Some familiar faces are headlining the entertainment this weekend at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church. To raise money for Costa Rica missions trips, Christel and Paul Grandel will perform a free concert Sunday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Ocean View church.
The Grandells frequently lead Mariner’s praise services and write music for special services. Having performed together since 1984, the couple now performs under the band name HIS (Healing in Salvation). They’ll perform songs from their first CD, “Finding Beautiful,” which is also available for sale.
“When we did the concert [in January], we heard people saying, ‘We’d like to get some for Christmas presents,’” Christel Grandell said.
The timing of the event means that people who usually fly south for winter can catch the concert before Christmas. But the main goal is fellowship. Snacks and refreshments will be served afterwards in the social hall. The concert is free. A love offering will be accepted but is not mandatory.
“We just want people to come enjoy the music … and come to know each other better,” said Grandell, especially when worshippers from Mariner’s three services rarely interact together. She said they’re excited to share a stage with more Mariner’s Praise Team members, with special appearances by the youth Drama Team.
“It’s a huge privilege, a humbling experience” to perform, Grandell said. “It is such a neat vantage-point to watch God’s people worship and praise him. Words can’t describe it.”
The concert helps benefit the Mariner’s Bethel Costa Rica fund, as volunteers get set to return for three weeks to Coquital, Costa Rica, to help rebuild a local parsonage. By returning to the same site, Delawareans build a relationship with Costa Ricans and see how the town has grown and changed, Grandell said, and they can work alongside people of all ages, aiming to improve their community.
“It is nice to be able to go back and revisit what progress has been made from other teams,” Grandell said, “and see where the village people are from the last time we got together with them.”
The journey also involves worship at the town’s sanctuary, which Grandell called “fulfilling and uplifting.”
“Then it’s eye-opening, because you see a people who have a lot less material things … and, gosh, they are just a happy people,” Grandell said. “It kind of gives you a new outlook on life to not take things for granted.”
Message in the music
Grandell said she’s learned that, just like a favorite book or scripture, songs affect people in many different ways. The Grandells have heard from a couple who tragically lost their child.
“This came about just about the same time that they got our CD. They listened to the CD all the way on their trip to Florida, where she was living, and back,” Grandell said.
Another woman “had listened to the CD four times, and each time a different song spoke to her,” Grandell said.
“I equate it to scripture. Through my life, I’ve heard or read certain scripture. Then one day I hear it again, or sing it again, and it just hits me again in a different way in my faith walk.”
“Finding Beautiful” CDs can be purchased by attending the concert or calling (302) 542-8363. To purchase a CD, people can simply make an offering in the amount of their choosing. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Costa Rica fund for youth and adult mission trips.