Calvary Chapel dedication ceremony focuses on the rebirth of a sacred space

The renovated Calvary Chapel officially debuted to Biola faculty and students the first week of September.

Jacqueline+Valmont+wears+a+veil+during+her+performance+in+the+newly+renovated+Calvary+Chapel+during+its+dedication+ceremony.

Aaron Zhang | The Chimes

Jacqueline Valmont performs in the newly renovated Calvary Chapel during its dedication ceremony on Friday, Sept. 7.

Macie Cummings, News Editor

A dedication ceremony for Calvary Chapel was held Friday consisting of worship, speakers and poetry in order to create a space of celebration for the completed chapel, followed by a lunch reception.

The ceremony was centered heavily around dedication of the chapel through prayer. There were several instrumental and vocal soloists that were used to highlight each of the four wings of the chapel. Each wing showcases stained glass murals that tell stories of theological inspired imagery. There were also poetry readings from adjunct professor of the Torrey Honors Institute Phillip Aijian and associate professor of English Marc Malandra.

Danish artist Peter Brandes and his wife Maja Lisa Engelhardt reimagined the renovation of Calvary Chapel, the $1.9 million project paid for by donations. Brandes created 32 stained glass windows for both the inside and outside of the chapel, while Engelhardt sculpted a 31-foot wall as the centerpiece in the chapel. It is covered in 24K gold, and titled “Resurrection.” She also sculpted the 500 pound cross above the chapel doors. Their main goal in renovating the chapel was to give the space a sacredness, which they believe had been lost.

“In any room there is kind of spirit, and in your room, Calvary Chapel, there was once a spirit. But the spirit had been lost a little bit because the need of having space to teach… and this is what they asked us to try to do, to put it back to this sacred space feeling,” Brandes said.

Brandes wanted to create an entirely different feeling in the room for students and staff to experience when they worship.

“When you go into a room, it can be a kitchen, and you go there to prepare some food. If you go into a sleeping room, you go to rest. But when you go to a chapel, it is for another activity-it is to worship,” Brandes said. “If you feel that that room has something which is different from the kitchen, then I have already achieved something, and then you’re already on your way to a different experience than the one from other rooms. So I hope we can do that.”

Students and staff can visit the Earl and Virginia Green Art Gallery to get a glimpse into the process of the renovation.

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