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Lighting of the Green will start the Advent season at Bethel

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College invites the community to start the Advent season with a beloved campus tradition.

The 27th annual Lighting of the Green is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. in the center of campus.

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.

Most electric lights on campus are turned off for the Lighting of the Green, as 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.

Patty Shelly, professor of Bible and religion and a founding organizer for Lighting of the Green, will lead several Christmas carols. Following the reading of Advent Scripture passages, the candles are lighted 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 additional 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 college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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