Can you go home?

My presbytery met in Freeport, Il this week, which meant a long (and beautiful) drive through rural Illinois.

On my way back, I did a little Christian Reformed sight seeing. How could I not turn off of the county highway onto “Holland Church Rd” to follow the signs to the Christian Reformed Church?

It made me feel a little but like I was cheating, here I am a Presbyterian, but I’m still driving off to see little CRCs when I run across them.

Given, I didn’t by any means grow up in little country CRCs like this one, churches with histories going back to the late 1800s. But my grandparents and great-grandparents did. And, although none of my family was from Illinois (Michigan, Kansas, Dakotas, California, instead), there’s still something about wandering the church graveyard that’s filled with people whose ethnicity and theology you’ve inherited.

When I was becoming Presbyterian, an elder-statesman PC(USA) pastor told me one day that I should always be proud and cling to where I came from, because it would always be part of who I was.

So I don’t know that you can always go home, but it’s sure nice to visit people who share some of the story with you.

4 Responses to “Can you go home?”

  1. JCarpenter Says:

    First photo looks like a headstone for the CRC Church itself—?!

    Back in the city, just off First Ave and Roosevelt Rd., near VA Hospital, there’s a cemetary that has in its northeastern quadrant a lot of Dutch names, including the “old West Side”, Cicero/Berwyn, etc. communities.
    According to local lore, mobsters often do “business” there as well—their big cars disguised by hearses, funeral procession big cars, etc.

  2. Erica Says:

    Jeff: I know that cemetery better than most people because I actually had a summer job there in 1995 working to keep the Dutch quadrants clear. The local Dutch funeral director paid me and one of my friends to do this because that summer, the trust fund had been raided and people were concerned about the state of their grandmas’ graves.

    I don’t know that I saw any mobsters, but people do some weird stuff in cemeteries!!!

  3. Susan Says:

    Beautiful. Loved the photos as well. Had a recent conversation along the same vein when I was examined at my new Presbytery. They all seemed fascinated by my CRC upbringing and wondered what gifts I carried with me from the CRC to the PCUSA and this new call…what a gift to be fully welcomed and to be able to pop in to the CRC as a touchstone from time to time.

  4. Erica Says:

    I know. Sort of bittersweet…sometimes I still wonder if I should have stayed, but at his point, there’s things about the PCUSA that I know I would miss, too.

    We really need an exiles club or something.

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