Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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Where She Is Blog

The author of Christian Feminism Today’s Where She Is blog, Marg Herder, is a writer, musician, photographer, and sound artist interested in the exploration of the intersection between incarnation and Divinity. Marg hopes her attempts to find words, images, and sounds to illuminate God’s presence here might be some help in understanding our ultimate purpose, to surrender ourselves to the Divine Presence, releasing the stories we create for ourselves, and instead allowing our lives to fill with Her love, kindness, and peace. Read more about the Where She Is blog.

#SFS17

Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit #SFS17

At the summit, I spoke to seminarians, ministers, and fellow Christian writers engaged in meaningful dialogue around sex and faith. It reaffirmed that sexuality is an important aspect of spiritual activism and that people of faith can and should collaborate with non-faith activists to do good work.

My First Gay Pride Parade— #ResistMarch

My Episcopal church participated, as did many other churches. Quite a few signs were carried by people coming from a specifically Christian perspective. “This is the gay that the Lord hath made” was my favorite, carried by a young man.

Dan Wilkinson’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Dissent is Patriotic”

Throughout the day waves of emotion moved through me. It felt so right to stand for justice and be a part of a fantastic movement that said, “We won’t let our country go backward. We will rise up; we will work together to ensure justice for all—not only for a select few.”
Photo of a portion of the crowd at the Women's March in Austin, Texas

Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Changing History”

"The amazingly diverse crowd, estimated at 50,000, moved slowly along, some in wheelchairs and some in baby strollers. There were people of various ages, genders, races, gender identities, religions, abilities, political parties. Even dogs joined the march and were as polite as the people!"

2017 #GCNConf Reflection by Elyse Kitrakis — “The Inspiration to Move Forward”

Once I was set free from the bondage of a fear-based faith, my life became full, and my faith has grown these last 20 years to be more inclusive and less judgmental. In 2004, I became more politically involved, recognizing the important role we, the people of God, must play in the governance of God’s world and the care for the things God cares about.

2017 #GCNConf Reflection by Jennifer Kane — “A Most Inspiring Story”

Many of the stories of the conference were new. But as I reflected on my conference experience as a whole, I was aware that, though the stories felt new, they also reminded me of the most inspiring story I have ever heard. The story of God becoming human and dwelling among us and then suffering and dying so we could be made new and be made whole.
Rev. Janet Edwards

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 3

There are lots of reasons for women to leave parish ministry, I’d say. Complicated family circumstances and fewer openings because of the implosion of the American church experienced first in the mainline but followed now by the evangelical church, as well, to name two. The bias that blights women’s service is one among them, in my experience.

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 2

... the PC(USA) cannot confess sin against LGBTQ people with any integrity. First, this action would not include those Presbyterians who do not feel that they are sinning when they judge the LGBTQ person. Second, people with these judgments are still hurting LGBTQ people in the PC(USA). We are not of one mind in the PC(USA).
Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D.

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 1

My tradition is Reformed, always being Reformed (which is why we tend to protest what is traditional). Coming to a more expansive understanding of marriage is our generation’s experience of reforming our grasp of God and God’s will for us.
Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D.

Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D. — #GCNWomenConnect Speaker

Identification with and support of LGBTQ people began, I would say, with the effort to make sense of my uncle coming with Johnnie from their home in Southern California to enjoy the fall change of season and to visit family. Nothing was ever said except that this was his friend, Johnnie, and my grandmother loved them both.
GCN Conference Logo

2017 Gay Christian Network Conference — Introduction

Again, in 2017, CFT will be partnering with the Gay Christian Network to present their WomenConnect women's retreat at the 2017 Gay Christian Network Conference. Several CFT members will participate.

Love More: Trump and the Country We Know

We can react by demonizing those who brought the next four years upon our country. We can judge them and denigrate them and turn on them. And in doing so, we will perpetuate the very situation that led us all to this point. Or we can try to figure out how to love more and love better.

Returning to Yourself

Returning to ourselves is not some huge, life changing decision or action. It’s not a one-off, or something that happens to you after some kind of crisis, though there’s nothing like a good crisis to shake us out of our complacency. Returning to ourselves is something that must happen over and over again. If we are brave enough, we make it a practice.

Backlash Against What?: RFRAs and Bathroom Bills

[The LGBTQ backlash is] "about outdated concepts like spiritual hierarchies and binaries, as in 'this group is saved, but this group is damned.' Outdated concepts like a magical book in which every inerrant word is completely applicable to the present time, even though is was written thousands of years ago in a very different cultural context."

The Embodiment of God (Fast of Embodied Solidarity)

We keep getting stuck. We keep getting stuck in the concept and tradition of God as we learned it. And in doing so, we miss the chance to experience the living God, that deep inspiration that can transform us, body and soul.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Kirsti Reeve

I'm grateful that the space of GCN exists for those people who do desperately need it, for whom the weekend was spent in tears and overwhelm, and who can, hopefully, leave with a little more of a belief that they are loved and accepted by God and by others just as they are.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Bastian Bouman

When those in my group started talking about their hopes and dreams for future relationships and discussed models of relationships, I realized I’d made a huge mistake. The Side B people I had dismissed were exactly the people I’d been looking for.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Sam Koster

I worshiped in a community of strangers that felt like family. I cried in front of a crowd of parents who held me in their arms like I was their own child. I felt like I was being given a glimpse of what heaven feels like, or maybe what I hope heaven feels like: open arms of strangers full of love and grace.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Jann Aldredge-Clanton

As I listened to people’s stories, my heart ached over the pain they have suffered from denunciation and rejection by church and family, and I felt inspired by their courage in claiming who they’re created to be and working to liberate their churches from homophobia and unjust, unloving actions.

2016 #GCNConf — “weconnect” Emmy Kegler Interview

I believe the church at its core can also be a place of healing (and it breaks me when it's a place of trauma). We have confession and forgiveness, peacemaking and reconciliation, prayer and offering going back to the earliest days of Christianity. Self-examination and self-giving isn't something we can do without community...

2016 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Emmy Kegler

She connected deeply to the true good news of Christianity’s two-thousand-year-old story. Over and over, she witnessed both the church’s capacity to wound and to heal, and she grew more convinced that she had to be a part of the transformation and recommunication of God’s love as shown in Jesus.

2016 Gay Christian Network Conference — Introduction

This year’s GCN speakers will include: Allyson Robinson, Baptist preacher and national trans leader; Broderick Greer, Episcopal curate and social justice advocate; Misty Irons, nationally-acclaimed blogger and theologian; and Justin Lee, the Gay Christian Network Executive Director.

God, Jesus, and Thoughts about Incarnation

The few stories of Jesus that remain, portray his ability to bridge the spaces between himself and others. They show a person confidently reaching into and knowing the other. They show an awareness of more than what human senses can perceive. They show a man who is not a man. They show a man who is God. And I’m not sure I buy it.

Remembering All We Have Lost — #TDOR

For many of you, the gender binary simply exists as a pervasive framework around which you build your life. As a child, you accepted it. You existed within it. It wasn’t until adolescence or adulthood that you were required to understand it and decide how to respond to it.

The 2015 Parliament of World Religions— Sophia Lives!

Without a fundamental shift in how we conceive of God, we will continue to be a people of oppression, bondage, war. And yet there is a failure in our faith traditions to see that oppression, bondage, and violence are by-products of masculine portrayals of God; of patriarchy baptized by religion. If we fail to recognize the interconnection between our theology of God and how we treat others, we cannot work for justice, liberation, or peace.

Calling God “She” — It’s Just Another Pronoun!

To linguistically portray God as a father, or God as a woman giving birth, or an eagle, or a sacred wind, all of those things put a limiting image up to represent God. And, for that matter, so do the three letters, G-O-D. All the ways we choose to refer to God are images, all are limited representations, all are potentially idolatrous symbols. But all our metaphors and ways of referring to God are not necessarily idolatrous. Only potentially.

Requiem for the Rest of Us — #kellyonmymind

Those who distrust grace once again brought about a human being’s undoing, As they have for millennia (just remember the lions and stones). Now, as then, decisions were made, orders were given, and there was someone willing to comply. The hands and feet of the adolescent monster we feed with our votes and our tax dollars Delivered death into her body, forcing her out, and into God's loving arms.

The Inscrutable Sacred Thread

“Everyone Is Welcome,” announces a small sign over the door of the gothic brick edifice. It was first placed there to make sure people of color knew it was safe to enter in the sixties; later it served as an indication that people with AIDS were welcome too. Now it whispers carefully to me each time I enter. If the sign were any larger I’d be spooked.
Diane Marshall

A Report from the “Jobs, Justice, and the Climate” March in Toronto

For me, honoring First Nation people and ensuring environmental justice is essential, especially if we claim to truly love this "blue dot" (what astronauts have called the earth from space, depicted in my poster above) we all call home.

The Long Overdue Conversation about Mental Illness

"We don’t bat an eye asking the church member in a wheelchair if we can reach something on a high shelf or help them navigate a crowded aisle on the way to take communion, but we avoid the person with social anxiety, who can’t look us in the eye, or who is visibly nervous and stands alone during the social hour. I wonder if, deep down, we are thinking, 'It’s not my responsibility to deal with their problem.' ”

A Charleston Lament – #BlackLivesMatter

I am convinced that this is the lesson of Gethsemane Not Jesus crying humanly about his own impending suffering and death But rather Jesus's awareness of the depth of the intractable ruin of us The universal suffering of the other who threatens the status of the entitled just by being

Hurtful Words Hurt

There are millions of new combinations of words created every day, combinations that are put here, on the web, for anyone to view. And there’s one thing that nobody seems to notice, or care about, or even comment on, one important thing about all those words. A lot of them are hurtful. Some intentionally so.

The Invisible Man, Language, and Faith

Posted May 12, 2015 by Marg Herder It’s the 12th, and that’s the day I post on the Emerging Voices blog on Patheos.  Today I'm writing about all the difficulties swirling around those of us occupying the margins, and...

Just the Rhythm of My Blood and Breath

My partner, my friend in recovery, and my therapist all tell me that anger doesn’t have to look like yelling and shaming and ruining things. That there’s no chance mine ever would. But the anger I’ve seen wrecks things and people, and explodes into so many sharp little pieces that you can never hope to clean all of them up from inside you.

The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection

They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances. You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.

The Real Emergence

I became aware how scared, how cruel, how utterly detached from Spirit’s compassion human beings can be. I became aware that shades of genocide play out every single day in much less sweeping terms, as well. A woman stoned, a trans* person beaten to death, a black man shot down in the streets.

The Gay Christian Network Conference: The Kingdom of God Unfolding

At the GCN conference, in spite of current cultural tableaus, these two unlikely identity categories converged: LGBT-identified people and Christian-identified people. We worshipped. We prayed. We nurtured one another in the sharing and receiving of our stories. And the results were luminous.

Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing

With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.

Dios Precioso, Perdónalos, Porque Ellos SABEN lo que Están Haciendo

Herir a las personas LGBT con palabras o acciones no es comportamiento aceptable. No es “libertad religiosa.” No es “libertad de expresión.” Es causarle sufrimiento a las personas. No me refiero a lo que cree la gente, me refiero a lo que hace la gente. Las personas tienen la libertad de creer lo que quieran. No es correcto herir a un grupo de personas porque uno no esté de acuerdo con ellas o porque uno no apruebe de ellas. No es correcto.

The Words of the LGBTQ Christian Experience

The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is not my sexual activity. The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is with whom I am most comfortable establishing my primary intimate partnership.

Together At the Table: Inclusive Communion and Intimate Conversations

The challenge each of us faces is in learning how to maintain our convictions while also respecting and appreciating a sister or brother's differing approach. Maybe the key is to start from a trusting place, believing that we all deeply desire to do what is good and right.

Our Job Starts and Stops with Loving Each Other

There’s no safe choice. The wounding is pervasive. And we all are perpetrators when we project our expectations and our own unique experience onto other people we consider more like us than not. None of us is the same. None of us knows the heart and mind of any other. As LGBTQ people, it is certainly our calling to become all we are meant to be. But that’s an internal process for the person looking out into the world. Where we stand, looking into each other’s eyes, our job starts and stops with loving each other.

Trauma and the LGBTQ Christian

When someone involved in conservative or evangelical Christianity experiences the trauma and wounding associated with coming out, generally they do not have access to sympathetic witnesses or good support systems. Often nearly everyone around them believes that to be lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, or questioning is sinful and shameful.

An Opportunity to Practice Grace and Love

When I realized this was the Wall of Love, I was overcome with emotion. As they formed what would ultimately become a Tunnel of Love, the tears rolled down my cheeks. I had to turn away from them so I could gather myself because the feeling of unconditional love was so overwhelming in the moment.

2015 #GCNConf — “weconnect” Wendy Gritter Interview

My hope is that we will come to the day that our communities are places where LGBTQ+ people can be fully themselves and fully pursue relationship with Jesus without any hindrances. I wish I knew how long this season of transition will last— but I don’t.
Wendy Gritter

2015 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Wendy Gritter

After I finished Wendy Gritter's book and spent some time reflecting on what I had read, I realized that she had chosen a very difficult path. She is now regarded with suspicion by people on all sides. Many conservative Christians believe she has been deceived and has departed from the “truth” of the scriptures. LGBT people like me find it difficult to forgive her involvement with Exodus.

2015 Gay Christian Network Conference – Introduction

This year’s GCN speakers included: Vickie Beeching, British theologian, singer/songwriter, and media personality who recently came out as a lesbian; Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?; Danny Cortez, Southern Baptist pastor and father of a gay child; and Wendy Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness and Executive Director of New Direction Ministries of Canada.

Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

As the choir sang, and the ministers spoke, and the candles flickered, for the first time I saw Mary in all of it. A young woman in need of a safe place. A young woman denied entrance. A young woman giving birth to the Human One anyway, in an inauspicious tangle of blood, fear, and pain.

Shifting Certainty

It’s colder now. The stars look brighter. The air is crisp and tastes clean. I’ve started wearing a coat when I go out to walk and pray at night. Orion, my bow tie friend, is no longer hugging the edge of the sky. He’s ascended high overhead, because it’s his time now. And I have begun to let this in.

All You Were Before— #ThinkOfAPoem

October 2, 2014 was National Poetry Day. I thought I'd join in the fun and post a short poem and an image. This year's theme is "Remember."

I Am in Recovery and I Am Blessed – #RecoveryMonth

I want to live. I discovered that when I hit my “rock bottom” and found myself face down on the floor, sobbing as if I would never stop, telling those I love most that I didn’t want to live anymore. My life became a series of small, tentative footsteps, one at a time..."

On Healing and Recovery – #RecoveryMonth

Several weeks ago I attended a charismatic worship service. As the musicians played, expertly modulating the spiritual energy in the room, as the liturgical dancers danced with flags and ribbons, as the crowd, arms up, singing and swaying, pressed forward seeking healing from their Source, the ministers of the Word moved among them, praying and touching, before gently lowering the shaking bodies of the healed to the ground.

Shame: Five Letters

Shame does everything it can to crowd Her out. Shame tries to fill up all the space in my heart and mind. Shame finds God's resting place and throws an obnoxious party. Shame looks for stillness and fills it with trembling and all the wrong words. Shame knows, I think, that surrender to the sacred is best thwarted by addictions and by believing the lie that there is urgency to the mundane.

In the Roar of the Storm

Often, being honest about how I really feel seems unfair, as if my struggle and my pain is something that can reach beyond my body and hurt you. I have been convinced by life that you prefer it when I act like I'm doing "just fine" all the time. I have a conviction that it is my duty to protect you from my unhappiness and, in doing so, I am serving God, you, and the greater good.

A Tiny Little Girl and a Smiling Man – #YesAllWomen

Later that week, my mom, now in her role as the Brownie leader, talked about my experience with the other little girls in our troop. She didn't tell them it was my experience; she just said it had happened to "someone in the troop." I remember sitting there wondering why, if I did the right thing, she didn't tell everyone it was me.

Fred Phelps is dead. And I’m glad for him.

But most of all, I enjoy imagining that the line between Fred Phelps and millions of beautiful and loving LGBT people has been blurred. That his liberated soul is now one with Christ/Sophia, and he finally knows us. He now moves through the Light. Through Love.

Oriented to Love— The Huge Knot of Misunderstanding

Oriented to Love brings the people together who are willing to move beyond the adversarial paradigm, who are willing to accept that reconciliation might be possible, and willing to sit down in a room together to begin the slow process of untying the knot, one strand at a time.

Oriented to Love— What Am I Really Afraid Of?

But what if, deep in my body, there are pockets of anger, tucked away like time bombs waiting to go off? What if I harbor hurt and resentment about the treatment I have received during my life, about the possibilities that I have been denied, about my ambitions that have been thwarted? How can I love that in me?

Oriented to Love— All these Words

My experience of hearing that song, in that moment, can only be described as feeling I was wrapped in the tender softness of the sacred presence of God. Through my tears, I looked over at Tim, and with eyes full of tears, he met my gaze. Something I will never find the words to describe flowed between and through us. I will never get over it.

Oriented to Love— Questions and Consequences

She called me to move toward the place I stood. She brought me there. She wanted me to sit with twelve other people, starting the next day, being open and vulnerable. She called them as well. They were going to show up whole. It was my job to show up whole as well.

Oriented to Love— Introduction to the Series

I need to tell you what it meant to me and how it changed me. I need to tell you that She was there in a way I've never experienced before. I need to tell you what it felt like. But the trouble is, I'm still not sure I can put any of it into words, because the important stuff that happened there in that convent didn't have anything to do with words.

Oriented to Love – Of the Mystery and Miracles

When we stop paying attention to the mystery and the miracles of God, when we ignore that which we cannot describe, cannot understand, cannot categorize, cannot explain-- when we ignore that, we ignore God. Because God is not our logical, ordered existence. God is not the sure thing, the safe bet. God doesn't make sense. God doesn't dream safe and steady dreams for our lives. God doesn't move us in comfortable directions.

Artist Shawna Khalily and the Strength of the Feminine

That to me is Her strength, the strength of God. It's not the strength required to shock or kill, manipulate or destroy, but rather the strength required to contain Her creation and the Light of Love for millennia, despite our efforts to usurp and degrade the meaning of All That Is.

weconnect – Rachel Held Evans’ Presentation Summary

Why can't we go along with God? We're scared that if we get out of God's way this whole grace thing might get out of hand— just the way it got out of hand when Jesus looked out from the cross and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

weconnect – And There Was Singing

When we sing together, we draw ourselves closer to the Expression of God. God is in each of us, certainly, but She is magnified exponentially, She becomes more Herself, when we express Her presence as a group. The best practice we have, the gateway drug to the magnificence of God, is singing together.

weconnect – We are Broken

When we talk about brokenness I want to feel the pain of naked truth. I want the words to be untamed and un-groomed. I want to hear the crimson bloom of shame in our voices. I want to feel the emotional morass of untenable situations caused when we responded without grace, without patience, without compassion.

weconnect – There Will be Some Tears

I cried for me and I cried for everyone I was going to meet. I asked Divinity to be present with all of us as we sought and found a way through our pain and longing to reconnect with Her love. Not just Her love for us, but Her love for everyone, especially those who cause our pain.

weconnect – Susan Shopland Interview, Part 2

And if my son could take the risk, how could I not? I will say it makes a huge difference to have support; I am deeply grateful to the members of GCN who have mentored, inspired, supported, equipped, and empowered me.

weconnect – Susan Shopland Interview, Part 1

I know what it is like to try to “fly under the radar,” keeping silent so people won’t notice the way I speak, trying to avoid the inevitable ignorant questions when people found out I had lived in Egypt: “Did you live in a pyramid? Did you ride a camel to school? Did you like it over there?”

weconnect – Speaker Susan Shopland

Now I celebrate having a gay son, and consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life. His journey to a more authentic existence has been the catalyst for my own journey toward greater authenticity. It has forced me to confront my own deceitfulness in living a compartmentalized existence...

weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 3

When I write, I am usually writing to the movable middle. Those are the hearts that can possibly change. We will not be able to convince those who are decidedly against homosexuality that they are wrong. But we can build up the group who know it is not wrong by reaching people in the middle. But let me end by saying even our allies don’t fully understand the insidiousness of homophobia in their churches, their communities, their workplaces, and in our government.

weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 2

I think the days of being a minister as a career are numbered, even for straight, white men. The truth is that the church is on shaky ground even for those at the center. But the good news is that walking over shaky ground often leads us to find more sure footing with God.
Audrey Connor

weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 1

"I continue to find ways to serve the church as I try to be faithful in my love of God and God’s church. I am thankful for the people who are called to ministry inside the church. But most churches are not ready for me to respond to a call as their minister. For that, I am sad.

weconnect – Featured Speaker Reverend Audrey Connor

“When it is all said and done, I realize the irony of ministry is that after you learn what gifts you have, then you have to learn to give them away. I was called into existence by a God who loves much, laughs much and surprises all the time. I know that God calls each of us, and I continue to believe that God will help us all form a community of love and support for all people.”

The Gay Christian Network’s “weconnect” Women’s Retreat

The weconnect Women's Retreat will feature speakers, discussions, games, giveaways, and an all-female praise and worship band. Hasty-Zander stresses that her primary goal is building community and creating a safe space for conversation. She hopes the retreat will build lasting connections among GCN's female-identified attendees.

Dave Ramsey’s Missed Opportunity

I know what it’s like for me to feel poor. It’s the feeling that led me to Dave Ramsey in the first place. But I would never presume to know what it feels like for any other person to be poor, and although I can share my experience and make suggestions,

To Welcome Her Stillness

So much of this must be naked trust, walking away from the stack of tasks, walking into the stillness. This is not a responsible choice. This is not a logical choice. This is not the right choice. If we are to belong to Her, this is not a choice at all.

Equality as a Multiple Choice Test

I'd like it if everyone was very well aware that equal is equal, that anything else is greater than or less than. Because I want to believe that in my life I will experience at least a little time in which I am equal, not less than. But actually, how things are? Equality is more like a multiple choice test. And some people will circle every single answer, and some people will, miraculously, manage to circle one or two.

What we might learn about what comes next, from those who came before

From what I've observed, here in the middle, looking at the work of both generations, I have a suspicion that engagement with those who hold opposing views, at this point, does very little to move our cause forward. The biblical arguments put forth forty years ago are the same ones we are advancing today. We believe them. They don't. All our critique doesn't mean a thing to anyone. And who cares that they can't get their story straight? Clearly Biblical inerrancy or authority hinges on who is doing the talking.

Queer Creation Synchroblog

Today some of our Christian Feminism Today writers are participating in Queer Theology's "Queer Creation" synchroblog.  This is the Queer Theology website's third synchroblog event about queer theology, but it's the first time our Christian Feminism...

The God We Serve – Adam Ackley, Azusa Pacific University, and EEWC

So, it is no surprise to me that Azusa Pacific University has asked Heath Adam Ackley to go away. And it is no surprise to me that the people who asked him to do so were apparently not concerned about the justice or righteousness of the request. As is usual, capitalistic considerations trumped all others.

What She Did Here – Marillia Hinds

And this is why Marillia Hinds is important. Because she believed that it made a difference when an ordinary person wrote a letter to a person of privilege, and asked them to be more just— more inclusive. Let me say that again, she believed it made a difference.

Wild Goose – Index and Links to Content

There are some great Wild Goose Festival posts, videos, and pictures out here in web-land. I've prepared a list of some of my favorites.

There’s something missing at the Wild Goose Festival

Realizing that scheduling nothing is just as important as scheduling something, might help the people involved in a weekend of spiritual discovery to become aware of how Spirit is moving through them, or to engage in relationship building, or participate in spontaneous spiritual practice together.

Diners, Authenticity, and Why I Journeyed to Wild Goose

When you don't know me, but you stop and meet my heart right where we are standing, I know we are all made of the same stuff— holy stuff that simply must connect, even for just a few minutes, with more of that holy stuff. And I desperately need to be reminded— every single day— that we are made of that holy stuff.

Wild Goose – James Alison Presents “You can … if you want to …”

The really delicate task we (LGBTQ people and their allies) are now faced with is to ask how we inhabit the "Lord's victory." How do we bear it up without making it toxic for others. How do we reach out a hand to those who are scandalized so that they too can be reconciled?

2013 Wild Goose Festival Audio Collage

An audio collage of the 2013 Wild Goose Festival created by Marg Herder.

Wild Goose – Jared Byas and Levi Weaver Present “Re-membering the Creators”

The creative act is often felt as dangerous to those who rely on, who find comfort in, well-defined systems of knowledge. Creators often illuminate not just the sturdy looking façade of knowledge, but also shine a light on the rather shaky foundations, the dangers and flaws one can only see when a system is approached from a different angle.

Wild Goose Festival – Phyllis Tickle, Vincent Harding, and Speech Talk with Krista Tippet

On Friday morning at the 2013 Wild Goose Festival, Krista Tippet of NPR's On Being, interviewed Phyllis Tickle, Vincent Harding, and Speech (of Arrested Development) on the Wild Goose main stage. I found their talk to be compelling and wanted to share some of the main points.

“Mending Broken” Performed by Peyton Davis – Wild Goose 2013

And the lesson of the day? It's never too late for Divinty to make beautiful things happen! I had even decided to toss my field recorder into my backpack Sunday morning, despite the fact that I didn't expect to use it. So there, in the middle of the Wild Goose parking lot, Peyton got out her guitar, sat down on a rolled up sleeping bag, and played the song. After one aborted attempt, due to incoming motorcycles, we got a good take all the way through without disturbance.

Coming Out— It’s a Struggle for Atheists Too – Wild Goose

Everyone has felt like an outsider; everyone has felt misunderstood. I always believed that a Christian church would have all the answers, that embracing Christianity meant an end to the isolation and the confusion. Clearly, I was wrong; so many people are searching for answers.

Wild Goose – She Is Here

So here's what happened on another level. Five women, sitting on a plywood platform in the woods, sang, and prayed, and beckoned Sophia to join them. And She answered by filling their hearts and bodies so full that they couldn't hold it all. So She spilled out of them, disguised as tears, and dispersed into the bark of the trees, the green of the leaves, and the sound of the river.

Wild Goose – Where Anything Can Happen

It's not about following the rules or joining a club. It's about how I can be a better companion to my fellow human beings while we share this time on earth together. It's about how I can spend less time thinking about myself, and more time thinking about how I can be more loving and compassionate toward others.

The Journey to the Wild Goose

When the story we choose for ourselves divides, when it perpetuates judgment, fear, and anger, when it has nothing to do with humility and love, it's time to let it go. I guess I thought I was going to Wild Goose looking for something, but maybe I'm really going to learn how to let something go.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Beth Whitney Interview

Last winter at snow camp, a young girl asked me if I would write a song with her. I didn't really feel like it. I was kinda tired and had just pulled a great book off the shelf. It was pretty obvious I wasn't doing anything though, so I agreed. As we talked about what to write, I found the afternoon transforming into a healing session.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Beth Whitney

“I had a dream some years back where I saw a sea of people turning into a violent war. I knew something needed to be done so I climbed up on a stage, took a deep breath, and sang with all my might. When my voice hit the crowd, they changed instantly from a blaze of mad hornets into a still and unified people. Who wouldn't want to do that?”

Truth With a Capital T and Most Christians

When most Christians see their faith being portrayed as something so fragile that it is threatened by other spiritual practices and belief systems, when most Christians see their faith being used as a hammer to bash the souls of LGBTQ people, maybe it's time for most Christians to get off their butts and do something about it.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Teresa B. Pasquale Interview

I would say I think in that amorphous space of the divine every tradition, every mystic, every person who has touched upon that divinity in themselves and everything else speaks of it with a very similar paradoxical vocabulary. I think in the space of inner quiet we are all full of the same holy intentions.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Teresa B. Pasquale

Teresa's book was excellent. It was one of those books where I kept highlighting passages in the text because difficult concepts were so well illuminated. It's a casual distillation of a type of spiritual journey that is almost always portrayed with needless drama, and the simplicity makes it all the more powerful.

Wild Goose 2013 – Troubadours of Divine Bliss Interview

We were both raised with an awareness of God and our hearts were opened early to that relationship. What a gift to be introduced to that presence. Over the years we have realized even the strongest ingredients that have been added to our soul soup— strict rules, judgment and punishment— have mellowed in the abundance of grace, compassion, and love that have been added since. We walk in a state now where everything is holy, and there is nothing that can separate us from the miracles offered by the Divine.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Troubadours of Divine Bliss

I'm excited to tell you about these women. Because when they sing, I can hear Spirit singing through them. When they talk or write, I can feel the current of Her Love, Grace, and Peace winding through their words. And the most delightful thing of all for me is that I can just see Her moving through this world disguised as these two Troubadours of Divine Bliss.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Jared Byas Interview

My whole life has been about trying to “change the world” but now I understand Jesus to be calling us to obscurity, to changing not the world but our world, by the way we pay attention to those around us.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Jared Byas

I like to think that this is where Spirit moves, in the underlying dynamics of what we find ourselves involved in here. In our lives and in our world, I see Her as being what flows through everything, but She's too often obscured by all our bluster, pretension, and ego. Perhaps She is most knowable in the spaces that often go unnoticed, unobserved.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Introduction

I've never been to Wild Goose before but am looking forward to the experience. You'll be able to read about and see what I experience here on Where She Is (and on the Christian Feminism Today social media outlets) as I'll be posting frequent updates leading up to, during, and directly after the conclusion of the festival (August 8-11, 2013).
"Tulip" photo by Marg Herder

How It Begins

I cry because my heart swells open and the love spills out and flows all over my body and makes the top of my head pound before finally pushing the tears from my eyes. That's how I know Her. And using this like a compass, I sometimes manage to keep up with Her for a few moments before I (time and again) lose track and get wrapped up in the mundane ego business of being me.

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