All Posts By

Kevin Garcia

Instagoodness from #WildGoose2018

By 2018 Announcements, 2018 Festival, Wild Goose StoriesNo Comments

#WildGoose2018 had some incredible moments! We’ve loved seeing everyone’s perspective and photos on the hashtag #WildGoose2018, and we wanted to share some of our favorites. (In no particular order!)


Such a cool moment at #wildgoose2018

A post shared by Matthew Paul Turner (@matthewpaulturner) on

After Care for After #WildGoose2018

By 2018 AnnouncementsOne Comment

What an amazing year at #WildGoose2018, right? So many amazing moments, performances, talks, and relationships made. So many memories that we are all carrying with us back to our communities.

For some, Wild Goose is a place to bring their community for a retreat away from the rest of the world. For others, it’s coming home because where they live isn’t exactly as welcoming, open, or curious as the Goose community. Many of us feel this sense of post-festival blues, the feeling of missing the joy and wonder that comes with being in community of people who welcome you and love you as you are.

So what do we do with that? How do we take care of ourselves and others after the Wild Goose Festival and throughout the year? Here are some ideas:

1. Be real about your feelings.

Yes, you are sad, and that is perfectly okay. Feeling a sense of loss or sadness, a sense of longing to go back is normal. Feel all of it and don’t bottle it up and say that you’re okay when you aren’t. Share those with people around you. Reach out to people from the Goose through texts, phone calls, and social media. Just because you aren’t right next to someone, sweating and singing at Beer & Hymns doesn’t mean you have to lose that connection. That brings us to the next point.

2. Stay connected.

Wild Goose Festival is one time of year. But the spirit of our community is consistently at work throughout the year in various parts of the country doing incredible work. Use social media to follow your new friends and reach out to them. Find out how you can support and get involved with the various organizations and non-profits we had at the festival. And you can sign up for our newsletter so you can be up to speed on all the things Wild Goose! We’ll have a lot of exciting announcements coming up so don’t miss out on that.

3. Share your story.

You probably heard it throughout the festival: stories change the world. And we always want to hear from our community. There’s nothing more exciting hearing about lives being impacted and changed from a Wild Goose experience and we want to hear it. If you’ve got a story from this past year, something new, unique, powerful or even just funny, or maybe photos you’d like to share, send our social media coordinator an email at

4. Plan to come back to #WildGoose2019.

People are already carving out time in their calendar for next year’s festival, and we want you to be there too. Tickets for the Wild Goose Festival 2019, July 11-14, 2019, are already on sale. And there are 150 prefestival tickets that are only $169! Don’t wait. Get your tickets now. 

And pro-tip: if you’re a cabin person, reserve your cabin now. Because they are going to go so quickly.

5. Be gentle with yourself and rest.

It was a big weekend, full of amazing moments that we’ll all carry with us. Treasure it. Share it. And know that it is not the last time you’ll be embraced by the spirit of the Wild Goose.

We’ve got some big plans for the coming year, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to speed on things. And again, get your tickets now while they are still super cheap!

A Goosey Gathering

By Goose News, Wild Goose StoriesOne Comment

Hospitality and kindness are at the heart of the Wild Goose community. So much so that someone who was once simply providing a service to our community actually became a part of it. 

So, we packed up our Subaru, made the pilgrimage north, and pitched our tent. As luck would have it, we had the cleanest port-a-potty in the history of port-a-potties right across from our campsite. So my wife, being the sweet soul she is, made it a point to make sure she met and thanked the person who cleaned and stocked our little corner of heaven.

That person was Mike from Griffin Services in Asheville. Mike came over from Asheville twice a day to clean and restock all the port-a-potties at the festival and, as Keller Williams sings, ‘We fell in love in a port-a-potty line’!

As we became familiar with his schedule, it was easy to speak with him and thank him for his service to us and the festival. Mike said we should put in a good word for him at corporate; which we did as soon as we had cell service again. 😏

Fast-forward to the next year and we’re coming into Hot Springs with our pull-behind camper down the hill from Marshall with a parade of folks behind us. (We’re from Florida -PEOPLE, driving down these hills is crazy.)

They were honking and waving (at least some of them were waving, some were also giving hand signals) like we

needed to pull over. Of course, there’s no spot to pull over ’til the bottom and when we did get stopped, we realized our bike rack had failed us and our bikes were dragging behind us. So, who pulls up behind us with a flatbed full of port-o-potties? Our boy Mike!

We reintroduce ourselves, say a little thank you that no one was harmed by our bike-dragging debacle, and Mike immediately loads our bikes on his flatbed and delivers them directly to our campsite at The Goose.

Now on to last year, after another call to Griffin, Mike is upset with us because they’ve made him supervisor due to our ringing endorsements over the last two years. However, after he forgave us for that, he decided that he’d maybe spend a night or two at our campsite; which he did. As we had the opportunity to spend time with Mike and hear more of his story, he quickly became part of our tribe.

We shared meals, stories, and, most importantly, on Sunday morning we shared another meal; communion with Mike.

This year, if you stop by Intersections campsite (it’s more of a compound, actually), Mike will be with us for the whole festival and you can share your story and a meal with him!

See you soon!

Tim and Jan Kerr

Stories like this happen all the time at Wild Goose. This year, come expecting amazing things and be ready to share yours! 


What The Goose Gives Me

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

I wonder what the Goose will give me this year.

When I pull into Hot Springs, it will be my sixth consecutive Wild Goose. Each year I attend on behalf of Chalice Press, which has sponsored Wild Goose since 2012. I’m there to work: Finding new authors, promoting our new titles, creating connections, scouting the future of progressive Christianity, that kind of stuff. There are the constants: inspirational worship, imaginative presenters, unique participants, and of course pop-up thunderstorms followed by breathtaking sunsets.

But Wild Goose has made a deep personal impact on me – it’s left a mark. Whether it’s the setting, the mindset, the culture, or in my case merely coincidental timing, each Wild Goose has been a different experience for me. And it’s not always about the programming.

In 2013, I brought my son with me. We celebrated his 14th birthday with the Indigo Girls, the Lost Dogs, fireworks, mud up to our ankles, and the spellbinding Rev. William J. Barber II. My son still talks about his Wild Goose experience – as he continues exploring a call to ministry while heading off to college in August. Wild Goose gave me a son who listens for God.

In 2014, I came solo to Wild Goose catching my breath, my marriage having just avoided breaking up (for the moment), my heart mending, my mind needing a change of scenery and a change of pace. Wild Goose gave me hope.

In 2015, I came solo and broken. The divorce I’d worked so hard to avoid finalized while I was at the Goose. I needed time to sit by the river to reflect, to mourn, to let go, to hold on, and to begin the process of figuring out who the new me was going to be. I found a few rocks, figuratively labeled them with my pain and guilt, and threw them away into the river, hoping to be relieved of those negative emotions and start anew. Wild Goose gave me a new start.

In 2016, I came with friends, feeling better about my situation yet heartbroken that one of those friends had a cataclysmically awful month, far worse than where I had been the year before. Our circle of friends hoped and prayed to provide support or relief or hope or whatever was needed, at that moment and in the tough times to come. Wild Goose gave me compassion.

In 2017, I came with my new girlfriend, on top of the world. Sharing that experience with a Goose newcomer – but, more importantly, with a woman/pastor who has helped me see the world and my ministerial work in new, God-embraced ways – has given Wild Goose a new depth I hadn’t seen before. Wild Goose gave me new vision.

In 2018… well, I don’t know about that yet. I know who’s on the program and what work I will have to do while I’m in Hot Springs. But as I walk beneath the verdant canopy and watch the French Broad River flow by and wring out my rain-drenched clothes (because let’s be honest: it’s gonna rain), I know the Goose works in mysterious ways, and I can’t predict what that experience will be like. I just have to go with the flow.

May you find yourself going with the flow at the Goose, at home, sitting in traffic  – wherever you need to think differently, to rest, to find inspiration and hope.

We’re so thankful to have Chalice Press as a longtime partner of the Wild Goose Festival. Learn more about their work at

Your Tribe is at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

Your Tribe is at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Take the next step on your journey here. 

If Wild Goose is the festival, SFTS is the after party. Ok, we’re not saying life on our campus is on par with 3 days of gettin’ down in Hot Springs, NC… it is a graduate school, after all. And we hear that some professors (we’re not naming names) assign A LOT of reading. But we didn’t choose this path because it’s easy. We were called. Something inside told us we needed to make a difference in this big, ever-changing world. San Francisco Theological Seminary will prepare you to take that passion and put it into action, whether it’s in the ministry, spiritual direction, or using your degree to be a greater, more compassionate leader of a nonprofit.

Need more?

We Stand for All the Good Things 




And we walk our talk.

Heard of the Beyoncé Mass? That was us. Rev. Yolanda Norton and her Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible students came up with the concept that resulted in nearly 1,000 people attending mass at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on a Wednesday night. It was about inclusion. It was about EVERYONE feeling God’s love and acceptance in a place of worship, AND outside those walls. That’s what we believe, and what you’ll experience at SFTS.

Need more convincing? 



Ok. How about you come visit us for a few days and see for yourself. We just happen to be hosting a Preview Weekend November 1-3.

Attend classes & worship. Meet faculty & staff. Hang out with current students and ask them all the questions. Visit the GTU.

Eat delicious food & stay on campus—OUR TREAT.

Here’s a quick video of what it’s like.

Did we mention that we’re in the San Francisco Bay Area?


Super fun.

Amazing food.

Your. Tribe.

Stop by our booth on Main Street and talk to Isai Garcia from our Admissions Team about our MDiv, MATS, Online MATS, and more…

Can’t wait? Sign up for Preview Weekend right now! See you there!

Bridging the Gap | Praxis Forum Group

By Goose NewsNo Comments

The Praxis Forum is a group committed to bridging the gap between academic work and on-the-ground efforts in religion. We conduct our own scholarship efforts, but our main focus is the realization of these efforts. We want to emerge from the dusty books and abstract ideas and hit the ground running, putting our knowledge into practice. Praxis!

Praxis is a group attached to the Westar Institute, a non-profit research organization committed to studying the Christian tradition. Westar works to improve religious literacy in the public as it pushes the envelope with cutting-edge scholarship.

Even for an educated audience, sometimes understanding experts can be like wading through molasses. Or maybe we understand it but do not feel like we can put it to use. The ‘so what?’ of religious studies can be stifling. This is where the Praxis Forum comes in.

What could this look like? Perhaps it is a discussion circle debriefing academic discourse. Maybe it is something more artistic, such as a podcast series or theatrical production. It could be tied to worship, such as a sermon, devotional, or Taizé service. Whatever it may be, we want to act on scholarship and make it something tangible. 

We are primarily interested in Christianity but we are not exclusionary of other faith traditions. All of us are concerned, interested, or involved with religion in some way. Many of us are pastors, work in chaplaincy, or are in religious studies. Many of us engage with material in our art or community events. Some of us are religious, some of us are not. Some of us don’t quite know what it means to be religious but see something important in faith traditions. And faith traditions are transforming rapidly and affecting everything from family structures to national policies. We are invested in the research and the conversations and desire to do more.

We hope to make scholarship more accessible and more tangible. We yearn to find more ways to engage audiences who are committed to critical thinking in their studies or spiritual lives. Whatever your interest level, faith, or education, Praxis welcomes you to join us in conversation and practice.

To be considered for membership please tell us in 500 words or less: How do you see yourself and/or your work in relation to the mission of the Praxis Forum? Submit your response along with a current resume or CV to

Praxis Membership gives you:

  • A part in an integrated network of leaders
  • Ability to apply for funding to attend Westar Spring meetings
  • Access to Member-only meetings at events
  • Access to Member-only resources
  • Ability to host, lead, and/or attend Praxis events around the country
  • Deeply discounted fees for events
  • $40 annual membership fee to be renewed every year


Twitter: @PraxisF

We are so excited to have Praxis Forum Group as a part of #WildGoose2018

Not Fences, Lord, but Tables

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

In 2017, a group of students from Wake Forest University School of Divinity published a collection of prayers and poems titled Words Made Flesh. I begin by sharing one poem from that collection:


A prayer for Holy Communion

Not fences, Lord,

But tables.

No us,

No them,

But the whole body—


Here at the table

We are hosted by Jesus,

Called into wholeness

Through radical hospitality,

Put back together

Through the breaking of the bread,

Filled up by the extravagant pouring out

Of your Great Love.

Here at the table

The shards of our hearts

Become a mosaic of hope.

We, the body,

Are re-membered

To be sent out again,

Grace-filled table-builders

In a fence-laden world.

— Nicole Newton (MDiv ‘17).

The unfortunate reality is that today’s religious culture no longer guarantees everyone a seat at the table. Rather, it seems that more barriers are being constructed that prohibit us from being in holy communion with one another. But, what if this reality was reimagined? What if theological education focused on providing space for religious leaders to sit at tables with the whole body? What if theological education re-membered community by evaluating new emerging patterns of religious life and built opportunities for new collaborations? Would we then see more “grace-filled table-builders in a fence-laden world?”

At Wake Forest University School of Divinity, we have explored exploring these questions with intentionality and investment. Our newest result? The Collaborative for Public Religious Leadership. The Collaborative for Public Religious Leadership connects the School of Divinity with community partners in the work of justice, reconciliation, and compassion. Through this collaboration, we aim to transform both ministry and theological education through innovative community partnerships and projects such as:

  • The Art of Ministry Curriculum which focuses on vocational formation through the integration of classroom and internship-based learning to introduce students to the life and work of ministry.
  • Clergy Making a Place: Early Career Pastors as Generative Community Leaders, a pastoral leadership initiative that connects clergy with business and civic leaders to effectively engage and respond to today’s social challenges.
  • The Faith-Based Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program, an online course aimed at building the skillset and knowledge of those leading and forming nonprofits.
  • Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program,  which helps cultivate faithful leaders to work on food insecurity, health disparity, and/or ecological degradation.
  • “The Foundry House,” an intentional Christian community that offers young adults from varying backgrounds and life experiences the opportunity to create a residential community that exemplifies the love of Jesus Christ.
  • Practitioners-in-Residence, a program that presents short-term residential experiences at the School of Divinity for ministry practitioners to reflect on, read and write about, ritualize, and be in conversation with curious students, faculty, staff, and community members who share interests in the practitioner’s field of work.
  • Worship Planning as a Spiritual Practice Congregational Partnership, a co-learning initiative between the School of Divinity and partner worshiping communities to promote worship services that cultivate a spirit of gratitude and collaborative hospitality, and embody Gospel care in and to the world.  

Through such partnerships and projects, The Collaborative for Public Religious Leadership explores place-based pedagogies with faith communities and community partners to better engage wisdom about the life and work of ministry that is emerging in the practice of ministry. Instead of building fences, we are deconstructing them through collaboration.

I invite you to take a moment and further explore The Collaborative for Public Religious Leadership on our website and see how you or your organization may be able to sit at the table with Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Additionally, whether you are a prospective student, an alumni, or a potential collaborative partner, I invite you to stop by the Wake Forest University School of Divinity exhibit tent at this year’s festival to learn how you can engage with us in the work of justice, compassion, and reconciliation.

Rayce Lamb, Director of Ministry & Vocational Exploration

Wake Forest University School of Divinity

We’re so pleased to have Wake Forest Univseristy School of Divinity as a partner and sponsor of #WildGoose2018

Your Invitation to Desanka

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

What is Desanka?

For years, Desanka has joined the Wild Goose Festival and has been a staple in the community. Desanka is a spiritual community with a mission to walk in the way of Love. “We bring LIGHT and LOVE into the dark places of those who are seeking Light and choose to give our lives away to love others – right where they are.”

We are a collection of individuals from varying faith streams who love to Love – to practice BEING Love. Our goal is to walk the Desanka Way – “to implement a conscious, Jesus-centered, Spirit-aware lifestyle in our community and life” – to walk in spiritually empowered Joy-Contentment-Pleasantness- Gladness. We also seek to include others in our mission/lifestyle so that we might transform the world together, one person at time – one encounter at a time.

Desanka folks serve anywhere we are invited at events and in festivals, serving as volunteers and giving food and other gifts away as an expression of Love. This year, we will participate in 17 events and festivals, from our hometown near Raleigh, to the western US, to the U.K. and everything we do is at no charge (though “pay-it-forward” donations are welcome).

At the Wild Goose Festival we will have these offerings of service (leads) :

  • Desanka Diner – serving healthy and basic meals (for free!) to all volunteers and to those that are hungry
    • Breakfast Club (Travis Compton)
    • Lunch & Supper . ..and all through the day, there is some kind of pick-up food (Caroline Buchanan)
    • Dining Facility & Hospitality (Megan Lanier) 
  • Desanka Spirit Café – serving loving dishes of prayers, blessings, spiritual readings (prophetic, in church lingo ;), orchestrated by teams of 3 trained Desanka members to give you a blessing. (Kelly Williams & Dennis Huxley)

  • HeartSync Hotel – the antithesis of ‘heart-break hotel’, people check-in to one of two hotels (tents) for a little less than an hour to be facilitated in deep inner healing through connecting with the Spirit of Truth-in-Love (Jesus) and experience the mission of God to “heal the broken hearted and set the captives free” … in your own soul. These are 50 minutes “speedy-HeartSync” sessions (normally 2 hours) that are scheduled on the hour all daylight hours. Stop by and sign up for a reservation! Walk-ins are welcome, if the space is available. (Bill Venable & Alycia Henry)

  • Art-Xposure, CREATIVE REVIVAL:
    All of us were built with the desire to create by THE Creator; God. He gave us the desire – you can’t hide it! The Creative Revival space is dedicated to the journey in freeing our creative hearts by moving the resources of Heaven through creative expression. This is a safe, collaborative space open for spiritual exploration and exposure to our deep desire to create in which we remove the lies spoken to creative hearts, eliminate jealousy and competition, build community and glorify God. Come paint, doodle, dance, write or play and begin your journey through Creative Revival! (Megan Gordan)

  • Desanka Community Store – this is one of the ways that we attempt to help provide for the Desanka trips and service that we offer. We all work back home, and we have some amazing philanthropic givers, but this store represents some of the amazing talent in Desanka for the creative. Our store is located with the other vendors and we hope you will come in and find something that you wish to give to a loved one … or a stranger … or an enemy. (Kelly Williams & Zanan Edwards)

  • Administration & Support – may sound silly to list this here, but honor to the amazing team of leaders who work behind the scenes that seldom get noticed, without whom we would not have a Desanka presence at Goose, or anywhere … Maggie Williams (Inventory & website), Michael Buchanan (transportation & equipment, lower Village Major), Lewis Humphrey (load-in and upper Village build), Lauren Bowyer (admin & finance), Danielle Bright (Communication), Bev Hargrove (Service Projects), Alycia Henry (Prayer/Blessing Coordination) & Peter Lanier (Desanka Garden).

    We are thrillede to welcome Desanka back once again for their amazing service and support of #WildGoose2018. 


An Intern’s Expectations of #WildGoose2018, from Sojourners

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

Sojourners and Wild Goose have a long tradition of partnership. As a Sojourners intern I’m incredibly eager to be part of it this year! This will be my first trip to Wild Goose, and I’m already anticipating drinking beer, singing hymns, and taking in the funky smells that signal trees and rain.

I imagine that Wild Goose has a special place in the hearts and minds of like-minded Christians because it is a space of safe movement – a place where your identities are celebrated and your doubts are welcomed. One quick look at the speakers and sessions attest to this core value. Some of the ones I know I want to attend are: Faith in a Fat Body: Learning to Love Our Bodies, Our Neighbors and Ourselves, Loving Our Way to Freedom: Ridding Ourselves of Internalized Transphobia, Homophobia, and Queerphobia, and Unstuck: Sex and Intimate Justice – Exploring Narratives of Patriarchal Power, Female Sexuality and Messages in the Church. We are in for a deep time of learning and understanding!

I’m hopeful that our time together at Wild Goose will reflect a vision of what the kingdom of God will look like. Although the Wild Goose attracts mostly white and white passing folks, you will find me there because I believe in spaces where faith and spirituality are in relationship with justice and acceptance. Hence, I hope our time there will leave us desiring more diversity and celebrating it in our lives.

So be sure to stop by the Sojourners table and say hello! You can pick up some of our current issues, and our widely loved, “God is NOT a Republican…. Or a Democrat” bumper sticker – for free! Afterwards, we can walk over to Beer and Hymns and raise our glasses together!

Angeles Urban is an intern with Sojourners, and we are stoked to have her and her team join us as supporters and sponsors of #WildGoose2018! 

A Prophetic Voice in the Public Square, from Wesley Theological Seminary

By Goose News, Sponsored BlogsNo Comments

By: Sammy Klipsch, MDiv 2019

I was once asked what kind of seminary Wesley is. Is it a head, heart or hand seminary? What a question! One that we should be asking ourselves as we discern what kind of seminary education we want, what kind of seminary we want to be and what kind of church we want to be. Reflecting on that question, I truly believe Wesley Theological Seminary encompasses all three. We are rooted in faith and academics, yet also provide opportunity in class and field education to translate what we learn into something practical. 

Wesley Theological Seminary is a school that cares about the practical implications of theology and faith. Our mission is to equip persons for Christian ministry and leadership in the church and the world, to advance theological scholarship, and to model a prophetic voice in the public square.

Wesley is a place that invites students to wrestle with their faith and beliefs by asking big questions like: what is the role of Christian and religious ethics in public life? What is the role of a leader? What is the role of an ally? What does it mean to have a pastoral presence? What does it mean to live in the brokenness of this world but also in its beauty? And what does it mean “to model a prophetic voice in the public square?”

The last line of our mission statement has proven to be even more important to me throughout my time at Wesley. In times of transition in our country and in different religious denominations, this goal of modeling a prophetic voice in the public square is not to be taken lightly. Wesley doesn’t take it lightly. I’m inspired by the passionate people who are creating justice within the world through our Community Engagement Fellowship, the National Capital Semester for Seminarians and all of our specializations.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Community Engagement Fellows as a Missional Fellow. The Community Engagement Fellows allow students to combine both classroom and community-based learning to form a ministry project that engages in the community they serve. Through this program I’ve learned a lot of practical skills, like how to fundraise, develop support for new ideas, and how to cast a vision and see it through step by step. I’ve experienced the importance of trust when entering a new community, which allows you take a step that maybe hasn’t been taken before. I have been able to use things I’ve learned in the classroom like different theologies, ethics, and exegesis as tools to read scripture in context and to work to serve a community that welcomed me in when I moved to D.C. to start seminary.

“To model a prophetic voice in the public square” is what we are called to do as leaders in the church and the world. Wesley has given me the tools to do this and has connected me with a network of people who work to do the same. I’m still discerning what ministry will look like in the future for me, but I am beyond thankful for Wesley for being that prophetic space to create change. I hope you follow where God is calling you and that you check out all Wesley Theological Seminary offers. Stop by our table at Wild Goose to learn more!

We’re so proud to have Wesley Theological Seminary as a partner and sponsor of #WildGoose2018