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Sarah Unruh ’12

Lighting of the Green welcomes Advent season at Bethel

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – With the 28th annual Lighting of the Green, Bethel College welcomes the season of Advent.

The community is invited to gather at the center of the campus Sunday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m.

Many Western Christian churches, including the Mennonite Church USA denomination with which Bethel is affiliated, observe this season of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ on Dec. 25.

For the Lighting of the Green, most electric lights on campus are turned off . Students, faculty, staff and community members gather with unlit candles on the sidewalk around the Green. It takes about 250 people to form a complete circle.

The simple service consists of singing several Christmas carols, listening to the reading of Advent Scripture passages and lighting candles to form “a wreath around the Green.”

At the end of the service, everyone walks into the middle of the Green with their lights, to create a “Christ candle” as the lights come closer together, and to sing one or two more carols.

The service lasts about 20 minutes. Afterward, everyone is invited to the dining hall for cookies and hot drinks.

All are welcome to join in the Lighting of the Green, an activity well-suited to families with children. For more information, call 316-284-5356.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.