Wild Goose 2012 will be a journey of exile and return. We’ll begin each morning led by Brian McLaren and others in prayer and exploration of what scripture has to say about our disconnection from God and each other, and how we might bridge the gaps between people from different backgrounds. As the festival continues, Alexia Salvatierra will help us imagine how immigration and justice interact, and invite a renewed relationship among strangers; Rita Nakashima Brock will present the profound thought that heaven can be realized right now, and explore the issues affecting military veterans and the wider community, how they can heal, and some of the work our culture needs to do to reduce the possibility of perpetual war; Shane Claiborne and others from the new monastic movement will share stories of their experiences in visiting places torn apart by war, and what can be learned at home; Lisa Sharon Harper will help us imagine how ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ can be in more humane, respectful conversation that leads to common good solutions rather than one side always dominating the other.

Wild Goose is a national event, but we’re located in the Southeast, and we want to deepen our engagement with issues that have specific local and regional implications. We’re excited to have Vincent Harding and Aljosie Knight and others serve as elders for the festival: as they bring their experience of working in the black civil rights movement to a place where a new movement can continue to be born. We’ll have space to engage with contemporary civil rights questions and racial reconciliation with Tema Okun and local civil rights activists, we’ll honor the hundredth anniversary of the unsung hero of the civil rights movement Bayard Rustin, and engage with the potential for a renewed public education culture to transform the country with Tim Tyson. (Not to mention the fantastic locavore food vendors from Durham’s burgeoning food truck culture; and music that honors the traditions of regional bluegrass.)

Recognizing that spirituality and justice are inextricably linked, Jim Wallis will share his experience after four decades as a Christian progressive activist, and ask how to stay connected to the spirit while carrying out sometimes exhausting and difficult work; Leroy Barber will speak about working with the hidden poor in America’s inner cities, and helping students make meaningful choices about career and vocation; Julie Clawson will facilitate conversation about making justice real in your own backyard; Ian Cron will offer his experience of spirituality and writing; Joy Carroll will talk about her history of spiritual activism, including being one of the first women ordained to priesthood in the Anglican Church; and Dave Andrews will bring his distinctive Australian wisdom to the exploration of what he calls ‘Christi-anarchy’.

Because we believe that understanding each other is vitally important to the work of building peace, we’ll have more conversations with people from other faiths, led by our friends from the Triangle Inter-faith Alliance, including the opportunity to share meals in different traditions, and contributions from Chris Stedman and others.

This year, other ways of expressing our exile and return theme will include learning and action for justice in the world as we know it: how to care for the earth with Peter Illyn; making households and local communities places of sanctuary for justice to be born with Mark and Lisa Scandrette; listening to and engaging with the experience of people with disabilities; and we will deepen our commitment to hearing from all kinds of voices who are often marginalized in our culture. We will have a particular focus on the issue of criminal justice reform, prison, and restorative justice, hearing from both survivors of crime who advocate for a more compassionate justice system and exonerated former prisoners; we will offer workshops on forgiveness and revenge, and restorative justice.

Around 50 other speakers will participate – writers, visual artists, activists, poets, preachers, gardeners, community-builders and more.  You can find out more here.

There’s much more to be experienced at the festival – we’ll also have conversations about sexuality and gender that seek to do justice to the human situation; as well as workshops on embodying the gifts of eco-theology, poetry and the inner journey, and how to make non-violence a way of life.  The hope at Wild Goose is to discover a holistic justice worldview that leads to genuine change. You’re invited to bring your questions, challenges, and experience to the festival: we need your voice here too.




2012 Wild Goose music performances come in all shapes and sizes: from oblong-rockers David Crowder and Gungor to the world-beat/sacred harp adventurers Kevin ProschAimee Wilson and Aaron Strumpel! East and West are up to the text – Hindi-flavored Aradhna share stages with urban-crunch talk-music pioneer, Listener! Hip hop served to collaborative perfection by Eugene IV next door to folk-protest notes-from-the-throats of Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets and Michelle Shocked!  Joy Ike‘s sweet melodical-periodicals and Tim Coons’ reedy bleats read us our collective hope-stories! Parade-by-numbers with the crowd-sourced carols of Songs of WaterTracy Howe Wispelwey and Rev. Vince Anderson!  Siss-BOOM-BAW! All this and many more magic moments – compelling open mics and flashmob fiddlin’ will be common praxis, turning the Goose’s world on its rhythmic-drum-inflected, vocal-barnstorming-harmonized, get-up-and-dance axis. See more of our music program here.

We’ll be screening great films that are hard to find elsewhere – often in the presence of their directors; there will be plays and dramatic monologues; and other forms of performance art.  More information will follow soon.

What’s more: we’re expanding our program for kids and youth this year. Click here to learn more about these additions.

That’s just a taste of the program for now. But there’s so much more than the ‘official’ program: the point of Wild Goose is to gather at the intersection of justice, spirituality, art and music; to form a community together that leads to action and renewal, year-round. It won’t be the same without you.

The Wild Goose Festival tries to keep the experience as affordable as possible. Tickets are usually $139, but because we really want you to be there, you can get a ticket for only $99 (sale extended through Sun. 03/04) . There are also fantastic discounts for family and groups. But hurry, this discount expires on March 2nd.


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