Monthly Archives: December 2016

$10K Donation to Refugee Fund; Welcome Coordinator Named

NEWBURGH – The Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council has appointed Cornwall attorney Alisa Swire as Welcome Team Coordinator for local efforts to resettle refugees in this part of the Hudson Valley. Swire had a pleasant welcome into her new, unpaid position on Dec. 18 when interfaith council President the Rev. Chris J. Antal presented her with … Continued

A Community of Prophecy

Each new year I begin by making a Vision Collage. This is a mosaic of cut-out images from old magazines that when pasted together somehow convey new meaning. This process has become a ritual, a way of looking ahead and engaging the poetic imagination in the possibilities of what may be. This month I ponder … Continued


After my Christmas Eve sermon,  I was approached by a white U.S. citizen who was quite “disturbed” both by my message (about sanctuary for refugees and immigrants) and by the collection we took (to assist refugees resettling in the area). The conversation went something like this: Citizen: I’m afraid of these people. Minister: What is … Continued

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — sermon by Bruce Knotts

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity   A sermon by Bruce Knotts of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office presented to the Rock Tavern UUs.     Liberté, égalité, fraternité: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Bruce Knotts Director: Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office Thank you for inviting me to your lovely congregation and for your welcoming hospitality. Your Unitarian Universalist … Continued

Rev. Chris Answers Call to Stand and Pray with Standing Rock

(Editor’s Note: Rev. Antal has answered “the call to Standing Rock” and will be joining other faith leaders this Sunday, Dec. 4, for an Interfaith Day of Prayer at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.)   From Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, Spiritual Leader of the Lakota, Dakota, and … Continued

With Quiet Contemplation

On the day after Thanksgiving, I walked through cemeteries. For many years, this has been my Black Friday tradition, as I like to begin the holiday season with quiet contemplation. This year, my walk took me to the gravesites of spiritual ancestors in my hometown of Rochester, NY. As I stood before the graves of … Continued

Presence in Action

The program theme for the month of December is “Presence” and the question that we ask is: “What does it mean to be a community of presence?”  Hmm.  It would seem to me that presence is a requirement for most communities. What would a “community of absence” be? A cemetery? A ghost town? We may … Continued

Annoying Presence

Your presence is annoying!” With that declaration to his sister, my teenage son ended all negotiations about who among his four younger siblings would sit where during our family’s annual five hour drive to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.   The “annoying presence” argument was new, and difficult to refute. It was no longer particular … Continued