The Wild Goose Festival: Gratitudes

The Wild Goose Festival: Gratitudes June 27, 2011

This week, I’m going to be posting on different aspects of the Wild Goose Festival, which was, from my perpective, an overwhelmingly successful gathering.  Truly, I cannot imagine that it could have gone much better than it did, and I’m proud to have been a volunteer at the first Goose.

I’ve got lots to say, so I’ll address different aspects of the festival, like the music, the talks, sexuality, and even some of my friendly suggestions to make the festival better next year.

But to begin, I want to post my thanksgivings:

Thanks to the festival director, Gareth Higgins, for friendship.  Also, thanks to Gareth for asking me to coordinate the team of speaker hosts, and thanks to Gareth for approving, at the last minute, a reprise of the Church Basement Roadshow on Saturday night.  Thanks also for inviting Courtney to photograph the festival.  (N.b., her photos will be available later this week.)

Thanks to Reverend Vince Anderson for joining the Church Basement Roadshow: A Rollin’ Gospel Revival and making the Brother, the Professor, and the Preacher sound better than they ever have.

Thanks to Mark Scandrette and Doug Pagitt (and Svedka) for convincing me that bring the Roadshow back one more time was a good idea.

Thanks to Jay Bakker for speaking the truth from his heart.

Thanks to Pete Rollins for being utterly serious about recovering the very heart of Christianity…by rejecting Christianity.

Thanks to Nadia and Matthew Bolz-Weber for inviting me to play guitar in the bluegrass liturgy band, and thanks for asking Courtney to be a reader — it was the first time that Courtney and I have been in leadership of a liturgy together.

Thanks to Leo Brunnick and Deborah Arca of Patheos for renting an RV and allowing Courtney, Doug Pagitt, and me to not only sleep therein, but also to invite scores of friends up to RV Hill for nightly parties that stretched past 2am.

Thanks to Devin and his posse of young, restless, reformed guys for not only taking a chance on the Goose, but for being self-proclaimed conservatives who came to learn and converse.  Plus, they volunteered!

Thanks to Paul Fromberg, Andrew Marin, and Phyllis Tickle for not only being on a “Sexuality and Justice” panel that I moderated, but for rolling with it when I called several audibles during the hour.

Thanks to so many of you who:

  • congratulated Courtney and me on our upcoming marriage;
  • told me that you appreciated my writing;
  • re-introduced yourselves after meeting in years past;
  • came to my discussion session, “Why Pray?” yesterday.

Ultimately, thanks to the many, many people who were at #WGF11 who have been my friends over the last decade, and to new friends whom I am now thrilled to claim as we move into the future together.

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  • Thank you Tony! I hate that I missed your talk! I would’ve congratulated you for being a newly we’d if I knew! I’m looking forward to reading your reflections on the event.

  • Tony, WGF was wonderful! Although, I’m sad that I missed your talk, too. I did catch Pete Rollins’ and it blew my mind. One of the things that struck me the most at the festival was the incredible kindness of others. I am 7 months pregnant and I was exhausted pretty much the whole time I was there. Plus, neither my husband or myself thought to bring chairs. And getting up and down from the grass is difficult and requires a good deal of assistance. One lady offered me her chair! Another offered her blanket. And when I was in line for the portapotty, everyone insisted I go in front of them. The speakers and musicians were astounding. And beautifully, so was everyone else.

  • James

    I hope I can attend next year. It sounded like it was an awesome time.

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