— “We call you to be a leader, companion and partner .. to speak the truth in love .. to model wisdom and kindness .. to be the voice of prophetic witness .. to nurture our movement toward greater service in the world.”
With these words from Terri Pahucki and others, over 200 congregants, friends and guest clergy installed the Rev. Chris J. Antal as the called and settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern on Sunday, March 22.
The congregation, which has a continuous presence in Orange County since 1868, voted overwhelmingly in the fall to call him as its next settled minister.
The ceremony included: an invocation by the Rev. Sam Trumbore, minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany; a “charge to the minister” by Edward Tick, author, therapist and co-founder and director of Soldier’s Heart; a “charge to the congregation” by the Rev. Sarah Lammert, director of ministerial development and ecclesiastical endorser for the Unitarian Universalist Association; and the act of installation performed by UUCRT President Mike McGinn and Committee on Shared Ministry members Terri Pahucki, Alison Fornes and Keith Jordan.
The Rev. Lammert noted that the congregation, under the leadership of Rev. Antal, has been examining three questions: Who are we? Who is our neighbor? What are we called to do?
“We are not here to be comfortable but to disturb our comfort” when it needs to be disturbed, she said. “And we all need practices that keep us in touch with the transcendent nature of life.”
The service also included music by the uuUkes, a group from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, and original songs from congregants Adrian Sicam and Jackie and Keith Jordan.