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Bethel College to present 20th annual German Advent service

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Bethel College German and music departments will present "Deutsche Weihnachten," a German Advent service, at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5 in Bethel College Mennonite Church on the Bethel College campus in North Newton. Admission is free and open to the public. Presented entirely in German, the service will include candle lighting, scripture readings, a meditation, traditional German carol singing and service music by Bethel College choirs and instrumentalists. This is the 20th year for "Deutsche Weihnachten" at the college.

"‘Deutsche Weihnachten’ offers a glimpse into the rich Advent and Christmas traditions of German-speaking countries," said Merle Schlabaugh, professor of German and organizer of the event.

"‘Deutsche Weihnachten’ provides one with the unique opportunity of reflecting on the significance of Advent and Christmas in German rather than English," added Schlabaugh. "Hearing familiar texts in another language can often bring new insights and understanding."

Margaret Penner, a German, mathematics and physics major from West Chester, Ohio, will present a brief meditation.

Scripture readers will include seniors Michael McKitrick, Brandon, Fla.; and Leah Rapp, Colorado Springs, Colo.; juniors Jimmy Charles, Clearwater; Johann Reimer, Reedley, Calif.; and Mychal Thompson, San Antonio, Texas; and freshman Djordje Maricic, Belgrade, Serbia.

Bethel College Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus and Men’s Ensemble and college instrumentalists will perform German Advent and Christmas works. William Eash, professor of music, will direct the choirs. Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, professor of music, will serve as organist.

Musical selections for the program include, "Machet die Tore weit," by Andreas Hammerschmidt, "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen," by Jan Sandström, "Weihnachtslied," by Robert Geyr, "Weihnachtliches Wiegenlied," by Fritz Greis, "Jauchzet dem Herrn," by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and "Zion hört die Wächter singen," by Johann Sebastian Bach.

An offering will be taken for Mennonite Central Committee hunger or war relief projects.

A reception of German Christmas goodies will follow in the church fellowship hall. The church, located at 27th St. and College Avenue in North Newton, is handicapped accessible.

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