A city comes together in Church Dub
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WMC) –Davin Risk, a “serving member” of Genesis United Methodist Church for the past two years, first got the inspiration last October. “Sitting in church I had this passion exploding within me to make a lip dub video involving people of all different faiths in our community,” he remembers.
Little did Davin know that the event born that morning would eventually take place within days of a shooting in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. This Sunday, August 12, persons from around West Michigan have the opportunity to make a statement about interfaith dialogue and unity by participating in Church Dub 2012.
What is Church Dub?
This video production will be filmed in downtown Grand Rapids this weekend. Here’s an explanation from the Church Dub website: “Basically, a lip dub is a large group of people mouthing the words to a song/songs at the same time while being videotaped in one continuous shot.” When filming is done, an editing team sets the visual to the actual audio recording.
The camera will be rolling for Church Dub along the Riverwalk by the Gerald R. Ford Museum at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. Davin reports that to date 125 different faith groups have indicated an interest, “mostly Christian but others, too. There has been nothing but positive response.” No rehearsal is needed for the event. Davin encourages persons to simply show up and be part of it.
A “Frequently Asked Question” is, “What if I can’t sing?” The answer is, “No problem!” as no one actually will hear individual voices. “They are just seeing your lips move while mouthing the words to the song. So no vocal talent needed!” Davin explains. However, special talents will also be recognized. Dancers, instrumentalists, color-guard, baton-twirling … are all activities that will add visual appeal. So a quick trip to the Church Dub website describing special talent will be a helpful alert to planners.
Why Church Dub?
“I tend to have a lot of crazy ideas,” David admits. “Some (many) are ‘Davin ideas’ that are quickly forgotten, but other ideas go beyond that … and I have this feeling that I’m not the owner of those ideas, I am simply the instrument being used to send out a certain message.” Church Dub is that latter kind of idea. It was a sermon by Pastor Sue Petro, preached at Genesis UMC last October that got it started. Davin recalls, “The message that morning was, Don’t Knock Something, Build Something. Pastor Petro spoke of a Newsweek article defining Grand Rapids as one of the fastest dying cities in the U.S.”
After two weeks of prayer and counsel from friends that “this was not a Davin idea,” Davin announced his Church Dub dream and took on the role of Executive Producer. “Within hours things began to happen,” he says. “The Grand Rapids City Government, Cornerstone University, Genesis UMC and the copyright holder of the songs immediately jumped on board … and things have been a whirwind since that day!”
“My motto,” says Davin, “is unity among diversity.” The basis of his vision for Church Dub is the song, “God of This City” by Chris Tomlin. “I want the focus to be on all faiths, all denominations coming together united to show our God at work in Grand Rapids.”
There have been challenges having to do with logistics and fund raising. A Faith Fest was held in June to generate financial support and media awareness. The event involved a Battle of Blessed Bands, a movie showing, garage sale and food concessions. Hosted by Genesis UMC, local businesses stepped up with support as well. Davin is grateful for the support of his pastor and church family. “This is an undertaking I’ve never tried before. All the encouragement has pushed me along,” he notes.
Davin hopes to make Faith Fest an annual event that celebrates all faiths in the Grand Rapids community. “Too many people think that religion is a cold building and a hard pew,” Davin says. “I want to show a different expression of faith. I want to reach the audience that has that ‘hard pew’ outlook.
How to get involved
1) Meet at Rosa Parks Circle on the Riverwalk (135 Monroe Center NW) this Sunday, Aug. 12, at 1 p.m. Find Map here.
2) If possible, dress with apparel representing your faith group (t-shirt, robes, etc.). Bring a sign or banner with the church’s, temple’s, mosque’s name on it.
3) Make ready by visiting the Songs Page on the website to familiarize yourself with the selections and lyrics.
4) Just show up at the appointed time or register on the website.
After editing the Church Dub will be uploaded to both YouTube and the Church Dub site. A premier party at a local theatre will be announced.
Pastor Sue Petro is thankful for Davin’s “bold faith.” “His vision, creativity, and commitment have been truly tested by the complexity and scope of this project,” she remarks. “Church Dub invites a response to the higher calling of unity and outreach to our brothers and sisters in downtown Grand Rapids.” She is also grateful for his personal witness to the congregation and concludes, “The project’s gift to Genesis has come in the form of a reminder. We must dip our fingers deep into the well of courage if God is ever going to accomplish anything big enough through our willing and open hands.”
~reported by Kay DeMoss, Weekly News Senior Writer