Guest Post

Reaching Further

By Guest Post

Reaching Further
by Kyle Meyaard-Schaap

Freedom. Joy. Flourishing.

These are some of the fundamental values that mark the identity of the Wild Goose Festival. The radical conviction that humans and the rest of creation were made to be in intimate, abundant relationship with each other and with their God. But it’s also the clear-eyed and gut-deep understanding that this life and this world falls short–that the intended abundant and intimate relationship always remains just out of reach. So why not gather in the forest for a few days every year and reach a little further?

That’s why World Renew is so excited to partner with Wild Goose 2015. Since its inception in 1964, World Renew has shared the conviction of Wild Goose that God envisions so much more for his creation. So much more than hunger and poverty. So much more than violence and oppression. So much more injustice and coercion. So much more than bondage, fear, and separation. That’s why, for the past 53 years, World Renew has been building relationships and walking alongside those who are in poverty. It has worked to do its own small part in bringing hope in the midst of despair, and freedom in the midst of captivity. To live in solidarity with those who are poor, that lessons might be learned from each other and a fuller vision of the kingdom might be caught.

Freedom. Joy. Flourishing.

These are some of the values that, like Wild Goose, also mark World Renew. And like Wild Goose, we too are painfully aware that this life and this world falls short–that the intended abundant and intimate relationship established at creation always remains just out of reach.

So why not gather in the forest for a few days in July and reach a little further?


Salome stands among the pines of her father’s tree farm. World Renew’s local partner organisation, the Sengerema Informal Sector Association (SISA), taught Samwel and other farmers in his area how they can obtain title deeds for their land. With the ability to prove ownership of his land, Samwel has the security to be able to invest in it, especially because it can help in getting loans. He has chosen to plant these fast-growing pine trees which will give him massive returns when they are ultimately felled, and has since invested further money in starting a small business providing advice to other farmers. Without title deeds, farmers are vulnerable to having their land taken away from them, and they have no legal recourse for compensation. They are especially wary of this, now that gold has been found in the ground in several places and mining companies are keen to start operating here.


A Soul on Fire

By Guest Post

Samantha Assael, a 3rd year Wild Goose Festival volunteer, wrote this beautiful essay which gained her acceptance into UNC Asheville! Way to go, Samantha! And thank you for this moving description of the Wild Goose.
wild goose festival teens

“Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? “

When contemplating the most content moments of my life, my mind automatically travels to my yearly summer pilgrimage to the breathtaking mountains of Hot Springs, North Carolina. Embedded below the Blue Ridge landscape, there is a campground bursting with nature’s beautiful simplicity; dirt pathways lined with green leafy trees that canopy overhead, the French Broad River flowing alongside it with resting spots that catch the perfect amount of sunshine or cool shade. The sky is wide and spacious in a way that makes me feel alive, part of something much greater than myself. Between the peace of the rushing river, the melodic calls of the birds, the sight of playful butterflies seemingly dancing with one another, and buzzing insects laboring for their next meal, the land seems to be in perfect harmony. Every summer, for four very special days, this campground becomes so much more than just pretty scenery and wide open space for me. This campground becomes a place of unconditional love and acceptance for all people, no matter what race, ethnicity, gender identification, sexual preference, cultural, faith or non-faith tradition. For four days, the Wild Goose Festival is home to all seekers who desire a world of radical peace, of truth spoken in love, of equality and social justice that recognizes the dignity and inherent goodness of all people. It is in this environment that I feel most content because I have a deep sense of belonging and purpose as a liberal Christian. Within this community, I have witnessed personal discoveries, truths unearthed, and wounds healed, including my own.

The atmosphere of the festival also feeds my creative soul. As a Wild Goose volunteer, I am a leader in the youth tent. There I have the privilege of listening to pre-teens share their stories and struggles, their dreams and aspirations. I have the opportunity to inspire these younger peers through the sharing of my own stories, facilitating meaningful art projects, and creating fun games. As a Wild Goose participant, I am a listener of a different sort, hearing and taking in new ideas about faith, spirituality, and justice to bring home and practice in my local community.

Year after year, I am honored to take part in this transformational experience. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. I am most fulfilled when I get together with people of various backgrounds and passions to wrestle out the important questions of life. Every conversation always teaches me something I had never thought about before. Each question that is asked opens a new perspective for me. From sunup to sundown, each year it is clear that these are my peeps, that this is my ideal of healthy community. In this place, I am a leader, a listener, a learner, a giver, a receiver and most importantly, a soul on fire!

Food Week of Action Oct. 12-19

By Guest Post

Andrew Kang Bartlett, #wildgoose14 contributor and Associate for National Hunger Concerns, Presbyterian Hunger Program – Presbyterian Mission Agency, PC (USA), shared the following information about Food Week of Action, which we want to share with you:

Our faith calls us to work for a world where everyone has sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food! And to work for a world where those who produce and prepare the food are fairly compensated, respected and celebrated!

The Global Churches Week of Action on Food is an opportunity for Christians and others around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a special time to raise awareness about farming approaches that help individuals and communities develop resiliency and combat poverty. We are called also to examine our food choices and call for policy changes that will ensure the right to food for everyone.
Rwanda, Rukira, February 2005

Food Week of Action – Sunday Oct. 12 through Sunday Oct. 19 – includes World Food Day (October 16) as well as the International Day for Rural Women (October 15) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).

RESILIENCY is the focus for this year’s Food Week of Action.
Resilient livelihoods, communities and relationships
Resilient farming production and food chains
Resiliency promoted through policy

Increasing resiliency brings food security, health and a sustainable future. To get there we pledge to support: food democracy; sustainable, agroecological food production; climate change adaptation; fair wages for food workers; fair prices for farmers; less food waste; policies that promote these goals!

Go to for Ideas for Worship, Activities, Other Actions and Learning.

AND ~ Let us know what you are doing for World Food Day or the Food Week of Action by emailing Andrew.KangBartlett (at) We will announce these activities through the World Food Day USA Coalition.

Chalice Press at Wild Goose 2014

By 2014 Festival, Guest Post
Our partners at Chalice Press had four fantastic new authors at Wild Goose Festival this year — three of whom spoke on the Main Stage!
Video is now available …