Christian Emphasis Week (CEW) 2015 brought students and faculty together to spend a week knowing God more through worship and Scripture.
The week concluded with the school’s second and final Love Does All-School Fellowship of the 2014-2015 school year.
Christian Ministries Director Robert Lockridge oversaw the planning of CEW. “[Christian Ministries] starts out planning over fall break, figuring out who we’ll be inviting and who our seminar leaders will be,” he said. “The speaker and band were invited about a year ahead of time as a lot of people’s calendars plan out one or two years [ahead.]”
This year’s chapel speaker was Sterling Lee, senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Pearl City, and former HBA Christian Ministries Director and wrestling coach. “I think it was a neat thing to come back to a place my wife and I served in the past,” Lee said. “It was neat to get to meet the students and see their excitement for worship. The takeaway [for me,] however, is that the worship now is totally different from when I was here.”[one_third]
It was neat to get to meet the students and see their excitement for worship.
Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Pearl City, Sterling Lee[/one_third]
This year, chapel worship sessions were led by the worship team from New Hope Sand Island church. According to Lockridge, Glowing Heart Ministries’ worship band, which led CEW worship in previous years, didn’t make a return this year because they were ministering in Scotland. Also, he said, the school wanted to change things up and select a new band.
Christian Ministries Associate John Kaneshiro helped coordinate logistics with the New Hope band and also contacted local bands such as the Fresh Preps and Streetlight Cadence to perform at lunch times during the week. “I know a lot of the guys so I called in some favors with some friends,” he said. “They’re all really good-hearted guys; they’re Christ followers, and they want to use their music as a part of a good Christian influence.”
This year, new seminars included one based on Clash of Clans, a popular mobile device multi-player game. The seminar used the concept of the game to discuss life after death. Rest, a popular seminar, returned this year, giving students the opportunity to sleep without the distraction of personal worries, assignment deadlines, or technology.
As with previous years, not all students were assigned to the seminars they signed up for. According to Lockridge, there were two reasons for this. Firstly, about 50 or so students sent in their online seminar sign-up forms late and thus had seminars chosen for them. Secondly, seminar schedules, many of which were determined by speaker availability, did not always coincide with availability in students’ schedules.
The highlight of CEW for many was the All-School Fellowship on Friday at the HBA elementary school campus. Grades kindergarten through 12 got to play, eat lunch, and worship together in a final worship session led by New Hope. The school also heard testimonies from students in the Wada family; HBA alumnus Bryan Okazaki, his wife and son—kindergartner Max Okazaki; and junior Annemarie Lee. “Overall, I think [CEW] was alright, though we didn’t have the same speaker or band as last year,” Annemarie Lee said. “People slowly warmed up to the band afterwards”
Senior Danielle Toda, who said she enjoyed CEW overall, wished there was more time for students, teachers, seminar leaders, and the speaker to interact outside of chapel and seminars. She added, “Compared to other CEWs, I felt sometimes that [this year’s] worship and message didn’t connect as much as before.” She also observed that HBA seems to “still [be] in the process of trying to figure out what is the best fit for CEW.”
Fellow senior Aaron Wilford wanted to have more seminars. He said, “Even though [CEW] was a relaxing week, I wish there was more time I could have connected with the teachers or gotten a bit more advice.”
Lockridge felt that CEW went well because “God just really revealed himself in so many different ways.” Highlights for him included the band and Lee’s messages. “We’re looking at bringing [New Hope Sand Island] back again next year, but that’s all in the planning stage. And I’m looking forward to next year and making everything [HBA] did right this year even better and just seeing how God is going to work through the year.”