How I grew closer to God

Reflections

During this time of year many of us make resolutions but few of them are kept. Why? Positive habits take effort where negative habits seem easy to get into and don't require much effort. More...

Posted 1/15/2019 09:25 PM

Living faith

Reflections

It has been nearly two years since I became the Publisher of the Catskill Mountain News and the steward of this important community institution. More...

Posted 1/8/2019 09:01 PM

Thy will be done

Reflections

When we lose someone very dear to us, especially our children, young or grown, we are left with a deep sense of emptiness, grief, numbness, and a spirit of defeat and hopelessness. No parent desires to outlive their child. More...

Posted 1/1/2019 11:39 PM

Questions of the day

Reflections

Happy New Year! Is it just me, or does it seem like we were just making this same exclamation regarding the beginning of 2018? Another year has passed, and we find ourselves wondering how it could have passed so quickly. More...

Posted 12/26/2018 12:29 PM

Reflect on our blessings together

Reflections

As this column is called Reflections, Christmas season seems a good time to truly reflect on life, God and the love affair I've had as a pastor in this community over the past 28 years. You see, I am a Bronx-born country kid. More...

Posted 12/11/2018 11:41 PM

There will be light

Reflections

Where has this year gone? Thanksgiving is over, and it is on to Christmas shopping and parties?!? I am so “not ready!”  More...

Posted 11/27/2018 08:59 PM

The Challenge of Fully Following the Two Great Commandments

Last Sunday’s Gospel was from St. Mark. Jesus gave us the Two Great Commandments. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. More...

Posted 11/13/2018 08:29 PM

Steve Finkel Finds Fulfillment in the Catskill Mountains

A Catskill Portrait

Steve Finkel turns 75 this month. For most of us, that’s an age to be grateful for even reaching, at least in good health. For Steve, it seems to be just another day on the calendar in an active, productive life. More...

Posted 11/6/2018 07:55 PM

Reflections

Mistakes can bring wisdom

On February 17, 2006, during the gold medal final of the Snowboard Cross at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, 20-year-old Lindsay Jacobellis from the USA was approaching the end of the course in first place with a three-second lead over Tanja Frie More...

Posted 10/16/2018 07:07 PM

Reflections

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made...”   So begins the song that is a favorite to so many, the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”  More...

Posted 10/2/2018 08:13 PM

Observations

Hearts & Minds

I doubt if any of the four competing candidates for Congress in the 19th district changed many minds among the overflow crowd at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the Best Western in Kingston last week. There just wasn’t enough time.  More...

Posted 9/25/2018 09:19 PM

Making A Difference

By helping children gain access to books, helping feed the hungry, and promoting volunteers and their needs, Kimberly Lorraine has become an influential contributor to the Catskills’ community.  More...

Posted 9/25/2018 09:19 PM

Reflections

CHURCH IS FOR SAINTS AND SINNERS

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads, “I’m not perfect, God isn’t finished with me yet.” At the start of our services, as is the case in many other traditions, is the inclusion of a time for reflecting on our faults or what we might call sins. More...

Posted 8/28/2018 08:13 PM

A Catskill Portrait

Contributing to his Arkville community comes naturally to Cory Johnson

At 28 years of age, Cory Johnson is a young man. He is also a person showing unusual maturity through his contributions— both professionally and in volunteer service—to his community. More...

Posted 8/28/2018 08:13 PM

Reflections

Judgment and Hypocrisy

Jesus warns us to “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. More...

Posted 8/7/2018 07:27 PM

Reflections

Rights are communal

One of the biggest roadblocks in American life today is the way we think about rights. Rights, we think, belong to isolated individuals. But rights are communal. Rights and responsibilities come hand in hand. More...

Posted 7/24/2018 08:25 PM

Happy Tails

Summer months can be hard on family pets with many subjected to tough times during family vacations, hot outdoor temperatures and even abandonment. More...

Posted 7/10/2018 07:08 PM

Reflections

Don’t make thanking God a post script in your life

Father Ray Morgan   My wife Sue and I moved to the southern tier at the end of February from sunny Florida. Many people asked us why we came here from there? For now I will only provide the Reader’s Digest explanation.  More...

Posted 7/2/2018 08:18 PM

I’m a Believer

“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2b- 3  More...

Posted 6/19/2018 07:43 PM

Reflections

“Get help!” is a partial answer

When a school, a church, a movie theater or a concert arena is terrorized by a mass shooter, everyone offers “thoughts and prayers.” Following the high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the response seems limited to pub More...

Posted 6/12/2018 08:58 PM

WHY CHURCH?

Pentecost Sunday was recently celebrated by Christians this year on May 20, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. The word Pentecost means the “50th day” after Easter Sunday.  More...

Posted 5/29/2018 09:32 PM

I want to scream from the mountaintops! I want to hide in a hole. This world we live in is driving me mad! More...

Posted 5/15/2018 10:16 PM

Reflections

Friendship through Keeping the Commandments

Greg Asimakoupoulos had this story to share:   More...

Posted 5/8/2018 08:20 PM

GOD’S RAINBOW

As a child, I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from the late forties to the mid-sixties. I did not care about the ethnicity of my friends. All I knew was that they were my friends. More...

Posted 4/24/2018 09:15 PM

“Watch out for the deer, they’re everywhere!”  Every year about this time, I hear the warnings, and try to heed the advice to be on the lookout for the deer on the roads. More...

Posted 4/10/2018 08:52 PM

Life before maple syrup

Growing up, breakfast seemed to be something I checked in the box before leaving the house to catch the school bus. First of all, I wasn’t much of a “morning person” back then, unless I had something specific to do. More...

Posted 1/15/2019 09:25 PM

The Road to Recovery: It Takes a Community

Recovering from an addiction is not easy, and some will say it never ends. More...

Posted 1/8/2019 09:01 PM

That's Entertainment

Friday, Jan 11  More...

Posted 1/8/2019 09:01 PM

'tis the season to be jolly?

Reflections

For many, this season, is a time of great joy. A time to celebrate the birth of Christ, a time to decorate and buy gifts for those we love. The seasonal music, parties and gift giving lifts our spirits. More...

Posted 12/18/2018 09:58 PM

How to have a perfect Christmas

Reflections

The Christmas season seems well underway by now. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are history, and now it feels like we are running full-tilt into the holidays. More...

Posted 12/4/2018 08:18 PM

Happy Thanksgiving

Reflections

The will, illumined by contemplation and guided by wisdom, plays an extraordinarily important role in Christian salvation and the Christian life. Our choices, educated by the Spirit, matter. More...

Posted 11/20/2018 10:48 PM

The Little Children

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven, belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14  More...

Posted 11/6/2018 07:55 PM

Live simply, love generously

“See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29  More...

Posted 10/30/2018 09:03 PM

The Purpose of Life

I have lost several friends in the past month or so, and presided over more funerals than I would like. These friends were all elderly, and in poor health. More...

Posted 10/24/2018 11:31 AM

Making A Difference

Veterans and their needs are an often-overlooked group, but Jeff Ostrander and the Catskill Veteran Outreach Center in Stamford aim to change that by offering an array of valuable services.  More...

Posted 10/9/2018 06:53 PM

A Catskill Portrait

Kevin DePodwin’s appreciation for local bounty finds entrepreneurial expression in the Catskills

The stories of how people have come to call the Catskill Mountains home, whether their arrival be recent or many moons ago, are often as meandering and undulating as our topography. More...

Posted 10/2/2018 08:14 PM

Observations

Who shot the Sheriff?

Being an old hand at politics, having covered Wyatt Earp’s run for sheriff in Tombstone, I was to say the least, stunned by the primary results for Ulster Sheriff last week. More...

Posted 9/18/2018 08:08 PM

Reflections

The rains fell

What crazy weather we are having all over the country, all over the world! And no matter what we do, we can’t control the weather or the outcome of a major storm like Hurricane Florence. More...

Posted 9/18/2018 08:08 PM

Happy Trails

My wife and I thought you might like to know how our kitty, formerly named Bazaar, now named Tiger Lilly is doing. It was five weeks ago today we adopted her.  More...

Posted 8/28/2018 08:13 PM

Reflections

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger...

What’s happened to being nice to others? Why has civility disappeared from the way we treat others whose opinions or practices differ from our own? Where has simple kindness gone?  More...

Posted 8/21/2018 08:02 PM

Reflections

Testing our faith

Challenges, trials, and tests of patience – which are often tests of faith for the believer – are simply part of the stuff of life. If you are going through something right now, you can be sure you are not alone. More...

Posted 8/14/2018 08:23 PM

A Catskill Portrait

For Maureen Krueger...A Life Devoted to Publishing, Family and Community Finds Sustenance in the Catskills   More...

Posted 7/31/2018 07:49 PM

A Catskill Portrait

Debbie Marmaro Sets the Tone in Andes More...

Posted 7/10/2018 07:08 PM

Reflections

Thoughts

As I sat watching the fireworks this week, I began reminiscing about the many ways my family and my community celebrated. Good memories; family picnics, parades, even a church service and patriotic music! What were we celebrating this year? More...

Posted 7/10/2018 07:09 PM

Reflections

Leadership has failed us

In my profession I preach. If you don't like being preached at, you might want to quit reading now. If you're still reading, though I like preaching, it's not always my favorite part of the job. Why? More...

Posted 6/26/2018 07:47 PM

Reflections

Do the Right Thing

A number of years ago there was a public service announcement campaign using the slogan “Do the Right Thing.” I think we would all agree that this is a noble goal. More...

Posted 6/5/2018 08:48 PM

Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day weekend is freshly in our rear-view mirror, having ushered in the beginning of summer. We loved the picture parades with marching bands, fire trucks, local celebrities waving from convertibles, picnics, camping and lawn sales. More...

Posted 5/29/2018 09:32 PM

Happy Tails

Sam is a hound/collie mix who was at the shelter for several months. More...

Posted 5/29/2018 09:32 PM

Reflections

Be Open to Change

I remember a story about a woman who brought home a wall hanging that said, “Prayer changes things.” She put it in her kitchen above her sink. Her husband came home, and said, “Take that down, please.” She said, “Why? More...

Posted 5/1/2018 06:50 PM

THE BEST MEDICINE

Several years ago, my daughter Sharon was starting a job as an RN in an Elmira, NY hospital. It was an unfamiliar community and she needed to find an apartment so it was my task to find a place in a good neighborhood at the right price. More...

Posted 4/17/2018 11:00 PM