UUFSMA Newsletter February 10, 2020

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.

The UUFSMA Pledge Drive was launched yesterday in a Souper way! 
A warm welcome to Ann and Walter Power and all our other first time visitors yesterday.

We look forward to getting to know you better when you visit us again and hope your schedule might allow you to join us in some of our upcoming activities.  
The next UUF Board of Directors meeting will be Thursday, February 13 at 1:00pm. If you wish to attend, please contact Board President, John Simsarian at jcsimsarian@yahoo.com.

The Membership Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 22 at 12:00 noon following the Sunday Service. This is an important meeting for the Fellowship.

Please mark your calendars and attend.

Please join us for 
A Celebration of the Life of 
Jon Sievert
Wednesday, February 12 at 2PM
at the Hotel Aldea  
(usual UU meeting space) 

Care Team
Good news from Massachusetts! Luisa Field is making progress in her recovery from her bypass surgery. She is in rehab and would love to hear from you! Email: agnini38@gmail.com  We miss you Luisa!
Agnes Olive fell while at the beach and cracked her pelvis. She is recovering at Sofi Cares assisted living facility in Santa Julia. Please call her if you want to visit: Her number is 315-113-4046.

A Training Workshop for Care Team members and others interested in the work of the Care Team will be held on Saturday, March 21, 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Quinta Loreto Hotel.
This all day workshop is open to all who would like to know more about the Care Team and its work, and learn about End of Life care and issues in our town.
We are planning a morning session to be led by Reverend Tom Rosiello on: “The Gift of your Presence.” Several other speakers will make a short presentation followed by a panel discussion..
The afternoon session will be led by Lydia Jane Failing and will focus on End of Life issues and offer spiritual and practical information by a panel of experts.
Details will be posted at a later date.
If you would like to help, please contact Francoise at francoise.yohalem@gmail.com or Lydia Jane at Lydiajane56@gmail.com

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

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 -
415-122-2119,  tomrosiello@gmail.com
Françoise: 415 149 3053, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu 

Calendar of Activities

All are welcome to attend any and all UUFSMA activities. Please join us!

Tuesday Discussion Group, February 11, 10:15 am, If you could do part of your life over again, what age would that be? If you could do it over, what would you choose? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone. The group meets at the Quinta Loreto restaurant at Loreto 15.


Wednesday Lunch Bunch, February 12, 1:30pm, Cancelled due to the Memorial Service for Jon Sievert.

Saturday Men's breakfast group, men meet in the Jardin at 9:30am in front of the Parroquia and decide where to eat. 

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, March 2, 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Exploring Unitarian Universalism

A Three Session Course taught by

the Rev. Tom Rosiello

February 4, 11 and 18  (all Tuesdays) 

from 1:30 to 3:30 PM

Offered free of charge to UUFSMA members

Have you wondered about where this religious tradition comes from? What are its roots? Did you know that six US presidents were Unitarians? That the vast majority of famous 19thcentury American authors were Unitarians? Did you know that the leaders of almost every social justice movement from abolition to womens suffrage, from prison reform to proper treatment for the mentally ill in 19th and 20th  Century United States were either Unitarians or Universalists? Did you know that we were the first denomination to ordain women and openly gay ministers? Did you know that today there are 400 Unitarian churches in Transylvania? Do you wonder why we light a chalice at the beginning of our service and why we have a covenant?  

To explore these questions and many more, you are invited to a three-session class on Unitarian Universalist history, theology, polity and traditions taught by our Affiliate Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello. The course will be offered on Tuesdays, February 4, 11, and 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at Tom and Malcolm
s home in Los Frailes. (Directions will be provided with registration confirmation.)  Space is limited and the course is offered free of charge to UUFSMA members and will be on a first come first served basis. Sign up sheets are located on the Welcome Table after services in February or you can email Tom directly at tomrosiello@gmail.com to register.

Sunday, February 16, 10:30am


What Makes God Laugh


Rev. Ned Wight



This week the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende (UUFSMA) welcomes Rev. Ned Wight, who will share “divine correspondence” illuminating the question, “What Makes God Laugh?” 

Many of us grew up thinking that risibility and religion were incompatible. Not so, claims Rev. Wight, the recently retired Interim Senior Minister at the UU Congregation of Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY.  “Humor is healing, and laughter lightens our lives."

In this Sunday's sermon, he intends to demonstrate that humor and a light touch can be compatible with sacred subjects. Other members of the congregation will join with him in sharing a rare collection of letters from notable figures – both biblical and historical - that cast light on a divine sense of humor. Come prepared to smile.

Born in Baltimore, MD on Mozart's birthday in 1947, Ned Wight grew up in Battle Creek, MI and Gresham, OR, where he was affiliated with Congregational and Methodist churches. The son of a Unitarian father and an Episcopalian mother, he gravitated quite logically toward King's Chapel when he moved to Boston in 1970, after having completed four years at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA and a year at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. After serving as a take‑out specialist or “soda jerk” for several months, Ned landed a job in the data processing department of the Boston Model City Administration.  Several years later, he returned to school, securing an M.S. in Public Relations from Boston University. Afterward, for seven years, he worked in the public affairs department of the Harvard Community Health Plan and then for three years at public relations and advertising agencies. 

Dissatisfied on that vocational track, in 1988, Ned enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School. After graduation and ordination, he served UU congregations in Belmont, MA and La Mesa, CA. Ned was a district trustee on the national UU Association (UUA) Board for five years. In 2006 he became Executive Director of Shelter Rock’s unique UU Veatch Program, which provides grants to progressive organizations for social change. In mid-2016 he began a three-year term as Interim Senior Minister at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, from which he retired in August 2019. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and as a member of the Advisory Board of the UUA’s Beacon Press. 

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

Welcoming Congregation Task Force

The group met and set in motion many of our goaks for the next 18 months as we accomplish all the checkpoints necessary to receive Welcoming Congregation status from UUA.

Our plans will be presented to the Board for its information and to request permission to go forward with specific tasks.


In the meantime, Task Force members will be preparing as facilitators by training for three small group sessions to be offered to the Fellowship. A class will be held in March for those who will be facilitating. If you are interested in being part of this group, please contact Donna Shubrooks. donnashubrooks@gmail.com. Next meeting is March 28th, which also will serve as the training session.


Xenophobia (fear of other/aliens) is harmful to the one fearing and the one being feared. We wholeheartedly welcome and include everyone into our congregation and look forward to your participation in this learning process.

Three Neighborhood groups meeting soon. Check them out!

The Centro Neighborhood Connection will meet on February 13 for a
potluck happy hour for those who live in Centro, Atastadero, or Balcones.

The Guadiana Neighborhood Connection will meet on February 18 for a
potluck happy hour for anyone who lives in Ojo de Agua, Allende, Caracol, or

The San Antonio Neighborhood Connection will meet on February 24 for a
potluck happy hour. 

If you live in any of these areas and have not received an email about the event, please notify Diana Amaya at di.diana.amaya@gmail.com.


Usually a Neighborhood Connection gathers in the home of a volunteer host for a potluck happy hour from 5 pm to 7 pm.  All attendees contribute a finger food to share and bring their own beverage. Many UU friends are made this way.

If you are willing to host an event, contact Diana Amaya at di.diana.amaya@gmail.com.

Small Group Discussions 

The group discussion of We: Reviving Social Hope has been rescheduled to Friday February 21 at 2:00 at Calzada de la Luz #42 (near the corner with Loreto). The author, Ron Aronson, will skype in for our discussion.

If you would like to participate in discussion, sign up with Cliff DuRand by email to global.justice.cliff@gmail.com. You are expected to have read the book in advance.


If you have an idea about a new group, please pass your suggestions to Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com Chair, Member Services.

Social Action
The UUFSMA Social Action Committee (SAC) has been in existence since 2002. A large part of its work has involved reviewing and making funding recommendations on grant proposals from local Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). These grants help improve the quality of life for Mexicans living in and around San Miguel. In 2019 the UUFSMA provided financial support to 11 NGOs with $45,000 USD in grants, representing about half of the Fellowship’s annual income. In addition, each quarter, the SAC and the Congregation help identify organizations with special, often one-time needs, for which the entire Sunday offering is given. We call these donations our “Blue Plate Specials.”

This year the SAC has expanded its activities in several ways by:

* Providing updates to the Congregation before each Sunday offering, detailing progress
grantees are making on the projects the UUFSMA has helped to fund.
* Acting as a conduit to the Board of Directors with information about local social justice
initiatives such as Climate Strikes and Calls to Action on the Migrant Crisis.
* Partnering with members of the Congregation and local organizations to provide small
group discussions and action steps members can take to address Climate Action – the 13th of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals.

If you are visiting San Miguel or live here part time, we are interested in learning about the
social action/social justice work of your US or Canada-based congregation. Please feel free to take a flyer from the Welcome Table, share it with folks, and act as a bridge between your congregation and us, so that we can learn more about them and possibly find ways to partner with each other. Thank you!

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM and all are welcome. For
more information, please contact Rebecca Langrall (rlangrall22@gmail.com) or Dick Snyder (rcs39@aol.com), Co-Chairs.
The Social Action Committee sponsors an ongoing food and supply drive for the migrants on the train tracks in Comonfort and those sheltered at ABBA House in Celaya.  More and more families are in need of help, especially with these items:

Items Needed:
Multi-use powdered soap, Cloro, Knorr suiza  (chicken bullion), Salt, Sugar, cooking oil
pasta along with can or carton of tomato sauce, Instant coffee, Bandaids, talcum powder, socks (a never ending supply is needed), Sanitary napkins, Underwear (men's and women's).

Medications needed:
Omeprazol (gastrointestinal)
Contac &  Agrifen (cold medications)
Paracetamol (pain & fever)
Ketarolaco (pain, anti-inflammatory) 
Naproxeno (pain, anti-inflammatory) 
Miconazol crema (skin infections)
Vitacilina (anti-bacterial, skin infections)

Members and friends are encouraged to bring what you can each Sunday and drop it into the two large plastic bins near the sign-in table. Stan Allen and Luisa Field will take the items after the service each week to distribute to those in need. Thanks to all for your continued support of ABBA House and the migrants. Together, we can make an important difference in the comfort of these families as they journey toward a better future.
                            In Her Shoes

We are collecting 303 pairs of women's shoes in good condition for an art installation on March 8 for Ser Mujer. The 303 pairs represent the number of women who were victims of homicide or femicide last year in the state of Guanajuato. The shoes will then be donated to women migrants. Bring your shoes to the UU service next Sunday and place in the marked container. Thank you.
Non Profit Organizations Supported by the UUFSMA
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/
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/.

Click on this link for Caminos de Agua's Year End 2019 Message - https://mailchi.mp/2d0d6306e560/do-twice-as-much-good-4724697?e=e29714f28e
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/.

Caminamos Juntos Newsletter
CJ Annual Report 2019

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/.

Click on this link for 2019 Year End News  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1?ui=2&ik=918a4a7f08&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f:1651959914596773209
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.
Escuela de Educación Especial is the only school of its kind in Guanajuato offering preschool to high school levels in Mexican Sign Language to children who are Deaf. Our mission is to ensure that all San Miguel de Allende children who are Deaf become literate, independent, and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals.The grant will partially pay the salary of the Academic Director/Administrator. http://www.eeesma.com/.
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/ 

Update of activities 2019
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/

Read the latest JA newsletter by clicking on this link - 
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 suppllies. https://www.mujeresencambio.org/
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/
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/.

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 2019-2020 (as of April 1, 2019)

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 McDowell, 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 
Rebecca Langrall, 415-151-0065, 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, 

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
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Joan Wolf

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

Circle Cena
Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Tuesday Discussion Group
Liz Stone, elmendorf7@aol.com

Sunday Services
Paula Peace, paulapeace@bellsouth.net
Cathy Canepa, ccanepamd@gmail.com

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

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

Membership Services
Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com

Neighborhood Groups
Diana Amaya, di.diana.amaya@gmail.com 

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

Peter Podesta, parlino27@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

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico