Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New Labor Day Tradition: The Wild Goose Festival West

What is your favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition? A picnic? A parade? A cookout?  A campout?  According to the All U.S.A. Holiday's site, there are seven traditions associated with this holiday.  There could be another tradition starting up in Benton County, Oregon, this coming Labor Day weekend: The Wild Goose Festival West, scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 2, in Benton County, in west-central Oregon.
 Bryan McFarland helps with Morning Prayers
This a parallel event to the original Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina, which celebrated its second year of existence in June. As I mentioned in an earlier post, both Wild Goose Festivals are modeled after the Greenbelt festival in England.  They are outdoor events that bring together justice, spirituality and art.

Bread for the World had a strong presence in the Wild Goose East.  Bread president David Beckmann was one of the speakers.  And Bread member Bryan McFarland and his group Jacob's Join hosted "A Concert for Justice."  Bryan also helped with a worship session with the Rev. Brian McLaren. "Brian graciously asked me to provide some accompaniment for his daily Morning Prayer sessions," said Bryan.
And of course, Bread volunteers staffed a display with information about our organization and our campaigns.
Bread for the World will have more low-key role at the Wild Goose West.  Western Regional Organizer Matt Newell-Ching and volunteers will staff  "Hunger Action Center" set up in the exhibit hall.

The lineup of speakers  includes a couple of names that are familiar to me: Brian McLaren and Father Richard Rohr from the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque. And here is the lineup of musicians.  The festival will have a strong emphasis on two very important themes: justice and sacred space.  Art, interfaith activities, programs for children and youth, and film will also be an important part of this new Labor Day tradition.    

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