And here we are in Advent.

In April, just a few weeks into my new routine of working from home and ordering groceries online and only visiting with people through my computer screen, I sent out an email with this subject heading: “Honestly hadn’t planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.”

And here we are in Advent.

A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends from a distance, and I’m preparing to do the same for Christmas. My work-at-home habits continue, with sporadic visits to the office, where I stand far away from co-workers as we catch up with one another from behind masks. Every Sunday morning, I prepare coffee and toast and settle in front of my computer to worship with my Friendship Church family via Zoom.

Over the warm summer and early autumn months, I enjoyed outdoor visits with friends in Covid-safe ways. Now, as temperatures have cooled and infection rates have spiked, I am hunkered down for the duration—me and my (relatively) affectionate cat and my (thank you, God!) reliable Wi-Fi connection.

It feels redundant to list the many ways this has been the Hardest Year Ever. Instead, I’ll share a few ways I have experienced the Light breaking through the darkness that has characterized 2020:

  • Weekly Zoom calls with my brothers and their spouses, nearly every Saturday night since sometime in April—we are in touch more frequently now than since we all left home!
  • Encouraging reports about the creative ways our staff are connecting with college students and walking with them through this hard time, even from a physical distance
  • A more relaxed pace of life as my daily commute has turned into a stroll from my bedroom to my kitchen to my home office
  • Zoom visits with friends—including a virtual reunion of my Allegheny College discipleship group (shout out to Ann, Brenda, Christine, Dorcas, Lori, Michelle, Terri, and Virginia!)
  • Time to reflect and revisit and reevaluate the ways things have “always” been done
  • Your generosity in continuing to support my work with the CCO, even and especially during these uncertain times

I wrote for this year’s CCO online Advent devotional, focusing on a prayer from Saint Teresa of Avila, which I learned during my years ministering to students at Gannon University. I pray this for each one of you during this Advent season—that you may experience the hope, love, joy, and peace promised in Jesus Christ:

Let nothing disturb thee, let nothing frighten thee. Everything is changing; God alone is changeless. Patience attains the goal. The one who has God lacks nothing. God alone fills all our needs.

With love and gratitude,
Amy Maczuzak
Senior Editor
December 2020

To give to my ministry: or send a check to CCO, 5912 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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