this post is part of the july synchroblog – a bunch of bloggers writing on the same topic. this month is centered on the wild goose festival, a justice-arts-spirituality festival held the last week of june in north carolina. some of us weren’t able to make it to the festival (i would have loved to be there but my back is still healing and i just couldn’t do flying-across-the-country-camping-for-5-days-and-then-flying back). this synchroblog will include stories from the gathering as well as from those of us who couldn’t go, centered on what the wild goose (the celtic image of the Holy Spirit) is stirring up for us. all of the links are at the bottom of this post, with more to come as they get posted. its an awesome mix!
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when it comes to faith & life i am pretty eclectic. i wrote a post about this last year called why i am a postevangelical-missional-emerging-ancient future-social justice-progressive-conservative-12 stepping-christian mutt. for me, though, if i had to choose i’d say that the most defining part of my faith–the center of what i believe–is the love of people & redemptive community. the way i connect with God is through relationship with people. but for a long time one of the “mutt” parts of my spirituality has been celtic christianity. i love their value on the mysterious work of the holy spirit, inclusivity of women, and dedication to deep, intentional, authentic community.
the wild goose–the Holy Spirit–is alive and well, stirring up all kinds of amazing stuff around the world, in our cities, neighborhoods, and hearts. while the Spirit has always been on the move, i think something’s blowing stronger right now that can’t be contained–a groundswell of hope for change in the landscape of “the church”
here’s what i see happening:
dreamers are bravely walking into the passions of their heart in all kinds of wild and beautiful ways. many have left what’s comfortable, given up money & power & security, been deemed as crazy and over the edge by many, but have gone for it anyway because we know we couldn’t not do what God is stirring up in us. people are creating art, cultivating community, advocating for the marginalized, moving to new cities and countries, starting non-profits, building new surprising relationships, trying new ways of living.
lovers are putting people above programs and practicing the radical inclusivity of Jesus. love is prevailing. many are losing their jobs, churches, and all kinds of other things on behalf of love and finding that the cost is worth it. because love embodies Jesus. lovers of grace, redemption and hope are taking the bumpier road of loving-people-regardless-of-the-risk and rebuilding and restoring our image of God–not only in our own lives but for others, too. many are feeding the hungry, loving the lonely, and restoring dignity where it’s been lost.
status-quo rockers are shifting the power structures in important places. this one is coming more slowly, but it’s coming. many are mixing up leadership, refusing to keep playing the same old games that defer to power and comfort, and are using our voices, resources, and gifts on behalf of change. toppling long held power structures won’t come cheap or easy, but with the wild goose’s help, many are gaining courage and strength to stand on behalf of the undervalued, the marginalized, the oppressed and do what can be done to give others a voice.
yeah, that’s where i see the crazy beautiful wild goose at work–inspiring dreamers, lovers, and status-quo rockers to live out the wild ways of Jesus despite the hazards.
so many of you reading–many who attended the festival–are those dreamers, lovers, status-quo rockers. thank you for listening to God, for your courage & craziness. you help my faith grow.
i think i’ll end with this, a lovely wild-goose-ish poem called “for a new beginning” from the irish poet/philosopher john o’donohue:
for a new beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
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other bloggers participating this month with reflections on the festival or on the wild-goose-on-the-move:
- Anna Snoeyenbos – Wild Goose Festival – A Spirit of Life Revival
- Lee Smith – Goose Bumps: Opportunities Everywhere for Offense. A Fair and Objective Review
- Ryan Hines – 30 Years Later – “Controversy” at Wild Goose
- Karyn Wiseman – Flying With the Goose
- Kyla Cofer – I went to the Wild Goose Fest and came back in love
- Brian Gerald Murphy – Born Again (Again) at Wild Goose
- Chris Lenshyn – Chasing the Wild Goose
- Cherie at Renaissance Garden – Wild Goose Return
- Deborah Wise – Wild Goose Chasing
- Custodianseed – “every day they eat boiled goose”
- Will Norman – Back from the Wild Goose Fest
- Martin at Exiles in NY – Greenbelt and the Wild Goose
- Kerri at Practicing Contemplative – Waterfowl in My Life
- Allison Leigh Lilley – Chasing the Wild Goose and Catching the Wild Goose: Thanks and First Thoughts
- Abbie Waters – Jessica: A Fable
- Steve Knight – Why Wild Goose Festival Was So Magical
- Tammy Carter – Visual Acuity and Flying
- Michelle Thorburg Hammond – I heart Jay Bakker and Peter Rollins
- Matthew Bolz-Weber – Remembering Wild Goose
- Paul Fromberg – Celebrating Interdependence Day
- David Zimmerman – Wild Goose Festival: A Recap
- Dan Brennan – U2, the Wild Goose, and Deep Freedom
- Mike Croghan – The Wild Goose is Not Safe
- John Martinez – The Table
- Callid Keefe-Perry – Gatekeeping the Goose
- Eric Elnes – The Inaugural Wild Goose Festival: Recovering Something Lost
- Shay Kearns – The Power of a T-Shirt, Apologizing to Over the Rhine, and Public vs. Private (Part One)
- Glen Reteif – Duck Duck Goose
- Peterson Toscano – I’ve Been Goosed, What I Carried Into Wild Goose, and What I Blurted Out at Wild Goose
- Seth Donovan – About More than “The Gays”
- TSmith – What I’ll Take From Wild Goose
- Dale Lature – Wild Goose Reflection
- Steve Hayes – Wild Goose Chase?
- Minnow – Grace Response
- Christine Sine – Encounters With A Thin Space
- Jeremy Myers – Giving Up the Wild Goose Chase
- Robert – Thoughts On the Inaugural Wild Goose
- Anna Woofenden – Slippery Slope Reflections
- Wendy McCaig – Loosing The Goose
- Joey Wahoo – Into The Wild
- Rachel Swan – goosed
- Patricia Burlison – I Called Life
- Jason Hess – While At the Goose
- The Bec Cranford – Wild Goose
- Anthony Ehrhardt – Chasing The Wild Goose on Independence Day
- Joel DeVyldere – So Lost at Last-(In the Woods)
- MK Anderson – Listening To The Wild Goose
- Jamie Arpin-Ricci – Wild Goose Fest
- Unfinished Symphony – #5 – The Last Post … for a while