The Goose on Today’s Most Burning Issues – Gareth Higgins

“What does Wild Goose think about [issue/movement/idea} XYZ..?”

People ask this all the time. It’s a valid question, and the answer(s) aren’t so simple.  For one thing, we’re just getting started and while we hope to build a better festival each year – we never went into this thinking that we had all the answers.  In fact, for most of us, it was questions that led us to the Goose. It’s important to note that, as afestival rather than a conference or church, Wild Goose is seeking to create open space for a variety of conversations; we don’t necessarily endorse what any particular contributor might say. In fact, if you ask the question, ‘What does the Wild Goose Festival think about (insert controversial theological issue here)?’, one way of responding would be to ask each of the 1700 or so people who were there this past June. Only when you’ve talked to everyone will you get a full picture.

You can be part of that picture by coming to the festival in June 2012, seven months away.  Tickets for the festival are available now, at an advance purchase discount: until December 31st, individual tickets will be $119 each.  They’ll go up to $129 on January 1st.  More details are at wildgoosefestival.org.

We will continue to look for creative ways of describing the vision of thefestival for people who are asking. That will come soon, but for now we’ll say that we are creating together a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art, because we want to follow the path of Jesus, and know that we need to address the historic and contemporary shadow side of Christianity.  Some forms of religion have often contributed to making things worse; but the path of Jesus is often at odds with the path of religion.  Tradition, like anything else, can be redeemed; and the path of Jesus is transformative, revolutionary, creative, compelling, upending hierarchies and privileging the marginalized.  It welcomes everyone, no matter your tradition, background, or identity, and is more about revealing to us how to be human than it is about how to be religious.  We find this vision compelling, and want to develop a festival that embodies it, giving us a once-a-year axis of change, that teaches, provokes, excites, and heals.  This is the task of a lifetime of course, and we are merely fellow travelers with many others doing the same thing in their own way.

We’re listening to feedback concerning ‘vibe’ when it comes to who we’re inviting to share at WGF 2012. We can’t promise anything just yet, but we are committed to diversity and authenticity among our contributors, challenging hierarchies that often exist between public figures and their audiences, and open space for serious, authentic, realistic, honest, safe and respectful exploration of anything people want to discuss, including the most challenging and divisive issues. Most of all, we’re aware that this is just a beginning; we have high hopes, and are committed to developing Wild Goose as a safe space for sometimes dangerous work at the intersection of justice, spirituality, and art; and we know that this work will always be incomplete. We’re sure we’ll never get everything right, but we do hope to build something rather than just complain about what went before, or wait until the plans are perfect before we actually do anything.  We invite you to join us.  Those advance rate tickets are still available here.  Keep in touch!

 

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