One of the most anticipated events on campus occurred earlier today. Beginning on Friday afternoon, Bethel College invites community members to campus to hear speakers, listen to musical groups, walk through student-created booths, play games, and eat food. The main day of Fall Fest is Saturday, and beginning earlier than 8 am, students, staff, faculty and community members were setting up booths and selling food and handicrafts.
I began my day at the Students for Social Change booth, where my friend Emilie and I gathered signatures for a petition involving the recent Palestinian bid to the UN for statehood. In the same booth, other students sold arroz con leche (rice with milk, raisins and cinnamon) and distributed information regarding the School of the Americas. Other booths sold newspaper subscriptions, held contests to win prizes, sold cookies and verenike, held a Free Sale, and offered tie-dying.
This past weekend, a group of Bethel students had the opportunity to attend the Pascha (Easter) service at St. George’s Orthodox Christian Cathedral. St. George’s is part of the Eastern Orthodox tradition, which includes Russian, Greek, Armenian, Antiochan, and several other Orthodox churches. The service began at 11pm and concluded at about 2am and was a marathon of liturgy, standing up, and incense.
It began with the choir singing an opening hymn after which all the lights were shut off and the bishop began chanting liturgy. He then lit a candle from the candelabra at the front of the church and passed it to the priests and friars, who went down the aisle and lit the candles of the parishioners. It was really beautiful, getting to watch the church slowly light up and being able to see the elaborate paintings on the ceiling and walls.
This past weekend was the Kansas MCC Sale. For those non-Mennonites among the readers, it’s a chance to go to Hutchinson, eat a LOT of really good food, visit booths with lots of interesting things for sale (anything from bad trucker hats to furniture to jewelry to old fabric remnants to more food), go to three different auctions (general, quilts, children’s), slide down a GIANT SLIDE and mostly just eat a lot of food and hang out for a morning. At least half of the Bethel campus makes the trek over the weekend, and so there’s ample opportunity to spend time with friends, walk around, get sunburnt, and of course, eat a LOT of really good food (sense a theme here? Mennonites are all about the food). The proceeds from everything purchased at the sale goes to the Mennonite Central Committee, which is a faith-based aid organization with branches all over the world, so we can indulge in a bit of guilt-free spending, knowing that it will go to a good cause.
The Christmas season at Bethel is my favorite time of the year. Not only are the students oh-so-close to finishing out the semester, but there are lots of time-honored BC traditions to experience. This past Friday was the Messiah Sing, which is the final (and my personal favorite) convocation of the year. Once again, my penchant for singing in community reveals my bias, for the Messiah Sing is just that – singing Handel’s Messiah in Bethel College Mennonite Church. The BC band and orchestra plays, several of the very best Concert Choir singers perform arias and recitatives, and the audience (segregated into soprano, alto, tenor, bass) sings the rest. It is a beautiful thing, hearing the voices and instruments weave seamlessly together. And when the final “Hallelujah” reverberates around the church, I can’t help feeling a bit sad that I shall have to wait 364 days to hear that moment again. Read More
The Christmas Gala was so delightful. It was full of students from the community dressed in their formal gowns and tuxedos. The administration served the students their evening meal and sang Christmas carols during the meal. Students were so excited to see one another in their formal dress. Many pictures were taken with the Bethel snowman and the lit Christmas trees all around campus.
Stress, stress and more stress. That is where I found myself this past week, not to mention the week before. I was constantly complaining about all the work to be done for my classes and the jobs I hold here on campus. Ask my roommate, and I’m sure she could tell you that I was downright grouchy! Amongst my exceedingly full schedule I somehow found myself sleeping at 10:00 am last Wednesday morning. That next hour at 11:00 am, Bethel has scheduled a time for Chapel lead by our campus pastor Dale Schrag. Although all students are encouraged to attend, no one is required to fill up that hour of your week at a church based service. Read More
Today we had our first practice for Deutsche Weihnachten. This is a pretty cool event, unlike anything else anywhere (except for Germany, they have them all over the place). Basically, It’s a church service entirely in German. The scripture readings are in German, the songs are in German, even the sermon is German (to be delivered this year by Austin McCabe-Juhnke). Read More
The caf has taken special interest in the meals this week–many of them are based on what is traditionally served for Thanksgiving meals. I like the fact that they have the holiday spirit, but boy is it making me long for my family’s traditional dishes. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving break, a time to be thankful for family and NO SCHOOL!!!
Hi everyone! My name is Aimee Siebert. I’m a junior at Bethel, and one of your new bloggers here at “Beyond the Green.”As one of the millions of people coming up for air (or falling down for sleep) after the Beijing Olympics, I think I have some bloggable thoughts for this entry that have made it past the sleep-deprived hysteria.Since they only come around every four years–I’m talking summer Olympics for now–The Olympics catch you at different points in your life every time they come around. I like to think I’m a pretty different person at 20 almost 21 than I was at 16 or 12 or 8. I know that I’m a much bigger and eclectic sports fan than I was before, so I think I enjoyed this Olympics more than all of the ones that came before. Read More
Well, talk about sand! Today is our first full day in Kykotsmovi, AZ and we are having a bad sand storm. Welcome to the Hopi Nation in the high desert in the four corners region. Read More