Some thoughts on this year’s theme, Living Liberation!
The Wild Goose Festival has been a fresh public expression of what it means to follow GOD in the way of Jesus. Our “love your neighbor” faith commitments challenge tendencies toward racism, sexism, classism and homophobia. Each year we’ve taken steps to be further transformed.
This year’s theme, Living Liberation!, manifests as the next natural step on this road of transformation. We do not believe it is by chance that it comes to us on the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. Nor is it happenstance that the Wild Goose celebration of faith, justice, music and the arts should find its home in a state whose citizens are this year defying age-old divisions to chart a course Forward Together in pursuit of justice for all. Nor is it lost on us that this is an election year in which the freedoms of many are demanding to be finally guaranteed. A Christian conversation about the gospel call to liberation couldn’t be more timely.
Living Liberation! also reflects the desire for the festival to be culturally accessible to an ever broadening audience. In order to do so, we knew we had to expand the conversation of the festival to include topics of importance to communities that have yet to reach critical mass at the festival. We began by pulling together a planning team that embodies the diversity the festival seeks as a hallmark. That alone brought to the forefront an array of speakers, topics, programming possibilities and strategic partnerships not previously on our radar, which we’ve pursued with vigor.
We have since been thoughtful about how best to tell the story of liberation as we’ve organized the festival. Living Liberation! simply means “learning to live in beloved community.” However, the particular articulation chosen emphasizes that beloved community is not possible without both a theological and political imperative toward liberation from all oppression as the basis of that community.
So it is our hope each day this year, beginning with a festival-wide morning conversation at Main Stage, to explore the inexplicable bond between community and liberation, so as to learn how we might better participate in both, and thereby make the beloved community of which the best among us have dreamed possible.
By Board Member and Program Director Melvin Bray