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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

 
Young at Arts to Hold 11th Annual Broadway Musical and Benefit at Christ Church on Monday, April 11 PDF Print Email

By Katie Gojkovich, Director of Development, Christ Church Bronxville


Apr. 6, 2016:  On Monday, April 11, at 7:30 pm, Young at Arts ("YAA") will hold its 11th annual benefit concert at Christ Church. An hour of cocktails, light fare, and a silent auction will precede the performance at 6:30 pm.

Over 100 select students from YAA's three campuses will share the stage with stars from Broadway's The Lion King and Kinky Boots, as well as an opera diva and ballet dancers. The Broadway stars performing are L. Steven Taylor, Chantel Riley, and Bonita Hamilton from Disney's The Lion King.

Other guest artists include Cortney Wolfson, from Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots, and soprano Laquita Mitchell, known for her role as Bess at the San Francisco Opera.

The evening will also feature dance by faculty of YAA's recent partnership with Scarsdale Ballet, Diana White, artistic director. The evening will be led by co-musical directors Charles and Annbritt duChateau, from Broadway shows The King & I and Aladdin, respectively.

Other musicians for the evening are a combination of YAA faculty members and additional Broadway guest artists who have backed up artists from Barbara Streisand to Beyonce.

Founded in 2005 by director Sharyn Pirtle, Young at Arts is a dynamic, non-profit performing arts educational organization dedicated to helping young people expand their horizons and build character through music and drama. By bringing together children of different backgrounds in a collaborative environment, students learn skills that serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Young at Arts serves an area encompassing the Bronx and Southern Westchester County, where over 50 percent of the children live below the poverty line and where arts education is virtually absent in schools. Children from different backgrounds share a love for the performing arts while developing the values of leadership, discipline, integrity, and community to make them tolerant, global citizens of our world.

To find out more about Young at Arts and its vital work enriching the lives of children through the arts, please visit its website, www.youngatartsny.org.

Tickets are $500 for VIPs, $200 for general admission, and $100 for youth. Buy tickets online at www.youngatartsny.org/benefit-2.

Pictured here:  Front doors of Christ Church Bronxville.  

Photo by A. Warner

 
Eleven Receive Rite of First Holy Communion at Village Lutheran Church PDF Print Email


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


Mar. 23, 2016:  Village Lutheran Church celebrated early first communion for eleven students in its congregation on Sunday, March 13.

After attending, with a parent or guardian, three classes presented by Senior Pastor Robert Hartwell, the children finished their instruction with a celebratory first communion lock-in on Friday, March 4. The lock-in consisted of games, devotions, and banner-making in preparation for First Communion Sunday. 

Receiving their first communion at the service on Sunday, March 13, were eleven young people, including students from Bronxville, Mount Vernon, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Pelham, Scarsdale, and the Bronx. The students are Gavin Benton, Wylie Coleman, Claire Elliott, Tommy Forliano, Oliver Nordahl, Elle Pinto, Sofia Renzo, Cullen Slattery, Sean Slattery, Olivia Sturek, and Janelle Sullivan.

For more information, call 914-337-0207 or visit www.vlc-ny.org.

Pictured here (rotating):  Village Lutheran Church pastors (L to R) Morris Mayer, Robert Hartwell, and Scott Gemmin with First Communicants (L to R) Gavin Benton, Wylie Coleman, Claire Elliott, Tommy Forliano, Elle Pinto, Sofia Renzo, Cullen Slattery, Sean Slattery, Olivia Sturek, and Janelle Sullivan; Oliver Nordahl receives his First Holy Communion with his family at Village Lutheran Church.

Photos courtesy Village Lutheran Church

 
Holy Week Calendar for Local Churches: March 23 to March 27, 2016 PDF Print Email


Mar. 16, 2016:  Editor's note:  Holy Week schedules for Bronxville-area churches will be posted as they arrive. Listed below in alphabetical order are those currently available.


Christ Church Bronxville

Wednesday, March 23
7:00 am:  Holy Eucharist
7:00 pm:  Tenebrae (music and meditations for Holy Week)

March 24, Maundy Thursday
7:00 pm:  Choral Eucharist, Stripping of the Altar, Vigil over the Blessed Sacrament

March 25, Good Friday
Noon:  Good Friday Liturgy, Veneration of the Cross and John's Passion
Noon:  Children's Service with age-appropriate Stations of the Cross

March 26, Holy Saturday
7:00 pm:  The Great Vigil of Easter, Holy Baptism, and First Eucharist of Easter

March 27, Easter Sunday
9:00 am:  Festive Holy Eucharist with Children's Choirs and Brass and Tympani
10:15 am:  Easter Egg Hunt
11:15 am:  Festive Holy Eucharist with Choirs and Brass and Tympani


The Reformed Church of Bronxville

March 24, Maundy Thursday
3:00-3:45 pm:  Special carol choir class for children in pre-K (4s and 5s) through second-grade taught by Laura Green; children do not have to be a member of the choir or the church. RSVP to Laura Green at 914-337-6776, ext. 127, or email  CLOAKING .

8:00 pm:  Maundy Thursday Worship, sanctuary. Dramatic reading of the Passion in slowly diminishing light, with communion. The Reverend Samuel T. Clover preaching.

March 25, Good Friday
Noon:  Good Friday Worship, sanctuary. The Reverend Jonah Smith-Bartlett preaching.

March 27, Easter Sunday
9:00 am and 11:00 am:  The Reverend Dr. Ken Ruge preaching.
5:00 pm:  The Reverend Cari Pattison preaching.
 

Village Lutheran Church

March 24, Maundy Thursday
7:30 pm:  Celebration of the Lord's Supper/Stripping of the Altar

March 25, Good Friday
Noon and 7:30 pm:  Tenebrae Service of Darkness

Saturday, March 26, Easter Vigil
5:30 pm:  Service of Light, Baptismal Renewal, First Easter Celebration

March 27, Easter Sunday
8:00 am to noon:  Continental Breakfast
9:00 and 10:45 am:  Festival Service of Holy Communion 

Pictured here:  Stained-glass window at The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Photo by A. Warner

 
Holy Week Calendar for Local Churches: March 19 to March 27, 2016 PDF Print Email


Mar. 16, 2016:  Editor's note:  Holy Week schedules for Bronxville-area churches will be posted as they arrive. Listed below in alphabetical order are those currently available.


Christ Church Bronxville

Sunday, March 20, Palm/Passion Sunday
Distribution at all services
8:00 am:  Holy Eucharist (Traditional Language)
10:00 am:  Holy Eucharist and Palm Procession (Choral Family Mass)
5:00 pm:  Contemplative Eucharist 

Monday, March 21
7:00 am:  Holy Eucharist

Tuesday, March 22
7:00 am:  Holy Eucharist

Wednesday, March 23
7:00 am:  Holy Eucharist
7:00 pm:  Tenebrae (music and meditations for Holy Week)

March 24, Maundy Thursday
7:00 pm:  Choral Eucharist, Stripping of the Altar, Vigil over the Blessed Sacrament

March 25, Good Friday
Noon:  Good Friday Liturgy, Veneration of the Cross and John's Passion
Noon:  Children's Service with age-appropriate Stations of the Cross

March 26, Holy Saturday
7:00 pm:  The Great Vigil of Easter, Holy Baptism, and First Eucharist of Easter

March 27, Easter Sunday
9:00 am:  Festive Holy Eucharist with Children's Choirs and Brass and Tympani
10:15 am:  Easter Egg Hunt
11:15 am:  Festive Holy Eucharist with Choirs and Brass and Tympani


The Reformed Church of Bronxville

March 24, Maundy Thursday
3:00-3:45 pm:  Special carol choir class for children in pre-K (4s and 5s) through second-grade taught by Laura Green; children do not have to be a member of the choir or the church. RSVP to Laura Green at 914-337-6776, ext. 127, or email  CLOAKING .

8:00 pm:  Maundy Thursday Worship, sanctuary. Dramatic reading of the Passion in slowly diminishing light, with communion. The Reverend Samuel T. Clover preaching.

March 25, Good Friday
Noon:  Good Friday Worship, sanctuary. The Reverend Jonah Smith-Bartlett preaching.

March 27, Easter Sunday
9:00 am and 11:00 am:  The Reverend Dr. Ken Ruge preaching
5:00 pm:  The Reverend Cari Pattison preaching
 

Village Lutheran Church

Saturday, March 19
11:00 am:  Easter Egg Hunt

Sunday, March 20, Palm Sunday
9:00 am and 10:45 am:  Palm Processional and Reading of the Passion

March 24, Maundy Thursday
7:30 pm:  Celebration of the Lord's Supper/Stripping of the Altar

March 25, Good Friday
Noon and 7:30 pm:  Tenebrae Service of Darkness

Saturday, March 26, Easter Vigil
5:30 pm:  Service of Light, Baptismal Renewal, First Easter Celebration

March 27, Easter Sunday
8:00 am to noon:  Continental Breakfast
9:00 and 10:45 am:  Festival Service of Holy Communion 

Pictured here:  Stained-glass window at The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Photo by A. Warner

 
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