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The Beauty of Peace: Art At Wild Goose 2015

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival, Goose News

troy bThere are more ways to explore peacemaking than just through music and speaking. This year, our theme will permeate through every segment of the festival, including the visual arts. In fact, there are some ways that peace can only be explored through art.

“In curating the theme Blessed are the Peacemakers, we noticed that peacemaking included everything from making peace, to reconciling worlds to being prophetic in the world about what is at peace or at war,” explains Troy Bronsink. Troy is this year’s art content leader for the festival.

So, what will you see at Wild Goose this year? Here’s a small sampler.

1. Stations of the Cross: Mental Illness

Mary Button Stations of the CrossAs you walk around the the festival you’ll notice Mary Button’s installation, Stations of the Cross: Mental Illness. Take some time so see how her artwork both tells a story and creates space for new encounters with what it means to be at peace, long for peace, and make peace.

2. Live Art!

You’ll also see the work of Dan Nelson who will be painting the festival at the Live Art Tent. Take time to talk with him about your experience of peacemaking as he listens for the voice of the Goose and depicts this powerful weekend and burgeoning community through his art.

3. The Art Tent Gallery & Beyond

dewayne barton and artThere will be work from at least five artists in the Art Tent Gallery with very different perspectives and approaches as well as hosts who can walk you through an experience of that work. Stefan Gustafsson and Fred Wise are two of the artists that will be featured there. Stefan is from Sweden and his works involve lengthy processes of mingling minerals and pigments to explore reconciliation and differentiation. Contrast that with the work of Fred whose watercolor and oil paintings depict stories of struggle and mystery. Art will appear around the festival as well. For example, DeWayne Barton, pictured above, will have a sculpture on display somewhere on the grounds.

4. Maker’s Space

DSC_0338We’ll have a maker’s space for you to participate in making materials for the Art Liturgy on Saturday at 2 pm, which will include a large acoustic stringed instrument orchestra. So bring your guitar or banjo if you have it!

5. Thoughtful Discussions

menewhorizonsThis year, author and long time friend of the Goose, Frank Schaeffer, will be showing some of his recent paintings. Also on Saturday, he’ll be in conversation with A’Driane Nieves (pictured above) about the role of our own stories and family’s stories in making and reading art. Nieves’ work is a reflection on her experiences as a mother, a woman of color, someone who has battled with mental illness, and as a minority in the growing liberal city of Austin, Texas, all lived through the perspective of faith. Her work has been featured in regional and national #blacklivesmatter forums and she’ll be including a recent book of works and excerpts from her blog.

6. Art as Spiritual Practice

Patrick MahonThere are other artists showing this year who identify their work as direct spiritual practice. Cassandra Lawrence develops art with worshippers and within worship to enable participants to corporately participate beyond words. Patrick Mahon is a contemplative and student of Merton. (One of his photographs is pictured above.) His photography is intended to cultivate peace within the viewer, calling you not to simply “see” but to be present in the seeing.

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?”




Disabling Guns And Forging Peace At Wild Goose

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

RAWtools Disabled HandgunThis year’s festival will feature an exciting opportunity to “forge peace” in a very literal way highlighting our theme—Blessed are the Peacemakers.

RAWtools, with the help of Tim Coons and Justin Bullis, will be leading two peacemaking liturgies at the Wild Goose Festival next month. The liturgy includes the usual singing, scripture readings and testimonies, but with an added dimension. Together we will also create a physical representation of God’s prophecy in Micah and Isaiah of “beating your swords into plowshares”.

The gun will be disassembled and, using a small furnace, the metal components melted down to create a tool of creation. Romal Tune will be speaking at the PeaceMaker on Gun Violence Liturgy and John Dear at our PeaceMaker on War Liturgy.

RAWtools Wild Goose FestivalFounder Mike Martin had considered the concept for RAWtools for many years. His anabaptist faith background coupled with experience in the family landscaping business combined to birth the concept. But, it was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012 that propelled him into action.

In 2013, Mike launched the RAWtools at the Justice Conference, held in Philadelphia that year.

“Our goal is to create new narratives of nonviolence and peacemaking, instead of narratives of violence,” says Mike.

Guns used during the liturgy are donated by individuals who no longer want a weapon in their home and sometimes by  police officers. Mike hopes to formally partner with police departments, offering a constructive way to dispose of confiscated weapons. “We want to let them know that we’re an option as far as what what we can do with weapons, that we’re an option for police departments or even just for people who are uncomfortable having a gun in their home,” he explains. At the end of the liturgy, the newly made tool is given to someone involved in the service or sold to help fund the work of RAWtools.

RAWtools peacemaker-shirtMike can’t wait to get to Wild Goose this year. The two liturgies being held at the festival are part of the PeaceMaker Tour which was launched this January.

He knows that, in some ways, he’ll be preaching to the choir.

But for Mike, peacemaking is about more than the occasional liturgy; it’s a daily practice.

“It’s living out the witness of Christ, being a listener, loving alongside people,” explains Mike.

“Being a peacemaker is about a lot of little stuff—being in relationship—and not necessarily big, grand, Nobel-Peace-Prize stuff,” he says. The hardest part is having patience and practicing peace toward those with whom we strongly disagree or even dislike. Not that Nobel Peace Prize scale is bad (Nobel Peace Prize nominee John Dear is speaking at our Friday Liturgy.).

In fact, he has a practical suggestion for how to ‘forge peace’ this week.

Have lunch with someone you don’t like to be around, suggests Mike, “an enemy, someone that hits all your pet peeves.”

“To sit down and listen and have lunch with somebody,” says Mike. “That is an act of peacemaking.”

RAWtools logo

Andrew Lewis

To Be a Peacemaker is to Be Evangelical

By Goose News

Andrew LewisBy Andrew Lewis

“What’s the ELCA?”

It’s a question every Lutheran will be asked at some point, at least outside of Minnesota. The Lutheran tradition is, after all, best analogized with a spilled can of alphabet soup. And for those of us who grew up in different traditions, we all sort of wince when we say, “The EVANGELICAL Lutheran Church in America.”

Evangelical: it’s a weighted term and yet it hangs in the air. It carries with it four decades of right-wing politics and quasi-religious rhetoric which taught the US that God is a Republican who uses hurricanes to punish cities and tells presidential candidates to run for office. It conjures pictures of street preachers confidently assuring angry crowds that…well, almost everyone is going to hell. In the popular imagination, evangelicals are door-to-door Jesus salesmen.

But I’m not selling a brand-name faith with an eternal warranty. So when I explain what the ELCA is, I hesitate. Why oh why couldn’t we have picked a less loaded name?

I could give some long explanation about Lutheran history and denominational mergers or a passionate defense of Luther’s original use of the term, both of which explain why we ended up as the ELCA, but there is more to the story. It’s about our identity as Christians. We are, after all, an apostolic Church, sent out to proclaim the euangelium, or Gospel (and the root word for evangelism).

We tend to think of evangelism as spreading the right knowledge of how a person gets to Heaven, as though we are teaching a secret password to an exclusive club. Knock on a door, share the Good News, and leave knowing that you’ve won another soul for Jesus. One more person out of Hell.

But what if we thought of evangelism as inviting people into right relationship with God and, through God, with our sisters and brothers, our neighbors and our enemies? What if evangelism took longer than the few seconds required to hand out a tract? What if we viewed evangelism as accompanying people on their pilgrimage towards God? And what if the Gospel we  proclaimed had implications on Earth as well as in Heaven?

The early Church understood evangelism as accompaniment. New Christians were sponsored through a long initiation process which led to the Font and to the Table. They were accompanied through poverty. They were accompanied through prison and martyrdom. This tradition survives, in text if not in practice, through the baptismal liturgies which ask for the entire assembled Body at worship to affirm, on behalf of the entire Church catholic, that they will “support [the newly baptized] and pray for them in their new life in Christ” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship liturgy for Holy Baptism).

It’s not a simple promise. It requires that we give of ourselves, to offer love unconditionally and forgiveness abundantly. It requires that we feed the hungry, visit the sick and the imprisoned, clothe the naked, and much, much more. It requires that we weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. That we sow peace where there is anger and violence.

It’s a way of understanding evangelism which builds peace by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ’s Resurrection and acting out of God’s abundant love.

To be evangelical is to be a peacemaker. The one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church is sent out to proclaim the peace of God’s Kingdom. May we be blessed in doing so.

Andrew Lewis is a candidate for ordained ministry in the ELCA. Originally from Georgia, Drew has lived in the Midwest and Germany following his father’s career as a military chaplain. He holds theological degrees from Emory and Lutheran Southern, and is an avid hiker. He and his wife will soon move to Minnesota.

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.”




Interested in Glamping?

By Goose News



glamping threeDo you want to get the full benefit of Wild Goose Festival, but don’t want to camp?

How about being able to take a quick afternoon nap without driving off site?

Or, crash after the beer-and-hymn sing without having to walk to your hotel room?

Or, how about enjoy campfire conversation late into the evening without worrying about finding your cabin?

Staying on-site is the only way to fully immerse yourself in Wild Goose, but camping just isn’t for everyone.

You may be flying in and can’t bring your camping gear. Or you may just want a little vacation and don’t have the energy to set up an entire tent village for your family. If so, glamping may be for you.

For much less than the cost of a cabin, four adults can glamp all three nights at Wild Goose.

All you have to do is show up. Your tent will be set up and waiting for you, along with your bedding.

glamping at wild goose

Glamping Options

Two-Cot Package— Includes 2 cots, 2 sleeping bags, 2 pillows with cases, 2 throw blankets, 10″ box fan, 1 hanging light, and tent lock.

Four-Cot Package— Includes 4 cots, 4 sleeping bags, 4 pillows with cases, 4 throw blankets, 10″ box fan, 1 hanging light, tent lock.

Twin Bed Package— Includes 2 twin beds bed with pillows & cases, comforter, and duvet; throw blanket and pillows; bistro table with chairs; 2 bedside tables; fan; light; rug, tent lock.

Queen Bed Package— Includes queen bed with pillows & cases, comforter, and duvet; throw blanket and pillows; bistro table with chairs; 2 bedside tables; fan; light; rug, tent lock.

Homestead Package— Largest tent available – with Air Conditioning!
Includes AC, queen bed with pillows, comforter and duvet, throw blanket and pillows, bistro table with directors chairs, 2 bedside tables, 2 lanterns, cooler, 2 Towel sets (wash cloths, hand towels, bath towels), mirror, rug, tent lock.    $1100.00

Click here to make a reservation!



2015 Featured Musical Artists!

By 2015 Contributor, 2015 Festival

We are THRILLED to announce the Wild Goose 2015 featured musical artists!

Get your ears and hearts ready for this fantastic line-up: Gungor, Matt Morris, Emmanuel JalTimothy’s Gift with Wild Goose family member Melissa GreeneTy HerndonMelinda DoolittleThe Brilliance, and The Liturgists.

Michael and Lisa Gungor are curators of this Grammy-nominated musical collective. The duo uses their skills as accomplished songwriters and multi-instrumentalists to tell honest and forthright stories – some personal and some allegorical.

Matt Morris
Matt is a world renowned songwriter and music producer who has written with some of the industry’s brightest stars including Sarah McLachlan, Cher, Mary J. Blige, and Justin Timberlake.
Watch Matt with Justin Timberlake on Ellen.

Emmanuel Jal
Emmanuel Jal was born into the life of a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, he managed to go on to achieve worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation.
Watch Emmanuel’s powerful TED talk.
Watch Emmanuel’s “We Want Peace” video. 

Timothy’s Gift with Melissa Greene
Timothy’s Gift is an innovative prison outreach that was founded by Ron Miller, and led by Melissa Greene. Through music, they infuse hope and light in the darkest places of our culture. Performers include: Melissa Greene, Abby Lane Hinton, Emily Angarole, Beta Angarole, Anna Register and Lauren Wedertz.
Watch Timothy’s Gift on NBC’s Sing Off.

Ty Herndon
Ty Herndon is an award-winning county music recording artist. Ty has always been all about the ties that bind. You feel it when he’s singing deeply moving No. 1 hits like “What Mattered Most” and “Living in a Moment.” You get it just as much when he’s goofing around with the audience between songs in concert making every attendee laugh. Even in a genre that already prides itself on relatability, he might be the king of connecting.

Melinda Doolittle
Melinda became a household name on season six of American Idol continues thrilling audiences with her powerhouse vocals and charm. Melinda’s love for music is eclipsed only by her love of giving back, as she dedicates much of her time to working with numerous charities, especially those that center on improving the lives of children.

The Brilliance
David Gungor and John Arndt. Musically rich, theologically brave, and emotionally honest.

The Liturgists
The Liturgists is a collective of creators, led by Gungor, working together to make thoughtful liturgical work.

Volunteer Applications Now Open

By 2015 Festival, Goose News

wild goose festival volunteers
The difference between the Wild Goose Festival and a conference or a concert is that we come together in community to live out our call to walk in the way of Jesus. But even Jesus needs some helping hands. After all, somebody had to clean up all those extra loaves and fishes! Volunteers truly make the Wild Goose possible and provide the spirit of community that is at the heart of all we do.

If you have been to the festival before and want to experience it in a whole new way, or if you haven’t been and need to find a way to make it possible financially, maybe being a volunteer is the thing for you. Volunteers contribute 16 hours of work over the course of the Wild Goose and receive a festival pass in return. From helping set-up stages to keeping us clean and green, volunteers make the Goose a fun, safe, and happy community.

Volunteers commit to the purpose of the festival by supporting the values imagined in the Wild Goose Invitation and:

  • Loving the People
  • Being Hospitable
  • Building Community
  • Having Fun

Click here to apply to volunteer!

Questions about volunteering at Wild Goose Festival? Email

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