Every semester, AU sets aside a week of chapels for students and faculty to experience Vision Revision. This unique service is dedicated to observing the Christian faith through the lens of the arts.
Hope Brandenberger, the Vision Revision coordinator, collaborated with student performers to develop the service around the theme of “creation continued.”
“God’s creation is continuing in and through us every day,” said Brandenberger from the Reardon Auditorium stage.
AU students and faculty were reminded of this on Thursday, March 28, as students like Hadley Duke and Carrie Frauhiger shared their passion for the arts by dedicating their talents to worship.
Duke is a sophomore music business and journalism major. She has been songwriting since the age of 12.
In the first semester of her freshman year, Duke attended a state-wide worship night where she listened to a college student give a message comparing the light from the sun and moon to God. It was this comparison that inspired Duke to run back to her dorm room and put what she heard into song. Twenty minutes later, she had written “Just Like the Moon.”
“The college student who gave the message used a metaphor about the sun and moon and how the moon doesn’t have any light on its own; it is just a reflection of the sun’s rays,” said Duke. “He compared that to us and God, and how we reflect God’s light to the world. That blew my mind, and that night was monumental for my faith journey.”
Duke explains that her transformative experience at state-wide worship came during a difficult time in her life when she neeeded to feel God’s presence.
“Before the state-wide worship night, I was not in the best place,” said Duke. “That’s why it was so monumental to me. I’d been struggling with some things and hadn’t felt God’s presence in a while. That experience was the strongest I’ve ever felt God’s presence. That’s why I was so excited to write the song. It was something that was new to me and something I hadn’t ever experienced to that extent before.”
“The first verse of “Just Like the Moon” starts with the story of the moon and the sun and the rest is about reflecting God’s light to the world,” said Duke. “That message meant so much to me at the worship night and I hope that my song can help the audience understand that message, too, and live it out in the same way that it made me want to.”
Vision Revision displayed God’s creation through song, but also through dance.
Carrie Frauhiger has been dancing since the age of 4 and choreographing since she was 16.
Frauhiger is a senior social work and dance major with a minor in psychology and has danced in several chapel services throughout her time at AU. Frauhiger collaborated with Brandenberger to create the theme for Vision Revision.
Frauhiger’s dance is titled “Open Hands” and is set to the song “Lay It All Down” by Will Reagan. Frauhiger reflects on the inspiration behind her dance.
“Living life with open hands is something that I have struggled with for a long time, Frauhiger said. “I never really knew it until it was the topic of an AU chapel a couple of years ago. I want to hold on to everything in my life so tightly: my future, relationships, plans, goals, possessions, grades and everything that I have built and earned.”
This idea has allowed Frauhiger to see what life is like when you give God control.
“It’s easy to believe the lie that holding on to the things in our lives is simply being a good steward of what God has given us,” Frauhiger said.
“When you refuse to allow God to be in control, to both place things in your life and take things out, you are ultimately harming yourself and likely those around you. You are selling yourself short of the abundant life that God has created for you to experience.”
For Frauhiger, living by the concept of open hands allows God to place unexpected blessings in our lives and remove what is harmful. She believes that this is a way to enter into what God has created us for.
“This dance is about the process of transitioning from a life with clenched fists and holding on to the things of this world, to a life lived with open hands, completely surrendered to the will of God,” Frauhiger said. “I hope the audience will be able to identify an area of their life that they are living with clenched fists.
“I hope that this physical expression of opening our hands will be able to inspire audience members to simply consider what it would look like for them to let go of the things that they are holding onto so tightly. I want them to know the potential joy of Christ that is awaiting them when they choose to open their hands.”