This interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.
Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Biefly, what is Wilderness Way’s story? How did it come to be? What was it in response to? What was it a calling away from and a calling to something different?
Solveig Nilsen-Goodin: Wilderness Way began with a friend of mine coming over one day in 2006 saying he was feeling led to start an alternative church at the margins of Christianity, and something inside of me immediately responded, YES! We spent the next six months listening for what “at the margins of Christianity” meant to us, and gathering others to join us, and soon the name, Wilderness Way Community, emerged. The name signifies the particular place we are planting ourselves. Biblically, the wilderness is the place outside the walls of empire, the place where prophets are called and fed, the place where manna is given and enoughness is taught, the place where John the Baptist initiated those who were defectors from and dehumanized by empire; the place where Jesus was tested and prepared for his prophetic, spiritual leadership. Wilderness also signifies the wild spaces that emerge and exist without human control. Within the context of Western civilization (particularly urban contexts) most of us are profoundly cut off from the “natural” world – a disconnection that is having devastating consequences for the planet, the poor, and our very souls. The values we seek to bring forward are, in fact, values found deep in the wilderness of both scripture and nature: the values of Sabbath, jubilee and shalom. When manifested, these values look a lot like what Jesus called the Kingdom of God, and that’s the new (old) world that is emerging. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: An Interview with Wilderness Way”