UUFSMA Newsletter April 1, 2019

The Mission of this Fellowship is to serve the spirit as each individual understands it; to serve the educational and pastoral needs of our own community; and to serve our multicultural community through actions that further social justice.

Don't forget to set your clocks an hour ahead when you go to bed on Saturday night! As of Sunday, April 7th, Mexico will be in sync with the US and Canada...timewise at least.

Member Profile

Jane Wilkinson grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from The University of Michigan. She attended law school at Gonzaga University in Spokane and, after graduation, decided to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. She practiced within a law firm for the next 10 years. In the late 1980s, Jane became a Labor Arbitrator with her own practice and still does a little work today.

Starting in 2002, Jane and her husband, Bill, began exploring all over Mexico in a camper. Then, in 2007, 

they met Joyce and George Carlson (of our fellowship) and began traveling with them for a few years. 

When their camper fell apart Jane and Bill decided to stay in San Miguel. At first they rented a house, and then two years ago, they bought their house in the Barrio de la Aldea. Jane and Bill spend seven months each year in San Miguel and return to Portland the rest of the year.

Jane attributes their introduction to our UU fellowship as “proselytizing” on the part of their friends, the Carlsons. Jane is now on our Board of Directors where she serves as Treasurer.

One of Jane’s activities here is helping her husband with his Campos Project. Jane teaches English to kids and to a “Mom’s Group” in the village of Salitrillo out past La Presa. Thanks, Jane, for everything!


Care Team

It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.
-  Mother Teresa

Care Team Updates:
Lee Veal  recuperated from his gall bladder surgery and, although quite a bit thinner, has been his cheerful self at Sunday Services in the last two weeks. Thanks to all who provided him with 'care' during his emergency health situation.

Terry Daughtery is a 90-something retired artist who lives in Guadiana with her son Michael Hertz.  Terry has 24/7 caregivers, but would love to have English speaking visitors to brighten her days.  If you'd like to visit with her, contact Joan Wolf on the Care Team to make arrangements:   joanwolf@umich.edu, 154 9660.  

Gloria Brown is doing well after her fall, so much so she was able to attend the Care Team meeting last week.  She hopes to be getting her leg brace off in a couple of weeks and being ambulatory again.  If you'd like to visit, contact Gloria at  brownglo55@yahoo.com

Upcoming events:
Sunday April 7, after service, Janet Dunnett will give a brief talk on her experience as a caregiver for both her elderly parents. Janet has written a book about her experience, The Dwindling - A Daughter's Caregiving Journey to the Edge of Life. Janet has some deep insights into and suggestions for others in similar situations. The talk will be held In the back room at 12:15.
Sunday April 14, after service, Ron Lenox, who began and manages the  DiscoverSMA.com web site will give us a presentation on this powerful tool and how to best utilize all it has to offer. This will be held in the back room at 12:15.

Sofia Toledo Soto, who maintains several individual living assisted care townhomes in St. Celicia (above the S P A facility, across from the bus station more or less) has two spaces available for new residents.  The Care Team toured her residents' homes and was impressed by the level of care and concern that is provided.  See "Betty Jett" for contact information.  
If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does, please contact Francoise or Lydia Jane.

For pastoral care, please contact Rev. Tom Rosiello, 415-120-2119,  tomrosiello@gmail.com
Françoise: 415 149 3053,  francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Lydia Jane: 415 149 3784,  lydiajafa@yahoo.com

If you are in need of a healthcare professional, you will find a comprehensive listing on  DiscoverSMA.com, under the Business Directory tab, Medical Services.  You can search by specialty and/or name, and both write and read reviews posted by others who have used their care.  (see upcoming events) 
There will be a Celebration of life for David Garrity, husband of Ellie Goodwin, at the Aldea on April 10th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Rev. Tom Rosiello, Paula Peace, and Malcolm Halliday are planning a lovely service. There will be a casual tea-time reception following the service.

David loved children and reading. Donations in his memory will be accepted with gratitude by Libros Para Todos using this link:  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/big-read-for-children-in-rural-mexico/. Look for the Donate in Honor link at the bottom of the page.

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, April 2, 10:15 am,  Who are you? Do you like who you are? Have you had just one lifetime goal, or are you still developing? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone.The group meets at the Quinta Loreto restaurant at the sunny end, Loreto 15. 

Wednesday Lunch Bunch, April 3, 1:30pm, San Miguelessen, Stirling Dickinson 28.

Women's breakfast group meets at Oso Azul, Zacateros 17 at 9:30 each Saturday morning. All women are warmly invited.

Men meet in the Jardin at 9:30am in front of the Parroquia and decide where to eat. The regular guys would like some new faces to join them!

Circle Cena - The Circle Cena is a social gathering for people who meet at a host's house once a month for either a pot luck of botanas and dessert or a full course dinner. The hosts coordinate the event as to how many guests they can accommodate and who brings what food to share. As the groups change from cena to cena, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know other UUs.

The next Circle Cena is Monday, May 6, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.

Sunday, April 7, 10:30am  

Aging Courageously

Rev. Claudia Frost



At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, the Rev. Claudia Frost discusses the process and grace of aging courageously, a topic most relevant here in San Miguel.

According to Thomas Moore, “Aging is not about growing older but about living more fully and identifying more with our soul.” Through the aging process it’s possible to become more emotionally intelligent, sensitive, wiser, and more creative. When it comes to aging we have a choice about how we approach the changes, losses, and challenges that are part of growing older. Learning to celebrate aging while staying young in mind, imagination, and spirit takes courage and some changes in perspective. This means facing and overcoming, rather than avoiding, fears about getting older, compassionately greeting our older selves, carving out action plans for our best possible future, and making peace with life itself.

We all get dents and imperfections with the passing of time but there is still beauty. It’s helpful to remember the concept of Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese view that values the beauty of imperfection, impermanence, and the incomplete. In order to appreciate the value of an imperfect life, aging offers both the good and the bad. If you fight aging by complaining and doing nothing you’ll be miserable. Accept the inevitable, and do what you can to deal with a situation. It’s useless to get lost in the past longing for your youth or a different future. Rev. Frost will take a look at what it means to live our best lives at any age.

Rev. Claudia M. Frost is the minister of the Outlaw’s Bridge Universalist Church in rural eastern North Carolina. She is a 2008 graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, one of two remaining Unitarian Universalist seminaries. She was ordained in November 2008 by the Eno River UU Fellowship in Durham, NC, where she was the Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care. Claudia served her ministerial internship at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston, Texas from 2006 to 2007. Rev. Frost is a native of Texas, but she and her husband have chosen North Carolina as their home for more than 35 years. Claudia came to her career in ministry with more than 37 years as a Unitarian Universalist and 30 years of Intensive Care experience as a Registered Nurse.

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Children’s Religious Education program, Social Action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and Care Team, join us any Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hotel La Aldea or check out our website at uufsma.org.


Larry and I will not be returning to SMA, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say how much we have valued our participation in the services. I have always left the Sunday gatherings feeling inspired and positive. The world is faced with so many serious challenges and it is easy to become discouraged and cynical. The work by so many in the UUSMA are a potent reminder that we can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate, that we are, indeed, all one, and that only positive way forward is with open heartedness and kindness and service to others. 
Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the UUSMA family. 
Warmest regards and best wishes as you move forward in your service to others,
Margaret Thompson and Larry Davidson
Small Group Discuussion 

'It’s Always Something'…Change, Loss, & Resilience, Monday, April 15, 2:00-4:00pm.
Most people know that change and loss are inherent to life but being comfortable with that reality can challenge all of us. Let’s talk about adaptations to change or loss that you’ve observed in others or yourself. What does resiliency look like in times of challenge? What are the spiritual characteristics we need to cultivate to get us through difficult times?

This discussion will be led by guest minister, Rev. Claudia Frost, at Sue Edelstein and Bill Spence’s house at Privada San Rafael Norte 3, Col. San Antonio, 

'Two Kinds of Happiness', Wednesday, April 17, 2:00-4:00pm

There is happiness that depends on outer conditions. This kind of happiness is fleeting. The great wisdom traditions claim that there is a happiness that is deeper and not really dependent on outer circumstances. What that happiness is and how we can obtain it will be the topic of our discussion.This discussion will be led by visiting minister Rev. Arvid Straube at Privada San Rafael Norte 3, Col. San Antonio.

Reservations can be made with  epgoodwin@hotmail.com

If you are interested in hosting or leading a small group discussion in your home, please contact Ellie Goodwin at  the email above.

In May we are going to start up Neighborhood Connections of UUs for social and care taking.  If you are interested in connecting with your UU neighbors, the sign up sheet is on the Welcome Table.

Social Action

The UUFSMA Board of Directors approved twelve grants to local non profits for 2019. The list below shows the organizations, amount of funding and projects that are being funded. 

Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora provides micro-lending, education programs and sustainability projects to rural communities. This year’s funding will support the educational component of the micro lending program. http://apoyo.mx/
Funding: $1,142 USD.


Caminos de Agua provides open-source solutions for communities at-risk on our aquifer in Central Mexico. The funding will pay for a community engagement fellow. https://caminosdeagua.org/
Funding: $3,825 USD.


Caminamos Juntos helps meet the needs of Mexican Nationals deported from the United States.A network service coordinator will be hired to lead a complex effort to provide safe return services to deportees. https://www.cjsma.org/
Funding: $5,000 USD.

Casita Linda builds houses, helps create a sustainable environment, and provides workshops to help improve life for those living in poverty. The grant will pay for workshops to prepare families that are receiving a house on subjects such as community building, recycling, home maintenance and related issues. https://casitalinda.org/
Funding: $3,135 USD.   

CEDESA organizes communities for sustainable living in rural areas and will use their grant to support three community development specialists that train and lead communities in building cisterns, recycling, composting, community gardens and more.
Funding: $8,607 USD.

Escuela de Educación Especial is a school for persons with hearing impairment and the grant will partially pay the salary of the Academic Director/Administrator. http://www.eeesma.com/
Funding: $2,390 USD.

Fundación de Apoyo Infantil facilitates learning processes, using participatory methodologies to promote children’s rights and the protection of their environment. The grant will help pay for classroom recycling bins. http://faiguanajuato.org/ 
Funding: $500 USD.

Jóvenes Adelante provides university scholarships and support to financially challenged youth. The grant of $4,845 USD will continue to pay for the scholarship of four university students. A one time grant of $10,000 USD will be used to strengthen the Betse Davies Special Star Fund. http://www.jovenesadelante.org/
Funding: $14,845 USD 

Mujeres en Cambio provides scholarships to girls in rural communities to keep them in school.The grant will pay for five junior high and two high school students’ needs such as uniforms and supplies.  https://www.mujeresencambio.org/
Funding: $2,045 USD.

Patronato Pro Niños provides medical and dental care to area children. This year’s grant will help pay for radio announcements to inform rural communities where the dental clinics will be each day. http://www.patronatoproninos.org/
Funding: $4,000 USD.      

San Miguel Literary Sala, Libros Para Todos promotes reading among children in rural communities. The grant will provide a special book for elementary children to read and then bring the author to town to meet the recipient students. https://sanmiguelliterarysala.org/community-projects/
Funding: $500 USD.

Special Collections are also made on four Sundays to support specific NGO projects identified during the year.

A Special  Event you won’t want to miss!
Date: Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 Time: 10 am-2 pm
Place: Escuela de Educación de Especial de San Miguel de Allende Address: Calle Umarán 107, 
Tickets: MXN $300 applied towards your purchase of a wonderful creation. Includes refreshments and a mini fashion show.
The older students of the San Miguel School for Special Education will again be showcasing their wonderfully hand made creations for sale to the public. This year you will marvel at their much sought after and  uniquely crafted silver jewelry. From the carpentry workshop are finely made wine racks, artist’s easels, furniture pieces and fabulous end grain cutting boards. And from the sewing workshop are useful quilted casserole carriers, fabric shopping bags, misc cushions etc, and the debut of wonderfully embroidered and embellished denim jackets. The jackets will also be part of a mini fashion show and will be modeled by the students themselves. Many other wonderful kitchen and household items.
The price of admission goes toward your purchases. All items are offered at very reasonable prices. Proceeds of the event will benefit the school; adding sustainability to the Vocational Training Programs and providing an income to the graduating students.
If you are in San Miguel please don’t miss this exciting opportunity to find unique one of a kind gifts for yourself or for the special people in your lives. Looking forward to seeing you and a friend at this wonderful event.RSVP will be greatly appreciated.
For more information please email John Doherty at  jd98lv@hotmail.com
The "Plastic Madness" (La Locura del Plastico) Exhibition that opened at Casa Europa on San Francisco on March 4, has been extended to April 6. In the exhibition 30 area artists express their concern and raise awareness about our planet's plastic crisis by creating innovative art from cast off plastics. The Exhibition is open daily 11:00am to 5:00pm.
We received the following message from Kim Fairbanks who is coordinating the provision of necessary supplies to both the Tracks Team and ABBA House.  Both of these programs are providing supports to migrants passing through central Mexico. These items can be dropped off at the UU Service on Sundays, however, it is important that only these items are dropped off.  Other items can not be used and create a burden.
We definitely need items.  Luisa and Laura are going to Comofort each week, somtimes twice,  and finding up to 70 at a time.  I am also seeing more on the crossing in SMA.  

A list for the Tracks Team
Most important items now
Backpacks with holders for water on the sides
NEW tennis shoes size 6-8
NEW socks white or grey 
Baseball caps and knit hats
men's  underwear
medium size liteweight jackets
For children, coloring books and crayons, small plastic toys like trucks. small sweaters and socks
Hygiene items like small shampoos,  SMALL toothpastes, toothbrushes, bandaids, neosporin, but not more soap!
And of course, money to buy water and candy bars and food.  We are working on a source for funds but do not have anything now but our own pockets.
Welcome Table

At the Welcome Table we have, for your reading pleasure, the Community Connections brochure. It is filled with everything you ever wanted to know about the UUFSMA - a bit of history, events, who we are and what we do. Pick one up next Sunday.

Altar Flowers

Flowers are a lovely way to remember or honor someone dear to you. If you wish to have the Sunday flowers dedicated to someone special, please contact Cynthia Sterling at sterlingsilver33@gmail.com.

Electronic Payments

We are set up for electronic funds transfers and electronic bill pay payments for your pledges and other donations. For instructions, please contact jane.wilkinson@gmail.com.

And, now we have a link on our website for PayPal under the heading 'donations”.

To use PayPal or a credit card immediately, just click below!


The UUFSMA Newsletter is produced each week for members and friends of the congregation. Information should be submitted by Wednesday each week to denise.uufsma@gmail.com

Contact Us!

Board of Directors 2018-2019 (as of April 1, 2018)

John Simsarian, President, 154-4771, jcsimsarian@yahoo.com
William Dalsimer, 1st VP, 917-991-7841,  wrdalsimer@gmail.com
Chris Chase, 2nd VP, 170-4544, Chris.Chase1955@gmail.com

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, 152-8019, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com
Dan Neuspiel, Secretary, 415-154-5021, dneuspiel @gmail.com 
Bonney MeDowell, 415-145-7689, miko789@gmail.com
Eleanor Goodwin, 152-5700, epgoodwin@hotmail.com
Jim Harper, 152-2380, smaharper@yahoo.com
Joanna Kafarowski, 415 152 6111, joannakafarowski@gmail.com 
Becky Langrall, 503-860-3115, rlangrall22@gmail.com 

If you would like a copy of minutes from a Board of Directors meeting, please contact John Simsarian, President.

Affiliate Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello, tomrosiello@gmail.com 

                    Committee Chairs and Activity

Pledge Team
Trish Snyder,  trishsnyder49@gmail.com
Carolyn Simsarian,  jcsimsarian@yahoo.com

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com

Nominating Committee
Cynthia Claus, cclaus731@gmail.com

Administrator (OOS, website, newsletter, committee & board support)
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com 


Care Team
Lydia Jane Failing, l ydiajane56@gmail.com
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com

Children's Program
Chris Chase,  chris.chase1955@gmail.com

Circle Cena
Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Discussion Group
Liz Stone, elmendorf7@aol.com

Sunday Service Co-Chairs
Paula Peace, paulapeace@bellsouth.net
Diana Ekizian, djekizian@gmail.com

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

Greetings & Name Tags
Jim Harper, smaharper@yahoo.com 

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.com

Order of Service
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com


Social Action, Outreach and Publicity
Christie McGue, clmcgue@gmail.com

Social Action Committee
Dick Snyder, rcs39@aol.com 

Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com

Members regularly post updates and information on this site. You will need to create a Yahoo email address before joining.

To join our Yahoo group site create a Yahoo email account, then click on this link:


On the bottom right corner, click on 'Join Group' and follow the directions.


Facebook: “Like” us at: UU Fellowship of SMA. Website: www.UUFSMA.Org

Mail address: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA, Apdo 798, San Miguel de Allende 37700 Guanajuato, Mexico.

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico