I was an easy convert last year to the Ministry of Encouragement over at the Facebook Open Group for Bedlam Farm organized by bestselling author Jon Katz. I’d been fortunate enough to spend the previous year being mentored by Jon at a workshop at Hubbard Hall, a local community theater and arts center in Cambridge, NY, and moving to the group was the next logical extension.
Over the last year, I’ve renewed my faith at two other workshops, by connecting personally with other members of the Open Group, and by trying to encourage other artists to follow their dreams. I’m not extroverted by nature, but something about this group and its ministry overwhelms shyness and doubt. It opens the door to a new relationship with the world. It creates possibilities that may not even have been dreamt of before.
Trying to pay it back would be like trying to pay back your parents for giving you life, something this group and its ministry has given its member artists and writers.. That’s something you can only pay forward by honoring that gift in yourself and encouraging it to grow and others.