UUFSMA Newsletter February 11, 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.

For Special Music at yesterday's service we had an unusual treat. Award-winning pianist and arranger, Ken Bichel, with cast members from the new romantic musical commedy, Bikers in Camelot, sang a couple of songs from the show. 

Created by Wendy Bichel, a veteran Broadway writer, the show will be at the San Miguel Playhouse from February 20th to March 3rd.

The 2019 Pledge/Membership Drive is underway! Your financial support makes you a full-fledged member with voting rights at annual meeting, helping set the course for the year. We have a lot to look forward to with enriched Sunday Services by our affiliate minister, Tom Rosiello, our visiting ministers program, superb music, a growing children's program, and many social opportunities. Your support makes possible our continued contributions to NGOs here in the Mexican community. To become a member, fill out a pledge form at the Fellowship or go to the website, www.uufsma.org.

The UUFSMA Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 24 at noon following the Sunday Service. In order to vote at the Annual Meeting, you must be a 2019 member by March 4, 20 days before the meeting.

See you there!

Care Team

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. - James Keller

Today, the Care Team announced that Gloria Brown has agreed to join us as a co-chair.  Thank you, Gloria!  We look forward to working with you.

In her address to the UU Fellowship this Sunday, Françoise Yohalem reminded the audience that the Care Team can only help members! So, if you think that in the future you might need our services, make sure you are a member!

Trish Snyder had a fall and damaged her kneecap.  She is doing very well, as chipper as ever. If you know Trish and would like to give her a call, or see if she's up for a visit, you can reach her at 121 0612 or 

Free Workshop
On February 22nd and 23rd, the Care Team will offer training led by Rev. Heather Janules, called: The Art of Caring.  As a caring community we support and care for one another in whatever way we can - whether by visiting, offering meals, rides to medical appointments or simply by giving our supportive thoughts and care. YOU DO NOT have to be an official member of our Care Team to join us and increase your awareness of how giving care can enrich your own experience of living, sharing, and supporting….

If you are interested, please contact Lydia Jane or Françoise to receive more details about this forthcoming workshop.

If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does, please contact either 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
Gloria Brown: 415-121-0206,  brownglo55@yahoo.com

For a copy of the Medical Resource directory, contact either Lydia or Francoise.
What's Buzzing with the Children's Program
The children would like to save up their offering money for a project through Heifer International that will equip a family in Africa with a batch of bees. For $30 USD or around 500p, this gift donation will supply a bee package, hive, box and training for the receiving family in beekeeping techniques. The gift:
  • Boosts income through sales of honey, wax and pollen
  • Stimulates growth of the family’s crops through pollination

Heifer International says that "healthy beehives can double fruit and vegetable yields of small farms."

So far the children have raised approximately 80p.

Four year old, Elliott Gilbertson, in front of t
able with the valentines the children made for Care Team recipients. 

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, February 12, 10:15 am, Racism, sexism: Where are we? Where should we be? Should we judge others? 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, February 13, 1:30pm, Fiamma Pizzeria, Salida a Celaya 6.


Women's breakfast group meets at Oso Azul, Zacateros 17 at 9:30 each Saturday morning. As the weather gets cooler, be sure to seek out the group in one of the inside spaces. 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, March 4, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.

Sunday, February 17, 10:30am  


Filling the Whole

Rev. Andrea Abbott



At this week’s Unitarian Universal Fellowship Service, The Rev. Andrea Abbott, minister of The First Universalist Society of Central Square, examines the plague of the U.S. unchecked opioid/drug crisis through the eyes of one whose impoverished rural community has been hard hit.

Rev. Abbott shapes her talk around a discussion of three books that offer controversial analyses of these devastating social issues-- Dreamland: the True Tale of America’s Opium Epidemic by Sam Quinones, and two works by Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs and Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.

Sam Quinones’ work takes one from Mexico to the U.S. in his search for the humans behind the current opioid crisis while Johann Hari offers a challenge to both the current ‘war on drugs’ and the mental health establishment. Taken together, these books offer some controversial observations on the reasons for the related epidemics of drug use and mental illness. Though many might disagree with the analyses of the problem, these books offer new insights into current culture.

In particular, Johann Hari’s work challenges much of the received wisdom in these areas and provides a radical new vision of the solution for both the epidemic of drug addiction and mental illness. His vision is at odds with the widely accepted ideas of the mental health establishment and one that puts our way of life on trial, rather than the mentally ill or the addicted. As a minister of a small church in an impoverished rural area, and as one who has worked in a number of human service settings, Rev. Abbott found these works a refreshing answer to the question we all ask—Why is there so much human misery in such an affluent society?              

This is the Rev. Abbott’s fifth year to speak in San Miguel de Allende. She is the minister of The First Universalist Society of Central Square, located in a rural area of upstate New York north of Syracuse. She has served the congregation for more than ten years, first as student minister and then as minister. A graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Seminary, Andrea came to the ministry late in life, with previous careers in human services, teaching, and librarianship. Prior to becoming a minister, she served for twenty years as librarian at Auburn Correctional Facility, a men’s maximum-security prison in Central New York.

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 AM at the Hotel Lla Aldea or check out our website at  uufsma.org.


Social Action

Tuesday February 19th at 6.00 pm. 
Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca.

Documentary film: “Walk With Us”

 back by popular demand



The migrant crisis through the eyes of Pastor Ignacio Martinez, the founder of ABBA safehouse in Celaya,


“It’s not about us - it’s about the dignity of our brother ‘travellers”.


It started when Ignacio heard Central American migrants were waiting at the tracks to jump trains . He and his family took them food, but soon discovered their huge needs .Some were sick, there was nowhere to wash or sleep. So he founded ABBA, where  they can rest, receive food and medical and psychological help . 


The film shows the gap between President Trump calling migrants  “rapists and criminals” -  and the sad reality. Most are escaping abject poverty and gang violence in  El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala . Their governments  - backed by the US for decades, - are enmeshed in endemic corruption The migrants’ dreams of a better life in the USA have been met by tear gas at the border.


They are part of a worldwide crisis - 68 million migrants are on the move. The ravages of climate change will create millions more. Yet nations refuse them. Britains’ Brexit aims to ban them. Many Syrians, Afghanis and Iraqis languish in sordid camps in Greece, or are beaten from the borders of Croatia, Hungary and Poland.  The irony is that many countries have aging populations and declining birthrates. So immigrants – who do the work that no one wants – are needed.


In this world of nationalism and xenophobia, Ignacio’s work is vitally important


“They are people like us, with rights and dreams of a better life, and hoping to create opportunities for their children.”


ABBA is supported by Caminamos Juntos, The Latin American Relief Project, the traintracks  Migrant Relief Project and Stan Allens’ ‘shoes for migrants”


The directors will be present:

Judy Jackson’s life was threatened many times as she made films documenting  dictatorship, torture, disappearance,.

Dennis Lanson’s work has appeared on PBS and at many festivals. He is  making a film about a dying Newfoundland town.

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
Judith Rosenthal, 1st VP, 154-9659, judithr@mail.fresnostate.edu
Chris Chase, 2nd VP, 170-4544, Chris.Chase1955@gmail.com

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, 152-8019, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com
William Dalsimer, Secretary, 917-991-7841, wrdalsimer@gmail.com
Eleanor Goodwin, 152-5700, epgoodwin@hotmail.com
Jim Harper, 152-2380, smaharper@yahoo.com
Paula Peace, 102-1072, paulapeace@bellsouth.net 
Peter Podesta, 101-0904, parlino27@gmail.com

Dick Snyder, 121-0612, rcs39@aol.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
Gloria Brown,  brownglo55@yahoo.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.


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

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico