An unusual Christmas ministry

Published 9:14 pm Monday, December 8, 2008

Carol Lyttle thinks Christmas should be a time to be thankful.

It’s a lesson she wants to pass on to the younger generations of children in the city.

That’s why she is launching “Christmas Blessing,” a unique ministry that asks children ages 5 through13 an important question: Whom do you want to bless this Christmas?

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“A lot of times, it is the moms and dads and grandmoms and granddads who sacrifice for their children and sometimes get left out. We want to let the caregivers and the moms and dads know they are appreciated,” Lyttle said.

“Blessing” is an essay contest, in which children are to write a letter to Lyttle explaining why the caregivers in their life are so special and deserving of a Christmas blessing. They also list gifts that caregiver would like for the holiday.

Lyttle and volunteers will select the best three letters. The families will then be invited to a special Christmas party, where the caregivers will be the guests of honor.

“That’s what holidays are for — coming together and being thankful for the people God has put in your life,” Lyttle said.

Christmas Blessing is just one of the projects taken on by Lyttle’s newly formed non-profit organization, Carol Lyttle Ministries.

A victim of sexual abuse as a child, Lyttle found peace from her traumatic youth through her faith. She wanted to share her experiences and the lessons learned to women who might be in a similar situation.

“Finding the love of God has helped me to learn how to forgive the person who offended me, and I just want to share that with everyone I come in contact with who might have gone through the same traumatic experience,” she said.

She launched Carol Lyttle Ministries in June with a volunteer staff of 11 women.

In September, the ministry sponsored a women’s conference at Solomon’s Temple Church in Smithfield, which included a series of workshops and inspirational speakers aimed at developing women’s faith and confidence in today’s culture.

Now, Lyttle says the focus in on “Blessing,” but the staff plans to branch out to include a prison ministry and mission work with a halfway house.

“We just want to help restore something in the community,” she said.

To apply for the Christmas Blessing program, mail a letter to Carol Lyttle Ministries, P.O. Box 752, Smithfield, VA 23431.

Children submitted letter should be sure to include their name, age, address, and phone number on the back of the letter. For more information, call 371-3051 or email