The Lighting of the Green at Bethel College is an annual tradition dating back to 1986.

This year, the Lighting of the Green takes place at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 around the green in the center of campus.

Many Western Christian churches, including the Mennonite Church USA denomination with which Bethel is affiliated, observe Advent, the season of preparation for celebrating the birth of Christ on Dec. 25.

For Bethel’s Lighting of the Green, outside electric lights are turned off and students, staff, faculty and community members gather with unlit candles on the sidewalk around the green. It takes about 250 people to form a complete circle.

They listen to Advent Scripture passages and a brief meditation and sing Christmas carols.

The candles are lit to make a wreath of light, followed by everyone converging to the middle of the green to form a “Christ candle.”

All are welcome to join in the Lighting of the Green, an activity for families with children. For more information, call 316-284-5356.