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Christ Church Students Spend Week at Monastery in France PDF Print Email

Mar. 19, 2014:  Every year in February, the Episcopal Youth Community of Christ Church in Bronxville travels to the monastery at Taizé, France. This year is no exception. The monastery is an international community to which Christians of all ages go to encounter a unique blend of worship, communal living, and silence.  

This year, Christ Church's EYC traveled first to Paris to tour the city and then to the monastery, where they spent a week. At the monastery, the teenagers ate mass-produced meals of varied taste, slept in institutional bunk beds, and cleaned toilets. They also helped the community prepare for thousands of visitors by erecting tents used for food distribution and meetings.

EYC members from Bronxville, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle met students from Paris, Germany, Sweden, and Australia. When asked, most students responded that the singing and silence of the monastery helped restore their sense of self and of God's constant presence.

Brother Roger Schutz founded the monastic community in the Burgundy region of France in 1940. Known for his hospitality and belief in reconciliation, Brother Roger began sheltering refugees and orphans during World War II. Today, the community hosts over 100,000 annual visitors who come to join the brothers in prayer. Daily life at Taizé includes three church services, morning, midday, and evening prayer, three meals, and group work sessions. 

Owen Jones, a senior at Bronxville High School, said about the trip: "Each year, friends ask why I want to spend my winter break in worship all day, not understanding the true meaning of Taizé. It's not a place where we devote an entire week only to God and cleaning bathrooms. Taizé is much more. It is a place where you can find yourself and learn more about who you are as a person. It's where you meet new people from all over the world. It's where you make long-lasting friendships that carry you through tough times in high school because, let's face it, we all have them. The insight and friendships I have made on this trip have helped to smooth the rocky road of high school and make me a better friend and family member." 

Pictured here:  The group that traveled to Taizé.

Photo by Katherine Gojkovich

Annual Winter Clothing and Tag Sale at Reformed Church on Saturday, February 1 PDF Print Email

Jan. 22, 2014: The Reformed Church of Bronxville will hold its annual winter clothing and tag sale on Saturday, February 1, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm in its congregational hall.

On sale will be men's, women's, and children's clothing, china and glassware, books, jewelry, and bric-a-brac.
All proceeds will benefit the church's midnight run and a summer program for Westhab children.

For additional information, call Lee Corbett at 914-337-6776.

Photo by N. Bower

99th Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant Performed: See Photos of Participants PDF Print Email

Dec. 31, 2013:  The Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant was performed without a hitch on the hillside of the Reformed Church of Bronxville. It was the 99th time it had been performed in Bronxville.

Christmas pageants don't just happen, of course. Susanne Shoemaker, longtime chair of the Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant Committee, along with her committee spent many hours preparing for the pageant, including finding the players, mending the costumes, coordinating the ministers who spoke and the songs that were sung, and, very important, procuring the livestock and making sure they behaved.

Click on this link to see photos of the participants:  Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant 2013.

Susanne and her committee are now preparing for a special celebration in 2014 of the 100th year of the pageant. Citizens from the community are urged to help. "We are thinking," Susanne said, "about designing an ornament; creating stationery/Christmas cards depicting scenes from the pageant over the years; creating a memorial book with memories and photos of past participants; and, on Christmas Eve 2014, following the old tradition of processing to the pageant in groups of carolers from four areas in Bronxville."

Pictured here:  The angels gathered near the manger in the 2013 Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant.

Photo by Neely Bower

Christ Church Bronxville to Host Hymn Sing January 5 at 5 PM PDF Print Email

Dec. 31, 2013:  Christ Church Bronxville is thrilled to welcome back James Mayo III on January 5 at 5:00 pm to lead the great hymn-singing tradition of Camp Dudley. Mayo (as he is known at Camp Dudley) will share his love for kids and great hymns with the Bronxville community. People from all churches and of all ages are invited to this terrific evening of loud, spirited, and fun hymn singing. 

Admission is free and donations will benefit Young at Arts, a nonprofit performing arts organization.

Pictured here:  Christ Church Bronxville. 

Photo by A. Warner 

Annual Village Christmas Pageant this Evening at 5:30 pm on Reformed Church Hillside: See List of Players PDF Print Email

Dec. 24, 2013:  This evening, Tuesday, December 24, at 5:30 pm, the 99th Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant will take place on the hillside in front of The Reformed Church of Bronxville. 

Following a long-established custom, adult representatives and youth from local churches and civic organizations will fill the roles of the Holy Family, angels, and shepherds. 

Glenn Bellitto, Eastchester town councilman, will play the role of Joseph this year. The three wise men will be played by Dave Ruby, Tim McGrath, and Bill GayMary will be played by Lily O’Neill, a high school senior. Mary will ride a live donkey to the crèche. The manger angel will be Sophie Pingel.

Stoddart Platt, lead shepherd, will lead the group of shepherds to Bethlehem. Henry Palermo and Stephen Shoemaker will be shepherd boys who will point to the crèche and wave to the crowd to behold the sight. The shepherds are Dan Johnson, Joseph Godfrey, Tom Romo, Daniel Romo, Spencer Pingel, Rory Pingel, and Murdoch McBride.

Angels will be played by Hilary Rizzo, Kate Ferone, and Bridget Reilly from St. Joseph's Church, Peyton Elder, Kathleen Conaton, Charlotte Reynolds, and Lucy Whitney from Christ Church, Neyomie Alberto from GoldenSword International Fellowship Church, and Gretchen Richter, Zoe Klimley, Celia Haims, Sabina Richter, and Grace Winant from The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

The following ministers from seven local churches will give readings:  The Reverend Lamont S. Granby, First Baptist Church; The Reverend Ken Ruge, The Reformed Church of Bronxville; The Reverend Cari Pattison, The Reformed Church of Bronxville; The Reverend John M. Barrett, West Center Congregational Church; The Reverend Michael A. Bird, Christ Church Bronxville; Bishop Derek Owens, GoldenSword International Fellowship Church; The Reverend Peter McGeory, St. Joseph's Church; and Vicar Morris Mayer, Village Lutheran Church.

Maryann Palermo will again lead the Invisible Choir, which will sing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo." In addition to the music of the Invisible Choir, there will also be a brass quartet led by Wyn Walshe, and carols will be sung under the leadership of Dale Walker. Lighting and technical assistance will be provided by Jeff Kastenbaum and Rick Everett. The Christmas trees will come from Danny's Trees in Eastchester. 

The original pageant was the creation of William Chauncy Langdon, a well-known international pageanteer. At the turn of the twentieth century, pageants were a popular form of entertainment throughout Europe. Mr. Langdon, who was American, lived and worked abroad for many years. At the outset of World War I, many Belgians were displaced. Though the United States had not yet entered the war at the time the play was written, sympathy existed for the Belgian refugees, and the play was presented at Christ Church Bronxville to raise funds for the benefit of the Belgians. The original version was called The Bronxville Christmas Mystery. It was presented on a triple stage, the three levels corresponding to the local (Bronxville), the worldwide (Belgium), and the universal (Bethlehem). The production was a huge success and has continued to be performed in an adapted form.

The pageant is supported by donations from the local community. If you are interested in contributing, please send your contribution to Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant, PO Box 397, Bronxville, NY 10708. If you wish to volunteer, please contact the pageant at 914-337-0581. 

The pageant committee is looking forward to its centennial celebration in 2014. In anticipation of the centennial, we are collecting stories, memories, and photographs from the community of past pageants. We are interested in hearing from those who acted in the pageant itself as well as from those who attended.  Many Bronxvillians have fond Christmas memories of the event. If you have a story to share, please send it to the address in the previous paragraph. 

Pictured here:  Students performing as angels during a past Bronxville Village Christmas Pageant.

Photo by Melinda Burge

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