Greenbelt crosses the pond as the Wild Goose

14 July 2011

by Ed Thornton

A CHRISTIAN festival, inspired by Greenbelt, took place in the United States last month.

The Wild Goose Festival is “a festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts”, the festival’s website says. Speakers who appeared at the festival included Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, and Fr Richard Rohr OFM, a Roman Catholic Fran­ciscan who has spoken at Greenbelt.

The “Wild Goose” is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. “In adopting the image of the Wild Goose, we recognise that in the current climate of religious, social and political cynicism, embracing the creative and open nature of our faith is perhaps our greatest asset for re-building and strengthening our relationships with each other, with our enemies, with our stories, our texts, and the earth,” the website says.

The idea for the festival came about when a group of American and Canadian visitors to Greenbelt decided to create a similar event “in a unique United States context”. The festival’s executive director is Gareth Higgins, who has been involved with Greenbelt for several years.

Harvey Jessop, who is from the UK and attended the festival, wrote on the Greenbelt website: “Like Greenbelt, Wild Goose was suffused with a desire to experiment, to cover new ground, with everyone bringing something to the table and questions being as important as answers.”

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