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…

Ukrainian Soul Food

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Amy Maczuzak under Food & Place in You Are Here Stories. *** “Mine look like bananas!” I apologized. I was assured that, first of all, they did not look like bananas. And even if they did, who would care? Once they’d been boiled, smothered in sautéed onions, and served with…

Outer Banks

April’s theme at You Are Here Stories is Reclaiming Place. This marks my fifth YAH contribution. *** Tears streamed down my face as I huddled in my corner of the backseat of our wood-paneled station wagon. I was crying as quietly as I could, not wanting to attract concerned attention from my parents, or ridicule from my…

On my dad’s 75th birthday

My father was born on April 4, 1941, which means he would be 75 years old today. I wish he were still here so we could celebrate together, but in lieu of that, I’ll take this opportunity to share the four-part series of articles written about him the year before he died. Happy birthday, Dad! I miss…