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

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

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


Happy Wild Goose Kids

Everything Old is New Again

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

— Tripp Hudgins

Slippery Fish

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

— Slippery Fish, Paul Stanley

Buddha Inside/Jesus Outside

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

— Emerging Voices, Anita Brown

Re-Wilding The Goose

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

Ian Lynch

Voices of the Wild Goose Festival

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

J. Marshall Jenkins


Wild Goose Eucharist in the woods

Scaring the Hell Out of Christians

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

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

— Melanie

God is Wild

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


New Revised Goose Version

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

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

Sarah Griffith Lund

Christo Shamanic Ritual

Call of the Wild Goose

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

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

Sacred Touch, Pastor Nar

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

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

Emerging Voices



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

Homebrewed Christianity

A Reading List

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

The Englewood Review of Books

Link To Ticket Page

Read At Wild Goose 2015

The Wild Goose Flock Reflects: A Blog Roundup of WGFEST15

By Goose News

It’s been nearly a month but the Wild Goose Festival is anything but over. Our flock is no longer gathered on the banks of the French Broad River. But, we’re still thinking, learning, enacting our faith and connecting across the country.

Which songs are still stuck in your head?
What art has poured from your fingers?
Are there any new ideas that just won’t dislodge itself from your mind?
The Wild Goose is more than a festival. It’s a movement.
So, let’s start sharing what we’ve learned.

Below are links to blog posts by fellow goosers. Check them out. Share them with your friends. Comment. Let’s keep the community growing.

In the mean time, we plan to create a second round-up in two weeks, so be sure to send your blog posts, art, and reflections inspired by Wild Goose to or comment with a link below.

Wild Goose Community

Brave Goose

“He sat in the front seat of the rickety golf cart. “This your first time to the Goose?”
I swear, his white beard was past the nipple line.
“Yes,” we tittered. My knuckles were tensing around the seat.
“Well spread your wings and let the Holy Spirit make you fly!” He lifted an arm out of the cart for emphasis. I worried the cart would tip, that we’d splatter on the trodden dirt of the campground.”

lizzie, Wandering Writes

Duck, Duck, Wild Goose!

“Whether it was the sounds of impromptu jam sessions singing praise for the day’s blessings, the sights of young people freely expressing their joy with dance, the pop of the embers exploding into the night air as we journeyed into a Celtic ancestor meditation, or inhaling the sweet exuberance of a burgeoning relationship of a dear friend, each moment was manna for the soul.”

—Religious Refuse

Hopeful dreamers, dirt covered hippies, and radical Jesus followers

“On Friday afternoon, just as the sun was really starting to heat things up I found myself sitting on a large rock in the middle of the French Broad river surrounded by cairns erected by other festival goers as a form of centering meditation.”

Cody, overchurchedblog

The Hard Work of Hope

Despair has become too automatic a reaction lately, facing environmental apathy and the egregious civil rights attacks that won’t stop coming. But standing side by side with hundreds of kind, intelligent justice-seekers has renewed my faith in humanity.

Jenn, The Dew Abides

the gift of light

“And so, last week, as I stood in front of the main stage at the Wild Goose Festival listening toGungor – a group whose music has been impacting me for years – I was struck dumb when I heard them explain their new song, Light.”

Michelle McConnell, Clearing Webs From The Hovel

Homosexual relationships are not about sex…cue eyeroll.

“But, when Betsy and I walked hand-in-hand through the Wild Goose campground, all I felt was radiating, unqualified, unapologetic joy. In the spirit-filled bubble that is The Goose, we felt loved, safe and free to live into our burgeoning love. When we ventured beyond the delicate membrane of The Goose, wandering through the little town of Hot Springs, we became acutely aware of how others might regard our hand-holding.”

Kimberly Knight

bree newsome at wild goose 2015
(Before you do anything else, be sure to watch her panel discussion here.)

No One’s Going To Stop Until We’re All Free

“Another Wild Goose speaker of note was the Rev. Traci Blackmon, pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO. Blackmon, a prominent activist and organizer, was appointed to the Ferguson Commission after her early response to the racial tensions that followed the killing of Michael Brown Jr. She was at the festival to preach at Sunday’s closing ceremony and participate in a panel called “Revolutionary Love & Militant Nonviolence.”

After Newsome’s speech, reporters, performers and activists gathered under a small tent behind the stage for a brief press conference and photo op. All fell silent as Blackmon stepped up and embraced Newsome—the two activists meeting for the first time. Blackmon began to cry as she held onto Newsome. “Thank you,” she whispered.“Thank you for snatching down that flag. Thank you.”

Newsome replied, “Y’all lit my fire in Ferguson, and no one’s going to stop until we’re all free.”

Jordan Foltz, Mountain Xpress

“I was a security threat to Bree Newsome at the Wild Goose Festival.”

Maybe I’m an anti-activist. (My book is subtitled, “Some Thoughts on NOT Changing the World.”) We journalists are trained to stand above the fray, to provide some sort of God’s-eye view. But something Newsome’s human step-stool said is sticking in my craw. “As a white Southerner I’m taught to be silent in the face of racism,” said Tyson, who grew up as a Presbyterian.

What is respectable and what is right are two very different things. Your silence is doing violence. As white people, we’re the ones who perpetuate white supremacy. … Even if you lose friends from telling the truth, you’re being held and cherished by God all the time.

Tyson pointed out that the proper, Southern gentleman was also the slaveowner. I wonder if there’s an analogy with us journalist types: What a privilege, what a luxury, to not have to get involved, to not have to feel, if we don’t choose to.

Jesse James DeConto, Christian Century

The Most Important Thing We Can Learn From Bree Newsome

This begs the question: how do entire situations get made right? How do we pursue wholeness of individuals or communities? Well, I’ll tell you how we don’t get there: we don’t get there by refusing to confront injustice and oppression, or by telling the oppressed to stay calm (the later being something I’ve been guilty of previously, and hereby most contritely repent). However shalom is achieved, the first step is ending oppression, and that means we must name it and confront it– aka, we “agitate, agitate, agitate” as the abolitionists used to say.

Ben Corey, Formerly Fundie

Wild Goose Festival

Until You Bless Me

“Do y’all do blessings and shit?”
I asked it shyly, unsure of the proper etiquette (even though the sign in front of the white tent advertised all manner of blessings available). I hoped the casual and shit would mask how badly I wanted to be blessed, how I’d felt my heart pull me toward this corner of the campground over and over all weekend.
I said it with a smile, but what my heart whispered fiercely was “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”

Micah J Murray

Working for the Economic Flourishing of our Places

One comment that was driven home by this panel was that churches should be involved in the work of economic development in their particular places. Economic development, for those who might not be familiar with the term, is “the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area.” (Wikipedia) This idea that churches should be doing this kind of work resonated with me, as Englewood Christian Church, my church on the urban Near Eastside of Indianapolis, has been engaged in economic development for over a decade. We didn’t set out to do economic development, but stumbled into it as a result of seeking to be faithful in our neighborhood and to bear witness to the healing and flourishing that God intends for all places.

C. Christopher Smith, Sojourners

5 Things I love about wild goose

We finally made it to Wild Goose. After the last four years saying “I really wish we could go,” which became “let’s give it a try,” which became “we’ll go next year.” It finally became “we’re going!”

Drew Downs

Why I will not pray for unity.

Peacekeeping is a job for the loud.
For those who can command a room.
For those who can confidently stride
to the front of a room and declare
“Can’t we all just get along?”

Power prays loudly for unity.
But some are peacemakers.
Makers. Creators.
Who call forth from the deep something that had not been before.
Peacemakers are bold. They are confident. But not always loud.
Because even strong voices can sound small from the back of the room.
From the margins.

— Jacqui Buschor

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