Wild Goose takes flight in the Northwest

Just six weeks from now, Wild Goose West will take flight. We’ve had an amazing experience the past two years in the Southeast participating in an intersection between justice, spirituality and creativity, and now, at the invitation of friends in the Portland-Seattle area, we’re working together to curate a Wild Goose Festival in the Northwest.

The point of Wild Goose is to create space for people who are aware of the shadow side of religion, but still hope for its best visions to be realized; people who discern that in a God-breathed universe, there can be no sacred-secular divide; a growing community of those who want to follow the teachings of Jesus, and seek light wherever it reveals itself; people who want to resist injustice, transcend divisive politics, heal our respective marginalization, and become more than the sum of our parts. A festival becoming a movement that promotes the common good.

Wild Goose West will be different from Wild Goose East, of course; but we do know that it will be challenging, it will be participative, it will be entertaining, it will be provocative, and it will be outrageously fun. There will be speakers and conversation facilitators and workshops on the leading edge of justice, spirituality and creativity. There will be music to stir the soul and move the feet. There will be theatrical performances, poetry, film, and dance. You’ll even have the chance to share your own wisdom and questions if you want to sign up to give a talk, lead a conversation, or announce a provocation yourself.

Additional Lineup Announced

Today we’re thrilled to announce more of the lineup of contributors. It’s an amazing group of people – many of whom are participating as a gift of commitment because they want to see the dream of a truly diverse, anti-oppressive, vibrant, participative, action-meeting-intelligent-analysis movement come into being.

The festival theme is ‘Exile and Return’ – from and to God, each other, and our very selves. If you want to reconnect with the divine, or reconcile across community boundaries – with friends and enemies alike, or to make sense of the inner contradictions that each of us lives with: holy and profane, angry and happy, hopeful and distressed, then there will be something for you at Wild Goose West.


It might be ALEXIA SALVATIERRA, a Latina storyteller, Lutheran priest, and advocate for a more just immigration policy, not just because of the suffering caused by the current broken system, but because welcoming the stranger includes discovering more beauty in ourselves… Or perhaps NADIA BOLZ-WEBER, who founded House for All Sinners and Saints, a community church in Denver, CO, that aims to practice life-liturgy for everyday postmodern existence, could speak to your situation… We’ll also have precious time with much-beloved FATHER RICHARD ROHR, the Franciscan founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, who believes the whole life needs both… Writer and popular blogger RACHEL HELD EVANS will share how her new book on womanhood and spirituality is ruffling feathers among those intimidated by talking about the realities of being female (or generally human)… BRUCE REYES-CHOW will speak from his experience as an Asian-American national denominational leader, and explorer of matters of faith, culture, technology, race, politics, parenting, and urban living… Our good friend BRIAN MCLAREN will help us reconsider relationships among people of different faiths, and ask what it means to be authentically Christian in a multi-faith world… We’re honored to have with us – and part of the team – DR RICHARD TWISS, Native American educator and author, member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, a thinker and speaker of huge heart, humor, and historic sensitivity. And it will be a prophetic delight to have BISHOP YVETTE FLUNDER ignite conversation about creating refuges for the broken among us (including ourselves), and to reconsider just what the teachings of Jesus have to say about radical inclusion, justice-making, and sacred ground.


That’s just for starters: let’s take a break here to tune in to our dynamic and poetic music curator, Todd Fadel, who has this to say about the sounds that you’ll hear at Wild Goose West:

“So you may have heard through the goose-vine that we’re cooking up the best bits for Westerners…. WELL, LISTEN 2 THIS:

Not only are blast-saxing MENOMENA and soul-stirring LINDA HORNBUCKLE ruling the roost, we’re receiving rhythmic boosts from Ghanian world-beat master OBO ADDY, Sufi-melding DERVISH D’LIGHT, funk-fusioners SPEAKER MINDS and late-night miners of 45’s – BEYONDADOUBT unearthing her sparkling soul-nuggets and MIKE MCGONIGAL polishing off rare, gospel-gems.

In addition, with chamberstring precision, GUNGOR and JOSH GARRELS bellow betwixt celloists whilst awarded-slam-poet, LAUREL STEELE and BLACQUE BUTTERFLY lock it proper. 100% trusted vocal-super-friends abound with cozy-popper SHELLEY SHORT, bleached-bleating RYAN SOLLEE, fury-ful KELLI SCHAEFER and taps-and-revelry-heavy AARON von STRUMPEL safe-paving the way-laid for new-faced graceful invaders GREAT WILDERNESS, gypsy-swingsetters WHEN THE BROKEN BOW, latin-twisted KAT JONES, solid poly-beated NO KIND OF RIDER and sweet Savannan-flavour courtesy of ms. HANNAH GLAVOR.

More names are buffering to aleve the songless-sufferers, so keep mouses glued to the internet tubes. Meantime, feast your eyes on this.”

Thank you Todd!

So there you have it – some speakers, some musicians, a lot of magic.

Sacred Spaces, Film Screenings and More

Mix in sacred spaces honoring the people who first lived on this land to Quaker meetings to alternative liturgies, and 12 step meetings to old time gospel sing-a-longs; film screenings (and a review of spiritual interaction at the cinema over the past year); workshops on topics such as how to sustain your soul amidst an activist lifestyle, exclusion from the church, feminist approaches to motherhood, and restorative justice; interfaith conversations and reimagining lament and hope in the post-9/11 era; opportunities to create and explore art together; slam poetry; monologues; a play or two; and you’ve got some sense of what’s on offer at Wild Goose West.

Dates & Details

Wild Goose West is just around the corner – 5.30pm on August 31st to 10pm on September 2nd, near Portland, near Seattle, near lots of places – hopefully near you. We’re looking for a thousand creative pilgrims to join the party. You can get tickets for the ridiculously low price of $99 for the next 48 hours only – this price will expire at midnight on Thursday, the 19th July. There are opportunities to volunteer and you can find out more by staying tuned to the festival website and blog. If you buy a ticket, or even if you can’t be with us this time round, you can help support the festival vision by making a donation. If you want to know more about Wild Goose generally, what the festival is about, and what the festival community is seeking to promote, you’ll find information here.

For now, we hope you’ll make the decision to be part of this new community. We are genuinely excited to welcome you as Wild Goose West takes flight. Join us?

Check back for further lineup announcements as the festival approaches.

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