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Lecture series to feature Kauffman Center musician

October 21st, 2021

Jan Kraybill

While the biennial Worship and the Arts Symposium has been postponed, some special events will still be happening on campus, including the Menno Simons Lectures on Nov. 5.

The symposium, titled “Joining Voices Together,” had been scheduled for Nov. 6, 2021, and will now take place in November 2022, due to COVID precautions.

However, the art exhibit “Voices Together” will go on as scheduled at the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center, and Jan Kraybill of Kansas City, Mo., will give two presentations on Friday, Nov. 5.

Kraybill’s appearance at Bethel is thanks to the Menno Simons Lectureship Endowment, which brings a speaker to campus every fall, and which this year was supporting the Worship and the Arts Symposium, whose main funder is the Reimer-Boese Worship and the Arts Endowment.

This year’s two-lecture Menno Simons series is titled “This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song: The Power of Music in Community.”

The first lecture, “The Sound of Science,” will be at 11 a.m. in Memorial Hall as part of Bethel’s convocation series.

The second, “Music and Memory, Meaning and Mission,” will be at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Current COVID protocol at Bethel requires mask-wearing indoors for groups of 10 or more.

The exhibition “Voices Together” opens Oct. 29, and brings particular attention to the visual art included in the new Mennonite hymnal, Voices Together.

The exhibit highlights the work of 12 artists from Canada and the United States.

Rachel Epp Buller, Ph.D., professor of visual arts and design at Bethel and director of the Regier Gallery, is coordinating “Voices Together,” which will travel to three other North American colleges and universities after it closes at Bethel on Nov. 19.

Regular gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with no admission charge.

Epp Buller is available outside regular hours for church groups who want to see and hear more about the exhibit (contact her at to schedule a time between Oct. 29 and Nov. 19).

Jan Kraybill is a GRAMMY®-nominated concert artist, musical leader, speaker and advocate for the power of music to change lives for the better.

She has performed as a soloist, collaborative musician and hymn festival designer across the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, Australia, Russia, South Korea and Tahiti.

Kraybill currently serves as organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, organist-in-residence at Community of Christ International Headquarters, Independence, Mo., and organist at Village Presbyterian Church on Antioch, Overland Park, Kan.

In these roles. she plays and oversees the care of three of the area’s largest pipe organs.

Her fifth solo recording, The Orchestral Organ (Reference Recordings, 2019), garnered three GRAMMY® nominations including Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

Her most recent album, Marked for Grace, produced by ProOrgano, was released by Naxos this past June.

There will be a reception for Kraybill and for the “Voices Together” exhibit on Nov. 5 following Kraybill’s 7 p.m. lecture, in the Luyken Fine Arts Center lobby.

The John P. and Carolina Schrag Kaufman family established the Menno Simons Lectureship Endowment to promote research and public lectures by recognized scholars relating to Anabaptist-Mennonite history, thought, life and culture, past and present. Since 1997, the family of William E. and Meta Goering Juhnke has also contributed substantially to the endowment. Both families have their roots in the Moundridge area.

The late Rosella Reimer Duerksen established the Worship and the Arts Endowment to celebrate the lives of Katharina Voth Reimer and Thomas U. Reimer (Duerksen’s parents), and Maria Schroeder Boese and Abraham L. Boese (Duerksen’s birth parents, who died in her infancy).

The Reimer/Boese Endowment is intended to assist Bethel College in providing lectures, musical events, workshops or conferences that focus on the arts as tools for communicating the Christian faith. While some events may primarily serve the student body, others will be aimed at the broader community as well.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #15 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #31 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only Kansas college or university selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and has been named a TRHT Campus Center. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.