Sharing the FPU spirit from a distance

Engaging and encouraging media by FPU students and faculty 

This article is all about featuring some of the interesting projects Fresno Pacific students and faculty have been working on. Some of the projects we’ll talk about are done independently by FPU students to engage viewers or listeners in a discussion, while others are joint efforts by students and faculty specifically as a way to encourage the FPU community during the Covid-19 Pandemic. All of these different projects are alike in that they offer good viewing or listening for those of us wanting to connect with our school or country in some way in times of physical separation. 

Matt and Chan Show

“Matt White and Chandler Maciel are conservative college students from California who love talking politics. We’ll cover the news cycle, discuss culture and religion, and host great guests all to inform the listener with truth, facts, and logic.” – The Matt and Chan Show description from Apple Podcasts

The following is a short interview over email with one of the show’s hosts, Matthew White:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

“We started this podcast in early January and [it] was something we had discussed doing for the past 2 years. We both decided to just do it and we aired our first episode on January 17, 2020. This has been one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done in my life.” 

“One thing that has made this show so fun to do is hearing differing opinions and discussing relevant topics that affect us, the American people. We even had the great opportunity to have Andrew Shinn on the show before he left to go be a United States Economic Diplomat. The episode is available on all streaming platforms: ‘Biden Wins Big, Californians Fight Back and Exclusive Interview w/ Andrew Shinn.’ We are grateful for the opportunity to do this each week. Thank you to our loyal listeners! Till next time this is the Matt and Chan Show.”

Their podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube and SoundCloud.

FPU Live (@fpulife)

The following is an interview with Rayna Harris, Residence Director at FPU:

What is FPU Live?

“FPU Live is a way to keep students virtually connected to one another over Instagram. We had a LIVE event every weekday at noon on our Instagram page @fpulife. It featured events from study tips to cooking tutorials to crafts to educational topics. Any student is welcome to host on any topic they choose.”

How did FPU Live come about?

“Student Life was looking for ways to keep students connected during this strange time. We decided to use social media to our advantage and set up a fun routine students could look forward to each day. We gathered various student leaders and asked them if they would be willing to host some of the first ones, and then spread the word.”

Do you have a favorite moment of FPU Live?

“There have definitely been some good ones. Some of the humorous ones definitely stand out. We had a spicy noodle challenge, cooking with fun facts, and a meme review. However, some were memorable for other reasons. We have had the Kinect team join us for some worship and devotionals; we also had some good dialogue regarding women’s experiences, and topics discussing how we can support the community during this time.”

Will there be more live videos in the future?

“We will continue to host as long as there is an interest. If anyone wants to host feel free to direct message our Instagram or email me to get on our schedule.”

Lastly, what are some ways students can keep in touch with the FPU community?

“Our hope and prayer for this time is that our community stays safe and well, but also stays connected. We need one another during this time. We hope students take advantage of platforms (as silly as FPU Live can be) to stay connected to one another, and stay hopeful.”

Walk With Me (@collegehour)

The following is an interview conducted over email with Brian Davis, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at FPU.

What is Walk With Me? 

“Walk With Me is our online college hour during the time we are sheltering in place and cannot gather as a whole community for worship and spiritual formation. Following the normal college hour rhythm, we publish short videos given by FPU students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday and Friday on our Instagram account.”

How did Walk With Me come about? 

“The idea that we are all on a spiritual journey is a prominent metaphor in the Bible. No matter the circumstances, we are all walking together. When the guidelines for sheltering in place were given and FPU moved to distance learning, we wanted to do something to help guide our community as we journey together toward Christ.”

 What is your hope for the FPU community during this time? 

“I was reading the book of Ephesians recently and was struck at Paul’s prayer in chapter 3. Like Paul, it’s my prayer that during this time the FPU community ‘may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ I don’t know of anything that can sustain us during this time other than the love and power of Christ!”

Theater: Drama Ministry team + Theater program 

(@fresnopacifictheater)

In FPU theater, the Drama Ministry team has been spreading positivity and using their platform to remind students that despite the chaos that is happening in the world, God is still present in these times. On Instagram @fresnopacifictheater, the Drama Ministry team has been participating in publishing videos called “1 Minute of Hope” that feature members of the Drama Ministry team talking about a verse that has given them hope in a time of need. 

The first 1 Minute of Hope video was posted on March 28th, 2020 by the director of the theater department, Mark Tyler Miller. He uses Exodus 14, where the people of Israel are leaving Egypt and running away from Pharaoh, then get to the Red Sea and start to panic. Moses says to them:

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:13-14 ESV). 

Professor Miller uses this verse to tell students that God is for them and encourage them to stay patient knowing God is always in control. Other videos showcase students like senior Alexa Heinrich, who used Psalms 27 to tell students to lift their joy and find the good in a situation. Heinrich talks about how she has had time to do some spring cleaning and read a book for pleasure, which she would never have had time to do during a normal semester. More members, like freshman Anna Krumpe, have posted videos of encouragement about God’s calming worries and anxiety in uncertain times. 

Junior Tiana Gabel made her 1 Minuter of Hope with Matthew 9, which is about the bleeding woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ clothing and was healed. She talks about how having faith can free us from the fear of uncertainty. Sophomore Micheal Mason uses Luke 1 in his 1 Minute of Hope video to say to have mercy and posture your heart away from fear.

In troubled times, Drama Ministry is praising God’s word and spreading the message to help calm the FPU community. Professor Miller is very passionate about keeping spirits high and staying grounded with grace for our community. In a recent interview with the Syrinx, Professor Miller said, “I believe that theater is supposed to be a means to move people—to bring joy into others’ lives. This is one way to do that. FPU theater is a place where Jesus reigns in every circumstance, and our students and audience members are deeply loved.” 

The curtain may be drawn for the theater department’s show Spitfire Grill, but the Drama Ministry team sets the stage for building up our community with hope and grace in a time of need.

Authors: Madison Alley and Timothy Myracle

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