Love Notes by Rev. Kelly Dignan

A Handy Pamphlet

I learned so much at General Assembly in June that I keep writing about it. This article/post is based on a little pamphlet developed by The Fahs Collaborative. Here is how they describe themselves: The Fahs Collaborative Laboratory for Innovation in Faith Formation is a feisty cohort of UU religious educators who support people in … Continued

I Keep Running into Frances E. W. Harper

During the 2017-18 church year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018), we featured Frances E. W. Harper. Below, you can read about her life. During worship throughout the year, we heard her poems and considered how her words and actions can inspire us today. Well, I keep running into Frances! On Thursday night at … Continued

P.S. to July 1, 2018 Sermon on Genograms and Family Systems

In my sermon on July 1, 2018, I talked about a tool called a Genogram. Here’s a definition: A genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals. It goes beyond a traditional family tree by allowing the user to analyze hereditary patterns and psychological … Continued

Ware Lecture – Wow!

Last week, I was in Kansas City for our annual UUA General Assembly.  It’s a glorious gathering of 3000 or so Unitarian Universalists for an extended weekend of the democratic process in action, workshops, lectures, justice actions and worship. I love it! Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President, in consultation with the General Assembly … Continued

Love Notes: Shift in Focus

This section of our website has been a traditional newsletter column where I write something that gets published each month on a regular schedule. I find that my thoughts come more randomly than that, and my creativity is more sporadic than scheduled. So I am going to shift the focus of these “Love Notes” and treat … Continued

Love Notes: “Emergence”

adrienne maree brown (and yes, her name is spelled with all lowercase letters) is one of my teachers; an author I read and follow on Facebook and Instagram and all the rest. In her book Emergent Strategy, she says:   “Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively … Continued

Love Notes: Reciprocity

Over the last six months, I have mentioned several times a book called Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It’s one of my favorites. In November, I gave a sermon called “Kiss the Rice” and re-told a story Kimmerer shared in the book. She was giving a lecture at a university and a beautiful young … Continued

Love Notes: Love Gets Everywhere

My husband, Pete, told me a story about how a house he lived in caught on fire. The fire started in one corner of the basement near the furnace, and it spread quickly up to the next floor. Thankfully, it was contained and no one was hurt. He and his family had to move out … Continued

Love Notes: Forgiveness and Redemption

First of all – THANK YOU so much for the birthday card, wishes and gift.  I am grateful.   I was deeply touched by a story of redemption and forgiveness told by the ministers of Foothills Unitarian, and so I share it here:   Dear Members of the Foothills Community,   On Sunday we arrived … Continued

Love Notes: Mid Year Update

If you’ve been in my office, you know that the whiteboard on the wall lists the strategic priorities for Ministry for our 2017-18 fiscal year.   Here’s a picture: Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Each year we define strategic Ministry Goals and Board Goals. Usually I would give you an … Continued

Love Notes: The Sound of Silence

Dear ones, I write to you from an airplane traveling to Ohio. My father-in-law, Pete Dignan Sr., passed yesterday, and the celebration of his long life will occur in the days ahead. Although his death was expected, it was still a surprise, as is true for so many things in life. What I need now … Continued

Love Notes: Tricky Religious Words

At our All-Church Retreat, I led a session on religious language. We played a game where folks got a card with a tricky religious word on it and moved around the room to collect definitions. Then each person shared the definitions out loud. I thought you might all like to read what came up for … Continued

Love Notes: Diversity is Generative

This is the first fall season where there is no “back to school day” in our household.  All the kids have finished their education (at least for now). I feel a little melancholy, but it is beautiful to see them blossom and pursue their passions.   Our son Michael (now 23), loves permaculture. During his … Continued

Love Notes: What Should We Do?

I am amazed at how many decisions get made on a weekly basis at our church. Large and small, decisions are made by teams of committed volunteers so that our church can live its mission. In October, a decision will be made, and the processes will involve more than just a few people or a … Continued

Love Notes: “Dismantling White Supremacy”

In late May, I got a call from a reporter at UU World, our denomination’s magazine. She knew we had participated in the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn during our worship service on April 30th. If you were not able to attend that Sunday, you can hear the service by going to our website: Worship/Past Worship Services/ scroll down … Continued

Love Notes: “Oh, Happy Day”

One of my favorite movies came out in the early 1990s – Sister Act.  A Reno lounge singer named Deloris Van Carter (played by Whoopi Goldberg) witnesses her gangster boyfriend killing someone. She reports it to the police who put her in the witness protection program at a nunnery with a new identity of Sister … Continued

Love Notes: You Are Your Body

This morning I took my regular walk up the hill from our house, across a stream, up some more hills until I reached my “sit spot” – one place I go to release and unclench. It feels different this morning.  First of all, my knees really hurt thanks to the long hike I took yesterday. … Continued

Love Notes: A Message from Rev. Kelly March 30, 2017

Hi all – The President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Rev. Peter Morales, resigned his position today. Here is a UU World article that summarizes events that have occurred this week around hiring practices at the UUA. Here is Peter’s letter. Here is a letter from the UUA Leadership Council which I recommend you … Continued

Love Notes: To You I Give

“From you I receive, to you I give. Together we share, and from this we live.” Number 402 in our grey hymnal – Singing the Living Tradition.   These words describe so simply how we help each other transform.   Last month we focused on the first phrase, “From you I receive.” During worship on … Continued

Love Notes: “From You I Receive”

The poet Mark Nepo says that on the surface of things, giving and receiving are about exchanges: “You need. I give. You feel grateful. I feel good about myself. You feel indebted.  You give back. We take turns. But below the surface of things, giving and receiving become indistinguishable, and the goal is not to … Continued