Every semester, Vision Revision (VRV) chapel is a unique, student-led worship experience celebrating the arts that is usually different from the more traditional services students see on a regular basis. Despite the chapel services being virtual this school year, last semester’s Vision Revision and this semester’s remain in-person while still following COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
Elissa Weisz, Vision Revision coordinator, shared that because this chapel is so creative, it may look a little different every year according to who is overseeing it.
“The chapel itself is an arts-focused chapel with the main purpose being to emphasize the fact that worship can look a lot of different ways and take on different forms of expression,” Weisz said. “It’s also very collaborative, because it incorporates different voices, gifts and talents on campus that aren’t seen in every service.”
Weisz said that her past experiences in church fueled her passion for being the VRV coordinator.
“I’ve grown up in different church settings, and I feel like the format of an evangelical church often looks similar everywhere you go,” she said. “I’ve had some really powerful worship experiences in a more traditional setting, but I feel like my big landmark moments where I have experienced God have not been in that setting.”
Weisz is a dance major, and she said that her most consistent and intimate form of worship is dance.
“I just want to help people realize that just because they’ve never cried while singing a worship song in chapel or have never felt drawn to a traditional service doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to worship and experience God,” she explained.
She shared that some of her favorite moments about the position so far have been talking with students about why they want to be involved in this chapel specifically.
“I got coffee with a student who told me that they never realized that they could use one of their hobbies as a form of worship,” Weisz said. “It’s just so cool to me to give people the opportunity to share their art and realize that.”
Last semester’s VRV chapel, called “Don’t Waste Your Breath,” centered around sharing student’s stories and having authentic conversations.
“Vision Revision last semester was less about the worship aspects of chapel and more about fostering community in a time where there isn’t much of it,” she said. “This semester, the theme will be loosely based around the quote ‘build a bigger table, not a taller fence.’ It will be about interacting with the things that keep us from feeling like we have a place at the ‘table’ with God.”
While this semester has a different overall theme, Weisz said she wants to maintain that authenticity and depth.
“I love this position and chapel because I think with it being only twice a year, it allows the work to truly be authentic,” she explained. “My vision for this chapel has always been to try to capture both the hard and the good and how we can still worship through the hard.”
She shared some ways that she’s looking for students to be involved in this semester’s chapel.
“If you’re a student who is excited about the idea of thinking about what keeps you from finding a place at the table and dialoguing about that, I’d love to have you”, she said. “Also, anyone who is interested in dipping their toes into figuring out how to worship God in unconventional ways through their passions and creativity.”
Weisz said that her overall goal for the VRV chapel this semester is to make students feel welcome there.
“It’s unrealistic maybe to say that every student that attends will have a spiritual revelation, but I hope that it causes them to ask questions about faith and realize that there is a place at the table for all of us,” she said.
Junior christian ministries and worship arts major Alaina Glover was involved in the worship portion of last semester’s VRV chapel and spoke to the importance of it.
“Being in VRV last semester was so filling,” Glover said. “It was amazing to get to see the Lord move through so many different channels and mediums of art and expression. To me it reminds me of how creative God is, and how he has created us to worship him in those creative ways.”
She said that she would highly encourage students to attend for multiple reasons.
“The most important thing about VRV was the encouragement that was given to be authentic and vulnerable,” Glover shared. “It cultivated such a safe place to talk about real, difficult situations and how they affected people. I would encourage people to come to the chapel this semester because it offers a place of spiritual community in a semester where there are not many community opportunities elsewhere.”
Vision Revision chapel will be held in person on April 6 during the chapel hour in Reardon Auditorium.