The week before Christmas, City Harvest Church and its community services arm, CHCSA collaborated on a carnival to ring in the cheer.
The year-end is often a time of laughter and cheer. This year, as part of the Christmas festivities, CHC held a carnival from 15 to 17 Dec, in collaboration with City Harvest Church of Services Association (CHCSA). It created an opportunity for church members to bond with their cell groups and friends, as well as invite new friends for a time of fun.
A plethora of food and games stalls lined the atrium on Level Three of Suntec Convention Centre as well as the gathering places on Level Six. In true CHC-style, a photo booth was set up outside of halls 603 and 604 for carnival-goers to capture their Christmas moments together—Yuletide-themed props were on hand to make their photos all the merrier. Best of all, the photos were printed on the spot, creating mementos for attendees.
Siblings Joseph, 13 and Faith Chew, 12, loved the food, particularly the takoyaki and mini churros. “The takoyaki had octopus inside—it was yummy,” Joseph said.
The food and beverages offered at the carnival included fried skewers, corn cups, hot dog buns, muah chee (glutinous rice snack), frozen yogurt, ice cream, burgers, satay, otah otah (spiced fish cake wrapped in banana leaves), rainbow cheese toast, bubble tea, fruit punch and sodas. While those required coupons, there were also free treats—popcorn and candy floss—given out.
TIME TO PLAY
An array of games awaited the carnival-goers: Ping Pong Roll Down, Balloon Dart, Milk Can Toss, Whiffle Ball Toss and the Lobster Pot Challenge. For young ones, there were delightful options: Feed The Monkey, Feed The Lion, Finish The Race, bowling, fishing and a ball pit.
The games encouraged friendly competition . The lively atmosphere and diverse games ensured a day filled with joy and amusement for participants of all ages.
Church member Cleona Chiang, 12, particularly loved the Bungee Run Game. Two participants raced against each other while tethered to the structure by a bungee rope. Cleona, who took part in the game with a new friend, said of the carnival, “It was a great time for us to explore the different carnival segments and spend time with one another.”
CHC members who only wanted to be known as Albert and Lauren shared that the carnival became an engaging bonding session with their daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca. Although they didn’t win their desired prizes on the first day they came, they came back to play again the next day and had fun together.
The youth cell group, E564, led by Jasmine Kon and Jeremy Peh from LYL Zone, attended the carnival together. The members had fun playing games, eating, and laughing together, and the members split up to play their favourite games before regrouping to attend church service after.
Another cell group with young adults, W593, led by Gwendolyn Tan from ET Zone was grateful that the church provided a place for the congregation to hang out before and after the church service. It was also an opportunity for the members to introduce the church to their new friends.
“We enjoyed having fun experiences with our friends, being able to play games—it was easy to have multiple players—and food that was easy to share and value for money,” said Jael, a member from W593.
BUILDING A WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE
A CHC member who wanted to be known only as Uncle Ang used the carnival as a reason to invite friends to church. Although he didn’t take part in the games, Uncle Ang nevertheless joined in the fun and fellowship with his friends and also other church members.
“The carnival was very good and cool for the younger generation,” he said. “When I saw them so enthusiastic and enjoying themselves, I felt young too! It was also an opportunity for me to spend time talking to the friends we invited to church.”
The carnival’s atmosphere was built up by the CityRadio ministry. DJ Samuel Kaji, 24, observed while he was emceeing, the Bungee Run and Bottle Ring Toss were the crowd favourites. Kaji noted that there was immense enjoyment that came along with the competition. The carnival served not only to entertain members and new friends, but it was a unifying project for the church.
“I think it’s the whole community’s involvement,” said Kaji. “The entire carnival was not just for our church but also people from various church departments like CHCSA, CHCJAMs, Harvestkids. It was a heartwarming to witness everyone come together to have fun and be included while embracing one another.”