Love Notes by Rev. Kelly Dignan

Love Notes: What Do the Holidays Want for Us?

  by Rev. Kelly Dignan December 2018   I wonder what Christmas, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve want for us. If they could speak, what would they invite us to do and be?   Earlier this week, I tried an experiment. I sat for my regular morning meditation, getting … Continued

Love Notes: My grandma said, “Vote. It’s Important.”

The theme for November is Memory – The practice of honest remembrance & honoring the shoulders on which we stand.   I have many memories of my paternal grandmother. Ninie was her “grandma name”, a name she inherited from at least two grandmas before her. When I look at my hands, I see her. She … Continued

New Art in the Earth Room

You will notice new artwork on the front wall of the Earth Room. Many thanks to artist Rob Wardell who donated photographs of his Aspen tree paintings so that we could create backgrounds on which to print our Unitarian Universalist Seven Principles. On September 30, 2018, I gave a sermon offering some historical context and … Continued

Refuel and Go – October 2018

The theme for October is Sanctuary – the practice of finding sacred space within and ensuring welcoming space for all.     Our themes come from a Unitarian Universalist collaborative called Soul Matters. At UUCB, we use the themes in our covenant groups, religious education program (Kindergarten through 5th grade), affinity groups, and even our … Continued

How is Your Homework Coming Along?

In last week’s sermon, I gave you a little homework assignment: Which of the UU Sources are inspiring you these days? How are you using them to do your spiritual work? Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote wisdom and spirituality drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience. Here are the Six … Continued

Spiritual Sankofa

If you attended worship services in July you know our theme was genealogy, and we covered a lot of ground!  I shared stories of visits with my German family members who still live in Germany. I described relatives who fought in the Civil War. And I encouraged us all to practice the Ghanan idea of Sankofa … Continued

We Shall Survive

I was on my walk this morning and struck more than usual by the majesty and strength of the mountains.  I thought to myself, “I wonder how many storms they’ve endured? How many cracks have they felt? How much chaos have they survived?”  I wonder.  And I am inspired by their steadfastness, especially in these … Continued

Loneliness is a Weapon of Oppresssion

In July, we explored how we are a nation of cut-offs.  Our government and overall culture encouraged (and still encourages) us to assimilate and separate from our histories.  Check out this article from Brainpickings which touches on this topic. “Loneliness is a weapon of oppression.” Let’s restore connections to our histories if we can!    

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