Chapel at Freeman Academy is an opportunity for students and staff
to gather for worship and learn as a community.
Chapel occurs every Wednesday and is open to the public.
Chapel includes a mix of contemporary and traditional worship and features students’ pastors, regional speakers, alumni, and our own students and staff.
Topics range from:
Beautiful shades of blue, gold accents, and inspirational words catch the eyes of Chapel visitors at Freeman Academy. Graduate and professional artist Michelle Hofer designed the mixed media piece which includes her painting and hands decorated by students.
After learning the story of Mennonite martyr Dirk Willem, students were encouraged to write on their set of paper hands how they could use their hands to serve others
Hofer adhered the paper hands to wood tiles. Then she added words from a hymn, “Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of God’s love,” and Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
During the process of making this piece, Hofer spoke at the Freeman Academy Chapel and shared stories and pictures of saints, cathedrals, and ancient and modern art. Many of the images can be seen on her website at https://michellelhofer.com/
Michelle shared, “As a child, my sisters and I spent hours and hours on our bikes outside on the farm. I watched nature – the wind in the trees, the way different trees reacted. Their different shades of green. My mind absorbed all these things. Then I realized there had to be somebody who made all this stuff because it was so cool. I must have been about eight when I decided there must be a god and I wanted to know him because he was an artist like me.”
Michelle spoke about inspiring trips to Scotland, Ireland, and the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey. A gilded mosaic of Christ in the Hagia Sophia inspired Michelle to create her own version as a banner for her church.
“This Byzantine mosaic really impacted me and made me think, ‘I want to learn about this art form.’ As Protestants and Anabaptists, many of us have been cut off from this early art form. I feel part of my calling is to share and educate about this art. I’m also interested in how we can add art to our worship places. That piece has been to several areas of the country. It is made of 1000s of little tiles I cut myself.”
“From the beginning of Christianity, believers have had a desire to express their faith in images,” she said as she displayed pictures from her travels. “This image is from the catacombs of Rome. Thanks to new laser technology, we can see underneath the paint layers and plaster and decay, to see wonderful images of the early church.”
She concluded with encouragement for students to explore their gifts and combine them with their faith, “I believe God has gifted me with this talent and I can share my faith through my artistic gifts.”