Remembering Dr. Lyttle

Today, I happened to be talking with Dave Johnson on denominational business. Like me, Dave is currently serving as an interim minister. The conversation meandered, as such conversations do, and we wound up talking about the congregations we’re currently serving.

When Dave found out where I’m serving, he said, “Geneva, Illinois? I spent some time out in the Geneva church.” Turns out he was a student at Meadville Lombard Theological School when Charles Lyttle was both a professor at Meadville Lombard and the minister out here in Geneva. And Dave was one of the student ministers Dr. Lyttle brought out to gain experience here in Geneva.

Needless to say, I asked Dave about Dr. Lyttle. Dave told me one story about Dr. Lyttle coming out from Chicago to do a child dedication. But when he got here, he realized he had forgotten to bring a flower. It was spring, so Dr. Lyttle went out the front door of the church and grabbed the nearest flower. The long stalk and the roots came with the pretty white flower, but that didn’t stop Dr. Lyttle. He marched into the church carrying the flower, roots and all, and the child dedication went on.

Dave added that photographs of Dr. Lyttle don’t adequately represent his sense of humor, and his sense of fun. Dr. Lyttle thought church should be fun, says Dave, and he made sure the Geneva church was a fun place. (I think you can see some of that in the portrait our church has of Dr. Lyttle — the artist has captured a definite twinkle in his eyes.)

Dr. Lyttle sounds like my kind of minister.