Sep 272018

As spiritual teachers and leaders, it’s our responsibility and privilege to preach, inspire, teach, help, challenge and heal. We can do this especially effectively through stories. In this workshop we’ll explore the differences between oral and written culture, the human propensity for stories (including some current research findings from psychology and neuroscience), the role of stories in religious traditions, and some fundamentals of engaging storytelling. The workshop will include worship, didactic presentations, examples of effective storytelling, and practical work in carefully structured small groups conducive for learning. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy, practice and be with colleagues. The workshop is designed for both those who are experienced and those who are newcomers to the practice of sacred storytelling.

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy is passionate about helping speakers find their authentic voice. She has practiced the art of speaking without a manuscript and storytelling for many years. She is cofounder of Preaching from the Heart Mellen is enthusiastic about and an expert in creating small group settings that are safe, fun and transformative. She is cofounder of the Small Group Ministry Network. Rev. Mellen is an ordained Sufi Cheraga and also a Unitarian Universalist minister. She has the honor of serving the Springfield Unitarian Universalist church in Vermont. Mellen serves as a member of the Board of the Inayati Order, a Sufi Path of Spiritual Liberty.

Lunch: Please bring your own sack lunch
Directions:  visit  for directions to 252 Main Street, Charlestown, NH 03603
Fee: The fee is $50 for those who are not members of the Springfield or Charlestown UU Congregations. Scholarships are available.
Registration: By November 12, 2018, please print and fill out the form below and mail to Rev. Mellen Kennedy, PO Box 944, Springfield, VT 05156, with an enclosed check made to Rev. Mellen Kennedy.  Looking forward to seeing You there.

Questions?  Contact Rev. Mellen at

Registration for Sacred Art of Storytelling, November 17, 2018 in Charlestown, NH

Email:   ________________________________   Phone:___________________________
Affiliation (congregation or organization):_____________________________________________________________
Lay leader? Seminarian? Professional religious leaders?_______________________________________________________________________
Past experience with sacred art of storytelling?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pressing question, idea or need?   ______________________________________________________________________

Aug 122018
Workshop rescheduled – date to be announced
Springfield UU Church, 21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT
 “I pin my hopes to small circles and quiet processes
where vital and transforming events take place.”
~ Rufus Jones, Quaker theologian and activist

In these challenging times, we can feel overwhelmed, discouraged and even depressed.  Yet we have spiritual resources that we can draw on to ground and empower us as we navigate through troubled waters.  Small group ministry or covenant groups provide a setting for sharing, reflection, and hope.  In this workshop we’ll explore how these groups provide a foundation for friendship and spiritual growth and a supportive space for cultivating our resilience.  The workshop will include actual small group experiences where we can find solace, inspiration and strength. Bring your ideas form your own life experiences.

Workshop Leader: Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy is enthusiastic about and an expert in creating small group settings that are safe, fun and transformative. She is co-founder of the Small Group Ministry Network.  Rev. Mellen is an ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Sufi cheraga.  She has the honor of serving the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Vermont.
Registration:  Please bring your own sack lunch.  The workshop is free for members of the Springfield UU Church.  Registration form can be dowloaded here:

Jul 172018

Join us at Tree Farm Campground, 53 Skitchewaug trail, Springfield for an evening of food, music and fun!  We’ll have a potluck meal, campfire singalong led by Laurel Green, a skit based on the book Bread and Roses, Too by Vermont author Katherine Paterson, marshmallow toasting and other snacks. Steve Crofter of the Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP) will speak. Free copies of the book are available at the church (on the harvest table in the foyer)  and at the event thanks to a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council.  All welcome, especially kids! EVENT HELD RAIN OR SHINE UNDER THE PAVILION.

Optional tent camping is available that night at the special rate of $5 per tent.  To get the special rate, you must contact Deb Diegoli in the church office,

Admission to the event is free.  Voluntary donations to CASP will be accepted.

Bread and Roses, Too is the 2018 Vermont Reads selection.

This event is co-sponsored by the Springfield Town Library, Springfield Food Co-op, Tree Farm Campground, the Vermont Humanities Council and CASP.




Jun 132018

“The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro”
Here at the Springfield UU
Join us as we read together the fiery July 5, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a participatory event. Community members are invited to witness and/or join in the reading. Copies of the speech will be provided.  Discussion led by Rev. Mellen after the speech.

May 262018

Have you been inspired by a really great speaker who was able to convey passion for a topic without reading a script?  Perhaps it was someone you saw give a TED talk, or maybe it was Bishop Michael Curry at the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If you ever need to speak in public, whether for large groups or small, these skills are important – and learnable.

The best way to learn them is in a non-threatening, small group workshop.  On Saturday, June 9th, Rev. Mellen Kennedy will be holding such a workshop at the Springfield UU, 21 Fairground Road, from 10:00am – 4:30pm.  If you are interested in learning about, or improving your skill and comfort with, speaking without script, this workshop is for you.  You’ll receive resources, support and techniques for public speaking.  We’ll work in safe, respectful small groups where we’ll actually practice.  You’ll come away uplifted and empowered to share your important message in a way that really engages your audience, whether you’re presenting  at work, volunteer settings, social engagements or church.  Register now for this fun endeavor! Cost is just $35, and generous scholarships are available thanks to NYSCU (New York State Convention of Universalists).

To register, down load the registration form here .Contact Rev. Mellen at with questions or scholarship requests.

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy is passionate about helping speakers find their authentic voice.  She has practiced the art of speaking without a manuscript and storytelling for many years.  She is cofounder of Preaching from the Heart  Mellen is enthusiastic about and an expert in creating small group settings that are safe, fun and transformative. She is co-founder of the Small Group Ministry Network.  Rev. Mellen is an ordained Sufi Cheraga and a Unitarian Universalist minister.  She has the honor of serving the Springfield Unitarian Universalist church in Vermont. Mellen serves as a member of the Board of the Inayati Order, a Sufi Path of Spiritual Liberty.

Apr 252018

  Dances of Universal Peace Return to Springfield

Sunday, May 20, 2 pm

Springfield UU Church, 21 Fairground Road

The DANCES OF UNIVERSAL PEACE (DUP) are simple, joyous, meditative, multicultural, circle dances that use sacred phrases, chants, music and movements to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves, and recognize it in others. These Dances are based on teachings embraced by Universal Sufism. No musical or dance experience of any kind is required, and everyone is welcomed to join in. The DANCES focus on PEACE, creating a sense of solidarity and community, while celebrating the underlying unity of all the spiritual traditions of the earth.

Apr 172017

uu-banner-2-230x400In our congregation we have a wonderful way to get to know each other at a deeper level and to have meaningful conversations about spiritual issues: Our Small Group Program. For many member, the small group is a highlight of their month, a time to connect with old and new friends, to explore worthwhile topics in a respectful space that is conducive for deep reflection and sharing. We have three groups: one which meets once a month on Thursday — contact Jeff Taft Dick about this at One groups is facilitated by Rev. M’ellen and meets usually once a month on one of the Sundays after church. This is a drop in group open to anyone who would like to participate.

Here is an example of a small group session:



Feb 272017
You’re invited to participate in our Small Group Program.
An opportunity for developing friendship and growing spiritually.
In the groups, we set aside time to go deeper, to listen respectfully to ourselves and each other, and to explore spiritual topics.  The groups have trained facilitators and are fulfilling and fun.  One group meets once a month on Sunday after church and the other on Thursday afternoon.  The Sunday meeting is facilitated by Rev. M’ellen and is a drop-in group, meaning You’re welcome to come when You can.  You don’t have to make a commitment to attend each meeting.  The Thursday group is ongoing and You’re asked to make a commitment to be a regularly attending member.
This year our groups will be a chance to explore in more detail how we can and are
taking back our lives – (the theme of our church year and of some of the worship services).  At each monthly meeting, we’ll explore topics such meditating, creating community, the arts and our spirituality, cultivating self-discipline, and celebrating race amity.  We really hope You’ll join us if You’re looking for more opportunities for community and reflection.  Questions?  Speak with Ellen Allman or Rev. M’ellen 802-377-2999.
Feb 232017

Come join us in the church activities room for discussion over a healthy potluck lunch.  What ways are You reclaiming your life?  We’ll find and share inspiration with each other.  Free copies of the book “50 Shortcuts to a Sugar-Free Life” are available on the harvest table if You need an extra boost of ideas on taking back your body and diet.  Our discussion will range over whatever topics are on your heart and need not be limited to food and diet.