Day three of the brand new Wild Goose Festival, and the camp is waking with subdued excitement. Yesterday, we got up excited for the day; by contrast, today, it seems like folks are making that mental and emotional transition from here at the festival to whatever's next.
It has, in my opinion, been a good festival. There's been good energy, good conversations, good music, good art ~ a good spirit about the entire festival, from my perspective.
One thing I have noticed is that there seem to have been vastly different preconceptions about what this festival would be like. Most people were probably expecting an event that fit perfectly with our own faith. Some are evangelical, and wanted an evangelical festival. Some are progressive, and hoped this would be a progressive festival. Some are post-denominational, or post-evangelical, or post-Christian, or universalist ~ and each seemed to be hoping for (and maybe even working to form) a festival that fit with their own perspective.
With more years under its belt, Wild Goose will develop its own culture, and people will have a better idea what to expect and how to engage the event. However, it's been fascinating to experience the initial iteration of the event, especially since I'm pretty sure (based on what I've heard from speakers and musicians, and overheard as I passed by conversations) everyone has at one time or another been uncomfortable and heard something they disagree with. My firm belief is that we cannot grow without some discomfort. Everyone has had an opportunity to grow. The only way it would be possible, here at Wild Goose, for anyone to not be challenged and to grow, would be if they were so entrenched in their own position and opinion that they refuse to take in any new information.
I believe that Wild Goose will continue, will mature as an event, and will be a valuable addition to the faith conversation in this country. We seem to so often find ourselves spending time with people with whom we have a great deal in common ~ which I believe has contributed to the ridiculously hostile and vitriolic disagreements so prevalent in this country. I find an event like Wild Goose valuable if for no other reason than that there is a relatively diverse group of people of faith all in the same place together ~ and the conversation has been civil; no one is screaming at each other.
Thanks be to G-d.