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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

There Is A Ferguson Near You

By Guest Post
Author Leah Gunning Francis

Leah Gunning Francis

Leah Gunning Francis (who spoke at Wild Goose Festival 2015) is more than the author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, she is also an activist and a passionate champion for changing the public narrative about young black men.

When the tragic death of Michael Brown occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, St. Louis-based Chalice Press needed to be part of a positive and justice-seeking response. In partnership with the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), we were honored to work with Dr. Gunning Francis, who went out and interviewed more than two dozen faith leaders and young activists to tell the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in the days and months following the event that propelled the #BlackLivesMatter movement on the national stage.

As Shane Claiborne has called it, Ferguson and Faith is “an important book … a theological memoir of a movement.”

In his foreword to the book, Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, writes,

I believe that if the young Ferguson leaders hadn’t gotten up day after day and gone to the streets night after night, and some courageous clergy hadn’t joined them there and spoken out in their community, there might never have been a historic national commission on policing or a damning Department of Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department — and we would not be at the beginning of a new national conversation on reforming the criminal justice system. But it is only the beginning …

With new reports of police shootings in the news nearly every day, we know Wallis is right, and it is our hope that this book will be part of sparking the national conversation among people and communities of faith as to how to faithfully respond. Because, as Dr. Gunning Francis writes in the book, “There is a Ferguson near you.”

Order Ferguson and Faith online now!

Watch and share this video message from Ferguson and Faith author Leah Gunning Francis!

Other Wild Goose 2015 speakers whose books are available from Chalice Press:
Forward Together by Rev. William Barber II
Pre-Post-Racial America by Sandhya Rani Jha
Blessed Are The Crazy by Sarah Griffith Lund
Coming Home by Zachary Moon
PregMANcy by Christian Piatt
Sacred Wounds by Teresa B Pasquale

Faithmarks Gallery At Wild Goose

Faithmarks: Yes, You Can Get A Tattoo At Wild Goose This Year

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

Faithmarks Gallery At Wild GooseLast year was Faithmarks’s first time at Wild Goose. They are coming back and they are bringing a little something special for the Wild Goose flock: tattoos, both permanent and temporary.

FaithMarks is a photographic gallery show exploring the intersection of spirituality and the art of tattoos. Initially conceptualized by St. Marks Church, this inter-denominational, interfaith ministry used models from all over the country. It is an experience meant to take each person on their own spiritual journey. The show provides a non-threatening experience for those who visit, evoking the opportunity for spiritual conversation to flow naturally.

Faithmark Tattoos At Wild GooseAlthough founders Carl Greene and Anna Golladay heard the whispers (or far-off honking) of the Goose in the past, last year they finally decided to take the
leap and attend.

“We have been really warmly accepted everywhere we have taken the show,” says Anna. “But, Wild Goose? It is absolutely, hands down, the coolest and most exciting place the show has ever traveled. The warmth and true excitement from folks was palpable.”

The show includes professional photography of tattoos along with the model’s story, explaining why they received it. The blend of the visual and written really sparks spiritual conversations. “The Wild Goose Festival provides a forum for open and honest dialogue,” says Anna, “Something that is encouraged when the Faithmarks show travels other places.”

FaithmrksThis year, seven team members will make the trek from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Hot Springs, North Carolina. They will be bringing a set on new images this year. Last year, Faithmarks consisted of 22 canvases and stories. Anna is excited: “We’ve doubled the number of images and stories! Just because you spent some time with the show last year doesn’t mean that it won’t still be new and fresh in 2015.”

The word seems to be spreading about the tattoos as well. They will have both permanent and temporary tattoo artists with them this year at the Goose.

“I’m not sure I could be any more giddy about this if I tried,” says Anna.

“We’ll soon launch a sign-up for those folks wanting to get a real tattoo during the festival, so keep an eye out! What better way to commemorate your experience than to head home with a Faithmark of your very own?”




In Honor of Phyllis Tickle

By Goose News

Phyllis Tickle At Wild GoosePhyllis Tickle is one of the reasons Wild Goose exists. Her enthusiasm and affirmations of this journey have called so many of us together, even to endure ticks and floods in the deep woods of North Carolina.

As many of you know, earlier this year Phyllis was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. In her honor, we will be incorporating prayers from the pocket edition of The Divine Hours prayer book into the schedule of the festival.

The Divine Hours, edited by Phyllis, was the first major literary and liturgical reworking of the sixth-century Benedictine Rule of fixed-hour prayer.

Phyllis Tickle At Wild Goose“For many years Phyllis has been one of my chief encouragers,” says Wild Goose Festival Producer Rosa Lee Harden. “ Although some didn’t even know she was there in the background, her words of wisdom led me to the Goose. We were all hoping that she would be able to be with us this year. Since her health will not allow that, we are bringing her to be with us through her work and our prayers.”

Tripp Hudgins is this year’s curator of liturgy at the Wild Goose Festival. He and festival attendee Chris Smith first thought of this way to honor Phyllis. (Read Chris’ review of The Divine Hours here.)

“Phyllis has long been an encouraging presence in my own spiritual life,” says Tripp. “Her resource, The Divine Hours, was yet one more bridge that she offered the chaotic ecumenical environment called Christianity. It is a great example of what she does so well: provide space for all to come together in prayer to discern how what was can also be reborn into what is now and what is next.”

We hope those prayers for her through the ‘hours’ of the Goose will send her strength and encouragement for her journey.

Festival attendees are encouraged to buy a copy to bring to the festival. You can purchase a hardcover copy here or download it to your Kindle.

During our four day pilgrimage at Hot Springs next month, we will have people praying through the day, everyday, using Phyllis’ prayer. We hope those prayers for her through the ‘hours’ of the Goose will send her strength and encouragement for her journey.

In the meantime, if you’d like to pay tribute to Phyllis now as a member of the Wild Goose community, you can do so here.

(Here is a snippet of Phyllis explaining why she loves Wild Goose.)

Preliminary 2015 Schedule Released

By Goose News

2015 Schedule Screen ShotHere it is, a preliminary draft of the 2015 Wild Goose Festival schedule!

We are excited to give you a sneak peek of Wild Goose Festival 2015. Musicians. Speakers. Storytellers. Performers. It’s all here. Just click on the links below to see schedules for each day of the festival.

Remember, this is only a draft schedule and there will be adjustments prior the the festival. No need to print and bring these drafts. The finalized schedule will be printed in this year’s program.

So, enjoy and safe travels to Hot Springs!

July 9: Thursday Draft Schedule

July 10: Friday Draft Schedule

July 11: Saturday Draft Schedule

July 12: Sunday Draft Schedule

Wild Goose Schedule

Letting Kids Fly At The Wild Goose Festival

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

From beer-and-hymn sings to best selling speakers, there is plenty of fun for adults at the Wild Goose Festival, but folks often want to know what the experience will be like for their kids.

Being Creative At The Wild Goose Festival

Being Creative At The Wild Goose Festival

Well, meet the curator of the kid experience at Wild Goose, Jamie Rye. He started developing the kids program when the Wild Goose Festival was just a twinkle in a handful of folks’ eyes over five years ago. He’s been growing and managing it as a programming volunteer ever since.

“In the kids tent our primary focus is around three things: belonging (community), creativity and safety,” explains Jamie. “In its simplest form we want kids to walk away feeling belonging, like they were able to uniquely express themselves, that they were safe and a part of the bigger story unfolding from God through the Goose.”

DSC_0133The kids program provides a two-hour session each morning and afternoon of the festival. Equipped with a secure check-in system, the program is designed by Jamie and his wife Kelly and facilitated by a team of volunteers, all of whom have received a background check.

Age appropriate activities are offered, with extra time to play in the nearby playground for children under the age of 6. But, the program is anything but a babysitting service. The kids will enjoy intentional Flock Groups, creative arts, creative storytelling and movement in music.

DSC_0121Jamie is emphatic that the program would not be complete without the help of his volunteers. “In all my years of doing Goose I have had incredible volunteers. These are folks that have given up vacation time, given up sleep, and suffered through the heat of the day to create an engaging, creative, intentional and safe place for kids.”

“Last year we had a hand full of volunteers who deeply loved kids and truly caught the vision for the kids space at the Goose,” Jamie continues. “The leadership team took ownership over the program and put in lots of hours not only in prep, but also on the ground. They worked so hard to welcome families. From providing supplies for the kids’ graffiti wall to running an amazingly fun creative-arts stations. The kids had fun, they were safe and they walked away from each session a little more creative, a little more valued and a little more loved.”

Kids Getting Creative At Wild Goose“Without volunteers like this the Goose kids couldn’t be what it has been over the last 5 years. I am honored to be surrounded and serve alongside such amazing people,” concludes Jamie.

He and his wife, Kelly, feel particularly drawn to Wild Goose: “Having been raised relatively-conservative evangelical we found that our progressive beliefs, ways of questioning and generous orthodoxy placed us on the outskirts of our subculture. Our lack of belonging was only amplified by the fact that I am a pastor in an evangelical denomination. The Goose brought us community, belonging and a safe place to embrace the good of our background and yet find space in a community that understood where we were coming from. I love that the Wild Goose creates the same safe space year after year for others like us.”

Jamie and Kelly Rye

Jamie and Kelly Rye

Thanks to Jamie and his team, safety and creative learning are also available to children at the festival, while their parents have time to go do some exploring on their own.

This year promises another great batch of volunteers to run the kids program, says Jamie. “I am excited to watch them engage the kids and for the kids to respond with their natural expressive, wild, child-like abandon.

“Kids have the most fun at Goose, the adults should come and learn from them.”




What Does It Mean To Be A Peacemaker?

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

John Dear QuoteIf you haven’t heard already, this year’s theme for Wild Goose is Blessed Are The Peacemakers. And, for one of our keynote speakers, that’s more than just a theory.

John Dear is a Catholic priest who has been arrested over 70 times in acts of civil disobedience against war. He spent eight months in prison for a Plowshares disarmament action and has been nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This will be John’s fourth time at the festival; he’s only missed one festival on the east coast.
He loves meeting all the wonderful people that attend, says John. “Going gives me hope.”

This year, he is scheduled to be the morning keynote speaker. “I will reflect on Jesus as a peacemaker and the calling of any Christian to be a peacemaker,” he says.

For John, peacemaking is more than a good idea: it’s all encompassing. “We must make peace with ourselves,” he says, “and everyone we know, all creatures, the whole world. And we must join the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.”

Making peace is at the core of what it means to follow Jesus.

John Dear“It’s not enough to just sit back, say your prayers and complain,” he says. “You have to get involved in the struggle to end war, poverty, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction and put Gospel nonviolence into action.”

It’s a challenging message, but a challenge John believes Wild Goose, on its fifth anniversary, is ready to meet.

“If American Christians are going to become mature, they must become universal. That’s how peace begins,” says John. “We must move into Saint Paul’s vision of citizens of the Kingdom of God.”

“I expect people at Wild Goose Festival to not just listen, but prepare to go home after the festival and take action. To start working to change the church. We must actively work to create peace, otherwise the church may as well close up shop.”

Are you ready to start making peace?


Frank Schaeffer To Bring Newest Paintings To Wild Goose

By Guest Post

Frank Schaeffer PaintingTo my Wild Goose Family:

Hi all. Here’s my Spring/Summer Wild Goose art show of NEW paintings. I’ll have some of these with me at Wild Goose 2015!

The theme is transcendent resurrection of the spirit. This revival of hope is open to all—atheist, believer and agnostic. I believe in beauty as the intrinsic truth. Here is my small new contribution to that truth.

My muses are my grandchildren, Amanda, Ben, Lucy, Jack and Nora. (By the way, Amanda will be with me at WG this year!) They are the lens through which death loses its sting for me. Painting is my expression of the peace I feel when I’m immersed in the lives I love best.

Detail from Daffodils, Tulips & Narcissus in a Storm

Detail from Daffodils, Tulips & Narcissus in a Storm

Thank you for taking the time to share these moments with me by looking at my work. I walk from my studio into the garden, pick a flower that was planted by my grandchildren (usually as a bulb the year before) and paint it. Really these are “portraits” of the moments of joy and grace I experience with the gifts of the children near and dear to me.

See you at WG!

Frank Schaeffer


(See more of Frank’s work here.)


2015 Featured Speakers

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival

From Ferguson to Baltimore to Pakistan, upheaval, violence and injustice are shaking the world. In the midst of this turmoil, what does it mean to be a peacemaker?

This year, Wild Goose Festival goers will heed the call and fearlessly dive into that conversation with the theme Blessed Are The Peacemakers.

Please join us in welcoming John Dear, William Barber, Alexia Salvatierra, Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Brian McLaren, Frank Schaeffer and Romal Tune as our Featured Speakers at Wild Goose 2015! Read on to find out more about these powerful peacemakers, who not only talk about peace, but also practice it!

John DearJohn Dear
John Dear a Catholic priest and internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. He served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S.  Author of The Nonviolent Life, Dear has been arrested over 75 times in acts of civil disobedience against war and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


William Barber
William Barber is North Carolina NAACP president and organizer of the Moral Mondays movement. A full-time pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church, he’s volunteered countless hours to champion social change because he believes there is no worship without commitment to justice.

Salvatierra,-AlexiaAlexia Salvatierra
Alexia Salvatierra is the author (along with Dr. Peter Heltzel) of Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 35 years of experience in congregational and community ministry, and has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration, including the co-founding of the national Evangelical Immigration Table.

brianmclaren2010aBrian McLaren
Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and networker among innovative Christian leaders. His dozen-plus books include A New Kind of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy, Naked Spirituality, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?, and We Make the Road by Walking. He is a senior fellow with Auburn Seminary, and a board member and leader in Convergence Network and Center for Progressive Renewal.

Robyn Henderson-EspinozaRobyn Henderson-Espinoza
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza is a queer Latin@ who negotiates layers of agnosticism as their faith orientation. Believing that the ways of Jesus are tangible ways of enacting radical social change, Robyn strategically deploys theologies and ethics of radical difference to disrupt the hegemonic structures that reproduce multi-system oppressions. As an anti-oppression, anti-racist, Trans*gressive genderqueer, Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist theologian and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns.

FS Portrait 2Frank Schaeffer
Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction, including Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God. Frank is also an artist and prolific painter. The New York Times described Frank thus: “To millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince. His crime is not financial profligacy, like some pastors’ sons, but turning his back on Christian conservatives.”

Tune PhotoRomal Tune
Romal is the embodiment of living beyond the label. After overcoming the setbacks of his upbringing and the destructive choices of his youth, he is now a sought out communicator, community strategist, and education consultant. His platform, one of the most potent and rich stories of hope you’ll ever hear, is redemption. Since growing up in the trauma of poverty, violence, and the inner-city landscapes void of opportunity, he has triumphed to the heights of a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Howard University and Duke University School of Divinity, an ordained minister, and the author of an award-winning book entitled, God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens.


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