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Dr. Kenneth Ruge to Retire as Senior Minister of The Reformed Church of Bronxville PDF Print Email

By Carol P. Bartold     

Apr. 13, 2016:  Dr. Kenneth Ruge, senior minister at The Reformed Church of Bronxville has announced that he will retire on August 15, 2016.

"I always had more than an interest, it was a draw or desire to go deeper spiritually into a religious tradition," he said. "Going to seminary felt like a way to try that interest out and explore it."

With a degree in anthropology and sociology from Carleton College, Dr. Ruge took seminary training at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. "By my second year," he said, "it was pretty clear that I wanted to go into the parish ministry or be a pastoral counselor/psychotherapist."

Dr. Ruge, raised in the Methodist Church and ordained a Methodist minister, came to The Reformed Church of Bronxville tradition through Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, where, during an association of more than 20 years, he worked with the church's adult education program and occasionally preached. At the same time, he had a private counseling practice on Manhattan's West Side.

Called to The Reformed Church in 2009, Dr. Ruge noted that the church, in its preaching and teaching, tries to be "a bit challenging" but also broad. "We have people who come from many backgrounds," he said, noting that church membership has people from the Anglican and Roman Catholic traditions, as well as members from evangelical backgrounds. "And then we have the 'nones,' the people who come with no church background who want to know what church is, who want to know if it's welcoming."

Dr. Ruge described The Reformed Church of Bronxville--the church "on the hill"--as working to speak into the culture in a good way.

With one of the largest nursery schools in Westchester County, the church provides a natural conduit into the church for young families with children who have moved to Bronxville in search of a close suburb with a good school, Dr. Ruge believes. "We're a natural artery when they want to join a church," he said.

Dr. Ruge described the church's growing youth ministry as an oasis where young people can find some freedom from constant evaluation. "We give young people a place to ask and explore the questions, 'What's important in life, and what about God, and how does all of this fit into my thinking?'"

"Our mission programs have taken off," Dr. Ruge said. "Coming Home," a re-entry ministry begun about five years ago, works with Sing Sing Correctional Facility and other facilities in the corrections system. Volunteers work with and mentor former inmates coming out of such facilities. "They are welcomed, they are treated with respect and dignity, and the recidivism from this ministry is almost zero." He noted that approximately 85 people have benefitted from the Coming Home ministry.

"I like to think that this church, in some modest way, is having some impact on our culture, or at least creating a forum for discussion," Dr. Ruge said. He noted that, during his tenure in Bronxville, the church has become more diverse by adding people of color and members from a wide range of economic backgrounds.

"Religion matters," Dr. Ruge stated. "Church matters in Bronxville and I believe people really do love the churches here." He added that a good cooperative spirit is at work among clergy in the village.

"Ken is a deeply prayerful and wise leader with a lively sense of humor," said Fr. Michael Bird, rector of Christ Church Bronxville, "qualities which have proven themselves tremendous gifts to the people of this community and the clergy who serve them." Fr. Bird describes his friendship with Dr. Ruge as a great blessing, and ministering alongside him as a privilege.

Bishop Derek Owens, pastor of GoldenSword International Fellowship, remembers the first time he met Dr. Ruge. "He was very warm, very embracing, and had a pastor's heart for a fellow pastor. I have always appreciated his wisdom and insightfulness."

Reverend Lamont S. Granby, pastor at First Baptist Church in Bronxville, remembers the warm welcome he received from Dr. Ruge. "When I first became pastor here, Dr. Ruge reached out to me and welcomed me with open arms," Reverend Granby said. "He let me know he hadn't been in Bronxville too long before I arrived, so we had that kinship." Reverend Granby added that Dr. Ruge is a man of high integrity and morality, easy to talk with and full of wisdom.

As for post-retirement plans, Dr. Ruge smiled and said, "We don't know yet. It's kind of open-ended."

Pictured here:  Dr. Kenneth Ruge, retiring in August.

Photo by A. Warner


West Center Church to Hold Spring Tag Sale Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and May 6

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By Susan Reisinger, Moderator, Church Council, West Center Congregational Church May 2, 2018:  West Center Congregational Church, 101 Pondfield Road West at Chatfield Road, Bronxville, will hold a spring...

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Houses of Worship Directory

Houses of Worship Directory

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 (, and Eliza Corwin Frost (, 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
5:00PM Informal Eucharist

"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. Michael A. Bird, 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.”

Sunday Services are at 11:00am from September to the second Sunday in June. Summer Services are Sunday at 10:00am

Rev. Lamont Granby
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.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Ruge, Senior Minister

Rev. Cari Pattison, Associate Minister

Rev. Samuel Clover, Assistant Minister

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.

Saturday Services: 5:00pm Sunday Services: 7:15am, 8:15am, 9:30am, 10:45am, 12:00 noon, 1:00pm, 5:00pm Weekday Services 6:45am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 12:00 noon Holy Day Services Vigil Mass 5:00pm 6:45am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 12:00 noon, 7:30pm Daily Morning Prayer: 8:45am

Father Peter McGreory

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.

Weekend services are on Saturday at 5:30 PM and Sunday at 9am and 10:45am.

Rev. Dr. Robert Hartwell
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.”

Sunday services are at 11am, followed by a coffee hour at noon. During the Sunday service, they offer child care for infants and Christian education for elementary school children.

Rev. John M. Barrett
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.

Friday evening Shabbat services are held weekly. The Oneg following the service offers congregants and visitors an opportunity to linger and chat over coffee and desserts. Rabbi Barzilai conducts a Saturday morning service that meets every Saturday when there is no Bar or Bat Mitzvah. (The service follows Torah Study.) This service lasts one hour and is very participatory.  Services are also held on High Holy Days  Baby sitting is available during some of these services and there are special children`s services.

Please check the Calendar for dates and times.

Rabbi Barzilai is Sinai Free Synagogue`s spiritual leader.  Prior to the Sinai Free Synagogue, he served as rabbi at the Free Synagogue of Westchester, after having served as associate rabbi at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck.

550 North Columbus Avenue

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