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Susanna Stefanachi Macomb, ordained interfaith minister, author,
artist, wife and mother.

Pioneer of personalized, interfaith, intercultural ceremonies.

A high powered sales and merchandising executive in the fashion industry began a search for inner peace. She was not looking for God or religion. In a stressful, chaotic, and competitive environment she simply wanted an everyday access to peace.

That young woman was me.

I began that search 22 years ago by studying the universal and mystical aspects of various religions. I identified with the commonality taught by all the religions. The universality and oneness of the mystical experience struck me heart and soul. Through spiritual and artistic study, my inner life became luminous and my outer life began to change. I worked less in the office. I followed my bliss. For me the spiritual process and the creative process overlapped. My paintings are an embodiment of my spiritual experiences. I began exhibiting my paintings in galleries, cultural centers and universities. People began collecting and commissioning my work.

Through a combination of mystical experiences and serendipitous events, I was led to The New Seminary and later to the All Faiths Seminary. At the time, I felt no desire to become a minister. The New Seminaryís president, Rabbi Gelbermanís message to me: "It will be revealed to you." It took a leap of faith. I was following the signs.

At my ordination ceremony in February of 1996 at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the holy books of all the traditions were ceremoniously carried down the aisle and placed upon the altar. My paintings of four archangels flanked the altar. Two days after my ordination, I performed my first interfaith, intercultural wedding.

Looking back, it seems as if invisible hands set it all in motion. Since then, I have been privileged to work with hundreds of couples and families from an amazing variety of backgrounds, often in the most challenging situations. Basking in the presence of love that doesnít know the boundaries of skin color, religious creed or nationality fills me with such joy and brings me to my knees. It has enriched and expanded my life. It makes the heart sing!

My ministry began through simple word of mouth. Then I was interviewed for a feature article in a bridal magazine. This led to other articles. I became inundated with phone calls from people throughout the world. People wanted to know how they could create meaningful interfaith, intercultural and interracial ceremonies that reflected who they were, and would not offend their families. They wanted ceremonies that remained true to themselves, had meaning and did not exclude anyone. Often same-faith couples were simply searching for a unifying spiritual perspective. Many just wanted advice or sample ceremonies. Many asked me to officiate at their weddings, bless their children, and help mourn their loved ones. Others wanted spiritual counseling. It was evident: There was a need for interfaith and a rapidly growing one at that! My response to that need was to create a website. What followed was my book, Joining Hands and Hearts, Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples (Simon & Schuster). Joining Hands and Hearts is considered by many as the primer from creating interfaith and intercultural wedding services. It is the first book to feature the beliefs and wedding traditions of 14 religions and dozens of cultures. My work has  been featured in (but not limited to) The Associated Press, Publishers Weekly, The Readerís Digest, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, ABC News, CNN, Florida Sun Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Mateo Times, Modern Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Brideís, The Knot,, The New Etiquette for Today's Bride, New York Weddings, Washington Weddings, Boston Weddings, California Weddings, For the Bride, Wedding Bells, Getting Remarried, Manhattan Bride, Downtown Express, AIMS Magazine UK and Personal Journey, Your Path to a More Spiritual Life. and on local and national television including MSNBC's The Ethical Edge on Interfaith Relationships, The Ananda Lewis Show, The Party Planner with David Tutera, A Wedding Story featuring a Catholic/Protestant American and Buddhist/Taoist/Chinese union that took place in Grand Central Station.  

I also teach, give seminars and write articles. Click here to read my article on Celebrating Diversity in the U.S.

As one person, I am limited to the number of ceremonies I can perform. It is my prayer that my book, Joining Hands and Hearts, will help all those that I cannot reach. The book is offered in the spirit of peace.  

Finally, at the core of my life, are my husband and son, my heart and wings. It is my daily interaction with them that fuels much of the inspiration for my work. I cherish them beyond words. Currently, I am working on my next book and my next canvas!

My heart to yours,
Susanna



To read feedback about Susanna's work, please visit:
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Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb of New York City

Phone:  212.663.1044

Ceremony Request Form CLICK HERE