the arts

Calling St. Paul, by He Qi, courtesy of the artist's website

Calling St. Paul, by He Qi, courtesy of the artist's website

SUMMER ART SHOW: 
"FROM MAO TO MARY," THE ART OF HE QI

July 2 - September 3, 2017
 

The Visual Arts Ministry of Second Reformed Church in Zeeland is pleased to announce a summer art show, “From Mao to Mary," a solo exhibition featuring the works of He Qi (pronounced Huh Chee). Qi is an internationally-recognized artist whose distinctive style blends traditional Chinese materials and methods with unique interpretations of classic Christian scenes. 

Coming of age during the Cultural Revolution in 1970s China, He Qi learned to paint by copying portraits of Chairman Mao. At that time, he also encountered a copy of Raphael's "Madonna and Child" printed in a magazine. The image caught his attention, and he soon began copying it but did so in secret. Such diversity of influences remains evident in his work, which Dr. Richard Melheim has described as "Chagall meets Matisse meets Picasso meets the East." 

He Qi studied in Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing Art Institute in China, and Hamburg Art Institute in Germany. He was the first person from mainland China to earn a Ph.D. in religious art after the Cultural Revolution, and currently serves as artist-in-residence at Claremont School of Theology in California.

The public is invited to view the exhibit during open gallery hours on Sundays from 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Tuesdays-Thursdays from 9:30 am-3:30 pm, Fridays from 9:30 am-12 pm , or by calling the church office: 616-772-2153. A docent-led tour is available by appointment.

 

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Artistic Vision

At Second Church, we believe that artistic expression is a gift of God, used both for the worship of God and as a means of enrichment for God's people. 

When you visit us, you will notice artistic expression manifested in two primary ways. The first is in our attention to worship on Sunday mornings. Our architecture, sanctuary design, liturgical colors, musical choices, use of dance, and even the robes worn by the pastors, worship leaders, and choir are all intentional uses of symbolism, connecting us to the Triune God within the greater historical and ecumenical context of the world-wide church. 

Other artistic mediums present in our church connects us to God in our daily lives, enriching our personal connection to God and the community. Frequently, our building serves as a gallery for exhibits of both nationally renowned and locally celebrated artists alike. For a schedule of upcoming exhibits, as well as building hours, contact Hope Olson. Second Church also provides numerous opportunities for members and the community to learn and experience art through knitting groups, greeting card design, and group excursions to theatre and music performances. 

 


Voices and Instruments

In our worship, many voices and instruments combine to contribute to our song. Whatever your talent is, there is a place for you here.

  • Congregational song is central to our music. We sing hymns, spiritual songs, psalms, and liturgical refrains. These range from classic hymnody to contemporary songs. Some proclaim the word, others express praise or prayer, and still others move us into meditation and contemplation. We all participate, in whatever way we are able.

  • While the organ and piano may be most frequently used, other instruments augment and embellish our song. Wind and stringed instruments, guitars, and the occasional light percussion add dimensions of beauty and energy.

  • Choral ensembles add another dimension to our worship. The Chancel Choir (see below) rehearses weekly, practicing formal anthems and less formal service music, and sings at most of our services. Our Children’s Chorus brings songs that they’ve learned in Children in Worship. And our New Choristers gathers singers of many ages to sing less formal but equally inspiring songs.

Each of these relies on the talents and dedication of individuals with a wide variety of interests and skill levels. Our ministry is to make sure that we all participate in whatever way our talents allow and require. Please join us. Contact the Director of Music Ministries for more information.

The Chancel Choir

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

Across the centuries, choirs have played an important role in the ministry of the Church. Choirs have given another expression to the Word of God, and have elevated the praise of God’s people and deepened their prayer. So it is with the Chancel Choir of Second Church.

In our worship together, Second Church looks to the Chancel Choir to give expression to the Word, and to give a collective voice of praise and prayer that individuals cannot by themselves. This happens through choral anthems, through the teaching of new hymns and songs to the congregation, and by inviting the congregation into the song by way of refrains and short choruses. Our eclectic approach to vocal music includes a wide variety of genres, from classic anthems to contemporary contemplative meditations. We seek to use music that embodies the great diversity of the Church, its styles, its generations, and its cultures.

For the choristers themselves, the Chancel Choir is a small community within the congregation. We pray together, breathe together, work together, struggle together, hit high notes and low notes together (literally and metaphorically!), and together we offer our talents as our own offering. We are intergenerational, we have a wide range of skills and experiences, and we each have our own preferred styles. Together we represent in a small way what the Body of Christ is like as a whole.

In a recent interview, John Rutter, one of the grand choral masters of our day, said:

“Choral music is not one of life’s frills. It’s something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community, and our souls. You express, when you sing, your soul in song. And when you get together with a group of other singers, it becomes more than the sum of the parts. All of those people are pouring out their hearts and souls in perfect harmony, which is kind of an emblem for what we need in this world, when so much of the world is at odds with itself…that just to express, in symbolic terms, what it’s like when human beings are in harmony. That’s a lesson for our times and for all time.”

(You can find this interview here, courtesy of J. W. Pepper.)

Mr. Rutter’s comments are at the same time ennobling and humbling, reassuring and challenging. And when we place them into our identity as part of the Body of Christ, we are reminded that our calling is to live in harmony, in reconciliation, in sharing together in the ministry of the church, each to his or her own abilities.

You are invited to participate with us. We sing on most Sundays at the 10:00 service and most festival services. We rehearse each Wednesday evening at 6:30 and Sundays at 9:00. Contact the Director of Music Ministries for more information or to sign up.