There's more to life at Bethel than classes & seminars

Beyond the green is a place students to share the joys and hardships of being a Thresher.

  • Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

    Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

  • Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

    Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

Concert Choir Tour 2015

Concert Choir Tour 2015

The choir's annual spring break tour took them into churches of various denominations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where they experienced amazing hospitality from an equal variety of people.
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Bethel in bloom

Bethel in bloom

It seems like we just turned around and suddenly it's spring all over the Bethel campus.
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Spring Fling 2015

Spring Fling 2015

Above is a photo from 2015's Bubbert Awards fun. The Bubberts capped off Spring Fling week, which also included Ultimate Trivia, laser tag, Capture the Flag and Bethel Olympics. Plus an Iron Chef Cook-off with a secret ingredient...
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The end of another school year

The end of another school year

Wrapping up, finishing up and moving out, as another school year ends. Our bloggers appreciate coffee, friends, beautiful coffee, summer plans, study breaks and ... coffee.
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Late Start to Tennis


Who needs a weight room when we’ve got snow to shovel?

This tennis season so far has been quite an interesting one. Due to the crazy weather and the lack of indoor facilities nearby, there has not been a lot of time to practice and our first few matches were cancelled. Some of our practices included shoveling snow off the courts so we would be able to practice sooner!

Finally we were able to have our first tennis match of the spring season on Friday for men and women against Baker University!

It was a very successful and chilly day, with the men winning their dual 8 matches to 1, and the girls winning their’s 7 matches to 2. Although our season got off to a late start, we definitely started it on a great note!

This season we also have a lot of home matches and would love to see anyone who is interested come out and support. If you are interested to see our current schedule I will add it below.


Working hard! We also had a few extra non-tennis workers who volunteered to help!

March 25: 4:00pm @ Bethel vs. Southwestern Christian University (Men)

March 26: 10:00am @ Bethel vs. Oklahoma Baptist

March 28: 4:00pm @ Bethel vs. Evangel University (Women Only)

March 29: 2:30pm @ Bethel vs. Doane University

April 1: 3:00pm @ Bethel vs. Concordia University

April 4: 3:00pm @ Bethel vs. Dallas Baptist University

April 5: 9:00am @ Wichita vs. Friends University

April 7: 3:00pm @ Ottawa vs. Ottawa University

April 10: 3:00pm @ Salina vs. Kansas Wesleyan University

April 12: 9:00am @ Bethel vs. McPherson College

April 14: 3:00pm @ Bethel vs. Southwestern College

April 17: 3:00pm @ Bethel vs. Tabor College

April 19: 9:00am @ Lindsborg vs. Bethany College


The Pirates of Penzance

Over the past month many of Bethel’s students have been working on the opera, The Pirates of Penzance. Our fearless leaders in this production were Chris Westover, John McCabe-Juhnke, Doyle Preheim, Danika Bielek, Ethan Koerner, and Soyoun Chun. As a concert choir member, I was in the chorus as a daughter. We wore long, high necked dresses with bloomers, pantyhose, slips, and anything else uncomfortable you can think of! The principals of the show put in many hours, and this past week, the whole cast met every night from about 6 to 10:30 pm. Most of this past week the cast was also joined by the orchestra members- who did an amazing job playing each song with us! This was an exhausting and at the same time exhilarating week. I loved spending time with all of the cast members, directors, and every other person that was involved. We performed this opera three times this past weekend on March 7, 8, and 9. Friday’s show was a great opening night– the audience was very alive and they were very receptive toward our humor. Saturday was a good run, and then we ended with a bang on Sunday afternoon!







Full cast

Full cast


MCUSA Convention 2011

MCUSA Convention 2011

Last month I had a new, but awesome experience! First, for some background, I grew up Mennonite and, yes, I did a lot of Mennonite-y things! I went to all of the youth events that I could. I loved things like the junior high youth event, Know Jesus, put on by Hesston College, junior high youth event, Snow Camp, put on by Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, and the Mennonite Church USA high school youth conventions during the summer. Convention, especially, was a week-long-super-exhausting-but-always-high-energy event.

What does this have to do with my new, but awesome experience? Well, at Know Jesus and Snow Camp, the people that attended were mostly from around the area. Snow Camp was in Colorado and Know Jesus was in Kansas. Most of the youth that I met there mainly knew about Hesston and Bethel College, just like I did. However, when I went to Convention, it was a whole different story! There were booths set up from Bethel, Hesston, EMU, CMU, Goshen, Bluffton, and yes I might have forgotten some others. I visited all of the booths that week, but when I left, put the other colleges out of my mind.

College Reps at Menno Haven

College Reps at Menno Haven

My new, but awesome experience was at Menno Haven Camp in Illinois this January, where I was a representative from Bethel College. Katelyn Melgren and I were the only representatives who did not know anyone else. Many of the reps started out at Hesston College and then went to a different Mennonite college. But, they were all still friends. As Katelyn and I maneuvered our way into this already tightly knit circle, I began to see the beauty of each of the colleges they were at. I had this weird sense that I was missing out on something awesome. I wanted to be able to experience places like Goshen or Bluffton, but also be able to experience Bethel. Previously I have not had any desire to experience other Mennonite colleges. I am NOT SAYING THAT I WANT TO LEAVE BETHEL, AT ALL. It is more that I want to know the people at these other colleges. Honestly, I got to know the above people for only two days… and that’s all. But, I already miss the fun of bringing community together, especially across college boundaries.


Last Bits of Interterm on Campus

As I said before, I took Social Development and Social Justice this Interterm. This class involved many interesting field trips. In Wichita we visited this awesome place called “Dress For Success.” It was by far my favorite place.  I thought it was almost perfect!  I have to admit, before I walked in, I thought it was going to be a shabby little place with a lot of old, sub-par clothing piled up for people to take.  Instead it was super organized and clean, full of beautiful dress clothes, and made to feel like a classy boutique.  There were dress suits, dress skirts, purses, shoes, earrings, scarves, necklaces, and probably much more.  This place does not just give women some clothes to interview in; it gives women a whole outfit and hopefully a huge boost in self confidence.  Not that clothes should define you, but I imagine for many women it is hard not being able to look their best and it is easy to feel not good enough because of the clothing worn.

The women first get one outfit if they have a job interview, and then there are many more opportunities to get another set.  It is not just a one and done kind of deal.  These women are welcomed back to many meetings and events, and most of them include more outfits.  All in all I was very impressed with this social service.  Hopefully there is somewhere equally nice for men to go and get some clothing and hope.

Another place we went to was the “Breakthrough Club.” This is a non profit social and vocational program for people with severe mental illness. They focus on wellness and abilities rather than illness and disabilities. This place was really cool; they try very hard to make every one feel they are on the same level. They do not differentiate between “professionals” and “patients.” This program encompasses many areas for empowerment. They have work out equipment in the building, because they want to focus on the well being of the whole person, not just their mental health.

One other really cool place we went was a market-mall type thing. It was very easy to see the Mexican influences in this store. They had a lot of stores that were catered toward the Mexican culture. In one store they had an adorable little bunny! It was the highlight of my trip!


I got to hold him!

One Last Time – Concert Choir Home Concert

The Concert Choir gave a bittersweet farewell to our European choir tour with a final concert on Sunday, this time in front of the friendly faces of Bethel’s campus. While it was great to sing for familiar faces after singing for strangers for three weeks in Europe, it was an emotional performance for the 22 seniors of the choir. After not singing together since Wednesday, it was great to perform once more. I was already starting to miss the music and memories we were making together. Even though many of us were still feeling the effects of a jet lagged weekend, there was not a dirth of intensity and emotion in our music. At the end of the concert, all of the seniors received a special round of applause at the front of the stage, and two seniors, Ariel Silva and Taylor Stucky shared some reflections on their class and the music that they make. Ariel spoke of the diversity of the senior class – there is a very wide array of majors and minors. To me, this is one of the reasons why Bethel’s liberal arts education and the Concert Choir are so special. We each bring a special set of skills and interests, but we all share one thing in common – our love for music and our membership in the concert choir. The choir really did become like a family during our time in Europe. There is no doubt that the seniors of the choir will be missed, but they will soon be the shoulders upon which future concert choirs will stand.  – Braden Unruh

Interterm on campus

This interterm I took a social work class called “Social Development and Social Justice.” We had a great time in class and out of class; for out of class we took five field trips to Wichita. Throughout this class we were challenged to go and experience something that we were not familiar with. A small group of us decided to go to The Muslim Community Center and Masjid (mosque). I am a Mennonite and this was a very different and enlightening trip for me. Here is an except from the journal I wrote for class:

“We did not go in the right door of the mosque, but luckily there was a nice man who showed us to the main office.  We were then picked up there by a different man.  He was extremely warm and welcoming.  He sent the guys over to their part and then took us girls to a stairway.  It was kind of confusing, because he could not actually take us up to the women’s area of worship.  He found a female student to take us up.  We all took off our shoes and then walked up stairs.  We did not really know where to go then, so we sat in some chairs on the side of the room.  I was surprised by how much I liked the space.  I thought I would dislike being away from the main worship area.  But, this room was very peaceful to me.  The openness of it and all of the space were oddly comforting.  The sunlight was shining through the windows and it made me feel very relaxed.  A few young girls came over and asked us if we had any questions they could answer.  They were very sweet.  I asked them the best way to tie our scarves, but they said theirs had two different parts, unlike our scarves.

It was very different to just hear the speaker and see him through a TV screen.  They even had sheets over the railing so the women could not see the men at all and vice versa.  The atmosphere on our upper level was very interesting.  It was very casual; people came in and left whenever they wanted to.  Many of the women checked their cell phones, and some texted.  A young boy was running around the whole service.  I think it is harder for the women to get into the service because they are more physically removed from it.

Their prayers were very interesting.  I liked how they were all together, like they were praying as one.  Later they told us that they don’t like any space to get in between them and they are very physically close during this time”

A Bittersweet Goodbye to Europe

By Abby Schrag

At 10:30 am, Friday the 24th (I would say yesterday but with the time difference and long time spent traveling it seems like 3 days ago), we began our 11 hour flight home from Frankfurt. It was sad to leave Germany after all of our incredible experiences there visiting historical sites, exploring German cuisine, meeting so many new people, and of course a lot of singing! Luckily all travel went smoothly. We made it on time to all of our flights and no baggage was lost!

According to our trip itinerary, we flew a total of 5,461 miles to get back home to Kansas! Our faithful bus drivers that were there with us from day one in Warsaw also informed us that our bus traveled a total of 3,880 kilometers during the trip! We are so lucky to have been able to travel to so many different places and see so many different sights.

It was a great trip, and now we have a day to recover from jetlag, reunite with friends and family, and (finally!) do some laundry! It’s strange to be separated from my other 44 choir members, Bill, and Merle, but we will all reconvene tomorrow for our home concert at 7:00 at Mem Hall. Hope to see you there!

Solingen Potluck!

By Madelyn Weaver

This is a small blog but a good connection to back home!

Today I had a little reminder or “taste” of home if you will.

We had a concert in a gorgeous cathedral in Solingen, Germany that also made gorgeous music with the great acoustics. Afterward, we got connected with our host families and we all went into another room to have a pot luck with the choir members and the host families! When I heard we were having a potluck I immediately thought of my church back home in Hesston, KS : Whitestone Mennonite Church and all the delicious potlucks we have. We had yet to have a “potluck” at any of the other churches in Europe so I had been beginning to wonder if it was just a United States thing.

A lot of the food was different than back home of course, but still just as amazing! I’m sorry I dont have pictures to share of the food so you will just have to take my word for it!

Tomorrow will be a busy day of traveling, touring and it will also be the day of our last concert. I can’t believe how fast time has gone and how quickly the trip is coming to an end. It has been a wonderful experience!

Some observations

By Abby Schrag


Jacob Brubaker and Clarie Koehn mimic a statue in a mall in Leipzig.

Today was mostly spent traveling from Bielefeld to Hamburg, which isn’t super exciting to read about on a blog, so I figured I would spend some time talking about some of our observations of Germany and German culture so far.

1. Sidewalks and bike lanes may look very similar, but are definitely not the same! Several choir members have had awkward encounters when they were accidentally walking in the bike lane and were yelled at by very angry German bikers.

2. Along the same lines as #1, there are many more people biking and riding the public transportation than driving here. My host families so far have attributed this to the high prices of owning a car and also concern for the environment.

3. Most people here are skinnier. I have yet to see many larger people in Europe – maybe attributed to more biking and walking?

4. German bread and chocolate is DIVINE. This is a pretty well known fact, but seriously, we have pretty much been living off those two commodities for 1.5 weeks and we’re not even tired of them yet!

5. Their showers are weird. There are often no shower curtains and our taller choir members have had to become contortionists to wash themselves under the short shower heads that most have. During our “Tales of the Tour” time there is always at least one story involving a shower mishap.

6. The German people are extremely generous. We have had 3 homestays so far on tour and everyone has returned to the group with stories about the hospitality of their hosts. We are always filled with amazing food and great conversation. It has been so incredible to meet so many fun, caring people who are willing to take in 45 college students for free!

When we arrived in Hamburg we took a 2 hr bus tour around the city and gave a concert at the Mennonite church in town. These last days of tour are back-to-back concerts everyday, so we are keeping very busy!

Travel to Leipzig

By Abby Schrag


Five choir members imitate a statue.

This morning the choir left Berlin and traveled to Leipzig. A stop in Wittenburg was planned to see the church where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door. However, we unfortunately didn’t get to go inside because they are working on renovations. The trip was not in vain, though, because we decided to walk around the town for a bit and several of the choir members got recruited to become a part of a flashmob doing the Cupid Shuffle with a group of students from a college in Michigan!

There wasn’t time to do much sightseeing in the afternoon when we got to Leipzig because of our concert in the evening. It was a very special concert because several members of Dr. Eash’s family were able to come to hear us sing and wish him a happy birthday! We also celebrated another choir member’s birthday today, Taylor Stucky! There must have been some birthday magic in the air, because we rocked that concert tonight! The choir continues to get better and better as the tour goes on, so prepare for an epic home concert when we get back!