By Heather Green
Years ago there was an extremely popular sitcom with a very sentimental theme song. I actually learned to play the theme song on the piano and played it for a recital. Incidentally, the recital was held at Christ Lutheran because Sandra Knopp was my piano teacher. I absolutely loved the lyrics:
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came…
You want to be where people know
People are all the same…
Where everybody knows your name.
I really felt the significance of these words when I moved back to Illinois and came “home” to Christ Lutheran. A few short weeks after I moved back, my daughter was born prematurely. The outpouring of love I received was overwhelming. Pastor Walt was there the day she was born. Pastor Ray visited a day later, followed by Pastor Shawn. It didn’t matter that I had moved away and had only visited occasionally at Easter or Christmas when I was in town. I was back and I was treated as a long-lost family member. I was finally home, and I was loved.
Although I had lived out of state for many years, I knew that every time I visited, I would see familiar faces. Sometimes I saw friends I had been confirmed with, other times I saw a former Sunday school teacher, or sometimes the folks who always sit in the second pew. Everything and almost everyone was familiar. And someone always greeted me by name. I had joined a church back in Virginia, but there was no sense of familiarity like there is at Christ Lutheran. The root of “familiarity” is family, and that is just what Christ Lutheran is – a family.
We are not only a family in Christ, but we are also a family in that we take the time to get to know each other and genuinely care about each other. This is definitely unique to Christ Lutheran. I consider myself blessed to be part of such a familiar congregation, where somebody always knows your name.