular and faith-based audiences, and facilitates empowerment projects for the poor in Africa and Asia through his Rotary Club near Seattle, Washington. Engaging his journey just might set you free from the chains of modern, organized religion and “churchianity.” On such e-media as Homebrewed Christianity, Darkwood Brew, The New Covenant Group, Provoketive Magazine, and Recovering Fundamentalists, he shares his story and experience engaging the world with God’s inclusive love outside a traditional religious box.

Bart Campolo

Bart Campolo is an openly secular minister, speaker, and writer who currently volunteers as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Bart became an evangelical Christian as a teenager and was immediately attracted to urban ministry. After graduating from Brown University and serving as a youth pastor in Minneapolis, he returned to Philadelphia to found Mission Year, a national service organization which recruits young adults to live and work among the poor in inner-city neighborhoods. Later, the Campolo family spent nearly a decade working at street-level as part of the Walnut Hills Fellowship in Cincinnati, where Bart completed his deconversion. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2014, his work has been focused on inspiring and equipping all kinds of people to build more loving relationships, make things better for others, and cultivate a genuine sense of wonder and gratitude for the improbable privilege of being alive and conscious in the first place.

Joseph P. Carson

Joseph P. Carson, PE, is a nuclear safety engineer in the US Department of Energy and a “multiple-time prevailing whistleblower” – he is a deeply concerned Christian, engineer, federal agency employee, American, and human. In a real sense, Joe has been a human sacrifice to “the gods” of the “suicide machine” that our unprecedented global civilization increasing resembles – one’s professional standing and economic security – via his decades of much “suffering persecution for justice’s sake” in confronting, non-violently, civilization-threatening institution evil in his profession of engineering and the federal civil service.

Tom Chappell Lewis

In 2015, Tom Chappell Lewis accepted an unusual call: to leave a seven-year career in church-based youth ministry and step out as a chaplain to the bar scene. Embracing the concept of ministry of presence, Tom turned his mixology hobby into a serious study and acquired the nickname “the Bar Chaplain” from his time spent listening atop a barstool. As a PRN hospital chaplain, Tom’s ministry takes him everywhere from patient rooms to homeless shelters, but his passion is for taking this same skill set into Jacksonville’s breweries and cocktail bars. Tom consults with churches and bar owners and writes on theology, cocktails, and other topics at

Lucinda Clark

Lucinda Clark resides in Charlotte, NC where she recently completed a three-year spiritual direction program and started a private practice. She received her training at Charlotte Spirituality Center. Lucinda is grateful to journey and witness the unfolding of the Divine in those that she companions, as they seek a deeper awareness. Lucinda is a contemplative interfaith spiritual director, respectful of all faith traditions and inclusive of all people. She’s also passionate about volunteering her time in the community offering spiritual direction and she’s looking forward to being of service at Wild Goose.

Mike Clawson

Mike Clawson is the founder of the The Spiritual Transformation Project which works at the intersection of spirituality and social change. He recently completed his PhD in Religion at Baylor University writing a history of the Emerging Church Movement. A former church planter, he currently lives in Austin, Texas with his two children where they enjoy geeky movies, swimming holes, and taco trucks on every corner.

Claire Clyburn

Rev. Claire Clyburn is an ordained Elder in the UMC and pastor in Raleigh, NC. She’s the co-founder of Raleigh Beer and Hymns.

Illiterate Light

Illiterate Light is an alternative rock duet from Harrisonburg VA comprised of two best friends who strive to find the balance between late-night house shows and early morning farm chores. The Flaming Lips meets Contemplative Prayer meets Frank Zappa meets Apophatic Alternative Rock. Guitarist/singer Jeff Gorman is a student of Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation and plays guitar with his hands and bass with his feet as drummer Jake Cochran plays his customized drum set standing up while belting angelic harmony. Their prior Wild Goose appearance was in 2013 when they biked to Hot Springs from Harrisonburg as part of the “Petrol-free Jubilee Bicycle Tour.” They write about everything from non-duality to social justice to millennial dating norms.


Lerita Coleman Brown

Professor of Psychology Emerita at Agnes Scott College, is a spiritual companion/director, writer, retreat leader, and speaker. A graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Program at the Shalem Institute, Lerita writes about and promotes contemplative spirituality in everyday life, the life and work of Howard Thurman, and uncovering the peace in one’s heart on her website, and also on and Twitter. Her publications include, “Praying without Ceasing: Basking in the Loving Presence of God,” published in the edited book, Embodied Spirits: Spiritual Directors of Color Tell their Stories, and “Dissecting Racism: Healing Minds, Cultivating Spirits,” published in the edited volume, Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America.

Tim Conder

Tim is the founding pastor of Emmaus Way in Durham, NC. He organizes nationally with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) and locally with Durham CAN serving on their Strategy Team and as a leader of their Clergy Caucus. Currently he working with IAF on a national campaign against gun violence (Do Not Stand Idly By) and locally with CAN on policing transformation, affordable housing, living wage legislation, and educational reform in Durham. Tim is a PhD Candidate at the University of North Carolina in Cultural Studies researching as a pastoral leader/ethnographer in the NAACP “Forward Together” Moral Movement in NC. He is the author of three books including the forthcoming “Organizing the Body” (Fall 2016; Chalice Press), “Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible in Community”, and “The Church in Transition: The Journey of Existing Churches into the Emerging Culture. Tim is also a Trustee Emeritus at the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. and (to be launched in Spring)

Lil Copan

Lil Copan serves as Senior Acquisitions Editor for general trade books at Eerdmans Publishing. Having previously worked in acquisitions for several religious publishing houses — Abingdon Press, Ave Maria Press, and Paraclete Press, among others — Copan brings two decades of experience to Eerdmans. Among her areas of expertise are trade line development, project management, author and platform cultivation, substantive editing, and cross-platform content development. Copan has worked with an impressive array of bestselling authors, including Madeleine L’Engle, Scot McKnight, Debbie Blue, Amy Frykholm, Thomas Lynch, and Lauren Winner. She acquired Frederick Buechner’s Faces of Jesus for Paraclete in 2004 and was credited by Jana Riess in a 2011 Publishers Weekly interview for having “brilliantly suggested” the concept for her book Flunking Sainthood.

Jennifer Copeland

Jennifer is a native of South Carolina and an ordained minister in The United Methodist Church. She has pastored churches across the Upstate of South Carolina and for 16 years served as the United Methodist Chaplain at Duke University, where she also taught undergraduate and divinity school classes, served on committees and task forces, and attended lots of basketball games. She is a graduate of Duke University several times over with a BA, double majoring in English and Religion, a Master of Divinity, a PhD in religion, and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She is the author of, Feminine Registers: The Importance of Women’s Voices for Preaching and an editor of the volume, Preaching Gospel: Essays in Honor of Richard Lischer. Jennifer has two children: Nathan, a software developer who lives in Durham, NC, and Hannah, a student at the University of Tampa.

Sherry Cothran

Brian McClaren calls Rev. Sherry Cothran a “rare combination…an artistic/spiritual trifecta, a first rate singer/songwriter, a dynamic performer and trained theologian.” Leaving a career as an award winning recording artist for Mercury Records, NY to pursue a spiritual journey, Sherry Cothran, M.Div., ordained elder, United Methodist church, combines songs and stories rooted in ancient traditions, theology, myth and her ongoing work as senior pastor/wounded healer to the marginalized populations in her urban community. She fuses her gifts of writing, teaching, preaching, singing, songwriting and workshop presentations as well as her empathic counseling to help others unpack and embrace their own transformative Soul restoring, “wounded healer” power. Sherry has been featured in USA Today,, led at Festival of Homiletics, was the Artist in Residence, 2015, at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. The lead song off of her new CD, “Tending Angels,” is featured in a new music video by award winning film maker, Tracy Facelli.

Susan Cottrell

SUSAN COTTRELL is the prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children. She is an international speaker, author and spiritual director. Through her nonprofit, Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with characteristic tender-heartedness as she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with wise insistence that love of God and others is the foundation of faith. She spent 25 years in the nonaffirming Evangelical church, is President of FreedHearts, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, served as VP of PFLAG Austin, and was featured on ABC’s 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America. Her books “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith (Westminster John Knox Press), and True Colors – Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You, are endorsed by HRC, PFLAG, Gay Christian Network and others. She has been married 30 years, has five children, two of whom are LGBTQI, and lives in Austin.

George Craig McMillian

George Craig McMillian {Kirantana} began his formal spiritual research with the Catholic Brothers of the Holy Cross of Notre Dame. He had already mastered two styles of Kundalini yoga in over 20 years of practice in ashram and monastic life before meeting Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, who taught and initiated him into the Kalachakra Tantra. After having received a vision of the Universal Christ, he gave up all titles and compiled the knowledge of his three decades of spiritual search into the “Peace Yoga” classes and seminars. Today he is a musician, licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor, and teacher of peace studies.

Kaitlin Curtice

Kaitlin B. Curtice is a Native American Christian author, speaker and worship leader from Atlanta, GA. She is publishing a book with Paraclete Press this November titled “Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places,” a collection of fifty short essays and prayers centered around the idea of glory. She is a contributor for Sojourners and writes on the intersection of spirituality and everyday life on her blog. She is also a contributing writer for The Sisterhood of Progressive Christians. Kaitlin is passionate about helping people find the sacred in everyday experiences through storytelling. Her Potawatomi heritage and voice in the church give a unique perspective on continuing the conversation between the church and indigenous peoples.

Chris Davies

Chris S. Davies is the curator of Queer Clergy Trading Cards. She currently works for the United Church of Christ and is the point person for Congregational Assessment, Support, and Advancement at the National offices. Chris is a local beer enthusiast, creative queer liturgist, and dreamer beyond the normative church. She is a Connecticut native, a Cleveland transplant, and a wandering Irish Rover at heart. This project is a project of revolutionary love, bringing visibility to queer clergy, using humor and irreverence to help change the conversation to highlight common awe (and absurdities) in faith work. The project tells the stories of what oft is an isolating experience, and invites community beyond denomination. Chris loves Jesus and church deeply, and wants to help vision how we can transform the world, for the sake of the Gospel.

Aline Defiglia

Aline Defiglia LCSW, MPH, CADC is an integrative, licensed psychotherapist adventuring at the intersection of health, healing, and the restoration of connection in a disconnected world. Aline currently serves as a behavioral health provider at a primary care clinic through the National Health Service Corps. She also owns a private practice and works with clients using a unique blend of mind and body healing modalities, life coaching, and team performance improvement. She lives with her husband in Chicago. Discover more at

Julian DeShazier / JKwest

As a national speaker, advocate and emcee, Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier has appeared on ABC, CBS, FOX, and Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Oprah & Friends” radio program. J.Kwest is also an Emmy Award-winning musician, featured in the video “Strange Fruit,” a commemoration of the Billie Holiday song and a meditation on racial violence. In 2012 he and his group, Verbal Kwest, appeared in the OXFAM and Bread for the World-produced documentary The Line, providing a critical voice against poverty and violence in the US. The Chicago native and graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago is also pastor of University Church, which most recently worked on a campaign for a trauma center on Chicago’s South Side. J is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and McCormick Theological Seminary, and is a regular contributor to Sojourners and Huffington Post publications.   LISTEN

Sarah DeShields

Sarah DeShields is an artist and musician from Scotland, currently finishing her certification this year as a Spiritual Director at Charlotte Spirituality Center. Claiming a Celtic Spiritual heritage and a newness to the contemplative life, Sarah can be found creating spaces for the contemplative arts in communities, forming creative liturgies and sacred spaces where the invitation for all is deeply felt. As a spiritual director she has experienced the beautiful ministry of companioning others in their unique experiences, and is delighted to be returning for a second year at the Goose to offer her time as a director.

Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell is the State Director for the Human Rights Campaign where she
spends all her time fighting for equity, equality and inclusion for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer
(LGBTQ) people.
She was educated in the Jackson Public School District in Mississippi. She received an
undergraduate degree in English from Jackson State University (1990), a Master of Arts in
Secondary Education from the University of Mississippi (1996), a Masters degree in Divinity
from Southern Methodist University (2003) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational
Leadership from Jackson State University (2008).
Denise is an artist whose images reflect life at the intersection of Race, Sexual Orientation and
Religious Oppression. She sings, plays piano, practices American Sign Language, sketches,
reads and writes.
July 11, 2019 6:00 pm Hello Wild Goose
July 13, 2019 3:00 pm Shattered

Mims Driscoll

Mims Driscoll is a faculty member and spiritual director with the Charlotte Spirituality Center. Mims is also a certified trauma informed yoga specialist. Her passion for people led her to start Living Mangaliso, (Mangaliso is Zulu for You are an Amazement), an in person and online community that focuses on restoring people to their bodies, breath, souls and spirit. Mims’ training includes Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Children with ADD, ADHD, and those on the Autism spectrum, as well as Yoga for Veterans and those suffering with PTSD. Mims is of the contemplative Christian faith, with a passion for interfaith and ecumenical work.

Eiro / Ben Garrett & Holly Duncan

Holly Duncan and Ben Garrett are EIRO. EIRO exists to invite and equip churches to join in the flourishing of their communities. Through workshops, consultations, and relationship building, EIRO is bringing churches back into their neighborhoods where they can join in God’s reconciling work.

Holly is originally from Chattanooga and has lived in Tucker, Georgia for the past 11 years. Prior to founding EIRO, Holly was the Executive Director for NetWORKS Cooperative Ministries. She led NetWORKS through a change process to create a ministry that was focused on building relationships and aimed at empowering everyone who came into contact with her ministry.

Ben is a Marietta, Georgia native. He has worked with churches and nonprofits in Atlanta, Birmingham and Chicago. Ben is a fairly recent divinity school graduate and often still thinks on the quarter system

Tio Eshleman

Tio Eshleman is nothing if not passionate. From her early years in Pennsylvania to her exploration of the (inside) of a Pasadena mental hospital, she draws on her life as a gay, half-Japanese bipolar gal to create powerful stories of common humanity. Her stories pull you in. They make you giggle, ask you to sit with your tears and help you experience the “Ah…” of reflection. She is a highly-decorated physician and educator, recognized for her ability to connect with her patients and her students. If you don’t catch her in the middle of an operating room story to illustrate the beauty of grit, you’ll find her toodling about Little Rock, Arkansas. She can be found in the evenings relaxing by a backyard campfire with her mother, Setsuko, and with Sammy, her super smart poodle, IHHO.

Anne Findlay-Chamberlain

Rev. Anne Findlay-Chamberlain was ordained as preacher and teacher in the United Church of Christ in 2004. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University (1975), Shippensburg University (1985) and North Park Theological Seminary (2004). Anne served three different United Church of Christ congregations in Hawaii before returning to the East Coast in 2016. In her work as a pastor, spiritual director, and retreat leader, Anne loves accompanying individuals, small groups and congregations in discovering God’s presence in their lives.

David Finnegan-Hosey

David Finnegan-Hosey is a campus minister, currently serving as a Chaplain-in-Residence at Georgetown University. He is author of an upcoming book, Christ on the Psych Ward (coming in 2018 from Church Publishing Group), a series of reflections on his journey with bipolar disorder, psychiatric hospitalization, and Christian spirituality. David is passionate about the intersections between faith, story, mental health, and social justice. He also has a blog and a podcast, though who doesn’t these days (but don’t let that keep you from checking out A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, David lives in Washington, DC with his wife Leigh and their adorable dog Penny Lane.

Peggy Flanagan

Peggy Flanagan, a citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, is a longtime advocate for Minnesota’s children and families. A noted community and political organizer, she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November of 2015. Prior to joining the legislature, she served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, an organization dedicated to leveling the playing field for all children in the region. She also worked for eight years at Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, then as director of external affairs. As one of the original trainers of Wellstone Action’s signature program Camp Wellstone, she has trained tens of thousands of progressive activists, community and campaign organizers, future candidates, and progressive officeholders to make effective, sustainable, progressive change around the country.

Linda Flynn

Leader, Spiritual Direction Team

Linda Flynn is Executive Director of the Charlotte Spirituality Center, a spiritual and educational institute that offers training of spiritual directors, companionship in spiritual formation and spiritual direction in the Southeast. A spiritual director and retreat leader for sixteen years, she specializes in Ignatian Spirituality, discernment, twelve step, and the Enneagram. With a degree in Hospitality Management, Linda received her ministry training through the Jesuits, the Enneagram Institute, her certification from the Charlotte Spirituality Center and supervisory certificate from “Together in the Mystery Supervision Program” associated with San Francisco Theological Seminary. A member of Spiritual Directors International, Linda describes herself as a progressive, ecumenical Catholic who values community, non-violence, and equality. Linda is also the co-founder of the annual event “Blanket Banquet” for the homeless and author of the retreat workbook “Praying Twelve Steps With Jesus: A Journey Back to Wholeness.” Her hero is Dorothy Day.

Nathan Evans Fox

Nathan Evans Fox is an Americana/folk musician from Glen Alpine, North Carolina, where he grew up surrounded by country, folk, gospel, and Americana. These roots form the rich undercurrent of his music, which combines bluegrass riffs, folk stories, and religious imagery with unorthodox layers of sound and a heavy dose of wit. Fox has been writing music for ten years, experimenting with a variety of genres and learning new instruments along the way. He has collaborated with other artists as a fiddle player, guitarist, and vocalist. His lyrics confront political, religious, and personal inconsistencies (even his own), but also offer a meditation on what it means to live with and love another. Fox wrote, performed, and produced his first full-length album “Home,” which was released in January 2017. He lives in Houston with his best friend/wife Elizabeth and their dog Maisie.


Tuf Francis

Tuf (pr. “toof”) Francis began playing music on a single Middle Eastern drum, called a derbeki, 24 years ago. He broadened his musical repertoire over the next few years with guitar, drum kit, and song writing and recording. He was a public high school teacher, youth group leader, and praise leader from 1997-2007. He then took a seven-year hiatus from music to finish a doctorate in teacher education at the University of Michigan (inevitably making him an insufferable Michigan football fan). Currently, he is a family man, tenure track professor, scholar, public speaker, and active musician. His research interests focus on initial teacher certification, education program development, and building partnerships with inservice teachers. His speaking and musical efforts focus on helping churches and other organizations raise money for philanthropic causes. Check out his music video, To the Party, on Learn more about Tuf and his music: @TufFrancis and


Emily Francis

Emily M. Francis is a writer and urban educator with a MAE in English and Education. After teaching high school English for 15 years in Toledo Public Schools in Toledo, OH, she currently teaches first-year writing for the Writing and Rhetoric Department at Oakland University. She lives in Rochester Hills, MI with her husband Tuf Francis and their two children. She also teaches Jazzercise and spends most days writing, dancing and shuttling people about in her minivan. She has a passion for creativity and for helping others live creative lives. A few years ago, while doing laundry, she remembered she was a poet. Emily recently attended University of Michigan’s Bear River Writers’ Conference as a poetry scholarship recipient and is currently working on her first collection of poems.

Gwen Fry

The Reverend Gwen Fry is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Arkansas. Her experience coming out as a trans woman of faith makes her keenly aware of the necessity for the equality of all God’s children.
Experiencing the effects of discrimination first hand, she has been actively involved in the work of justice in the transgender community both in Arkansas and across the Episcopal Church.
Gwen is an advocate and activist for the transgender community who was a leader in the coalition of organizations who fought back the anti-transgender bills introduced in the Arkansas General Assembly this year. She is the Vice President of National Affairs for Integrity USA. She is a board member of Pridecorps, an LGBTQ youth center in Little Rock, Arkansas. An active member of TransEpiscopal, Gwen, also serves on its steering committee.

Tripp Fuller

Tripp is a husband to Alecia, Father to Elgin & Khora, a minister, avid Laker fan, competitive home brewer, & a theology nerd pursuing a PhD at Claremont Graduate University. He is also the self-proclaimed president of the John Cobb fan club where he holds the title of #FANiac in Chief.

Tripp is also a member of Homebrewed Christianity Podcast. Since March 13, 2008, Homebrewed has been bringing you the best nerdy audiological ingredients so you can brew your own faith. You will find conversations between friends, theologians, philosophers, and scholars of all stripes. What started as a reason for Tripp to interview the authors of his favorite books has turned into a community of podcasts, bloggers, & Deacons (what we call our regular listeners) invested in expanding and deepening the conversation around faith and theology. We hope you listen, question, think, and then share the Brew!

George Fuller 

Rev. Dr. George Fuller, Jr – Founder and Executive Director of Silver Compassion, born out of George’s 40 years as a minister in churches, community service focused on the homeless, mental illness and addiction as well as his 13-year journey of caring for both his parents and his in-laws through the end of life. He discovered how confusing and emotionally draining it was to be a caregiver. The Life Plan Compass Protocol was developed to help navigate the complexities of aging and address the insecurities of young adults, while securing the resources needed and sharing life with those we love. George holds a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry with a specialty in small group process. He is also a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a trained mediator.

Tret Fure

Tret Fure has released 15 acclaimed albums in her 47 year career. Her latest, “Rembrandt Afternoons” is receiving stellar reviews. In addition, Fure has engineered and produced a variety of artists, including herself.
Some of the awards Tret has won include The South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2 out of 3 categories, the Jeanne Schliessman award for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Music. and “Pride In The Arts Favorite Female/Lesbian Musician”. She is number 3 on the top 20 CD charts for and is number 1 on Reverbnation in the Hampton Roads area..
Tret markets her own line of clothing, teaches guitar and songwriting individually and in workshop settings and paints pet portraits on commission. Along with bridging the marketing, production, art and music worlds, Tret is President of Local 1000, The Traveling Musicians Union. She is truly a Renaissance woman!


Kevin Garcia

Kevin Garcia is a writer, speaker, musician, and creative based in Atlanta, GA. He graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2013 with a BM in Music Education, and has been everything from a barista to a corporate office worker to a non-profit professional since then. After coming out in the fall of 2015 as a gay Christian, Kevin has reached thousands of individuals across the globe with his blog,, his podcast, “A Tiny Revolution,” and through speaking engagements at churches and universities. He’s heavily involved with The Reformation Project’s mission to make the global church more inclusive, is presently a candidate for a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and an active member of Grace Midtown Church. In addition to LGBTQ advocacy, Kevin’s passions include vocal jazz, tacos, and really horrible dad jokes.

Sharon Seyfarth Garner

Rev. Sharon Seyfarth Garner, Director & Founder of Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction & Retreat Ministries, is an avid mandala colorer, mother of two, returned peace corps volunteer, and life-long contempl-activist (one who seeks to be grounded in contemplative practices while actively working toward peace with justice). Sharon is the author of two books – Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice and Mandalas, Candles and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent. Formally, she holds degrees from Swarthmore College (B.A.) and Methodist Theological School of Ohio (M.Div); and has earned graduate certificates in Spiritual Direction (Ignatian Spirituality Institute of John Carroll University), Diversity Management (Cleveland State University), and Ecumenical Studies (World Council of Churches). Informally, she loves being at her little cabin in the woods, kayaking, making pottery, singing loudly and talking walks with her husband and beloved dog, Bear.,

EIRO / Ben Garrett and Holly Duncan

Holly Duncan and Ben Garrett are EIRO. EIRO exists to invite and equip churches to join in the flourishing of their communities. Through workshops, consultations, and relationship building, EIRO is bringing churches back into their neighborhoods where they can join in God’s reconciling work.

Holly is originally from Chattanooga and has lived in Tucker, Georgia for the past 11 years. Prior to founding EIRO, Holly was the Executive Director for NetWORKS Cooperative Ministries. She led NetWORKS through a change process to create a ministry that was focused on building relationships and aimed at empowering everyone who came into contact with her ministry.

Ben is a Marietta, Georgia native. He has worked with churches and nonprofits in Atlanta, Birmingham and Chicago. Ben is a fairly recent divinity school graduate and often still thinks on the quarter system.

Gina Gass

Gina Gass was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She graduated with a bachelor’s in theater and communication from the University of Toledo. She works for the college of Engineering recruiting high school students. She has a Lutheran and Catholic background and is appreciative of all faith walks. She has been in numerous plays and wrote, directed, and produced her own show as her senior thesis at UT. She loves performing and connecting with people. She hopes to create a free flowing session where people from all walks of life will be able to relate and connect with each other in a profound way.

Anna Golladay

Anna thrives on curating creative & entrepreneurial possibility via Work of Place and Faithmarks. She is a United Methodist pastor, a creative ninja, entrepreneurial to the core and sarcastic to a fault. Via Work of Place, she helps urban churches understand how their underutilized facilities can work alongside burgeoning entrepreneurs, often lacking in resource and financing, with the intent of sparking both neighborhood revitalization and an increase in ideators who change their communities. She is also the curator and founder of Faithmarks, a photographic art exhibit that showcases the spiritual stories behind tattoos. With storytelling at the heart of this traveling show, Anna invites our stories to provide the creative foundation for the new Kingdom that is needed, not to bind us to the mold of the one that birthed us. Instagram and Twitter: @unholyhairetic

David V. Goodwin

David V. Goodwin is a recent MDV graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. During seminary he has organized for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Fight for 15, the People’s Lobby, and Seminarians for Justice. He is also a storyteller and creative writer, which he uses in his ministry to, among other things, retell biblical stories as anecdotes and folktales. At Wild Goose, he hopes to bridge these two passions, encouraging the storyteller in everyone as a powerful resource for building the world-as-it-should-be. You can find David on Twitter @theoforyourself and at

Melissa Greene

Melissa Greene is a speaker, singer, curator, pastor and writer. The first ten years of her professional ministry were spent traveling as an artist; seven of those years she sang as part of the contemporary Christian music group, Avalon (American Music Award Inspirational Artist of the Year in 2003, Grammy Nominated in 2005, and Dove Award Winning.) In 2009 Melissa resigned from touring and was immediately hired at GRACEPOINTE Church, a progressive Christian community in Franklin, TN. Melissa worked as Associate Pastor for 8 years at GRACEPOINTE curating the services, leading the music and arts program, nurturing the community and preaching once a month.

As the Hope Curator for Timothy’s Gift (a prison outreach), Melissa produces Concert Tours with other artists designed to entertain and uplift those in maximum security prisons. She is an intentional creator fueled by her love of the beauty, truth and goodness in this world, her belief of the inherent worth of all who inhabit it.   LISTEN

Bill Guerrant

Bill Guerrant and his wife Cherie raise goats, chickens, pigs and chemical-free vegetables on their farm in southern Virginia. Bill is a retired attorney, a seminary graduate and the author of Organic Wesley: A Christian Perspective on Food, Farming and Faith (Seedbed, 2015).

Morgan Guyton

Morgan Guyton and his wife Cheryl are co-directors of the NOLA Wesley United Methodist Campus Center at Tulane and Loyola in New Orleans, LA. He has just released his first book How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity with Westminster John Knox.

Elizabeth Hagan 

Elizabeth Hagan is the Executive Director of Our Courageous Kids, a foundation dedicated to orphan care education, a free-range pastor in the Washington DC area, and the author of a spiritual memoir, Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility. She’s now an adoptive mom and the family travel agent as together with her husband, Kevin they’re always planning their next trip. &

John Hamilton

John Hamilton is an Episcopal Priest serving at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Dahlonega, Georgia. Making ancient wise spiritual practices from his Anglican Tradition available to others is his current focus, outside his parish. Chief among these is the Daily Office. This year will be his fifth Goose. He studied theology at the University of Oxford and at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, lived in L’Arche, and was a missionary in Honduras where he learned serving the world well requires a foundation in prayer. In high school he found the daily office, also called the liturgy of the hours, and he has pursued this ancient spiritual practice both individually and communally for four decades, in four languages, on three continents. Basically he’s a daily office junkie and wants to get you hooked! But he advises caution: God just might answer prayer!

David Hansen

David Hansen has served in ministry in the United Church of Christ and more recently in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for more than 40 years. His studies at the Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union focused on religion and society and economic policy. He has served as campus minister in Oregon and Saskatchewan, and in congregations from Wisconsin to Hawai’i. He served as the conference minister of both the Hawai’i Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ. He and Sally, his wife, are parents and grandparents of an interracial, multicultural family that includes Christians, Muslims, and atheists, as well as French and Turkish citizens. His passion is to create a society in which interracial and multicultural justice and peace are normative.


Scott Hardin-Nieri

Scott Hardin-Nieri is partner, dad, spiritual director, pastor, and sojourner. He is the Director of the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina and Associate Minister of Green Chalice of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Prior to living in North Carolina, Scott and his family served in the vulnerable cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. There he learned to how to climb Fig Strangler trees, spot Two-toed Sloths, call like a Mot Mot, and listen to people and nature in a new way. Scott is an ordained pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and enjoys accompanying people during transformative experiences, whether during hikes, spiritual direction, wilderness quests, shared stories, service learning trips, live music concerts, camps or retreats. He continues to be reminded of his true self most clearly in the forests, oceans and deserts and seeks to invite others, particularly faith communities into conversations regarding creation.

David Harold

David Harold M.Div. LCSW

David Harold is a long time psychotherapist, social activist, and practitioner of cross cultural healing and meditative traditions, while remaining grounded in his Christian faith.  With over 40 years practice in Tai Chi and Qigong he is working to integrate principles from these practices with western psychological and Christian contemplative ways to embody personal and social peace.

Lyndon Harris

Lyndon Harris is the Co-director of Tigg’s Pond Retreat Center in Zirconia, NC, where he is developing a Journey to Forgiveness Institute. Harris is also a forgiveness coach, and an inspirational and motivational speaker, having spoken at numerous conferences across the United States and around the world. He served more than 20 years as a pastor and his work at Ground Zero as priest-in-charge of Saint Paul’s Chapel (located directly across from the World Trade Center in New York City) has been written about widely, including the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Christian Science Monitor. His work in forgiveness is featured in the award winning documentary, “The Power of Forgiveness” (Journey Films 2006).  Harris is also the Executive Director of the Gardens of Forgiveness, an educational non-profit dedicated to teaching the way of forgiveness as tool for conflict transformation and peace making.

Stephanie Hester

Stephanie Hester is the Founder and Visionary of Audacious Faith, the parent company of the Paint Your Story program. She is also a successful speaker and artist. Having worked with both Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies she has been speaking and hosting team building workshops for over 20 years. She began painting as therapy for her PTSD and her art is now displayed in homes and businesses across the country. In her own words, “I paint to heal, to communicate, to celebrate.” She is an advocate for our military and is involved with several organizations that support them and their families. The author of the motivational book Choose a Better Life: Common Sense for Uncommon Living, Stephanie’s mantra is: “you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond to what happens to you.”

Gareth Higgins

Gareth Higgins is a writer from Belfast, Northern Ireland now living in Asheville, North Carolina. He was the founding director of the Wild Goose Festival, as well as the zero28 Project, a faith-based peace and justice initiative in Northern Ireland, and Movies & Meaning, a community making peace through story and image. He has written and spoken widely on religion and conflict, art & spirituality and cinema and reducing violence. He leads retreats every year in Ireland, and is happy to be a work in progress.

Sheridan Hill

My life, and my work as a personal biographer, has taught me this: Life is a series of stories that you tell yourself; the worst mistake we make is believing our stories of victimization and repeating them in our heads, re-traumatizing ourselves and ensuring that we will continue to react instead of respond to each moment. Reactions rush forth out of past pain and are full of self-justification (the moral high horse); responses arise from an inner capacity to be-with-what-is (breathing into the vulnerability that love calls us to). I call myself a master griever because of the grief work that life foisted on me–no, graced me with–and am proud to work with forgiveness activist Lyndon Harris. I believe in the healing power of rituals as simple as lighting a candle with an intention, both as private actions and as moments of community-building and group witnessing.

Claire Hitchins

Claire Hitchins is a learner in life whose journey of radical discipleship has led her from food justice work in Richmond, Virginia to living among marginalized communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia, making an ancient pilgrimage across Spain to accompanying immigrant farm-workers in central Washington. In December 2015 her original music was featured on the blog of On Being with Krista Tippett, initiating a leap of faith into new musical pursuits. She recorded her debut album, These Bodies, which she self-released in October 2016. When she’s not on the road offering her music as medicine, she can be found at home at Charis Community in Charlottesville, Virginia, co-cultivating generative, resilient and healing lifeways in resistance to empire. Claire received her BA in Religious Studies from The University of Virginia in 2013 and served with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest ’15-’16.


Kristen Howerton

Kristen is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mom of four, and the founder of the blog Rage Against the Minivan, where she writes about parenting a transracial family. Kristen has a passion for engaging people on the topic of racial justice. She spent 10 years teaching students at Vanguard University on the topic of psychology and diversity, and is now a full-time writer. She also helps lead Beer and Hymns in Orange County, CA.

Matthew Huett


Matt has spent the past 20+ years as a pastor and a university professor. He has recently relocated from central Florida to western Carolina where he serves as a teaching pastor, bartender and campus missionary.

Gard Jameson

Gard Jameson teaches Indian & Chinese philosophy at the University of Nevada.
He is the Chair of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada and Children’s Advocacy Alliance. He is the author of 3 books, Phaethon, an epic of the West, Monkey, the epic of China, and Ramayana, the epic of India. He and his wife co-founded Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada and the Jameson Fellowship,

J. Marshall Jenkins

J. Marshall Jenkins, Ph.D., is a writer, counseling psychologist, and spiritual director. Through his writing and listening ministries, Marshall strives to validate the faith and empower the discipleship of people facing emotional pain. The Beatitudes point to rich insights for that mission, and he shares them in his Beatitudes Blog at and in his recently published book, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith & Purpose with the Beatitudes (Skylight Paths, 2016). He received certificates in spiritual formation at Columbia Theological Seminary and in spiritual guidance at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. Since 1987, he has served as Director of Counseling at Berry College and conducted an evening private practice in psychotherapy and spiritual direction. He lives in Rome, Georgia with his lovely wife, Wanda Cantrell.

Russ Jennings

Russ Jennings an avid reader and (in all modesty) an amazing cook. He’s from rural Michigan, spent a lot of years in the SF Bay Area, and now lives on the island at the center of the world, New York City. Russ has had many incarnations. His many years of concert production in the Bay Area led him to stage manage the Goose’s main stage for all but the first Wild Goose. In the last couple of years he has created a podcast ( that looks at Church issues.

Annette Joseph

Annette Joseph is an Episcopal Priest at Holy Cross in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. She works out in the community with many different denominations and faith communities. She developed the Worship Mob which happens between five local churches crossing not only denominational but racial lines. Just recently Holy Cross has been designated as a Jubilee Ministry for its work with poverty and advocacy. In 2013 she traveled to Luis South Sudan as part of a diocesan mission trip and taught a pastor’s class. She relies heavily on participation and interaction from the attendees and not lectures.

Shannon Kearns, Brian Murphy, Queer Theology

Queer people have more to offer the world and the church than what we are not. We have a unique way of experiencing the world and this is a gift to ourselves, the church, and theology. Do you want to move past apologetics and into a theology that is life affirming and challenging? So do we. was founded by Father Shannon T.L. Kearns and Brian G. Murphy to provide inspiration, support, and resources to LGBTQ+ Christians and their supporters.

Fr. Shay is a transgender man. He has an M.Div from Union Theological Seminary and is a Priest in the Old Catholic Church. He is also a playwright, speaker, and writer. Brian G. Murphy is a filmmaker, activist, and entrepreneur. He has a passion for using digital storytelling engage hearts and inspire action.

Brian G. Murphy is a filmmaker, activist, and entrepreneur. He grew up evangelical Christian in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and for the past ten years has been engaged in faith-based activism and social justice work. He participated in the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride and co-founded Legalize Trans*.

Brian has a passion for using digital storytelling engage hearts and inspire action. He works with visionary individuals and organizations to develop and share their work through online channels: web, social, email, and video. He has worked with qubo Television Network, GLSEN, Red Letter Christians, The Simple Way, Tony Campolo, and the Evangelical Associate for the Promotion of Education; as well as producing television shows and short films.

Shannon Kearns, Brian Murphy, Queer Theology

Queer people have more to offer the world and the church than what we are not. We have a unique way of experiencing the world and this is a gift to ourselves, the church, and theology. Do you want to move past apologetics and into a theology that is life affirming and challenging? So do we. was founded by Father Shannon T.L. Kearns and Brian G. Murphy to provide inspiration, support, and resources to LGBTQ+ Christians and their supporters.

Fr. Shay is a transgender man. He has an M.Div from Union Theological Seminary and is a Priest in the Old Catholic Church. He is also a playwright, speaker, and writer. Brian G. Murphy is a filmmaker, activist, and entrepreneur. He has a passion for using digital storytelling engage hearts and inspire action.

Brian G. Murphy is a filmmaker, activist, and entrepreneur. He grew up evangelical Christian in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and for the past ten years has been engaged in faith-based activism and social justice work. He participated in the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride and co-founded Legalize Trans*.

Brian has a passion for using digital storytelling engage hearts and inspire action. He works with visionary individuals and organizations to develop and share their work through online channels: web, social, email, and video. He has worked with qubo Television Network, GLSEN, Red Letter Christians, The Simple Way, Tony Campolo, and the Evangelical Associate for the Promotion of Education; as well as producing television shows and short films.

Doug King

Doug King (Graduate Study, Theology and Biblical Languages) is an author, speaker, and President of Presence International, an Integral Theology think tank revisioning the role of spirituality for the common good. Doug has a background in business, being founder and CEO of a technology company in Atlanta, Ga. for 20 years. Doug serves on the Advisory Board for Forum 21, a nonprofit dedicated to education and activism surrounding the UN Sustainability Goals.

Doug’s passion is a trans-narrative reframing of the biblical narrative, illustrating its move away from insular in-group concerns to an All-in-All God as our source. In his work in Integral Theology, Doug overlays sacred history with the comprehensive macro-developmental model Spiral Dynamics. Transcending us vs them dichtomies, Scripture comes alive again, revealing an all-encompassing spirituality inviting us to let go of alienation and live in full presence and connection – with God, self, each other, and our planet.

Sally Kirkpatrick

Sally Kirkpatrick loves playing with cloth and string, and the fibers of which they are made. She is a fiber artist, teacher and physician, who believes in the power of sensory experience to deepen and enrich our understanding and relationships, with ourselves, each other, creation and God. She lives with her husband and daughter in northern Maine, where wool abounds.

Alexa Klein-Mayer

Alexa Klein-Mayer recently graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in religious studies. After joining Students for Justice in Palestine her freshman year, she went on to serve in a number of roles, and worked on the NUDivest campaign, which successfully passed a divestment resolution through student government. Since August, she’s been organizing in DC with Friends of Sabeel North America and Sanctuary DMV. She will be attending Harvard Divinity School in the fall, focusing her studies on Buddhist chaplaincy, liberation theologies, and queer theory.

Jennifer Knapp

Jennifer Knapp is Dove Award winning, Grammy Award Nominated American-Australian folk rock musician. Jennifer is best known for her first hit single “Undo Me” from her debut album Kansas (1998), and the song “A Little More” from her Grammy Award-nominated album Lay It Down (2000). The Way I Am (2001), was also nominated for a Grammy. In total, the three albums have sold approximately 1 million copies. After taking a 7-year hiatus, Knapp announced in September 2009 that she was returning to music, releasing Letting Go (2010) and Set Me Free (2014). Jennifer is presently touring, and working on a new album. In addition to her passion for music, she advocates for others: in 2011, Jennifer launched Inside Out Faith, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ people of faith.  LISTEN

Jessica Knippel

We are a group of artists, academics, theologians, spiritual leaders, therapists, and activists (mainly from California, Tennessee & Georgia) engage in creative and dynamic forms of liturgical lament for various communities. We believe that creative community centered lament and the creation of space for grieving is the basis for creative nonviolent activism and insight.

Jim Kucher

A self-described “ecclesiastical agitator”, Dr. J. Howard “Jim” Kucher is an internationally recognized thought leader in social entrepreneurship. An Assistant Professor in the Brown School of Business and Leadership at Stevenson University; Kucher teaches courses in social and commercial entrepreneurship, marketing, management, sales, project management and product development. Jim also works as a consultant to leading and emerging social benefit initiatives and has assisted over 100 area nonprofits and social enterprises in developing new models for meeting the needs of their constituents while increasing the sustainability of their organizations. An ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), he has been an annoyance to various leadership boards at the local and regional level. Jim is the founder and lead organizer of Baltimore C.A.D.R.E. (Congregational Assets Deployed to Restore Equality), a grass roots movement to invest church assets back into the community with expectations of financial and social return.

Phiwa Langeni

The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is a trans-masculine genderqueer person who’s passionate about helping people understand that different doesn’t have to be dangerous. They are particularly effective in working with those whose identities align with the mainstream by helping people reframe society’s tendencies to lean into fear as the default. Especially in the last three years, their time spent in St. Louis, MO has shaped how they embody the intersections of their identities. It also continues to transform how they invite others into the liminal spaces between what has been and what is yet to be. Phiwa is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and is currently starting a new multi-faith community in Lansing, MI.

Victoria Lantz

Victoria Lantz brings to life her experiences of the Divine through a variety of creative expressions. She is an author, poet, podcaster, artist, speaker, song writer, meditation leader, spiritual gathering facilitator, and sacred listener. Her self-published books include God Is: An Accidental Mystic Discovers the Nature of God, You’re Not Crazy: and Other Encouraging Words Every Mystic Needs to Hear, Longing: Poems from a Mystic Heart, and Union: Mystic Musings and Stories. She also hosts the God Is Podcast available on iTunes and the You Have Been Invited Meditation Series available on Insight Timer. Additionally, she helps others embrace their spiritual journeys through her Let’s Get Real! gatherings and in one-on-one listening sessions. Currently living in Phoenix, Arizona, Victoria can typically be found hiking the desert landscape or playing her pineapple ukulele. Visit her website at

 I, Star, Silvermoon Chocolate

From the heart of Appalachia, I,Star rises… Encompassing a core fusion of husband-wife duo, MC/poet Truth-I Manifest’s potent lyrical flow, and singer/songwriter Aradhana Silvermoon’s angelic melodies- with a stellar band of multi-instrumentalists’ profoundly funky prowess- I,Star’s performances are a dynamic interplay of hard-hitting poetics weaving between evocative refrains, building to harmonies in the hooks. Their wholly original “folk-hop” carriage bears powerful and relevant commentary on personal and global spiritual transformation, stewardship of the Earth, social justice, and visionary love. With soundscapes ranging from simplicity in Aradhana’s acoustic guitar to the complex layers of the band, I,Star inspires listeners to groove deeply and journey into their rich imagery. Singer-songwriter Sus Long met bass and banjo player Michael Conner in seminary in 2013 and they kept talking because they liked the same books. The two started meeting up to play Ramones covers and bluegrass standards, eventually forming a songwriting partnership that draws on folk and jazz, country and blues, blending the best of two very different musical tastes.;


Luke Lingle
(Luke, Laine, Annabel, and Oliver)

Luke is a western North Carolina local who is searching for new ways to connect with God and people. Luke is an ordained United Methodist elder who has worked in the local church, as a church vitality strategist, and is now the Director of Community Development for the Missional Wisdom Foundation which teaches about and experiments with new forms of Christian Community. He is also a father, husband, basketball fan, and grill master.

As we are learning from quantum mechanics, at its most basic level, matter only exists in relationship to something else and we understand God as fundamentally relational within the trinity, so to know and experience God we do so most fully through relationship with others. Therefore, Luke believes that the way forward for Christian spirituality is through community.

Luke lives in Candler, North Carolina, with his family. and

Geoff Little

Geoff Little returns as a festival entertainer having formerly presented one-man plays SOLOMON (2013) and REDNECK (2014). Active in his longtime home of Nashville, Tennessee, he has performed live comedy and stories in numerous theaters and clubs. Geoff is a former co-host of TenX9 Nashville, a critically acclaimed storytelling group. He founded (and still leads) his city’s large Beer & Hymns chapter, which he jokes drives his most recent (and precipitous) descent into madness.

Jocelyn Lyons

Jocelyn Lyons (Joy) has been a spiritual director for 18 years. She completed her formation for spiritual direction and directed retreats at Creighton Univ. Jocelyn has led retreat, workshops across the country and locally. Jocelyn also holds a MA in Education (University of Connecticut) and MTS (Spring Hill College). She is an experienced administrator having served as a school principal and in other administrative positions.

Chad Markley

Chad Markley is the co-founder of Beer and Hymns Orange County, which was inspired after Kristen Howerton visited Wild Goose in 2014. It has grown from a small gathering of friends to a monthly event of 200+ people. Chad runs an IT company by day and loves connecting people through music.

Narcizo Martinez

Narcizo Martinez, affectionately known as ‘Pastor Nar’ or the ‘Christian Shaman’ (XianShaman), is a life-long lover and follower of the Way of Jesus. Central to his spirituality are Two Foundational Principles: (1) Great Spirit has expressed itself at all times, in all cultures, and through all people; and (2) God is Love. Nar has traveled within multiple streams of the Christian tradition since he came to faith during the Jesus Movement. He delights in the ability to freely flow within a broad spectrum of spiritual communities, expressions and practices … Christianity, Paganism, Hinduism, Buddhism and especially Shamanism – which he sees as the root of all religious and spiritual traditions.

Nar is a lover and a healer and a hugger. His gifts of healing are largely expressed through touch (Sacred Touch); through ceremony (usually involving the Medicine Wheel); through aromatherapy and massage; and through Sacred Plant Medicines. He is also an artist/maker specializing is handcrafted jewelry, a podcaster, and, yes, an ordained minister.

Michael Mather

Michael Mather is pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana (14 years). At Broadway we don’t run programs we hang out with people and find ways in worship and our life together to get involved in God’s abundance in poverty.

Brandon Maxwell

Brandon Maxwell is the Pastor of Worship & Spiritual Formation at Park Ave Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA and Dean of Students at Columbia Seminary. Brandon holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Jennifer McBride

Dr. Jennifer M. McBride is Associate Dean of Doctor of Ministry Programs and Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. McBride is author of The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness (Oxford University Press, 2011), co-editor of Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought (Fortress Press, 2010), and president of the International Bonhoeffer Society – English Language Section. Her work has appeared in popular publications like The Christian Century and and has been featured in the New York Times. McBride’s most recent book, Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel, is based on her experience teaching theology in a women’s prison in Georgia and participating in the Open Door Community, a Christian activist and worshipping community in Atlanta that has been engaged in mercy and justice work on behalf of the homeless and prison populations for over thirty-five years.

Robb McCoy

Robb McCoy is the Pastor of Two Rivers United Methodist Church in Rock Island, Illinois, and he also co-produces and co-hosts the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, which is a weekly Bible study based on the Revised Common Lectionary. In addition, it includes discussion on culture, the church, music, and features monthly author interviews and is said to be “…like sitting in the backseat as two pastors talk about Le Royale with Cheese.” Find Robb McCoy and Pulptifiction here @pulpitfiction

Marilyn McEntyre

Marilyn McEntyre is a writer, teaches part-time in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, and offers retreats and workshops around the country. She is a Fellow at the Gaede Institute, Westmont College. Her more recent books include Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice; A Faithful Farewell; A Long Letting Go; What’s in a Phrase? – Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause; and Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, all from Eerdmans. She lives in northern California. A new book, Make a List: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Minds and Open Our Hearts is forthcoming in spring 2018.

Brandon McKoy

Rev. Dr. Brandon McKoy serves as the Senior Pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC, and he is an adjunct instructor at Gardner-Webb University in the department of religious studies and philosophy. His book, “Youth Ministry from the Outside In: How Relationships and Stories Shape Identity” (InterVarsity Press, 2013) has been used by seminaries and divinity schools world-wide to reimagine ministry practices. Brandon is also an Associate for the Taos Institute—a community of scholarly practitioners who extend social constructionist dialogues into diverse settings.

He recently contributed the chapter “Seeing through the Mirror” in the book “Spirituality, Social Construction, and Relational Processes” (Taos Institute Publications, 2017). The book, an edited collection, explores ways that spirituality and social construction, can enrich each other for the benefit of the world.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good.

Notable among the many books he has authored are: “A New Kind of Christian”, which won Christianity Today’s “Award of Merit” in 2002; “Everything Must Change” tracing critical ways in which Jesus’ message confronts contemporary global crises; and We Make the Road by Walking, marking a turn toward constructive and practical theology. His 2016 release, The Great Spiritual Migration, has been hailed as his most important work to date.

Brian is married to Grace, and they have four adult children and five grandchildren. His personal interests include wildlife and ecology, fly fishing and kayaking, music and songwriting, art, history, and literature.

Joe McLean

A veteran political and public affairs specialist with a winning history in groundbreaking political campaigns, not-for-profit institutions and advocacy organizations, McLean was part of the founding leadership team of Barack Obama’s successful U.S. Senate race and managed Governor L. Douglas Wilder’s historic election in Virginia.

He is widely recognized for breaking new strategic ground to keep his clients ahead of the political curve. McLean established the development structure for, which rose to prominence by making the voices of soldiers and veterans heard in the debate about the Iraq war.
McLean currently serves as President of the Crockett Policy Institute, a non-partisan think-tank dedicated to finding practical solutions to policy roadblocks in our hyper-partisan, divided polity.

McLean lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Kiki McLean and their two children.

John Mark McMillan

A singer songwriter who’s not afraid to explore difficult subjects. His songs, delving into deep waters are described as, “…an ongoing dialogue with God, ever-wrestling for some kind of blessing and usually at volumes most suited for rock clubs.” John Mark McMillan has performed as a solo artist for over 10 years and launched his own record label, Lionhawk Records, through which he released his latest full-length album Borderland. Don’t miss Mercury & Lightning, his upcoming release.   LISTEN

Michael T. McRay

Michael T. McRay is a writer, educator, and storyteller. He’s the author of “Letters from ‘Apartheid Street’: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine” and “Where the River Bends: Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners.” He’s adjunct faculty at Lipscomb University, founder/curator of Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, and initiator of Narrative 4 Tennessee. He holds a master’s in conflict resolution and reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin | at Belfast.

Ken Medema

Across the years, Ken has shared his passion for learning and discovery through storytelling and music with an ever-growing circle of followers around the world. Ken has been performing for over 40 years in many different venues: churches, conventions, colleges, corporations and more, for groups ranging from 50 to 50,000 people. Though blind from birth, Ken sees and hears with heart and mind, singing stories from his audience and accenting themes and perspectives from speakers and workshop leaders. Ken custom designs every musical moment through improvisation and new composition to bring each event to life. Ken and his wife, Jane, make their home in Alameda, California. Together, they work on program designs and song lyrics, making time to explore new developments in religion, psychology and culture. They share a passion for movies (yes, Ken is an avid movie consumer), books, new music and politics, and love keeping up with two feisty grandchildren.   LISTEN

Carol Howard Merritt

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt (@CarolHoward) is a minister whose writing, speaking, and teaching is anchored in theological wisdom and sociological insight. She’s a sought-after keynote speaker, especially on the topic of ministering in a new generation. 

After being raised as a conservative Baptist and attending a fundamentalist Bible college, Carol studied at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas and became a Presbyterian (USA) Minister. She’s known for serving growing Presbyterian (USA) churches, especially those with a deep commitment to serving the poor and disenfranchised.

The award-winning author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation, Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation, and Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church. Carol is a frequent contributor to books, websites, magazines, and journals. She is a regular writer at the Christian Century where her blog is hosted. She also co-hosts the thought-provoking podcast, God Complex Radio, with Rev. Derrick Weston.

When not at a podium, pulpit, or an airport, Carol can be found in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her pastor-activist husband, Brian Merritt, and their daughter, Calla.

Kristie Miles

Kristie Miles is an Ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister and the Director of Pastoral Care at Westminster Canterbury of Lynchburg Retirement Community in Virginia. She is a Certified Thanatologist and tries to balance that by practicing Laugha Yoga. Her favorite ancient Greek word is “Spoudogeloios” which is formed from two words: “spoudos,” which means “serious” or “earnest,” and “gelein,” which means “to laugh.” In other words, “spoudogeloios” is “serious-playful” or “solemn-joyful.” Hot Springs is her favorite place in the United States!

Ryan Miller

Ryan has been involved in ministry since 1998, and has worked as a Youth & Family Pastor, Campus Pastor, Missionary, Church Planter & Brew Theologian.

Ryan is the founder and Co-Director of Brew Theology. He currently serves as the Director of Denver Brew Theology. Ryan is a licensed minister, seminary graduate and enjoys quality craft beer, and meaningful conversation within genuine community. He’s also an avid San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Cowboys & Texas Longhorns faniac!

Ryan and his wife, Lauren, along with their two daughters live in the “best ‘hood in the US of A – Platt Park!” To learn more about Ryan, head over to or

Mary Ellen Mitchell

Photo and Bio to come.

Mike Morrell 

Mike Morrell is the Communications Director for the Integral Theology think-tank Presence International, co-founder of The Buzz Seminar, and a founding organizer of the Wild Goose Festival. Mike curates contemplative and community experiences via Relational Yoga, the ManKind Project, (H) Opp and Authentic North Carolina, taking joy in holding space for the extraordinary transformation that can take place at the intersection of anticipation, imagination, and radical acceptance. Mike is also an avid writer, publishing consultant, author coach, futurist, and curator of the book-reviewing community at He lives with his wife and two daughters in North Carolina. You can read Mike’s ongoing exploration of Spirit, Culture, and Permaculture – and receive free exclusive updates – right here.

Taleese Morrill

Taleese Morrill is the Youth Ministry Coordinator at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville. She moved to the mountains with her husband seven years ago where they were inspired by the passion and activism of the faith community around them. She is passionate about doing away with the purity-culture shame that encompassed her youth and focusing on constant transparency and openness in her work with teenagers.

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is the Senior Pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, “preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.” As a recipient of the 2016 NAACP Chairman’s Award, Dr. Moss was named one of 5 trailblazing leaders under the age of 50 who have “given voice and vision to the mantra that black lives matter.” 

With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative Bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. He is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.

Micah Murray

Micah is your typical somewhat disillusioned-but-tenaciously-hopeful post-evangelical millennial. He grew up in a weird home school cult, did a brief stint as a missionary in Africa, went to Christian college, got married, had two kids, got divorced, and now goes to therapy a lot and writes angsty stuff on the internet. People tell him all the time that he shouldn’t be a Christian anymore after all the shit he’s experienced in the name of that religion, but by some combination of stubbornness, laziness, and the grace of God, he still claims that faith (most days). Micah lives in Minneapolis with his two wild boys, where he makes websites for artists and authors and entrepreneurs and waits (impatiently) for spring. 

Michael Nagler 

Michael Nagler is Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley, and is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into Korean, Arabic, Italian and other languages; Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence (2005); The Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran, 1987), and other books as well as many articles on peace and spirituality.

He has spoken for campus, religious, and other groups on peace and nonviolence for many years, especially since September 11, 2001. He has consulted for the U.S. Institute of Peace and many other organizations and is the founder President of the board of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education. Michael has worked on nonviolent intervention since the 1970’s and served on the Interim Steering Committee of the Nonviolent Peaceforce.

Andrew Nelson

Andrew Nelson is a singer/songwriter from Holland, MI. Playing music that meditates on themes of love, loss, hope, and redemption, Andrew has been writing and performing music for the past 10 years. His music is best described as Contemplative Folk. When he’s not working on his own music, Andrew is usually found in his studio working with his production company, Far Room Productions.   LISTEN

Ruthanne Niehaus

Ruthanne Niehaus is devoted to the experience of gracious mysticism that connects us all. She is an eclectic chaplain and meditation teacher. Her mantra is Wow, Whoosh and Wheeeeeee!

Abby Norman

Abby Norman is a former teacher who is currently in seminary at Candler and seeking Methodist ordination. Abby has an awesome husband and two hilarious children. You can find out about all of that at

Thomas Orjala

Inspired by Jesus, Thomas Orjala’s lifework is to touch, move and inspire others to live happy, transformed lives. A long time spiritual seeker, he believes that service is the most sacred privilege, and happiness providing activity, in which a religionist might participate.

A graduate of many cutting edge courses given by Landmark Education, he is a visionary who creates and develops programs and events providing a lasting spiritual impact. Thomas has served on the boards of InnerLife International, his local Church, and serves on the General Council of the Urantia Book Fellowship and its Outreach Committee. He travels often presenting the Urantia Book’s teachings. Thomas co-created Cosmic Café, an open forum for inter-religious community dialogue.

He commits his ministry to bringing forth the highest concepts of spiritual living, transforming himself, his community and his world. Being a little far-sighted, a favorite motto is: “Transforming the Universe, One Planet at Time”

Jennifer Ould 

Jennifer’s journey has brought her from the heart of hardcore fundamentalism, through conservative evangelicalism to a much more open and curious faith. Along the way, she has been a Republican activist, graduated from Tennessee Temple University, received an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, worked to build bridges between conservative Christians and the LGBTQ+ community, served on the vestry of a progressive Episcopal church, helped launch Gilead, an inclusive non-traditional church near her home in Chicago’s most diverse neighborhood, and advocated for the LGBTQ+ community in uncomfortable spaces. Wild Goose has been an important part of Jennifer’s journey and she hopes to continue helping make it a space that welcomes questions and transformation.

Jennifer runs, preaches, is learning storytelling, and blogs at

Rod Owens 

Lama Rod Owens, officially recognized by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, is one of the leading teachers of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Sangha and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and Natural Dharma Fellowship. He will be completing a Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School in May where he has been focusing on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is also heavily engaged in social change work and has just released a book with Rev. angel Kyodo Williams and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah entitled, Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. He can be reached through his website

Meridith Owensby, Mary Ellen Mitchell, and Anne Housholder

Meridith Owensby, Mary Ellen Mitchell and Anne Housholder are founding members of Lydia’s House, an intentional Christian community in the Catholic Worker tradition located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lydia’s House has been providing transitional housing to homeless women, some with children, since its inception in 2014 and is currently working to expand into permanent, affordable housing. Between them Meridith, Mary Ellen and Anne have 25 friends of friendship, 13 years living in intentional community, four masters degrees (public health, rehabilitation, and theology x 2), one doctorate (medicine), three children (Annie, Sam and Jacob) and are faithful members of Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal churches. In the collective practices and celebrations of Lydia’s House Meridith specializes in custom limericks and prayers, Anne in baking, badge making and hand-made decor and Mary Ellen in holding space for joy and levity.

Doug Pagitt

Doug is a novice ultra marathoner who at this very moment wishes he was out on a run. And in his spare time he’s a pastor ( Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis), an author, and a convener who seeks to be a goodness conspirator & possibility evangelist finding creative, entrepreneurial and generative ways to enlist people to join in the hopes, dreams, and desires of God for the world.  He also gives leadership to the OPEN Network – a collective seeking to bring about a just and generous Christianity. He has authored seven books , most recently Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God. Doug and his wife Shelley live in Edina, Minnesota and are parents of 4 young-adult children, and one little grand child.

Facebook:    Twitter: @Pagitt    Instagram: @DougPagitt     Website:

Laura Parrott Perry

Laura Parrott Perry is a writer, speaker, and co-founder and CEO of the non-profit Say It, Survivor – an organization devoted to helping survivors of child sexual abuse reclaim their stories as part of the path to healing.  She is the author of the popular blogs, In Others’ Words, and The Golden Repair on Her work has been featured on Trigger Points Anthology, No Make-up Required, Huffington Post and in Boston Magazine. Laura is a frequent public speaker on the topics of story, child sexual abuse, addiction and shamelessness, and was a contributor at Wild Goose Festival 2016.

Laura is currently writing her first book on the topic of story and the power it wields in our lives. She is the single mother of two incredible human beings and the devoted servant to a glorious dog.,

Trybal Revival

Trybal Revival Circle Singers’ birthplace was the drum circle. In 2007, we started to meet outside of the drum circle in founding member Tomme Mailes’s home. The communal improvisational style of circle singing that we practice is circular and often rhythmic. Trybal Revival members are diverse, coming from a wide range of spiritual traditions, identities and ages. Over the years, we have done performances and workshops, but the core of what we share is community. We believe that music making can be accessible to everyone. The simple forms that we use do not require musical training or any expert musical ability. We have found circle singing to be a spiritual practice as we listen deeply, trusting the flow as songs emerge, change, and end when they end.

John Pavlovitz

John Pavlovitz is a writer and pastor from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past three years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse audience of millions. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John’s mission is to help the Church become a more compassionate, loving environment for all people. He serves on staff at North Raleigh Community Church and his first book A Bigger Table, will be released in October.

Eine Blume

Eine Blume is Missouri based wife and husband folk duet, Erin and Caleb Paxton. Their songs are intimate, atmospheric and soulful. Someone once said, “ ascending into a warm velvety fairy tale”. They spin their words and melodies from faith, parenthood, poetry, living and dying.


Daniel Petersen-Snyder

Daniel Petersen-Snyder, CCP Board Member and Facilitator, has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York since 1991, mostly working with children and youth with severe psychiatric and emotional problems. As part of his work he developed curriculum for training staff on inpatient psychiatric units in creating nonviolent therapeutic environments which encourage tolerance and healing. He is also an instructor in training to prevent child abuse and sexual harassment.

Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm

Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm invite you to sing, dance and pray with us, as we offer 3,000 year old poems and songs of justice and mercy to all who work for justice and mercy today! The FolkPsalm Trio is Charles Pettee (guitar, vocals), Brittany Whitmire (vocals), & Terry Allebaugh (harmonicas), who – along with your participation and laughter — bring these prayers to life. “The Psalms have not sounded fresher or more urgent since the day each of them was first sung,” writes Dr. Ellen Davis of Duke Divinity School of Pettee’s original musical settings of these Scriptures. Come hear the Psalter sung bluegrass-style; dancing is encouraged!

“A Dove on Distant Oaks: Psalms for the Journey” is the fourth and latest album from the group, continuing their quest to share the good news of God’s never-ending love, offering sustenance for the never-ending quest for justice, through song, dance, and prayer, as modeled by these sacred poems and prayers.


Mike Phillips 

Mike Phillips recently left a 25-year career in aerospace Information Technology to pursue a career in Restorative Practices. The new social science of Restorative Practices focuses on the common humanity in us all and provides a means to break through the sense of “other”-ness. As a restorative facilitator, Mike uses restorative processes to create emotionally safe spaces and cultivate relationship development.
Mike attends the United Methodist Church of Fort Worth Texas. He has facilitated groups at the church and at rehab centers.
Mike is also working with Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University to bring the traveling Forgiveness Project exhibit to Dallas and Fort Worth.
My stand is that every human being on the face of the planet gets a chance to be heard, and experiences being known and loved.

Christian Piatt 

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date, and Hachette published his first hardcover book, “postChristian: What’s left? Can we fix it? Do we care?” in 2014. His first novel, “Blood Doctrine,” has been optioned by a Hollywood production company for a possible TV series.

Christian is the cofounder and cohost of the Homebrewed CultureCast, a podcast about popular culture, current events and spirituality that has a weekly audience of 25,000 people.

Sarah Potenza 

Sarah 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. Sarah recently released an album, Monster, and she is currently touring the US.  LISTEN

Lobo Marino

Named after the enormous Pacific Sea Lion, Lobo Marino’s brand of experimental folk draws from a rich palette of international and folk influences.
Built primarily on harmonium, percussion, banjo and various unique instruments and voices, Lobo Marino continues to evolve as the musical response to the continuous travels and ongoing spiritual journey of its members, Laney Sullivan and Jameson Price.
They are also the founders of the Earth Folk Collective and Fonticello Food Forest in Richmond,VA. Deeply dedicated to environmental and social causes, when traveling they carry in their music a message of humanity’s need for reconnection with the earth. While at home, they spend time community organizing and running their donation based educational homestead The Earth Folk Collective.


John Prigmore 

My path led me to meditation about a decade ago and then back to the Church shortly thereafter. Through many twists and turns, I was eventually led to this amazing, open, generous and loving community we call Wild Goose. I have been morphing in wonderful ways ever since, spreading the Gospel of Wild Goose everywhere I go! Among other things, I volunteer to help with the setup and breakdown, coordinate food venders and will lead an Ignation meditation Sunday morning. If you are reading this, I’d love to meet you and share a big, sweaty warm hug! Honk Honk!

Paul Rack 

Paul and Susan Rack are Presbyterian ministers serving small churches in New Jersey. They have been trained under Russ Hudson at the Enneagram Institute in Stone Ridge, NY. They do workshops, seminars, and counseling using the Enneagram in different contexts. (They have attended Wild Goose Festivals since 2011.)

Janel Apps Ramsey

Co-Director of Brew Theology and Director of NW Metro Brew Theology, Janel Apps Ramsey has been in ministry since college. She has served as Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Worship Leader, Church Planter, & Prayer Director. She has taught all age levels throughout her career.
Janel is a seminary graduate and runs a house church for people reorienting in their faith. She enjoys walking with people through their faith journey. She loves Brew Theology, Colorado, washi tape, and mountains.
Janel and her husband Baird live on the north side of Denver with two cats. They periodically also have pet hedgehogs. You can see more of her work at

Hannah Rand

Hannah Rand has been writing songs and performing since she was 12, winning a Grammy Foundation songwriting award while still in high school. Her first year at Belmont University she won the highly competitive ASCAP/Belmont Best of the Best show – unprecedented for a Freshman – and continued to win awards throughout college. Her senior honors project was a deep dive into classic songs from master songwriters like Dylan, Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, and Adele. The result was the recently-released, “Standing on Shoulders,” a beautiful and emotionally compelling album of 6 covers and 6 originals. Sometimes compared to a young Sarah McLachlan, this 22-year-old is still uniquely her own person, with an indie pop/folk sensibility in her arrangements, and a musical sophistication beyond her years. Hannah’s also a lead singer in the alt worship band, The Many, and writes most of their songs.  LISTEN

Gary Rand

Gary Rand, group lead for worship and liturgy for the Wild Goose Festival, is the Director of Worship Activities and Adjunct Professor in Worship at Chicago’s McCormick Theological Seminary, and for 10 years was director of worship and the arts at the progressive, inclusive, justice-focused LaSalle Street Church. He’s studied worship with John Bell at Iona in Scotland, spent time with the Taize community in France, immersed himself in Black Gospel music under the tutelage of Gospel Legend Elsa Harris, and leads workshops on progressive worship across the country.

He’s also co-founder of The Plural Guild, a website resource for liturgy, congregational music and discussion on worship issues, and he writes for and produces the alt-worship band The Many. Follow him on Twitter @GaryERand and @ThePluralGuild.

Lenora Rand 

After spending over 25 years as a creative director at one of the world’s largest ad agencies, helping brands define and live their purpose, Lenora now helps individuals, churches and organizations do that for themselves through mentoring, consulting and her popular SELF. PROCLAIMED. Manifesto-Writing Workshops. She blogs with honesty, humor and disarming wisdom about trying to be more spiritual when you’re not very good at it on her Chicago-Tribune-hosted blog, Spiritual Suckitude, and co-directs THE PLURAL GUILD, a collective crafting music, prayers, visual art & liturgy for people who want to do justice, love mercy, and worship in new ways that welcome all. Because she never sleeps, she also writes lyrics for the band THE MANY, helps with communications for Wild Goose, and runs a boutique ad agency called smallGOOD, helping small businesses, solopreneurs, churches and non-profits grow their good.

Russell Rathbun  

Niche historian, writer and preacher Rev. Russell pursues radical mercy, a cynicism of hope, and a grateful exhaustion of meaning on the shores of the Salton Sea in the Southern California desert South of the Coachella festival grounds and just North of the Great, Great Wall construction site. He is a founding minister with Debbie Blue at House of Mercy church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His most recent book, The Great Wall of China and the Salton Sea: Monuments, Missteps and the Audacity of Ambition (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2017) is the first in his Salton Sea Trilogy.

Steve Ray

Steve Ray produces the podcast Farming God on the spiritual adventure of America’s emerging generation. He travels to China, Mexico, and across middle America, asking bigger questions that broaden our understanding, fuel our imagination, and put our anxiety into perspective. He needs your help. Join the journey at

Randy Reed

Dr. Randall Reed is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He is a sociologist of religion who works on millennials and the Emerging Church movement. He is coeditor of a forthcoming book “Millennials, the Emerging Church, and Religion: Problems and Prospects” (Cascade Press, 2017) as well as several academic articles on the Emerging Church and/or millennials.

Joerg Rieger

Joerg Rieger is Distinguished Professor of Theology and holds the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair in Wesleyan Studies at Vanderbilt University. Author and editor of more than 20 books, his most recent books include Unified We Are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger, 2016) and Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice (2015). This session will further develop the argument of his book Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (2007). His books have been translated into various languages and lectures around the globe.

Patrick Reyes

Dr. Patrick B. Reyes is a Latinx practical theologian, educator, administrator and institutional strategist. He currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration ( His expertise is helping communities, organizations, and individuals excavate their stories to create strategies and practices that promote their thriving. He consults, speaks, and offers workshops for communities seeking to embody their vision of justice and inclusion. Informed by his home community of Salinas, California, Patrick has published research focusing on the intersection of popular religiosity and social action. He is the author of the book, Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood (Chalice Press, 2016). The work explores the role of stories and violence in vocational discernment. You can find out more about how to work with Patrick at

Brandan Robertson 

Brandan is the author of Nomad: A Spirituality For Travelling Light (DLT Books, 2016), the editor of Our Witness: The Unheard Stories of LGBT+ Christians (Cascade Books, 2018), and writes regularly for Patheos, Beliefnet, and The Huffington Post. He has published countless articles in respected outlets such as TIME Magazine, NBC, The Washington Post, Religion News Service, and Dallas Morning News.  As sought out commentator of faith, culture, and public life, he is a regular contributor to national media outlets and has been interviewed by outlets such as MSNBC, NPR, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Associated Press.

Acclaimed as one of “the most hope-inspiring young Christian leaders”, Brandan has been an honored guest speaker at a wide range of venues, from lecturing on spirituality at Oxford University, teaching on LGBT+ rights at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, to speaking at the White House on the impact of religiously-motivated bullying. He is the host of the popular Traveling Light podcast, where he explores the deep questions of life with some of the most influential thought-leaders in the world today.

Carlos Simply Sonship

Carlos is passionate about reaching the world with God’s radical love. He is a provocative preacher who serves the local church and loves to pastor prisoners, young adults and anyone who dares to think differently. For 15 years he has been traveling the world reaching the most broken people with hugs, passion and the stories in Luke 15. In 2014 he began, an online magazine that reaches thousands of people daily by sharing the message of grace via whatever the heck is trending on the web. He is the author of Simply Sonship and the upcoming Drop The Stones. He also works as the director of Catch The Fire Latin America and is a Pastor at Catch The Fire in Raleigh, NC. Carlos and (his British darling) Catherine have two gorgeous boys and are awaiting a baby girl through adoption.

Oh yeah, he also wants everyone to know that he’s a Puerto Rican and he can’t wait to tell you all about it.

S. Daniel Rushing

S. Daniel Rushing is a son of the Pentecostal church. He found Jesus in the sweat and fervor of a rural Pentecostal church. He has pastored for over thirteen years in the Church of God. While earning his Master of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University, he worked with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina leading weekly conversations on campus about issues of racial justice. He resides in Mount Holly, NC with his wife Crystal and two daughters, Bianca and Olivia. He currently collaborates with churches interested in engaging issues of social justice, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Pax Pneuma.

Alexia Salvatierra

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the co-author of “Faith-Rooted Organizing” and the “madrina” of the faith-rooted organizing unnetwork. She has over 35 years of experience in community ministry, community development and community organizing/advocacy. She is adjunct faculty at seven academic institutions, including Fuller Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific Seminary, Eastern University and Biblia Virtual, Argentina as well as training/coaching internationally for organizations such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, The Christian Community Development Association and World Vision. She has been an ordained Lutheran Pastor for 28 years. Her wonderful 22 year old activist daughter is the light of her life.

Hailey Joy Scandrette

Hailey Joy Scandrette is the editor of Ignited Magazine, an online community for people ages 18-30 to conspire and explore creative ways to live out the teachings of Jesus in our everyday lives. She has recently graduated from San Francisco State University where she studied US History with an emphasis in gender and race relations in the social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. She is passionate about community building, storytelling, social justice, and pretty much anything else she has an opinion about.

Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for 16 years, Leah has served congregations in rural, urban, and suburban settings. She earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and completed her dissertation focusing on homiletics (preaching) and ecological theology (caring for God’s creation). Her book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecological Theology and Homiletics (Chalice Press, 2015) is available at Leah has served as an anti-fracking and climate activist, community organizer, and advocate for environmental justice issues, and is a trained workshop leader for Lutherans Restoring Creation, a grassroots movement helping congregations learn how to “go green.” Samples of her ecologically-themed essays, articles, sermons, book and film reviews, and other writings can be found on her Patheos blog:

Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an artist and a New York Times bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Frank is a much sought after speaker and has lectured at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum/UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, DePaul University and the Kansas City Public Library. Frank has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets. Frank is also a blogger on Huffington Post, Alternet and Patheos.

Joshua Adam Scott

Joshua Adam Scott has been the lead pastor at Morgantown Community Church ( for more than 12 years. He’s also a husband, father, U2 fan, coffee enthusiast, and an avid highlighter. You can find out more about Josh at

Micky ScottBey Jones

Micky ScottBey Jones is a perpetual learner, “justice doula”, consultant, facilitator, mama/sister/friend, nonviolence practitioner and contemplative activist living just south of Nashville, TN.
Micky facilitates conferences, trainings and online conversations while exploring a variety of topics including self-care in community, healing justice, intersectionality, faith-rooted activism, revolutionary friendship, race & justice, and theology from the margins. She loves to curate contemplative and dialogic spaces and activities. Named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post, Micky is the Director of Healing Justice at Faith Matters Network. She is currently serving as an Associate Fellow for Racial Justice with Evangelicals for Social Action an activist-in-residence at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, TN. She consults with a variety of people, projects and organizations as opportunities arise.
Micky believes in traveling the world while spreading revolutionary love, engaging in authentic conversations, and participating in transformative experiences – and most importantly – she never passes up a dance floor.

Ian Simkins

Ian originally hails from Detroit, Michigan (don’t judge) as the oldest of seven children and moved to Chicagoland in 2003 to study at Judson University in Elgin, IL. After spending a summer in India, he served as Director of Student Ministries until eventually becoming Lead Pastor in 2010. Since that time he toured the U.S with a harpist, learned to crochet, lived on the streets of Philadelphia (true story), started two organization called, “Beauty in the Common” ( and “The Common Year” (, and married Katie, the love of his life.

He is currently the pastor of Yellow Box in Naperville, IL and the proud owner of a 30 year-old yellow moped.

Whitney Simpson

A stroke at age 31 forced Whitney to slow down and listen more deeply to her body. In the process she discovered how to listen more deeply to God. Over a decade later, Whitney’s healing journey led her to author Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit. Through her work as as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator, she incorporates yoga and other ancient tools, encouraging the sacred connection of breath, body, and spirit. Whitney completed certification in spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor. She is the founder of Exploring Peace, offering soul care resources for exploring the gift of God’s peace with the whole self. Whitney lives with her family in Tennessee and can be found online at Good books, the great outdoors, hot tea, dark chocolate, and the Trinity are good for her soul.

Anna Skates 

Anna was born in Birmingham, Alabama and currently lives in Tennessee, where she serves as a Children’s Pastor. She is a graduate of Belmont University with a BA in Religion; a post-graduate of the University of Alabama where she obtained her Masters in Library and Information Studies with a focus in Children’s Library Services; and currently attends Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Anna has curated a progressive curriculum developed for children ages 3-11 that has been used by congregations across the country.  She has also written and illustrated a children’s book called “Sully’s Light.” Anna writes for “UnFundamentalist Parenting” and is featured in “Growing in God’s Light,” a Children’s Storybook Bible set for release in 2018.

Most importantly: Anna is a lover of cheese, her two dogs “June” and “Beast,” and is an avid Gilmore Girls fan.

Facebook: Anna Skates | Instagram: anna_skates | Twitter: @anna_skates

Brittany Sky

Brittany Sky is the Senior Editor of Children’s Resources at The United Methodist Publishing House. She served as a minister with children and families in local churches in Oklahoma before coming to Nashville to work as a development editor on children’s Sunday school curricula. Brittany is the author of the Deep Blue Bible Storybook and the editor of the Deep Blue Toddler Bible Storybook. She holds an MA in Christian Education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Eric Smith 

Eric C. Smith teaches New Testament and the History of Christianity at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. He is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has 15 years of experience in congregational ministry. He researches and writes about the spaces, art, texts, and material lives of early Christian communities.

He is active in the Society of Biblical Literature, an organizer of a conference at the intersection of technology and religious and biblical studies, and in the past has been a weekly blogger for Patheos. His second book, *Jewish Glass and Christian Stone: A Materialist Mapping of the ‘Parting of the Ways,’* is due out late this year from Routledge.

Nancy St. John  

Nancy is very much looking forward to joining teammates in co-leading children’s activities at Wild Goose this year. She is a trained early childhood Montessori teacher at a Montessori school in Scituate, Massachusetts. Nancy is also a trainer for the Godly Play, a religious method that helps children explore their faith through story. Both these passions compliment the other, as she sits on the floor with children most Sundays at a nearby Episcopal church telling stories. Nancy lives along the rocky Massachusetts seashore, where she marvels at its beauty and loves walking along the beach any chance she gets in search of “treasure.”

Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens is a powerhouse vocalist who sings about truth with soul and grit. Stevens grew up in Macon GA where her grandfather was a baptist preacher then moved to Nashville TN to pursue her career in 2010. Her first gig was singing with Johnny and June Cash at the Billy Graham Crusade at age 8. Molly has toured the country opening for acts like The Indigo Girls, Mindy Smith and Ty Herndon. Me and Molly released a record in February titled “Old Friend” and her new single is out this summer. You can follow her journey @meandmollymusic on all social media outlets and



Katie Jo Suddaby

Rev. Katie Jo Suddaby is a freelance pastor, ordained with the American Baptist Churches USA. Short, spunky, and straight forward; she is a sought after speaker and artist. The art-form that captured her heart is Tibetan Sand Painting. Katie Jo is one of the few Westerners who practice this ancient, delicate art. Since 2012, she has designed and performed over 30 original mandalas for festivals and retreats across the country. Each mandala is unique and can take a few hours or a few months to complete. She has received training from Tibetan Buddhist monks in the US and Nepal. Katie Jo loves to fuse Buddhist art and Christian texts to teach self-care, art as a spiritual expression, and the value of religious diversity. When not roaming around providing pastoral services, she can be found watching Star Trek, walking her dog (Bernie Sanders), and singing show tunes.

Sally Thomas 

“Sally is the most irreverent reverent person” a childhood friend recently proclaimed. Yep! Since her own children declared their innate theology as they emerged from the womb, Sally has been attuned to the spiritual wisdom children offer in this wondrous world. She has been in cahoots with circles of children and their families using Godly Play for twenty years and is thrilled to join peeps Emily Griffin and Nancy St. John for Godly Play again at the Goose.

Rev. J. Dana Trent

The Rev. J. Dana Trent is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and adjunct faculty member at Wake Technical Community College, where she teaches World Religions. Dana is an ordained Baptist clergywoman, award-winning author, speaker, and workshop facilitator. Her work has appeared on, The Christian Century, Patheos, and Sojourners. Her second book, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community, will be released October 1, 2017 by Upper Room Books. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, a devout Hindu and former monk. Their Christian-Hindu interfaith marriage is chronicled in Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk (Fresh Air Books, 2013). She loves naps with cats, vegetarian food, and teaches weight-lifting for the YMCA.

Sarah Tullock

Sarah Tullock is a singer/songwriter living in Chattanooga, TN. She also teaches public school music using a joyful curriculum of folk tunes from around the world to inspire a love of music literacy in her students. Her pen name, “OneLittleLight,” comes from that beautiful passage in John 1, which references the true Light that cannot be overcome by any darkness. She loves to share songs about faith, humanity, and light with anybody anywhere, and most certainly with you!


Matthew Paul Turner 

Matthew Paul Turner is a blogger, speaker, and author of Hear No Evil, The Coffeehouse Gospel, & When God Made Yous, and several other popular books. As one of the most influential progressive Christian voices in media, Matthew has been featured on The Daily Beast, CNN, Washington Post, Yahoo!, USA Today, The New York Times, The Colbert Report, Gawker, and many more. Matthew has a sincere heart for the marginalized and relentless dedication to truth-telling. This passionate spirit motivates him to share rich stories that would often otherwise go unshared.
As a writer and photographer, Matthew has traveled extensively with World Vision to places such as Tacloban, Philippines; Entebbe, Uganda; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Gyumri, Armenia; and other locations documenting the vast effects of poverty. His travels have offered him a multitude of life-changing experiences, from praying with a family of HIV patients in the Dominican Republic to eating and conversing with a 26-year-old Iman and being blessed by a Hindu priest in Sri Lanka.
Matthew, his wife, Jessica, and his kids, Elias, Adeline, & Ezra, live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Emily Ulmer  

Emily is the Worship Arts Coordinator at Eastern Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, MI.

Amy Vaughan

North Carolina poet Amy Vaughan re-discovered her muse in September of 2014 and wrote a poem a day for over a year. Since then, she continues to write poetry and prose frequently and recently wrote 40 Days of Lament And Grief, a collection of poetry shared during the season of Lent. Her poetry finds its way into artwork at galleries in Charlotte, into her sermons, shared in yoga classes and retreats across North Carolina, and as seed material in her poetry workshops and public readings. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Rev. Vaughan has worked for the last five years with UMAR, an agency that supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While teaching high school English, she won two National for the Endowment for the Humanities summer residencies, first at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and second at the Breadloaf School of English in Middlebury, Vermont.

Kristen Vincent

Kristen E. Vincent is an award-winning author, speaker, and artisan whose passion is spiritual formation, including the use of prayer beads. She is the author of A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads, and coauthor of Another Bead, Another Prayer: Devotions for Use with Protestant Prayer Beads (with Max Vincent). Her newest book, Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma, and Spiritual Wholeness, explores how prayer beads can be used to heal from pain. Kristen travels frequently to lead retreats and workshops. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and The Academy for Spiritual Formation (#34). She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Max, a United Methodist pastor, and their son, Matthew. Kristen loves words, the mountains, gatherings on her porch, and dark chocolate. She continues to make progress in her lifelong quest for the perfect chocolate mousse. Find her at

Cody Wagoner

Cody is the Worship Pastor at Morgantown Community Church in Morgantown, Kentucky. He has been at MCC since 2004, and has been on staff there since January of 2013. Cody and his wife Kristin have been married since 2007, and have a 4 year old daughter, Avery.

Jim Wallis  

Jim Wallis Jim Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. He recently served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum. Jim is the author of 12 books. His most recent book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, released in January. His most recent books include: On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery; The Great Awakening:Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America; and God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

Joy Carrol Wallis

Joy Carroll Wallis is a gifted communicator, community organizer and convener as well as a sought after pastor, preacher and minister. In 1994, she was one of the first women to be ordained in the Church of England as well as the youngest clergy member elected to the General Synod. Her ministry in the inner – city embraced the needs of the poor, homeless, mentally ill, families, youth and the elderly. Her experience in the priesthood was the inspiration behind the hit BBC sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley, starring Dawn French. Joy is the author of The Woman Behind the Collar: The Pioneering Journey of an Episcopal Priest.

Joy has spent the last eighteen years immersed in Washington DC schools and youth sports. As commissioner of Little League Baseball, fundraiser, event planner, PTA President, President of Wilson HS Baseball Boosters, organizer of Wilson baseball trip to the Dominican Republic, her networks run wide and deep. She is also a founding board member and currently board Chair of the Wild Goose Festival.

Joy lives in Washington, DC with her activist and writer husband Jim Wallis and their teenage sons, Luke and Jack.

Michael W. Waters

Michael W. Waters is founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Dallas, Texas. As pastor, professor, award-winning author, community leader, and social commentator, Waters’ words of hope and empowerment inspire national and international audiences.
A sought-after preacher and lecturer, Waters has made numerous presentations before church, civic, collegiate and corporate bodies on topics of interest ranging from Fortune 500 diversity practices and ethical leadership principles to the intersections of religion and hip hop culture. His writings have appeared in such respected publications as The Huffington Post, The African American Pulpit, Feasting on the Gospels, Upper Room Disciplines, and Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writings from Rising Generations. In addition to his award-winning book Freestyle, Waters is the author of the new book Stakes Is High, celebrated as one of the top new titles in 2017 on race in America by Publisher’s Weekly and Sojourners Magazine.
He is married to Atty. Yulise Reaves Waters. They are the parents of three children.

Jon Scott and Scott Watkins, Holy Heretics

Jon Scott and Scott Watkins both grew up in the Bible Belt of America. Having been raised in evangelicalism, it is of no surprise that both became full-time, paid pastors at a very young age. However, both began to feel a holy discontent with the religious system that they had always known as it seemed to provide more bad news than good news. Scott and Jon quit pastoring, left evangelicalism, and after a few years decided to start a podcast – Holy Heretics.

Through the Holy Heretics podcast, Scott and Jon speak freely regarding their view of the Jesus message, which they believe transcends all religion. Because they believe that everyone belongs and that humanity is one, their message is one of love and inclusivity, especially for those who have been wounded by religious institutions. They release episodes weekly with alternative theology for spiritual misfits.

Twitter: @HolyHeretics

Instagram: @TheHolyHeretics

Michael Williams

Michael Williams was educated at Vanderbilt University, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and holds a PhD from Northwestern University. Michael has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and has taught workshops on writing and storytelling across the country. He is the author or editor of twenty-one non-fiction books, most recently Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters through Story, Upper Room Books, 2017, and has written three plays that have been produced. His poetry chapbook, Take Nothing for Your Journey, was published by Finishing Line Press, and FLP will publish his second chapbook, The Khristos Cantos, in 2017. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and, while he was a student there, a collection of his poems was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize at Northwestern University. He serves at Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence at Martin Methodist College in Tennessee.

Rev. Dr. Paula Williams

Rev. Dr. Paula Williams was the CEO of the Orchard Group, a megachurch preaching pastor, a magazine editor and a seminary instructor. All ended when she transitioned from Paul to Paula.

After 35 years in New York, Paula moved to Denver, Colorado, where she currently serves as a pastoral counselor, coach and church consultant. She works with OPEN, a network of progressive evangelicals, coaches with the Center for Progressive Renewal, and directs the Church Planting team at Highlands Church in Denver. Paula also serves on the board of the Gay Christian Network and is a blogger for The Huffington Post. For more information visit

 Lynyetta Willis 

Lynyetta Willia has woven spirituality into her healing work with individuals and families for over fifteen years; she specializes in spiritually-centered psychotherapy, trauma healing, and is the creator of the Inner Pathways Parenting program. As a speaker, teacher and multi-award winning author, Lynetta’s latest is a children’s book, My Forgotten Self: A Story About a Girl, a Powerful Encounter, and a Universal Message. She lives with her husband and their two children in Georgia. Learn more at and

The Collection

It didn’t take long for David Wimbish’s solo project to become a full band. The community that had inspired his music quickly began to embody the songs, wielding instruments last played in middle school marching band, and fulfilling the Collection’s name. Coming from Greensboro, North Carolina, their songs stem from an awareness of their state’s folk roots, and an appreciation of orchestral and world music. After the loss of dear friends and family, the band released their first full length, “Ars Moriendi”, featuring over 25 musicians, and wrestling with questions of mortality and spirituality. As the last year has brought more focus to the Collection, both in size and in vision, and through the release of their new album, “Listen To The River,” they still retain original inspiration and muse – the community of those intrigued by the mystery of life.   LISTEN

Leslie Withers, Taize Worship Service

Leslie Withers is a member of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, where she sings in the Sanctuary Choir. She also plays flute with the choir and also in Taize worship services. She is a lay worship leader and occasionally plans and leads both morning worship services and evening Taize services at the church. An Associate Member of the Iona community in Scotland, she has participated in residential programs at the Iona Abbey and played flute in worship services there.

When not playing flute, Leslie is active in numerous justice and peace organizations and activities. She serves on the steering committee for Create Community 4 Decatur: Black Lives Matter. The group started 2 ½ years ago in response to the killings of unarmed Black men by police and works locally in Decatur to promote racial justice in criminal justice, in the school system, and in neighborhoods.

Ben Wright 

Never one to miss a Wild Goose, DJ Ben Wright lives in Southside Virginia
where he infotains primary school students as the Outreach STEM Educator
for the Danville Science Center. Baptist bred and Wake Div. ed., Ben also
teaches as adjunct faculty for Apex School of Theology. He has been
altering audio since 1997 and identifies Electronic, Old Skool, and Funk as
his preferred genres. Ben travels life with wife Rebecca, stepson Brandon,
and grumpy hedgehog Stare.

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