Message of faith, joy lifts souls

Holiday worship production provides people with hope


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Adults and children surround the Grinch during the “Night of Hope” concert at Valley Bible Church in Hercules on Sunday.

By Roxana Amparo, Associate Editor

HERCULES — Valley Bible Church opened its doors to bring holiday spirit through choir and live performances at 6 p.m. on Sunday during its Christmas Gospel concert “A Night of Hope.”

“We want to tell people there is hope in Jesus,” Worship Ministries Director Deborah Giese said. “People will fail you. All will fail you. Jesus Christ will be there for you.”

Giese organized the evening with the help of the worship choir comprised of an estimated 40 members, orchestra, praise dancers, youth actors and other community members.

The choir group members were dressed in long, black robes standing on the main stage during the majority of the performances.

Children youth performers from Bethlehem Child Care Center were dressed as Disney characters and took the stage to dance.

“We are trying to express the reason behind Christmas,” Group Youth Leader Lori Busworth said.

“We are spreading the word of  how Jesus was born and how he lives forever,” she said.

Giese said the annual event brings joy to members of the community and reminds her of where she started.

“I was the pastor’s daughter and got pregnant with not one kid, but two.

“I was 20 years old and God came in during that time to rescue me,” she said.

Busworth said she works helping children and has been part of the church for 17 years.

Others were dressed as angels during “Listen to the Angels Singing” by Michelle Collins and Nick Orosco playing guitar.

Adults were dressed in long robes during their performances and kept the spirit alive by wearing glowing smiles aimed toward the audience.

The vivid visuals engaged the audience and kept them waiting for the next set to start.

Giese said the lighting crew played an important role during the set as the lights were dimmed.

The virgin Mary and her newborn child took the stage when “Mary Did You Know?” began and the cameras were zoomed into her nurturing baby Jesus.

Rodeo resident Gale Couflan said she heard about the event through a flier and said it was her first time attending the performance.

“I enjoyed the message of joy and was lucky to attend the event tonight,” she said.

Spoken word artist Randy Osti said, “This is what we celebrate, Christ, the newborn king,” during his piece “The Incarnation.”

As the performances were ongoing, members of the audience attentively watched and some swayed along with the music.

One of the performances brought to life Christmas through the Grinch, providing humor.

For some audience members Valley Bible Church offers peace and hope.

Church member Ellen Goco said, “We had been looking for a place and God brought us here.”

Church member Jonathan Goco said he and his family have been members of Valley Bible Church since 2005.

Goco said they are returning members of the church because of the welcoming environment and peace it brings him.

His two granddaughters and daughter were part of the performance.

Goco said it is important for the younger generation to have faith in God.

Concord volunteer Cathy Rasmussen said at Valley Bible Church the friendly environment makes volunteers feel welcome and provides a spot for young children to invest their time.

To close the night, “Hallelujah” was performed by singers Rebecca Webster and Greg Ormeo.

The crowd cheered as all performers gathered on stage coming back through the aisles with their costumes.