The day after Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day 2018

I sat in church last night, awaiting the imposition of ashes on my forehead and contemplating my mortality. From dust you came, and to dust you shall return. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. I sat in silence, trying to examine my own heart and my need for forgiveness and redemption, and my thoughts inevitably…

The Wrong Answer

I had the honor of participating in the CCO’s first-ever online Advent Devotional this month. Here is my contribution,, published today, on the Winter Solstice: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw…

Make a difference with your life

The coffee hadn’t quite kicked in when I arrived at CCO headquarters a couple weeks ago. As I passed by our recruiting team’s office, I registered something out of the corner of my eye that caused me to double back and take a second look. Apparently, as my colleagues Alycia and Sam sorted through the…

Ash Wednesday

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” —Ecclesiastes 3:20 We repent in ashes. We receive God’s mercy. We retell Jesus’ story. We rise in hope.

All My Favorite People

The theme at You Are Here Stories for December is Hope & Place, and I could think of no more hopeful place for me than Friendship Community Presbyterian Church. *** “Good morning, Friendship!” “Good morning, Darryl!” And so begins the weekly ritual of Friendship Community Church congregation members sharing praises and prayer requests, joys and…

O come, Desire of Nations: Reflections on 2016

O come, Desire of Nations, bind In one the hearts of all mankind; Oh, bid our sad divisions cease, And be Yourself our King of Peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel! When we sang this verse in church this past Sunday, I heard it with fresh ears. If nothing else can be…

In Memoriam

November’s theme at You Are Here Stories is “History & Place.” I wrote about a visit to a cemetery and my history with Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. *** It’s my fiftieth birthday and I’m wandering around a graveyard. It’s not that I am feeling morbid, or even that I am attempting to come to terms with…

From generation to generation

I attended my first ACO meeting during the first week of my freshman year at Allegheny College, before I even knew what “ACO” stood for. Karen, my student orientation advisor, invited me, and that was good enough for me. My next-door neighbor/ new best friend/ future roommate Michelle and I checked out this Allegheny Christian…

Dear Diary

This month’s theme at You Are Here Stories is “Secret Places.” So of course, I wrote about my life-long(ish) diary-keeping habit. *** I am 14 years old, sitting cross-legged on my yellow bedspread behind the locked door of my bedroom. A college-ruled three-subject notebook is open in my lap, and I scribble away, thoughts coming to…

Happy birthday, Mom!

To my beautiful mother, who would have turned 75 years old today: Happy birthday, Mom! I miss you and I love you. Janet Fulton Hamilton Maczuzak October 24, 1941 – October 17, 2006

The Lake House

Here is my latest You Are Here Stories post, on the theme of Time & Place. I think of it as my love letter to Lake Chautauqua and the dear friends who have shared it with me over the last 30+ years. *** I stand on the white planks of the dock, listening to the…

A Holy Place

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Amy Maczuzak under Iconic Place in You Are Here Stories. *** Three summers ago, I stood with three other women in a shady Jerusalem courtyard overlooking the Dome of the Rock. We had just been separated, like goats from sheep, from the 27 others in our tour group, and instructed…