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Concordia’s Good Shepherd Award Honors Student Who Does the Most for Others with Given Abilities PDF Print Email


By Guy S. Longobardo, Member, Good Shepherd Committee, Concordia College

May 25, 2016:  For forty years I've enjoyed Concordia College’s presence in Bronxville. In winters with other members of the Bronxville Field Club, I play at the Meyers Tennis Center. And like many Bronxville residents, I enjoy the cultural offerings in music and art, the business breakfasts, and the lectures.

But one Concordia activity in which I take particular pride is serving on its Good Shepherd Committee.

The Good Shepherd Award honors the student who has done the most with his given abilities "to encourage others to follow his or her example of Christian witness and service to Christ."

On May 3, I was at the Concordia Sommer Center when graduating students were receiving awards for their contributions to academic and student life. The Good Shepherd awardee is not announced in advance and he or she is always greeted with loud whoops and applause.

Clarence J. Meyers established the award in memory of his son Alan Meyers and Alan's wife, Justine, who died in a crash while landing a plane in a severe storm at Westchester County airport in 1983. They were a kind, talented couple caring for students, faculty, and friends inside and outside Concordia. In short, they were good shepherds.

Typically, the Good Shepherd awardee gives service to the community through student organizations and to fellow students serving in such roles as members of student government, tutors, mentors, or resident advisors. They are very well known to their classmates.

The award this year went to Davin Thompson-Williams. Davin, who just graduated from Concordia, was very active in the Concordia community, holding a number of leadership roles. He was the spiritual life and outreach coordinator for student government, he led homeless runs, he worked on Habitat for Humanity projects, he volunteered at soup kitchens, he was president of the Concordia Tour Choir and Gospel Knights Choir, he served as an active member of the service fraternity Omega Psi Eta, and he worked in a food pantry during the Hurricane Sandy crisis.

Pictured here:  Top photo: President Viji George at graduation with Davin Thompson-Williams, 2016 recipient of the Good Shepherd Award; bottom photo (L to R): Neil Tarangioli, Concordia men's tennis coach; 2015 Good Shepherd Award winner Dagyeong Yang; and Guy S. Longobardo.  

Photos by Chris Pope

 
Spring Handbell Concert to Be Performed on May 11 at The Reformed Church in Bronxville PDF Print Email


By Lee Corbett, Director of Handbells, The Reformed Church of Bronxville


May 4, 2016:  The Concert Ringers at The Reformed Church of Bronxville will present a handbell concert at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 11, in the Edwards Room of the church. 

The concert is free and will last about 45 minutes. All are welcome to come.

For more information, please call The Reformed Church at 914-337-6776.

Pictured here:  Handbells.

Photo by A. Warner

 
West Center Church to Hold Spring Tag Sale this Weekend: April 30 and May 1 PDF Print Email


By Susie Reisinger, Member, West Center Congregational Church


Apr. 27, 2016:  West Center Congregational Church will hold a spring tag sale on Saturday, April 30, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Sunday, May 1, from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. The church address is 101 Pondfield Road West at Chatfield Road in Bronxville.

The sale, to be held in the Bodge Lounge, will offer a large variety of goods for sale, including jewelry, bric-a-brac, plants, baked goods, gifts--some suitable for Mother's Day and Father's Day--compact discs, records, books, toys, and raffles. 

There will be a "Tiffany Table" featuring gifts and high-quality items and another area with some gently used and vintage clothing and accessories. It's a good time to enjoy the spring, shop for some nice bargains, and greet friends and neighbors. Proceeds from the tag sale will help support the work of the church. 

There is no admission charge and all are welcome to browse and shop. Bodge Lounge is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers and there is parking on the street. 

For more information, please call the church office at 914-337-3829, email the church at CLOAKING , or go to its website at www.westcenterchurch.org.

Pictured here:  West Center Congregational Church.

Photo by N. Bower

 
Clothing and Tag Sale to Be Held at Reformed Church this Saturday, April 23 PDF Print Email

By Lee Corbett, Chairman, Clothing and Tag Sale, The Reformed Church of Bronxville


Apr. 20, 2016:  The Reformed Church of Bronxville will hold its annual spring clothing and tag sale on Saturday, April 23, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in Congregational Hall at the corner of Kraft and Midland Avenues.

Since there was no clothing and tag sale in the winter this year, there are many more items for sale than usual, including designer clothes, beautiful china, glassware, and jewelry.

All proceeds benefit the outreach ministries of the church.

For more information, call 914-337-6776.

Photo by N. Bower

 
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

 
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