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North Orange Daily Voice serves Crawford, Hamptonburgh, Middletown, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor & Wallkill

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Vandals Target Rock Tavern Congregation

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern was vandalized over the weekend.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern was vandalized over the weekend. Photo Credit: UUCRT.org

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern was the target of vandalism over the weekend, according to a statement released by Rev. Chris J. Antal.

The primary road sign had "Blue Lives Matter" spray painted on it in blue, obscenities were written on a "Veterans for Peace" sign and stole flags that read "Black Lives Matter" and "Refugees Welcome" Antal said on the congregation's website.

"The members of the UUCRT certainly took the risk of attack into consideration throughout the long process of discernment the community went through before taking a public stand of conscience in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We knew we risked becoming a target," Antal said in his statement. "Nevertheless, we chose to assume risk and be a shield to help protect the marginalized and vulnerable populations among us. In attacking us, the perpetrators have only strengthened our resolve to be that shield."

Antal went on to say that the congregation is not interested in punishment and will not seek prosecution. He instead invited the offenders to lunch and even offered the suspect or suspects his pulpit on Sunday morning.

"We may not agree with you, but we wish to understand the concerns that motivated you to do what you did. We will hear you out," Antal said.

The UUCRT is hosting a community forum titled "Valuing Black and Blue Lives in Our Community: A Dialogue" on Oct. 8 at 12:30 p.m.

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