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Singers of All Levels Invited to Take Part in Fauré's Requiem at The Reformed Church on November 19 PDF Print Email


By Dr. Sándor Szabó, Minister of Music and Organist, The Reformed Church of Bronxville

Oct. 4, 2017:  Singers of all levels are invited to take part in singing Fauré's sublime Requiem on Sunday, November 19, at 3:00 pm at The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

The program also will include the harp concerto by Handel with Diane Michaels as soloist. It is expected that the concert will have over one hundred performers.

Choir rehearsals will commence on Thursday, October 19, and will be held every Thursday thereafter from 7:30 to 8:30 pm until the performance.

The Chancel Choir of The Reformed Church will be enlarged by numerous guest choristers from the surrounding communities under the leadership of Dr. Sándor Szabó, organist and director of music at The Reformed Church. The concert is free and all are welcome.

For more information, please call 914-337-6776 or e-mail CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Photo by N. Bower

Christ Church to Celebrate Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 1 PDF Print Email


By Katie Gojkovich, Executive Director, Christ Church Bronxville

Sep. 27, 2017:  Christ Church celebrates the 11th anniversary of its Blessing of the Animals this year on Sunday, October 1, at 5:00 pm in the church. 

This beloved Christ Church tradition is held each year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was renowned for his connection to nature, even preaching to the animals he encountered.

The church will be filled with the jubilant and raucous sounds of our special guests greeting each other and joining in the songs and prayers. The lively service culminates with the procession of the animals up to the front of the church to receive an individual blessing from the clergy.

Fr. Michael Bird, rector of Christ Church, said, "We are thrilled to open our doors to our animal friends and their companions for the tenth year. I can guarantee that we will make a joyful and unique noise to the Lord at this service. All of God's creatures, great and small, are welcome!"

Pictured here:  Detail from a manuscript leaf with scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, ca. 1320-42, made in Bologna (for Hungarian use), Italy, in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photo from the online public domain collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art under Creative Commons License 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0):

Fourteen Receive Rite of Confirmation at Village Lutheran Church PDF Print Email


By Staff at Village Lutheran Church

Jul. 5, 2017:  Village Lutheran Church in Bronxville recently celebrated The Rite of Confirmation for children in their congregation.

After attending two years of instruction on the Holy Bible and the Lutheran Small Catechism, led by the minister of children, youth, and families, Kate Marino, and the pastors of the church, the eighth-grade students affirmed their faith at the special service.

According to Pastor Hartwell, the senior pastor, "Confirmation is important, as the students learn the key parts of their faith and also put faith into action through community service and reflection on the worship life of the congregation."

The Confirmation program is called the "Lifer" program because it seeks to create a lifelong commitment to faith and service. The program also offers opportunities for fellowship and a yearly winter retreat each January at Koinonia Camp at Highland Lake, NY.

Receiving their Confirmation (with blessing, special Bible Promise, and anointing with holy oil) at the service were 14 young people, including students from Bronxville, Mount Vernon, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Pelham, Scarsdale, and the Bronx.

List of Confirmands: Confirmed in Christ: Katherine Albano, Lily Bennett, Lydia Burkee, Alexa Forliano, Justin Gerber, Amy Guerrero, Lorelei Heath, Brendan Ortiz, Nicholas Pinto, Marco Renzo, Abigail Rockhill, Jordan Romano, Julianna Romano, and Lyndsie Schultz.

God Bless our Confirmands. Special thanks to Linda Wong and the Confirmation year 1 parents who helped coordinate the reception following the service. 

Pictured here:  The Village Lutheran Church.

Photo by A. Warner

James Hoch, President of Al Amana International, Viji George, and Others Work with Local Churches to Help End Conflicts in Arabian Peninsula PDF Print Email


By Staff

Jun. 28, 2017:  On Thursday, June 22, former Concordia president Viji George and his wife, Janet George, hosted a dinner party at their home for approximately 40 guests. 

One of the purposes of the dinner was to introduce guests to an international organization called Al Amana International, founded in part in 2015 by The Reformed Church of Bronxville. Its mission is to train United States and United Nations personnel on peace mediation practices in the Arabian Peninsula.  

Bronxville resident James Hoch is president of the organization. Also involved in seeking to implement Al Amana’s mission are Christ Church of Bronxville and Concordia College.


The Reformed Church of America has for more than 100 years been working in the Arabian Peninsula, where it has a training facility in Oman. “Current conflicts have become more complex and harder to stop,” said Antti Pentikäinen, who works as a peace mediator in the area and is also a member of The Reformed Church. “Besides the usual state-to-state conflicts," he added, “there are a variety of religious extremist organizations now holding power over a considerable amount of territory.”

Al Amana International aims ambitiously to become involved in fixing the root causes of the conflicts in the Arabian Peninsula.


Mr. Pentikäinen travels frequently into war zones such as Somalia and Libya. He believes in dialogue and mediating conflicts. “I have worked in Somalia for more than 10 years and Libya now more than two years. There is a lot of progress. War is not a solution, it is reconciliation. Faith groups understand the potential of healing and forgiveness,” he noted. "That has been the missing piece."

"If Bronxville wants," he added, "it can make a very significant contribution to how the current conflicts will be ended. There is something unique in this village. People here are not just focused on themselves but also on those who suffer.”  


The Reformed Church of Bronxville is organizing a trip to Oman in November of 2017. It is also holding various events in the fall where one can learn more about the work of Al Amana International and how to become involved. 

Pictured here (from top):  Dr. Viji George hosting dinner party (photo by Carol Mittlestadt); tables on patio at Janet and Viji George's dinner party for Al Amana International (photo by Carol Mittlestadt); Antti Pentikäinen, peace mediator in the Middle East (photo courtesy Antii Pentikäinen)dinner guests on patio near swimming pool.  


Village Lutheran Church and The Chapel School Awarded Joy Dedicated Service Award PDF Print Email


By Kim Zwisdak, Development Office, Village Lutheran Church and The Chapel School

May 17, 2017:  On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Damyn Kelly, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services-New York (LSS-NY) awarded Village Lutheran Church and The Chapel School the Joy Dedicated Service Award.

The award is given in memory of Judge Daniel Joy, an elected member of the Supreme Court of the State of New York (1983), where he handled both civil and criminal matters. In 1998, he was appointed by Gov. George Pataki to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which handled complaints against judicial officers throughout the state. He retired from the bench at the age of 69 in August of 2000 after 42 years of government service.

The award seeks to honor his community spirit and passion for helping others. The award was presented by LSS-NY, one of the largest social service agencies in the New York metropolitan area. Lutheran Social Services of New York has been strengthening lives, families, and communities for over 125 years.

In receiving the award on behalf of the church and school, Senior Pastor Robert Hartwell commented, "The mission of the church and school is to 'know, live, and share the love of Christ,' and we consider this mission a mission of service to our community."

Hartwell was joined in receiving the award by his administrative leadership team, members of the faculty and staff, and lay leaders of the church and school. He also acknowledged that the church believes "faith works better when it works together" and welcomed Rabbi Morris and Lisa Barzilai of Sinai Free Synagogue in Mount Vernon, in addition to several other community partners the church works together with in its mission and ministry.

After receiving the award, Hartwell presented LSS-NY with a check for over $23,000, a portion of the money set aside from a recent capital campaign to assist ministries outside the church. Hartwell said, "As we recently celebrated milestones, the 100th anniversary of the church and 70th anniversary of The Chapel School, our congregation dedicated a tithe as a thank offering to help others. It is our way of saying thank you to God, who has truly been our help in ages past."

Photo courtesy Village Lutheran Church

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