Native German speakers and those interested in the German language who live in the south central Kansas area have a unique opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the Advent season each year at Bethel College.
Students and faculty in the college’s German and music departments present a Deutsche Weihnachten (German Advent) service annually in early December. This year’s service is at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Bethel College Mennonite Church.
This will be the 23rd Deutsche Weihnachten service at Bethel for professor of German Merle Schlabaugh, who organized the first one in 1985.
He said that a special invitation is extended to high school German teachers in the area to bring their students, as well as to German-speaking foreign exchange students, since the entire service takes place in the German language.
The service will include candle lighting, Scripture readings, a meditation, traditional German carol singing and service music by Bethel College choirs and ensembles.
The service closes with the candlelight singing, by choirs and congregation, of “Stille Nacht.” A reception with German Christmas goodies and hot beverages will follow in the fellowship hall. The church, located at 25th Street and College Avenue in North Newton, is handicapped accessible.