Posted August 8, 2013 by Marg Herder
The 2013 Wild Goose Festival starts today!
My good friend Casey O’Leary is my companion on this journey to and through the Wild Goose Festival. Casey and I are in a women’s spirituality circle together so we know each other very well. Casey’s a children’s librarian, having completed her Master’s just about 18 months ago, and she works full time at a library in a city just outside of Indianapolis. She and her partner have three kids. Casey is a spiritual seeker who refers to Divinity as “She,” just like I do.
Reading the interviews I did with some of the Wild Goose presenters left her intrigued enough about Wild Goose to join me on the trip, even though Casey doesn’t identify as Christian. I hope she will find a lot to like and learn. My expectations are high.
Casey and I are two people who believe we are led, two people who believe we are called to surrender, two people looking to be fully present in our lives. We both hope that Wild Goose will provide us with an opportunity to glimpse how to live more fully into love, into peace.
I am taking this opportunity to introduce you to Casey because I hope she’ll be guest posting once or twice about her experiences at the festival.
On the drive down we discussed Erin Lane’s blog post about the new anthology she co-edited, Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith, in which Erin admits that in a book about “taboo,” there is not a “single essay devoted to the topic of women in love with women who may or may not be in love with the church.” No lesbians of faith writing about being lesbian. Silenced in a book about things that are silenced! Erin says she regrets it—that she should have tried harder. And that’s what Casey and I talked about. How damn hard it is to really embrace and cultivate diversity in our lives of privilege. Because diversity takes hard work, and a commitment. So does justice. And it’s real seductive to think that trying is enough. With diversity, with justice, the only thing that is enough, is making it happen. Even when it feels impossible.
Casey and I also had an interesting discussion about Christians. About what it means to be Christian, about what it means to call yourself that, and what the label means to LGBTQ people, like us.
We talked about how it feels as though it’s more than we are able to do— to stop letting the word “Christian” mean something bad. It feels like that would require letting go of everything that’s happened, everything that we’ve heard and seen and felt—all the hurt, the insults, the judgment, the pain of rejection and the backs that turn. Relinquishing all that. It feels like it would mean losing ourselves.
For LGBTQ people in the United States, a huge part of our collective story is the injury inflicted upon us by Christians. And that story has come to be a big part of the way many of us define our experience. But as more and more Christians welcome us into their lives, their families, and their churches, that story stops serving us.
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.
Short updates EEWC-CFT Twitter Account – Follow @EEWC_CFT (follow #WildGoose13 for festival-wide coverage)
View pictures on the EEWC-CFT Instagram Account – Follow eewc_cft
View more updates on the EEWC-CFT Facebook page.