After a five-year hiatus, Emerge returns to celebrate and inspire young people.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
Emerge is a youth movement within City Harvest Church that is in its ninth year running. This year’s event, which happens on July 16 and 17, will gather the talents and memories of all the June youth camps for a grand finale.
Emerge is a CHC trademark, a platform that showcases the many different talents of members under age 25, with powerful messages for the youth that help them to focus on their God-given purpose and passion. The conference has proven to have such positive long-lasting effect that churches in other cities, from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei, have adapted its format to fit their own youth populations to great success.
Next weekend will see the culmination of five exciting competitions: Live Jam!, a Christian youth band competition; Center Stage!, a drama competition; Cut!, a video competition using footage from the June camps; Your Best Shot!, a Youtube talent competition; and Oh My Word!, a Bible knowledge competition.
Be warned: it will be loud and live!
The selection round on July 1 saw 10 bands coming together for a tough fight. At the end of the three-hour long praise and worship session, the judges selected the following four: the band from KEL Zone will compete against the band from ET Zone on July 8 during “Your Best Shot” selection night while the band from AN Zone and the band comprising members from AZ, AN, WYZ and CL Zones will be leading worship during the Emerge weekend. Some bands won but every band was unique. City News presents the bands.
The criterion of the competition was to have a four-piece band, but KEL band exceeded expectations and brought a full band onto stage! Their dance team also had a beat-boxer, adding spice to the hip-hop number, pumping the atmosphere with “Can’t Stop Praising.”
Lights flashed as two dancers from the zone led by assistant pastor Lim Meng Chin did a unique dance item with Glosticks. Unbeknownst to many, the dancers and the band only managed to practice a total of two times as a full band in a studio. “Even though we didn’t have much practice, we still want to show God that the youth in the next generation are hungry for Him and we are here to rise up,” said team leader Gerald Chan.
MY & VIC Zone
This band with musicians from zones led by zone supervisors Liang Meiyan and Victor Wong ended their repertoire with a praise song. This unique combination plus an original number gave an element of surprise to their performance.
Choosing congregation favorites, such as “Great Is Our God,” “Nothing Is Impossible” and “Let Your Glory Fall,” the band from the zone led by Veronica Tang, zone supervisor, was out to please God and the crowd. And they succeeded in bringing the house down.
AZ, AN, WYZ & CL Zones
This band combines musicians and song leaders under the pastoral care of pastors Aries Zulkarnain, Wu Yuzhuang, Audrey Ng and zone supervisor Catherine Lee. The challenge was for the members of different zones to come together to practice. Although there wasn’t enough time to practice together, they put up an outstanding performance.
This is the only zone brave and talented enough to bring on a rapper to psych up the crowd during praise. Rapper, Sean Iniyan wrote the rap especially for the praise song “Happy Day.” He said, “Since this is a youth event, we wanted to do something that could interact with the youth, hence, a rap.”
“God is a God of new things, that is why we love to sing new songs,” said Bryna Low, worship leader of the band from the zone led by Ong Weiren, zone supervisor. This band presented three songs from Hillsong that have never been sung at CHC’s services. They had managed to teach them to the youth during their youth camp and believed that the crowd at the selection round would enjoy the songs too.
The band from the zone led by Tan Yah Lan, assistant pastor, surprised the crowd with a lyrical number, accompanying the praise song “I Will Fly.” “The idea was to dance to the lyrics,” shared leader of the dance team Melissa Lim. “We wanted to portray the lyrics of the song with dance steps, as a form of worship to God.”
YK & LEI Zone
The glory of the youth is indeed their strength. The band from zones led by Goh Yock Kiang, pastor, and Leila Tan, zone supervisor, has the youngest drummer (12 years old, inset), a 17-year-old music director and a 16-year-old song leader. They wowed the crowd with their energetic praise and worship.
While the other bands engaged a dance team each; this band had their zone members dancing with them! The youths under the pastoral care of Edmund Tay, assistant pastor, taught simple dance steps to the crowd. On cue, when the chorus of “One Way” began, the people on the floor started to jump and twirl with the beat.
The team took the audience by surprise when they went on stage with loud music and no lines. Dramatists expressed emotions without words as dancers took the stage with contemporary dance and ballet, expressing despair, depression and hope.
Peh Jia Yu and Sheila Jang, the scriptwriters and directors of the drama, broke the script up into different scenes and met the dramatists of each scene individually to work on their expression. “It wasn’t easy for them to express themselves without lines so we added in lines for them at the beginning. As they got more familiar with the expression they were supposed to portray, we got them to act without the words,” said Peh. She shared that their strategy was to choose songs that have powerful lyrics and are able to evoke strong feelings.
AZ, WYZ, AN and CL zones.
If you are a fan of the Channel 5 comedy series The Noose, you will definitely enjoy this hilarious drama by the team from the AZ, WYZ, AN and CL zones. Dubbed City Noose, the skit was first performed at the finale night of one of the camps held in June, but adopted a more “CHC” flavor. According to the team, the script for City Noose was initially purely for entertainment purposes but was later changed to suit the “life-changing” theme for the Emerge Center Stage! competition. Shawn Goh, coordinator for the team shared how the inspiration to do City Noose came from the dramatist themselves. “The team members are hardcore fans of The Noose. In fact, the characters they play in this drama are those they portray the best. For example, the dramatists acting as Barbarella and Leticia Bongnino are sisters who love imitating them all the time. So when the time came for casting, we had no doubt who to choose for the roles.”
OH MY WORD
“It is always good to memorize the Word of God. Only when we memorize the Word can we go into the next level of meditation and application,” said Lee Yilun, the zone supervisor in charge of the “Oh My Word!” challenge.
Participants of this year’s “Oh My Word!” challenge will see a change in the way the game is played. Unlike “Word Power,” a similar competition held in previous Emerge conferences, the verses and Bible questions in “Oh My Word!” will be limited to the four Gospels. The number of verses has also been reduced from 60 to 25 verses for the preliminary round.
A total of 77 teams (four members in each team) with over 300 participants have signed up for the challenge.
YOUR BEST SHOT
This is CHC’s Youtube video contest. The Emerge committee has picked out the following 15 contestants based on the quality of their videos as well as the number of views and the number of “Likes” they have garnered. These 15 will compete in a showcase event on July 12, at Jurong West. The final three selected will perform during the Emerge weekend and the winner of the competition will be announced during the service on July 17.