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In-person Lighting of the Green returns Dec. 12

November 29th, 2021

Lighting of the Green, 2019

After a virtual gathering in 2020, the Lighting of the Green returns as a real-time event on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. around the Green in the center of campus.

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

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

They listen to Advent Scripture passages and a brief meditation, and sing Christmas carols.

The candles are lit to make a “wreath” of light, followed by everyone converging to the middle of the Green to form a “Christ candle.” Physical distancing measures will be taken this year.

“After having a meaningful gathering virtually last year, we look forward to gathering in person to celebrate Christ's light, which shines in the darkness,” said Bethel campus pastor Michael Unruh.

All are welcome to join in the Lighting of the Green, an activity well-suited to families with children. For more information, call 316-284-5318.

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.