Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende

Welcome to Our Virtual Services
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Participation in the Service is via Zoom. Please click on the link below 'Zoom Sunday Service' to connect.  

Zoom Sunday Service
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The Meeting ID is 414 604 040, PASSWORD 294513

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2. Share a single viewing device if there is more than one viewer in your home.
If you have any sign-on difficulties, our troubleshooting team is:
Joseph Plummer, US phone 1-412-371-0237.Texts and WhatsApp preferred.
Email  wordfisher@gmail.com
Or Diana Amaya, Mexico phone 442-331-4226,
Email  info.uufsma@gmail.com


Becoming a Member of the UUFSMA is easy.You are most welcome to join us! Please click on this link to find out the benefits - http://www.uufsma.org/membership.html

Donate your pledge or special gift to support our important work in the SMA community! Please click on the link - http://www.uufsma.org/donate.html

Stay up to date! If you wish to receive our weekly newsletter and other updates, please contact Denise at denise.uufsma@gmail.com.
Cover design by Robert Hesdorfer

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende

Order of Service for Sunday, September 13, 2020 


10:30am SMA Time, Virtual Service by Zoom

"How to Fix Water, When Water Isn't the Problem"

Charles Fishman, Guest Speaker



Charles Fishman, Guest Speaker

Rev. Tom Rosiello, UUFSMA Minister

Michael Hertz, Coordinator

Cathy Cánepa, Service Leader

Dr. Bonney McDowell, Community and COVID Task Force
Dr. Dan Neuspiel, Covenant

Paula Peace, Pianist 

Diego Vargas, Audio-Visual Technician

Joseph Plummer, Video Editor


About Today’s Speaker

In the last four years, Charles Fishman has become one of the most forceful, challenging and inspiring public voices on water issues, speaking everywhere from MIT and UCLA … to Hershey Chocolate and the US State Department. Fishman’s book, “The Big Thirst: The secret life & turbulent future of water,” is the best-selling water book in a generation and is changing how people think about water and how they manage it. Fishman is a former reporter for the  Washington Post and is the author of three  New York Times bestselling books. Last summer, he published “One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon,” his acclaimed new history of the race to the Moon in the 1960s. Fishman grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from Harvard. After a stint in Mexico City, he now lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, also a journalist, their two children, and their two Labradors. A two-foot wide creek runs through his backyard.


About Today’s Music and Videos

Our piano music today features traditional American spirituals centering around the subject of water - a great source of hope, sustenance, and path to freedom for American slaves.

Our opening video of “Mother Earth, Beloved Garden”, by UU composer

Amanda Udis-Kessler, creates sacred space through the pagan ritual of “calling upon the four directions to ‘Be Here Now’ in song. We begin our service today as an indigenous gathering might. In this gathering song we also recognize our relationship to the natural elements as one of kinship: mother earth, father air, brother fire, and sister water. 

The natural elements, particularly water, again feature prominently in Appalachian folklorist songwriter Sara Lynch-Thomason's song "More Waters Rising", which begins as a lament of looming natural disaster but shifts to embrace a hopeful spirit affirming that we can meet our challenges and restore our world. 

Our closing hymn, "On the Dusty Earth Drum," celebrates rain falling on the earth. The words were written by Joseph S Cotter Jr, an African American poet playwright born in 1895 and who died at the young age of 24.

Ringing the Bell

Prelude      Troubled Water by Margaret Bonds  




Gathering Hymn     

#1067, Mother Earth, Beloved Garden                     


Words & Music – Amanda Udis-Kessler

Performed by Brian Kenny, Alena Hemingway, &
Mike Menefee                                


Chalice Lighting                                                                              


Reflection      Water in Religion 


A Time for Community & COVID Update



We respect the interdependent web of life and work for a just and peaceful world. We encourage the search for truth and meaning, strive for compassion in our relationships and seek values that will benefit our lives and the lives of others. This is our covenant.

Respetamos todos los estilos de vida dentro de su red interdependiente y trabajamos por un mundo justo y pacifico. Alentamos la búsqueda de la verdad y la comprensión total. Nos esforzamos por mantener compasión en nuestras relaciones y buscamos valores que beneficien nuestras vidas y las vidas de los demás.
Este es nuestro convenio.

Joys, Sorrows and Concerns

Pastoral Meditation Video                                                 


Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists

Photos by Joe Braun, Music by Randy Peterson


A Time for Generosity                                                                                        


Offertory Music                                                                                        

More Waters Rising


by Saro Lynch-Thomason, arr. Saunder Choi

Chloe Vaught, Jyvonne Haskin, Saunder Choi and Christopher Jobst, vocals


Introduction of Charles Fishman, Guest Speaker                          


Talk      How to Fix Water, When Water Isn’t the Problem


#74, On the Dusty Earth Drum       


Words by Joseph S. Cotter, Music by Friedrich Filitz


Benediction and Extinguishing the Chalice                                    



Down to the River/Shall We Gather at the River,                              

Traditional American Spirituals, arr. by Pepper Choplin




Feedback about today’s service: Email
Cathy Cánepa at ccanepamd@gmail.com


Coming Up Next

Sunday, September 20

"What About Prayer”
Rev. Tom Rosiello


Some people find that praying is a natural and comfortable practice that becomes a part of every day or a fervent appeal in difficult times. Many such prayers are petitionary, asking a God to intervene and cause something to happen or not happen. For those who do not believe in an interceding God, prayer may seem silly or a waste of time at best. Some feel prayer is
superstitious and that today people are too advanced for such a practice. But is it? Or is praying rewarding for everyone? Is prayer something to practice, regardless of belief? Are there benefits in praying? The Reverend Tom Rosiello, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of
San Miguel de Allende, will explore these questions in the Fellowship’s September 20 online Service.

Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote that "more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." Rev Rosiello believes that there is truth in that statement. "I can't say if prayer changes God,” Rev. Rosiello admits. However, he recognizes that in important ways prayers often change the praying person. “Perhaps we transform ourselves by praying", he suggests. 

After all, prayer can be many different things. It can be ancient words recited by rote. Or as Unitarian Minister Ralph Waldo Emerson described it, prayer can be "the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view." Or as Mary Oliver described it in her poem The  Blue Iris, prayer can express a few words patched together that allow one to enter through a doorway into a space where another voice may speak. 

This Sunday’s multimedia-enriched Zoom service will explore the theme of prayer in several ways, including through music from various traditions and styles. Gospel singers and opera divas will add not only a message about prayer but also energy and beauty to the service.

Singing will include hymns that express Unitarian Universalism’s traditions and approaches to prayer. Likewise, musician Malcolm Halliday will perform prayerful music on the great organ at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts.

                            (Part Four)

How We Serve Each Other


This week we describe some ways in which the Fellowship serves its members. Through Member Services, the Children’s Program, and the Care Team, our UU family demonstrates its love and support for one another. Next week, we discuss our service within the larger community.

Member Services

Member Services is a team that looks forward to greeting visitors and members as we arrive at live services. We encourage everyone to wear a name badge, and introduce visitors to regular attendees so they have made at least one acquaintance before the service starts. At coffee hour following the services, our volunteers circulate and extend a warm welcome to visitors. Often these conversations result in the “newbies” stopping by our Information Table to learn about and sign up for an abundance of activities. While we miss connecting with those who visit our Zoom Sunday Services, we appreciate everyone who extends a warm welcome to those who are new.


One of the favorite activities is our monthly Circle Cena (cena implying dinner in Spanish). These opportunities to connect in each other's homes for a few hours have allowed many to develop and deepen relationships and explore more about the workings of our Fellowship and community.  In adjusting to our virtual world, we have just relaunched our Circle Cena: same timeframe, first Monday of each month from 6-8 pm CT. No one needs to rush to sign up as we have unlimited virtual capacity. Look in the upcoming newsletter for connecting information. These gatherings will continue to offer camaraderie for all. Breaking News: This event is changing its name to “UU Mixer Happy Hour.”


We are also very enthused that soon we will have an online password protected Photo Directory of our members. It's always nice to recognize each other!


If any of you have suggestions for supporting membership or want to help us, please direct your comments to our Committee Chair, Chris Chase, at chris.chase1955@gmail.com


Children’s Program 

Perhaps the most magical part of our Fellowship is the joy we feel when children attend each Sunday. Starting with seeing the children before us at a live service, then watching as they carefully carry a flame from our Chalice back to their classroom, we adore watching them blossom. The UU curricula they have been guided through with their regular teachers and assistant have inspired them to live our UU principles, including the recent successful initiation and completion of two social action activities. One of these efforts provided nearly 200 elderly low-income Mexican seniors with rice; the other donated bees to nine families in need so their honey could provide a livelihood for these families. Of course, heartfelt gratitude goes to all the adults in our Fellowship who modelled how UUs like to support social action projects.


Care Team

The UU Fellowship Care Team exists to support members of the Fellowship who are in need due to illness or accident. Care Team members are all volunteers and offer visits, drop off meals and assist with other short-term needs. Our Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello, is part of the Care Team and available for short term pastoral care. When possible, the Care Team will assist with transportation for doctors’ appointments. The Team also serves as a resource for health-related information: such as doctor names, hospitals, and care giving services available in San Miguel de Allende and has created a resource directory for your use. Please contact Care Team Co-Chairs Francoise Yohalem (francoise.yolahem@gmail.com) or Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu .
For pastoral care, please contact Rev. Tom Rosiello, 415-120-2119, tomrosiello@gmail.com

Tom’s Coffee Hour Discussion, Tuesdays (9:30am)
Email Diana Amaya for sign up info: info.uufsma@gmail.com

Tuesday Discussion group, September 15 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone.   
Topic:  An important early life lesson.
Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81997626702


Thursday Discussion group, September 17 (11:30am)
The Thursday Zoom discussion group is led by Trish Snyder. 
Topic:  Life lessons: What have we learned after all our years of living, loving, working and making mistakes?
New members and visitors to our Sunday program are especially invited.
Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/857215447


Please contact jane.wilkinson@gmail.com if you are interested in joining one of these groups. Space is limited!  


Friday Buddhist Group, Sangha of the Heart (10:00am)

Regular participation is encouraged or drop-in when you want.


Please email Joan at joanwolf@umich.edu. if you would like to be added to the Sangha of the Heart email list and receive the Zoom link in a weekly reminder.

Saturday Discussion Group for people living alone, (4:00pm)

Helen Rivas-Rose is the moderator. To join this group, please contact Helen, at helycres@icloud.com or jane.wilkinson@gmail.com.

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico