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.
Last week classes were cancelled on Wednesday for the annual Service Day. Students could sign up for a variety of projects on campus as well as a trip to Camp Mennoscah that I was lucky enough to be on.
The biggest project was the cleanup of the Kidron Canal, which runs through campus in between the athletic and academic buildings. President White was really excited about this project because it would help tear down the physical barrier between the athletic and academic sides of campus. The football team and many other students worked on it, and it’s an impressive change.
This past weekend was one of the best I have had at college so far. It wasn’t just because I was finally done with a paper and a project that had been causing me a lot of stress, but it was also jam-packed with fun stuff.
Saturday night was the Bubbert Awards, where students can submit films for judging. There were only 4 films and honestly all were very good. Hopefully they will all be up on YouTube or somewhere soon. The winner was a Harry Potter trailer of the whole series set at Bethel. That one was especially cool because it involved so many students as extras and starred Bethel faculty and staff as professors.
The Minority Mentoring Program has been established for minority students from big cities outside the state of Kansas. This program has been developed for incoming minority freshman who are coming into the Bethel community.
The Bethel Community is a very different environment from what most minority students who are from bigger cities outside the state of Kansas are used to. The goal of this program is to help incorporate and embrace the Bethel community principles as well as making them welcomed as they would in the cities that they are from. The program helps develop activities that these students are used to outside the Bethel community as well as helping them to relate to other minority students.
This year’s spring fling was a rousing success. Last year’s, while fun, wasn’t quite as epic as this year’s. This year we had a full slate of cool events lined up for us. Sunday started off with a talent show, with an emphasis on complete hilarity. Besides showcasing their musical talents (as well as dramatic readings of the sublime poetry that is Friday, by Rebecca Black), these participants chilled, thrilled and titillated our senses of humor with their scintillating musical compositions. Yeah, they were hilarious.Fast forward to this past Saturday night, and events are equally inspired, and hilarious. This was the occasion of the Bubbert’s Awards, those annual awards given to aspiring Bethel College filmmakers. Four entries were created for this year’s lineup, and they were all top-quality. Most of them are findable via youtube; in fact, I included handy-dandy links at the bottom of this post. The winners (photo courtesy of Erin Engle):
Spring Fling has started off with a bang with a fantastic talent show last night. I feel that there was a vast amount of talent shown by all the Bethel students who participated. Every show was a joy to watch and there was not one dull moment. The Bethel community had what I felt was a great turnout, with a majority of the students showing up to watch their peers perform their talents. But this is not it for Spring Fling for there will be more to come this week.Tonight there is Minute to Win It after the famous game show that allows one to get a task done in one minute faster than their opponent can. Tuesday there is ultimate Frisbee and limeades. Sounds good to me and Wednesday there is Iron Chef. Let’s see who at Bethel has been hiding their top chef abilities. Thursday is Mafia wars, that should be a blast from the past! And of course the ultimate red carpet event, The Bubbert’s Awards. Read More
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.
I’m not sure if it’s been said at all on this blog, but Mojo’s is one of the best things to come to Bethel. The coffee bar opened at the beginning of the year and has had fairly reasonable prices for really good drinks, sandwiches and desserts. It was especially convenient the few times I have missed the window for supper or lunch in the cafeteria. I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent at Mojo’s.
Like many incoming college students, I didn’t drink coffee. Some still don’t, but some are like me and have grown to love the smell, taste, and affect coffee has. Some of the flavored drinks have really mild coffee flavors and it’s really easy to get used to it.
I’ve been waiting since the beginning of the year for spring on campus. The grass is green again, the temperatures were in the 70s before spring break, and flowers are starting to bud. Bethel has such a great landscape with so many trees and big green spaces. Unfortunately, when we all moved back in yesterday it was about 34 degrees outside and lightly snowing. That’s just kind of how spring is in Kansas though. You have to take the bad with the good.
On a happier note, today is my first birthday as a college student! It’s amazing how many people have told me happy birthday face-to-face instead of just on Facebook. I love having so many amazing people around me every day.
Whew! Having fun is tiring work! The week is nearing a close, and as we travel I continue to be amazed at the beauty around me, both in the landscapes we are surrounded by and the people surrounding me. There are a lot of new members in the choir this year, and we have had a lot of fun as a group, getting to know one another better and laughing a lot. Every day I grow closer to people I have cared about for a long time as well as people I am just beginning to know and care for.
We work hard on our music, and performing concerts every night can be tiring. But the energy for that work often comes from our friendships and community. We lean on each other and learn from each other, bringing our joy to the music we create together. I love to sing no matter where or what or with whom, but to sing beautiful music in gorgeous landscapes with people I love . . . how can I keep from singing?
Naomi Graber: 3-25-2011