Wow, so I’ve been home a couple of days after 3 jam-packed days at The Wild Goose Festival. It was a really great time where I met really great people. You may remember that I did a write up for my reasoning behind attending and working at the festival. It went above and beyond my expectations. The plans were to land at Shakori Hills on Wednesday, but my good buddy Tom ended up having to work on Thursday. At first he just said for me to go on (I had originally planned to attend by myself) but since Tom really wanted to go and was booked to volunteer also, it seemed the best decision would be to wait. So after pacing around waiting on Thursday Tom finally called and I was able to pick him up.
Another dynamic came into the equation on Wednesday night when I was planning with Tom. A new friend wanted to jump on board, his name is Wes. I began to ask Tom what he believed and if he understood that this isn’t your average Christian festival. As a theologically conservative guy, I didn’t want to bring along a brand new believer who hadn’t had much growth in the faith to an event like this. It’s not primarily because I think he could’ve been “led astray” at the event or any of that, it was primarily because many of the speakers tend to teach in a way that seasoned believers will understand. They may not see it, but what I’d noticed in my endless listening of podcasts featuring the speakers was that most of them assume that the listeners have come from a fundamentalist background or have never been in it but know that they don’t agree or like it. Well, turns out Wes is a Christian wiz-kid. What was really funny and apparent as we set out on the 4 hour drive was that Wes is a charismatic-arminian-type. So he was hitting us with lots of questions about seemingly anti-calvinistic Bible verses. We had a great ride and it was very refreshing to meet a non-calvinist who really had thought through his views, he also didn’t mind us making fun of the wilder side of charismaticism. So the brain-motor was already settling in for the long haul of a 90+ degree camping trip with the movement that we hugely disagreed with.
With that introduction to our background going into the trip, I want to give some thanks to the many new friends that we met there. Primarily the welcoming hospitality of the Patheos crew, Michael Morrell, Steve Knight, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Anthony Smith, Jacob Beaver, Mark Scandrette, Ed Dobson, Frank Schaeffer, Kristen Leigh, Jacob Kuntz, Denison Witmer, Sean Gladding, Jay Bakker, Gareth Higgins, Vince Anderson, Psalters and Void Collective. Some of these guys were able to have deep conversations with me and others I was only able to have the short “how’s it going?” conversations with. I wanted to thank these folks specifically as they were the ones that I had been able to have some sort of connection with throughout my time there and all of them had open arms to everyone that was around them.
With all of that said, I am hoping to work on a series of blogs laying out my experience at the festival. This will involve a long talk I had with Mark Scandrette and his methodic and loving deconstruction of everything I believe, a discussion between NC folks over Patheos Punch, watching a skeleton speak of life and much much more.