Three Reasons You Should Attend Wild Goose West

UPDATE on August 17, 2012 – The WGF folks have extended my 15% discount code until Midnight on August 29th, so if you are still deciding if this is an event to attend, there is still time to get a little break on the registration fee. Register here: Wild Goose Ticket Website and use the code, WILDBRC (all caps).

UPDATE on August 12, 2012 – If it helps give you a sense of the kinds of things that are going at Wild Goose, here are two draft descriptions of talks that I’ll be giving.

  • Saturday @ 9am – Panel on difference
  • Saturday @ 2pm – Solo talk, “Are we still talking about race?”
    Still one of the most “awkward moment” inducing topics in today’s church is the issue of race. Some want to just “get beyond it” while, for others, race seems to be the only discourse worthy of attention. And then there are those who “don’t see race” and think that we perpetuate the racial divide by talking about it. Race is a difficult topic, but one that new expressions of faith must address with nuance, passion and faith . . .  so that’s what I’ll attempt to do.
  • Saturday @ 7pm – Solo talk,  “The radical nature of the middle way”
    As we move deeply into the presidential election season, what will it looks like to be a positive presence in the public square? In a world where it seems as if many people – politicians and pastors – find refuge in strident ideological camps, might the radical calling of Christ be to genuinely hear the other, cross the aisle and find moments of grace that strengthen the common good? Lets talk about it.
  • Sunday @ 2pm – Panel on the future of denominations

This Labor Day Weekend near Portland, OR, I will be participating in the gathering known as Wild Goose West 2012 and I would love to see you there! I have never been to a Wild Goose, but have had a good number of friends who have attended the East Coast version that has been in existence for a few years, so I am excited to finally be able to make it.

In addition to this thoughtful reflection from Katie Mulligan, here is some info from the official site:

We are a community creating a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art. The first festival took place in June 2011; the next one is August 31-September 2. We take inspiration from many places, such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community, SXSW, and others. The festival is open to everyone; we don’t censor what can be said; we invite respectful – but fearless – conversation and action for the common good.

The Wild Goose is a Celtic spirituality metaphor that evokes unpredictability, beauty, and grace. The festival resonates with this image because we recognize that in the current climate of religious and political division and lack of civility, embracing the creative and open nature of our faith is perhaps our greatest asset for re-building and strengthening our relationships with each other, with our enemies, with our stories, our questions, and the other. In that spirit, in an informal setting, and in the context of creative and respectful relationships, we invite you to imagine a new world with us.

Here are three reasons that you should consider attending Wild Goose West’s inaugural gathering:

1 . . . If you have ever wanted to meet these other people that I have talked about in my blogs, tweets and instagram pics, this will be the first event in a long time where my whole family (spouse and three daughters) plus my mom and step-dad will be at the same event. They are all much more fun than I and if you want to play a little Settlers of Catan, we are so game!

Second . . . there are some awesome folks lined up to speak, sing and create, so there will be plenty to feed your soul. I’m speaking as well, but please do not let that deter you from coming because you can also listen to and interact with yahoo’s such as: Dervish D’Light, Nadia Bolz-Weber, No Kind Of Rider, Rachel Evans, Yvette Flunder, Brian McLaren,Fr. Richard Rohr, Alexia Salvatierra, Richard Twiss, Sara Fischer, Susan Leo David, Leslie Melissa, Marley Bonnichsen, Kurt Neilson, Brittany Ouchida, Kerlin Richter, Maria-Jose “Cote” Soerens, Diane Syrcle, Menomena, Linda Hornbuckle, Obo Addy, Josh Garrels, Gungor, Aaron Strumpel, Blacque Butterfly, Randy Woodley, Shelley Short, Lauren Steele, Mike McGonigal, Beyondadoubt, Speaker Minds, Ryan Sollee, When The Broken Bow, Hannah Glavor, Great Wilderness, Kat Jones, Kelli Schaefer, Agents Of Future, and . . .

AND C . . . There is a serious rumor going around that my mom and step-father will be cooking up some chicken adobo, so you will NOT want to miss your chance to experience this yummy Filipino cuisine.

If you do decide to go, the good folks at Wildgoose have set up a special 15% off promo code, so when you register, use “WILDBRC” (all caps) on the Wild Goose Ticket Website and click on the reddish “Enter Promotion Code” link.  The code expires at midnight on August 15th.

To keep up with Wild Goose West announcements on the interwebs:

Hope to see you then, but if you can’t go, I’ll be tweeting and instagramming (sp?) all the while!

Five Reasons to “Animate” Your Church’s Adult Education Program

Tony Jones recently posted some info about a project that I am part of, the new Animate Faith Formation Series, from SparkHouse. I have already been compensated for my part in the project, so my gushing over the project is not so much about sales as it is about hoping people take advantage of this resource that I am truly proud of.

From what I can tell, the folks at SparkHouse wanted to bring together seven of the greatest Christian thinkers in the universe in order to create an adult formation curriculum that was, not only theologically solid, but engaging and thoughtful. As the tagline reads:

Seven leading Christian voices.
Seven big conversations about faith.
All you need is seven weeks.

As it would turn out the seven greatest thinkers were already booked, so they scraped together seven other folks who have been known to flap their gums about God, faith and life:

And over about six months we wrote, procrastinated, wrote, submitted, re-wrote, gathered, critiqued, re-wrote and finally recorded our thoughts on God, Jesus, Salvation, Spirituality, The Cross, the Bible and Church. The results of our efforts can be seen in this first of many teaser videos:

Here are five quick reasons why I think you should order it today:

  • We invite rather than instruct. While we each give our perspective on faith, these are not offered in order convince anyone of anything, but rather to present a compelling reason to think about each topic and then explore what this means for each person.
  • We were allowed to be ourselves. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but we were each encouraged to bring our own stories into this project and the process. The danger in this kind of openness is that our personalities and styles might not always jive with the hearer, but the potential for folks to hear a genuine invitation to conversations about faith hopefully comes through.
  • We modeled what we encourage. Part of the process was to engage with one another through a script read-through and workshop. Gathered in one room over two days, we each read, critiqued, received and eventually left with a better message than we could have developed on our own. This mutuality and respectful exploration was an important part of this project and we hope this same kind of interaction will take place for the participate in the series. And in case you were wondering, YES this was a tad bit intimidating.
  • Not everyone will be happy with what we say or who we are. There will be some who will try to place the seven of us into some theological box from which we are collectively destroying Christendom and perverting the Gospel with our false theology in word and deed. And while there are times when I WISHED for that kind of power, rest assured that I stand proudly with these folks, not because I agree with everything that is said, but because we have each entered into a liberating journey to make faith real in a world where too often Christianity is experienced as anything but freeing.
  • It just looks awesome. Okay, I have to admit that when I was told that there was going to be animation, I thought to myself, “Cool” and immediately hoped for some Speed Racer version of myself. Well, not only is the artwork and graphical layout great looking, after previewing my own segment, folks will be moved by how the animation helps fill and form the words and thoughts that are trying to be expressed. Also, the journal that tis part of the series is one of those rare “workbooks” that people will keep on their bookshelves, not as a reminder of a moment in time, but as a way to look back on their journey of faith.

So, thanks to Tony Jones, Paul Soupiset and Team and the rest of the SparkHouse crew for their vision, leadership and support during this project. It was a blast. For more information about the “voices” of Animate including bio’s, links and trivia, click HERE and here are the various Social Media  links of interest: FacebookTwitter and YouTube.