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Christmas Vespers organ recital, Lighting of Green, to be Dec. 13

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College student chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) presents the annual Christmas Vespers concert Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel on the Bethel College campus.

This year’s vespers concert will feature students from Bethel College and Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts (BCAPA) as well as another local musician.

Jacob Kliewer, BCAPA student from Newton, will play “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” by Schop (arr. Richard Hudson). Mika Patron, a high school student from Newton, will play “He is Born” (arr. Robert Powell) and “’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.”

Oliver Kropf, junior music major from Hesston, will play “Lo! He comes with clouds descending” (Helmsley/Osterlund), “My Lord, What a Morning” by Burleigh (arr. Richard Billingham) and “Sinfonia and Ritornello” by Heinrich Spitta. The latter features Bethel sophomores Erica Buller, Lenexa, and Andrew Voth, Topeka, on cellos.

The Bethel College chapter of the AGO, formed in 1959, is the oldest student chapter in Kansas. Christmas Vespers is free and open to the public.

Later the same day, students, faculty, staff and friends of Bethel College will join in the 24th annual Lighting of the Green, an Advent season tradition. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on the Green in the center of the campus and all are invited.

Participants form a circle on the sidewalk around the Green, holding unlit candles that are supplied. Most of the campus lights are turned off but there will be ushers with flashlights to help people find their places in the dark. It takes about 250 people to entirely circle the Green.

After some singing of Christmas carols and reading of Scripture passages, the candles will be lighted to form “a wreath around the Green.” At the end of the service, which lasts 15-20 minutes, everyone walks into the middle of the Green with their lights to sing one or two additional carols. There are cookies and hot drinks in the cafeteria afterward.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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