Underneath the fuchsia, violet, green and blue French braids, the spiky mohawks, the luxurious beards, the shaved heads and the dreadlocks…there’s something stirring within and among the gathered ones at the Wild Goose Festival. It’s not the Spiritual But Not Religious crowd. And it’s not the Nones, the Unaffilated or the Dones.
It’s something different.
It’s what I’m calling the “New Revised Wild Goose Version” (NRWGV) of Christianity. It’s the 20 somethings who are leaving college without leaving church…they never joined in the first place.
It’s a highly intuitive, community loyal, justice focused, radically open and deeply discerning generation.
It’s a generation best identified by what they want, rather than what they don’t want.
From my experience over the past few days in conversations at the Festival (this year themed “Blessed are the Peacemakers”) the desire is to experience authentic being and belonging, to seek deep spiritual meaning without being scrutinized, and to openly wonder without worrying the grandparents in the pews.
It’s about spiritual journeying. It’s not about opting out of religion, but searching out all of the options.
In the words of Thomas Merton, “Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny…To work out our identity in God.”
And don’t be fooled and don’t be disheartened; this generation is not Done. They are just getting started.
There’s a New Revised Wild Goose Version of Christianity that’s taking flight.
I witnessed, listened, cried, prayed, clapped, sang, danced, laughed and was moved by it.
Oh, and by the way, the NRWGV seems to not be limited to 20 somethings…it’s a wonderfully intergenerational movement that’s on the loose, thanks to the courage of the first wave who walked away.
Walking out of dying or toxic churches and religious communities can actually be walking out not of faith, but in faith; trusting our intuition that tells us that what is unhealthy and destructive is not good for the soul.
And this is very good news.