10 Things We Learned as Bethel’s AIRs by Sarah and Amelia

  • The people at Bethel are ridiculously kind, open, and generous—so much so that when you serve them lukewarm tea all evening at a writing workshop because you can’t figure out how the hot water machine works, they will drink it without complaint and you won’t even realize the water isn’t hot until you pour yourself a cup.
  • How to collaborate within a limited time period; how to hope the idea you have will work, encourage each other to continue working on the idea when you fear it won’t work at all, and celebrate when everything does, somehow, come together.
  • Learning our way around the kitchen. So many puddles of coffee before we figured that one out!
  • The surprising joy of early-morning mailbox-stuffing and late-night announcement-writing. Advertising isn’t so bad when you’re with a friend!
  • Discovering the spiritual joy of worshipping creatively—sharing work that might fall apart, might be overly emotional or personal, but allows for exciting, life-giving exploration and expression.
  • “Liturgical movement” à attempting to define what that means…
  • Realizing the extent to which sharing gifts and vulnerabilities allows for meaningful connections and deeper relationships with others.
  • The people at Bethel have truly wonderful stories to share—it was an honour to edit, spend time with, and celebrate Bethel stories.
  • How to take unexpected moments (especially unexpected moments of awesomeness) in stride—like that time we interviewed Bob Baergen during Education Hour and he co-opted the interview in order to facilitate a standing ovation from the audience on our behalf.
  • The power of connections bridged through story—both the everyday reflections and the extraordinary moments, and the stories that are both all at once.

Dear Bethel: Being your 2016-17 Artists-in-Residence was a humbling, transformative, and hopeful experience for each of us. We felt challenged by the opportunity to express ourselves personally and prayerfully. Thank you for allowing us to take on this chapter of Bethel’s story.