What is Wild Goose?
“We are a community creating a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art. We take inspiration from many places, such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community, SXSW, and others. The festival is open to everyone; we don’t censor what can be said; we invite respectful – but fearless – conversation and action for the common good.”
This festival was first discovered and participated in, at least from my knowledge, by Pamela Chaddock. Having recently attended Wild Goose West I was able to experience first hand what so many others had been telling me about. This event is a grass root movement of many different Christian faiths and backgrounds but considered an open forum for all faiths and ideologies. The outreach committee of the Fellowship has sponsored and attended both festivals this year in North Carolina and Central Oregon.
There has been a increased focus on book outreach at events like Wild Goose. As well currently the Fellowship has many committees dedicated to the dissemination of the book but some criticized recently that there is a lack of focus on the dissemination of the teachings. With the intent that we must create a community of spiritually motivated individuals who will live the teachings of Jesus and in doing so create a vibrant community. Many believe that just promoting the book is not the perfect approach to sharing the good news and others believe that selling fifty books at an expo is a great success. Wild Goose was the perfect setting to practice both these methods of sharing the teachings.
Personally, I think the answer to this disagreement is fairly simple. Judge not for it is not for you to judge, as I believe the teachings would say. Both and all methods of dissemination are good and effective. The real question might be, what should the Fellowship support? Being the largest social organization of readers how should it use its resources to share the good news?
Currently it seems to me that the Fellowship is doing a lot to promote and foster the teachings. It is understandable that some readers feel that the progress of the movement is slow, some have even said we shouldn’t call it a movement because we aren’t really moving, but let us not criticize anyone’s honorable attempt at outreach. We are a culture of believers only breaking the light of day in our journey towards helping create a world awakening. We all know well that the teaching could take many centuries to be known as a household name. Is this frustrating? Yes, it kind of is. Only because we wish so deeply to share that sublime joy we have found in the living
So what can we do to not only promote THE URANTIA BOOK but also to foster a community that helps and trains its faithful believers to LIVE the teachings? We must start with ourselves. How does this all tie into Wild Goose. Because Wild Goose is the ultimate training ground for both methods of outreach. Think about this. They are a large Christian organization that is not only allowing open minded thinking, but is allowing us to have a Urantia Booth.
My experience of being at a booth at Wild Goose was that it was a little out of place. Being tucked in-between the seminary schools and the Church homeless outreach tables flying a big Urantia flag felt a little presumptuous to be honest. Though this group is largely comprised of Christians who are fare from fundamentalists, I never got the feeling that anyone was looking for something new. So this is a venue where I fully agree that just promoting the book is not as affective as it may be at a Body, Mind, Spirit expo and is more an amazing place to just interact and share your truth with people. It should be noted though that many Truthseekrs found the Revelation that weekend at our booth. No matter what there are always some who are ready to hear the message.
I believe that many important lessons where learned in Oregon and I have confidence that going forward we will improve our approuch in a few very specific ways. More on that in part 2. One thing that stuck out for me was the age of this group. It is largely 40 and under. This festival represents the home of many discouraged Christians who love the truth, and the Bible, but do not want to be tied and held down by the dogma and authority of the Church. Never the less they are not necessarily looking for anything new. Their more acknowledging the problems with their institutions and actively creating a new culture to fit the needs of the times (youth). The Urantia community could really learn a lot from this approach.