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A Different Expression: Art as Worship

For those of you who grew up attending traditional Christian churches like I did, and if you haven’t been back to church in a while, I have to tell you that things have changed. Of course, there are churches where things look and feel much the same as when I was a child in the 1960’s and 70’s. But, there’s more.

Risen Jesus, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

Risen Jesus, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

More diversity is the first thing that comes to mind. There are “traditional” services offered in some churches; but there are also “contemporary” styles of worship. There are Sunday morning church services; but you may also attend a regular service on a Saturday evening, Friday, or even such strange times as Wednesday or Thursday evening. You can go to a church building, watch on T.V., or live stream via internet. Church buildings may look traditional, or may be “Butler buildings,” coffee shops, or something else.

My favorite part of this diversity is the variation of expression in worship. When my kids were little, we became involved with a dance school near Kansas City that was all about dance as worship. Dance had been frowned upon for a long time, in general, by certain church populations, and it was exciting to be a part of a sort of new wave of artistic expression that was slowly being re-examined by Jesus-followers.

Jerusalem, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

Jerusalem, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

Now, it’s not uncommon to see dance in a church, especially a contemporary style. Music still has a prominent role, which I love. It’s also becoming more typical to see visual art displayed in a church. A few churches also include visual art and painting as a part of a worship service. This is a relatively new phenomenon, and sometimes it can add a lot, I think, to the worship experience. All of the work you see in this post was painted during worship services.

Spirit/Doves, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

Spirit/Doves, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

I am a part of a large church here in Loveland, Resurrection Fellowship, also known as “Rez.” I was asked to come and paint during a conference a little over 2 years ago, and my husband, Scott painted a choreographed piece for the Easter services a few years ago. Since those humble beginnings, Rez has reached the point of including painting and visual art in nearly every service! I am blessed to be part of a whole, awesome team of artists who serve in this way regularly. Rez has also hosted a few special events, such as art shows, that showcase visual art. Thanks, Rez! (Special thanks to Pastor Jonathan Wiggins, Pastor Kaitlyn Scott, Pastor Diane Blanco, and Jorie Henderson.)

Worship paintings from Convergence conference & Heaven Fest, currently on display at Grace Place Church in Berthoud, Colorado

Worship paintings from Convergence conference & Heaven Fest, currently on display at Grace Place Church in Berthoud, Colorado

The New Jerusalem, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

The New Jerusalem, painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

My preferred method of re-purposing paints and materials for art works really well for me in this context. There are also other artists who use re-purposed materials for this type of art; but for today, I’m just posting my own paintings, simply because I have not yet taken photos of the others’ work. As always, more to come…

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About Mollie Walker Freeman

I am a fine art painter, & I am studying to be a health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

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