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Spotlight on the Reverend Canon Susan Harriss at Christ Church Bronxville

By Staff

Apr. 21, 2021: The Reverend Canon Susan Harriss is Interim Priest at Christ Church Bronxville, taking over from Reverend Michael Bird, who, after 16 years, moved on to the position of Vicar at Trinity Church Wall Street.  

Canon Susan Harriss has always had, as she says, "a religious drift" Her parents were officers, which is equivalent to clergy, in the Salvation Army. "It's not well known in the United States that the Salvation Army is an evangelical movement," she says. Growing up, her family moved with the Church to different parts of the Carolinas and West Virginia.  

Susan knew at a young age that she wanted to be in the ministry. After graduating from Denison University in 1973, she explored the Catholic Church and Protestant Services. She then decided to go to the Union Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with Columbia University in New York City. While at the Seminary, Susan met her future husband, Kenneth Ruge, who years later became minister of the Reformed Church Bronxville. The couple now has three grown children living in LA and Minneapolis.

Canon Susan Harriss, Dr. Kenneth Ruge and their children

Upon graduation from Seminary in 1977, Susan fell in love with the Episcopal Church, which had just started ordaining women the year before. Susan entered the ordaining process and was ordained in 1980 as part of the second class or ordained women in the Episcopal Church.  

At that time, she joined St. Michael's Church on the upper west side of Manhattan. Her career subsequently took her to St. James on Madison Avenue, chaplain to the Cathedral School in New York, and Canon Pastor at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. "Canon" is a title sometimes given to senior members of the staff at a cathedral. In 1991, she also published a book of children's sermons, Jamie's Way: Stories for Worship and Family  Devotion

She then became Rector of Christ Church in Rye for 16 years.  She retired in 2016 and has since greatly enjoyed three of her favorite avocations - - yoga, poetry and long walks with her husband. In fact, she became a trained yoga instructor.

Susan and Ken celebrating their 43rd Wedding Anniversary

Upon Father Michael Bird's departure early this year, Canon Susan Harriss was asked to come on as Interim Priest at Christ Church Bronxville while the Church conducts its search.  The search process is currently in the early stages. 

"We are so fortunate to have been able to attract Reverend Harriss to Christ Church Bronxville," says Owen Thomas, Warden at the Church, "She is a beloved former rector at Christ Church Rye and a wonderful person."


Photo at top courtesy Christ Church Bronxville.  Other photos courtesy Canon Susan Harriss






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Christ Church Bronxville

Christ Church Bronxville, or "CCBNY" as it's known in the community, is the village's Episcopal church, whose beginnings date back to 1898. The current church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in 1926 and was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who also designed St. Bartholomew's in New York City and the Chapel at West Point.

CCBNY offers a wide array of programs to its parishioners, who live throughout southern Westchester. The acclaimed music program boasts five choirs; international outreach efforts to Cuba; and education and service programs for family members of all ages. CCBNY is also home to the renowned children's music program Young at Arts (http://www.youngatartsny.org), and Eliza Corwin Frost (www.elizafrostschool.org), a nursery school for children ages 1 to 5.

Our services are as follows:
8:00AM Rite I Spoken Eucharist
10:00AM Family Choral Eucharist, with 11:00 AM Coffee Hour
5:00PM Informal Eucharist or Choral Evensong

"No matter where you are on your spiritual journey there is a home for you at Christ Church. Our worship, music, education and outreach challenge us to embrace holiness and fearlessly share Christ's love."

The Rev. Dr. Kurt J. Gerhard, Rector
17 Sagamore Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church was organized in 1854. Its mission is “to reach out as a caring and Christ centered Church to people of all culture and races, helping them to know God and find fellowship with each other through Jesus Christ to the glory of God.”

407 New Rochelle Road
Bronxville, New York 10708


Reformed Church of Bronxville

The Reformed Church of Bronxville is the community church in the heart of the village. We welcome people of all faiths and persuasions to be a part of our church family. We have exciting programs to meet your interests including music and the arts, service and outreach, children's ministry and a wonderful Nursery School.

Starting Sept. 7th, we have three Sunday services held at 8:30 am, 10:30 am and 5:00 pm. A Fellowship Coffee Hour is offered after the 10:30 am service. Childcare is available during our 10:30 am service along with Church School classes for children from 2 years old through the 8th grade.

The Reformed Church
180 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

St. Joseph’s Church

St. Joseph Church, which opened its doors in 1925, is the Catholic Church in Bronxville. It offers services on Saturday, Sunday, weekdays and Holy Days. It offers a religious education program for K - 8th grade which takes place on Wednesday during the school year. It also offers a myriad of opportunities for parishioners to meet, share ideas and experiences and help others. The St. Joseph’s School offers classes for K – 8th grade.

15 Cedar Street
Bronxville, New York 10708


Village Lutheran Church

The Village Lutheran Church “is a ministry of word and sacraments. This ministry gives opportunities for witness, nurture, fellowship, stewardship and service.” The Chapel School, which goes from pre-school three-year olds through 8th grade, is an integral part of the Church’s ministry for children.

172 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708


West Center Congregational Church

West Center Congregational Church is a member of The United Church of Christ. It welcomes “all who seek to find, know and serve the living God better in all they are and do.”

101 Pondfield Road West
Bronxville, New York 10708


Sinai Free Synagogue

Sinai Free Synagogue is Westchester`s "newest" Reform congregation but its roots go back almost 100 years. Formed in 1999 by a merger of Mount Vernon`s Sinai Temple (founded in 1906 and the first Reform congregation in Westchester County) and the Free Synagogue of Westchester (founded in 1927), the 250-member congregation has a long, distinguished history.

Please check the Calendar for dates and times.

550 North Columbus Avenue

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