Six years ago, my family and I returned home to Jacksonville so that I could start a new faith community here. That community would become The Well at Springfield, an eclectic and inclusive group of spiritual misfits. Some are Jesus followers, others are undecided. Some live in Springfield, others drive from as far as Macclenny. We don’t have traditional church membership. In fact, if you come at all, you’re told you belong, whether you believe or not.
I think you get the idea. We’re not for everyone, but we do seem to draw those who are tired of experiencing the rigid boundaries that form many churches and those looking for a more raw, real, social justice-oriented way of living out the good news together.
For the past four years, we’ve made an effort to spend a weekend each year devoted to spiritual renewal. Some years this has looked like going away and unplugging together. Other years, it has looked like inviting a leader here to facilitate a weekend of learning. We’ve decided that this year it looks like hosting Intersections: A Wild Goose Event.
The idea came after a few friends from The Well went to the Wild Goose Festival last July. It was my first time to experience “The Goose” and I wrote about my experience here. Other than the incredible hospitality of the friends who shared food and camping equipment with me, what impressed me most was the strong sense of community that has formed among people hungering for a more authentic, life-giving and spirit-infused expression of Christianity. Gay and straight, black and white, young and old, tattooed and not, this crowd sang, danced, shared stories, ate and learned together. It was a place where relationships formed, ideas sprang up and hope emerged that maybe, just maybe there’s something new taking shape on the margins of the church.
There, at the intersection of hope, doubt & belonging, God is creating something new.
We won’t be in the mountains of North Carolina, but we look forward to gathering in a park in Jacksonville to explore faith at the intersection of spirituality, social justice, music and art. I hope this will be space for meaningful conversation, new collaborations and spiritual renewal. I hope you will consider being a part.