In early July, three members of Isaiah’s Table’s affiliated young adult group, PALs, made the 12 hour road trip to Hot Springs, NC for the Wild Goose Festival. It was well worth the long drive! PALs stands for People At Lydia’s – a reference to Acts 16, where Lydia opened her house up for the followers of Jesus to stay, eat and talk about spirituality – which is essentially what we do on a weekly basis.
When we arrived at the Goose, we first had to pick a spot to pitch our tent. As people arrived, there ended up being about 4-6 tents per campsite. Strangers quickly became friendly neighbors. The next three days consisted of 45 minute workshop sessions from 8am-6pm. The sessions took place in 7 tent locations, so at any given time, there were at least 7 different options to attend. Some speakers we heard included Nadia Bolz-Weber, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Diana Butler-Bass, Jim Wallis, Rev. Dr. William Barber, and Frank Schaffer. In the evenings, activities included live concerts at the main stage, beer and hymns in the pub tent, and a nightly silent disco.
I feel Wild Goose has opened my mind and my soul. Wild Goose aims to be a transformative experience through sharing stories grounded in faith. Listening to a variety of people who have perspectives different than my white, middle-class, female experience talk about what it means to be a person of faith in other parts of our country broke me open to see how much more I really have to learn. I thought I understood my white privilege, but I realize I haven’t truly taken that knowledge to heart. As our society continues to become more and more media and electronic based, it is important as a Christian to treat everyone we meet as a unique and beautiful creation of God. I can’t wait for Wild Goose next year!