General Joins the Episcopal Tent at Wild Goose

Hot Springs, North Carolina, July 11-14

Representatives of General Seminary were among the supporters of The Wild Goose Festival, held annually in the North Carolina mountains. Formed in 2010, the Wild Goose Festival is “a four-day spirit, justice, music and arts festival.” This year’s festival included many public leaders of progressive Christianity including William Barber II, Barbara Brown Taylor, Nadia Bolz-Webber, and Marianne Williamson.  Despite storms and rain connected to Hurricane Barry in the gulf, 4,000 people attended the festival this year.

The Rev. Tommy J. Dillon II, Rector of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge hosted the Episcopal tent. “We hosted Holy Eucharist every day, and people flocked to the Episcopal tent. It became a place for people who want to know more. The whole tent was about hospitality.”

The Rev. Tommy Dillon ‘96, right, with festival attendee, VTS seminarian Pete Nunnally, praised the work of both seminaries partnering in the Try Tank under the leadership of Lorenzo Lebrija ‘14

The Rev. Tommy Dillon ‘96, right, with festival attendee, VTS seminarian Pete Nunnally, praised the work of both seminaries partnering in the Try Tank under the leadership of Lorenzo Lebrija ‘14

Dillon spoke eloquently about his experiences at General (Class of 1996) with a rapt audience and also took questions. Dillon says General is “preparing people for the future,” in a number of creative ways, from-- diversifying the nature of how people experience liturgy, to creating the Wisdom Year Program (which places M.Div. students in real parishes in real job roles) to dropping students into the complicated and vibrant realities of New York City. 

And, Dillon was encouraged by how General is seeking out partnership and relationship. “Now we’re really partnering in something substantial- Try Tank- and that is a gift to the church.” TryTank, led by the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, Class of 2014, is a joint creative venture between General Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary.

General family at Wild Goose included: John Hamilton (Class of 2004) Episcopal Priest serving at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Dahlonega, Georgia and musician Will Retherford (Class of 2018). Dillon’s fellow General Trustee Bruce Garner was also on hand leading a session on the journey for LGBTQ inclusion inside The Episcopal Church.