UUFSMA Newsletter April 29, 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.

Tuesday, April 30 is

Children's Day in Mexico.

Make a kid feel special!!

Care Team

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

Joan Wolf has graciously agreed to join us as a Co-chair for the Care Team.  She will be responsible for keeping our Client List up-to-date, and monitor care support from the Care Team members. Thank you, Joan!
Thanks to Diana Ellsworth for hosting the Care Team meeting last week in her lovely home. We had a great turn-out, everyone brought a delicious botana to share, and we closed out the end of our very busy season reflecting on all our accomplishments from the last year: We were able to help numerous members of our fellowship through difficult times, become much better organized, offered several workshops that were well-attended and appreciated, gained several new members, and were especially pleased to add Rev. Tom to our ranks!  We are so happy to be of service to our UU Fellowship, and look forward to more caring as we move into our "slower" time of year.
Jerry and Gloria Fastrup are most grateful for the visits, the food (especially from Care Team member Kathleen Bennett), the expressions of concern and caring they have received while Gloria was recovering from her surgery. She is making great progress and will soon be carefully walking the streets of San Miguel! 
Upcoming Seminars: 
International Health Insurance Seminar on May 2nd:
Presented by WeExpats Insurance Solutions. On Thursday, May 2nd at 10:00 a.m. sharp, Cafe Oso Azul, Zacateros 17. Space is limited and you must RSVP at:  support@weExpats.com
SkyMed Seminar on May 9th at 11:00 a.m. sharp, Cafe de Martin, Relox 41, Centro
Space is limited. Please RSVP to Sarah Ash at:  sarah.ash@skymed.com

If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does, please contact Francoise or Lydia Jane.

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 read reviews posted by others who have used their care.

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
Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu 
The Fellowship’s new identity group for LGBTQ+ folks met yesterday and had a great discussion. We named ourselves the Rainbow Group and we welcome members and friends to take part in our outreach. 

If you, or a friend would like to know more about us, please contact Arlene any Sunday or at  aavannote@msn.com
Would you like to make a gift of music to our Fellowship?
We have recently purchased new hymnals and we invite you to sponsor a hymnal! Your US tax-deductible donation of $35 US or $700 pesos will sponsor a new hymnal with your personalized text of dedication…beginning this upcoming Sunday, April 28.

We will have new hymnals ready for your dedication at the Welcome Table after Sunday’s service. Out of town but wish to sponsor some hymnals? No problem. Just email paulapeace@bellsouth.com and we will save some hymnals for you and tell you how to send payment by PayPal. 

This is a beautiful way to honor loved ones with a meaningful gift for our Fellowship!

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, April 30, 10:15 am, Life before and after 9/11. How did this event affect you? Have other disasters (assassination of JFK, etc.) changed how you view the world? How? 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, May 1, 1:30pm, La Grotta Pizza, Cuadrante 5.

The next UUFSMA Board Meeting will be on Thursday, May 2 at 1:00pm. Anyone wanting to attend, please contact President, John Simsarian at jcsimsarian@yahoo.com.

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, June 3 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, May 5, 10:30am  

Protecting the 2020 US Elections

Ben Ptashnik



At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, Ben Ptashnik, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC), discusses what his organization is doing to protect the integrity of the 2020 U.S. elections.

The NEDC is dedicated to reforming US elections by replacing all insecure electronic voting machines with paper ballots before the 2020 elections. The right to vote is the cornerstone of the US democratic Republic and profoundly affects every issue that concerns Americans. Yet that right is useless if our votes are not properly counted or lost, stolen, hacked or manipulated. The shocking vulnerability to error and undetectable fraud of the US current computerized voting systems fundamentally threatens the security of the nation, violates voting rights, and undermines the US system of governance.

NEDC is the only organization building an effective bipartisan movement to secure election reform that ensures integrity and transparency and protects the voting rights of all Americans. NEDC recently succeeded in getting Congress to allocate $380 million dollars to all 50 states for cyber security. But much more needs to be done.

In the recent red flag warning by intelligence agencies, the FBI, and Department of Homeland Security confirmed that foreign adversaries cyber-attacked election networks in all 50 states in 2016. Despite increased focus on security, American elections are a soft target. Leading computer security experts have studied a range of electronic voting infrastructure, including touch screen machines, optical scanners, and registration database systems and found serious vulnerabilities that threaten election integrity. A survey of about 300 election officials in 28 states discovered that a strong majority of state systems need security upgrades.

Ptashnik, a former Vermont State Senator, has been a social justice activist, environmentalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist for five decades. He currently lives with his partner Victoria at the Tikkun Eco Center just north of San Miguel. As a Senator, Ptashnik spearheaded and passed his state’s key campaign financing reforms, led in the fight to pass Vermont’s landmark Civil Union Act for LGBT couples, and helped make the State of Vermont an environmental leader in the US. His current project, NEDC, leads a coalition of 15 NGOs and hundreds of computer scientists and cyber experts ranging from far left to far right dedicated to preserving the security of US democratic elections. For more information see www.electiondefense.org and www.usbase.net.

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 www. uufsma.org.

Small Group Discussions 

For the tie that binds us to the UUF and to each other, we are offering small group discussions and invite you to participate. Some discussions last two hours; some groups will meet over time. All are on subjects of interest and facilitated by inspiring leaders.

Upcoming Short Discussions

What is Your Legacy?
Thinking about legacy prompts us to put our life into perspective -- making conscious choices about the kind of life we want to live. Our legacy is the part of ourselves that will be left in the hearts and minds of others we will leave behind. As we learn from our past, go through life in the present and foster our potential future, these experiences create our unique legacy. Our values, the examples we set, the paths we choose, the decisions we make, and the way we conduct our life, create our unique signature in this world. The question is what legacy will you leave? Are we living our lives to reflect the legacy we want to leave behind?

Join us for a meaningful small group discussion facilitated by UUF Board member Joanna Kafarowski at her home in Colonia San Antonio on Friday, May 24, 2-4 p.m.

Space is limited so please reserve your spot by emailing Joanna at joannakafarowski@gmail.com. Joanna will send her address to those who reserve.

Ongoing Small Groups

Women’s Group
Connect and interact with other women as we explore the multiple facets of womanhood. At the first gathering we'll decide when, where, and how often we will meet, group structure, and various topics that may be of interest. The goal is for women to have a place to express ideas, share experiences, reflect on the future and the past, laugh heartily, and, of course, make new friends.

All women who are UUF members or Friends are invited to this initial meeting, so come join us to plan how we will proceed. The first meeting will be hosted by Margo Johnson on Wednesday, May 15, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at her temporary home on Calzada de la Presa 14, Unit 3. Register for this group at margoj325@outlook.com 

Watch this space for more Small Group Discussions and Ongoing Groups

In the summer we expect to begin an ongoing group of Jewish UUs and Buddhist UUs.

If you have an idea about a new group, please pass your suggestions to Ellie Goodwin,  epgoodwin@hotmail.com or Joanna Kafarowski, joannakafarowski@gmail.com, co-chairs of the Member Services Team.

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
Our member Elsmarie Norby lives beyond the train tracks and has occasion to frequently pass there and see migrants and families of migrants traveling. She is offering to collect your donations of clothing, shoes, socks, backpacks, water and food items for travelers…and then share with those in need at the tracks.

Please bring your donations to her this coming Sunday, May 5 at the UUF service. She’ll be receiving your goods at the Welcome Table before and after the service.
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
Chris Kellogg,  christopher_louro@yahoo.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
Joan Wolf

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

Circle Cena
Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Discussion Group
Liz Stone, elmendorf7@aol.com

Sunday Services
Paula Peace, paulapeace@bellsouth.net

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

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

Neighborhood Groups
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.com

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

Small Group Discussions
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 
Joanna Kafarowski,  joannakafarowski@gmail.com


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

Social Action Committee
Dick Snyder, rcs39@aol.com 
Rebecca Langrall,  rlangrall22@gmail.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