Voice from the past

I’ve been looking through old copies of our church’s newsletter, The Pioneer, dating back into the 1950’s. In June, 1962, Rev. Charles Lyttle, then minister here in Geneva, printed part of an old letter from Rev. R. L. Herbert, who had been minister in Geneva from 1874 to 1880. Rev. Herbert went off to serve in the Denver, Colorado Unitarian church, and in 1881 he wrote this to his former church in Geneva:

“And to all of you in that dear congregation I write again to say: Do your best to banish superstition. Be brave for truth at any cost. Do not bow to any fashionable lie; and chiefly, in thought and life, teach the nobility and excellency of good character. Prove by these fruits that you believe in the best doctrines. Then, every day, winter and summer, you will make to be Flower Sunday and this earthly life heavenly!”

[If you’re a UU history nut like me, it’s clear that Rev. Herbert was moving into humanist beliefs even at this early date. Herbert was the one who got our congregation to substitute the phrase “practical goodness” in our covenant, in place of the original “practical Godliness.”]