Bethel to observe 50th anniversary of King Lecture on campus

On April 4, 1967 – exactly one year before he was assassinated – Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of his most controversial speeches to a meeting of Clergy and Laymen Concerned at the Riverside Church in New York City, calling the nation to account for what he saw as a misguided and deeply wrong war in Vietnam.

Vincent Harding drafted that speech, now known as “A Time to Break Silence” or “Beyond Vietnam.” Harding will remember his friend and colleague Dr. King when he makes his third visit to Bethel College, this time for Bethel’s annual celebration of the national King holiday, Monday, Jan. 18.

Harding first came to Bethel in 1984 to deliver the Menno Simons Lectures. In 1993, he was the commencement speaker. His presence at Bethel will mark the 50-year anniversary of a speech King himself made in Memorial Hall, Jan. 21, 1960. The title of Harding’s address is “More Than Nostalgia: Revisiting King in 2010.”

Along with Harding’s presentation in Memorial Hall on the evening of Jan. 18, Bethel’s King Day celebration will highlight the recent discovery of a recording of King’s 1960 speech, heretofore unknown.

Service project gets enthusiastic reception

For the second straight time, the Harrisonburg (Va.) Mennonite Church youth group won Bethel’s service promotion at the Mennonite Youth Convention last summer. And for the second time, Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) in Philadelphia was the beneficiary.

Youth who stopped by the Bethel booth helped put together playground equipment to be given to FCI Academy Kindergarten Village in Columbus and also had the chance to designate funds to a service organization of their choice.

On Sunday, Nov. 22, Clark Oswald, Bethel associate director of admissions, visited the two Sunday worship services – contemporary and traditional-style, which run simultaneously – at Harrisonburg Mennonite to present the check for $1,000 to Richard Ollinger, president of CCA. The congregation matched Bethel’s gift with an additional $1,000.

In the traditional service, Ollinger “preached about ‘thank yous’ and after the sermon, I was asked to come forward to present the check,” Oswald says. “I talked about the convention and Bethel’s emphasis on and commitment to the ethic of service.

“I was overwhelmed by the extended applause response from the congregation,” Oswald continued. “Peter [Eberly, HMC youth pastor] went on to talk about how the youth group was moved by what Bethel has done and wanted to match our generosity to CCA. After he presented the youth group’s check, there was another eruption of applause and we were graced with a standing ovation from the congregation.”

Students learn and practice integration in teaching

A Bethel education class gives education majors a unique classroom experience -- by going into an elementary school classroom. Rather than just talking about how to integrate music, art, P.E., drama and writing into classroom instruction, these future teachers practice it.

“Getting to help students is a much better learning experience than observing,” says Maggie Stephenson, junior from Little River.

Bethel’s Teaching Expressive Arts class, newly restructured this year, is taught by four Newton teachers: Denetta Denno, Brian Postier, Gail Pryce and LaDonna Voth (Denno, Pryce and Voth are Bethel graduates themselves). Pryce teaches fifth grade at Northridge Elementary, the site for Teaching Expressive Arts. Voth, Postier and Denno teach art, music and physical education, respectively, at Northridge as well as other Newton schools.

The spirit moves in many ways at new campus ministries facility

Remodeled in summer and opened this fall, the new home for Bethel campus ministries, Agape Center in the Richert House, has already demonstrated that the spirit of God moves and acts in myriad ways.

The house recently provided the setting for a Sunday night get-together for two campus ministry groups, from Bethel and Hesston College.

“We finally pulled off something that we’d been planning for months,” said Bethel Campus Pastor Dale Schrag, “a dinner meeting with our student chaplains and the Hesston ministry assistants in Agape Center. Lois Brubacher [from Bethel College Mennonite Church] provided a delicious meal. There were nine Hesston students in addition to Campus Pastor Todd Lehman.

“The encounter was all anyone could have hoped for,” Schrag continued. “Our student chaplains were spectacular hosts and the Hesston students returned the favor. There was a great deal of laughter and generally good feelings throughout the evening. [The group] indicated that they would love to do this again sometime.”

Concert choir to tour Europe

The Bethel College Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. William Eash, will tour and perform in five countries in Europe Jan. 6-25, during January Interterm. Forty-four choir members will be on the trip, plus Dr. Merle Schlabaugh, professor of German.

The choir will sing at 15 locations: Gdansk and Szczecin, Poland; Berlin, Leipzig, Wuppertal, Krefeld and Espelkamp, Germany; Les Bemont and Moron, Switzerland; Montbeliard and Geisberg (Wissembourg), France; and Amsterdam, Ouddorp, Haarlem and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

After returning, they will give a home concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, in Memorial Hall. The time of the event is a change from what was announced earlier.

Join the fun at Alumni Night Jan. 23

Alumni and friends of Bethel of all ages are invited to Alumni Night at the women’s and men’s basketball games against Ottawa University, Saturday, Jan. 23, in Thresher Gymnasium. The junior varsity men play at 3 p.m., women’s varsity at 5 p.m. and men’s varsity at 7 p.m.

Anyone who completed 24 credit hours or more at Bethel is an alumnus of the college, whether they graduated or not. Spouses, family members and other Bethel supporters are also invited to participate in the festivities. Members of the Alumni Council will offer giveaways at the door as well as prizes at halftime.

Come meet Alumni Council hosts, sign up for prizes, cheer the Threshers to victory and have fun with others that night!

Every gift counts in this year’s phonathon

Every gift will make a difference in this year’s phonathon -- whether large or small, whether from a previous donor or from an alumnus who’s intended to give for years.

You are invited to help make that difference when Alumni Council members, staff and volunteers call Feb. 2-20. This year, donating to the Bethel College Fund (current fund) will be especially appreciated. Alumni may also give to a Bethel project of their choice.

Phonathon materials will be mailed soon. This year’s flier invites donors to “affirm all that Bethel is today and tomorrow,” illustrating through photos and newspaper clippings the many good things happening at the college.

Alumni may use a response envelope to make a commitment or send a donation, may e-mail their response to alumni@bethelks.edu. Volunteers will make telephone calls to those who have not responded by Friday, Jan. 22.

Every gift counts!

Need a place to stay when visiting North Newton?

Those seeking a place to stay when visiting Bethel or someone in North Newton are invited to enjoy Woodland Hideaway, a guest apartment just a few blocks from campus.

Located in a woodland garden setting, the apartment can accommodate up to five people and has a full kitchen. Food for a continental breakfast as well as bedding and towels are provided, along with Wi-Fi Internet access. Children staying with family must be 12 years of age or older. No smoking is allowed.

Woodland Hideaway is managed by Vada Snider ’80, who makes it available to alumni and friends of the college for short stays. For cost and other information, e-mail vadasnider@cox.net or call (316) 283-5231.