UUFSMA Newsletter February 18, 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.

Member Profile

Nora Cohen is known to many in our congregation as “the cookie lady” because she bakes those delicious cookies we have after Sunday Service with our coffee. When she goes back to Oregon every March, we sorely miss both her and her cookies!

Nora was raised partly in Rio de Janeiro (her father was Brazilian) and partly in Philadelphia. She went to Rio before attending college, where she became interested in the “favelas”, their slums. When she returned to the US, 

she landed in Eugene, Oregon. There, she received a scholarship to attend the Honors College at the University of Oregon.

During her studies, she joined a research team going to Cali, Colombia where she became interested in the poor quality of public education in the poverty-stricken areas. When she returned to Eugene, she decided to earn her Master’s Degree in Education and her doctorate at Temple University, specializing in talented and creative students. She has taught in many places, including the University of Melbourne in Australia, and finally settled in Corvallis, Oregon where she taught at Oregon State University.

Nora and her husband, Mickey, started spending winters in SMA in 2011. She came to a UU service at first because she wanted help with her husband’s health problems and had heard that we are a group of very compassionate people. We exceeded her expectation and she has been a member of our fellowship ever since. They bought a house in the San Antonio neighborhood thanks to Ellie Goodwin.

Her main passion is the bi-lingual children’s books she writes. You can learn more about those at her website   http://leonoracohenbooks.webstarts.com . Nora is looking for some help in marketing these books through social media in both the USA and Mexico. You can contact her at cohenl@oregonstate.edu.

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

We have transferred the data from the Medical Resource Directory over to the DiscoverSMA.com website. The medical community is changing so rapidly it was  difficult to keep the information accurate and up-to-date and it was difficult to search.
You can either use the search bar, or go to Business Directory / Medical Services, then various sub-categories. The site owner does searches on the services listed to garner website and other relevant information. You can read others' reviews of the services they received, and give you own review for others to see.  
Ron Lenox, the website owner, does not charge for the listings, he does it as a public service to the SMA community.  
Here is a link to show you how to use it,  https://youtube/Jpuv8jB9lX4, and we will be having a presentation on using it after Service in the next few weeks. Let me know if you have questions or need help using it - lydiajane56@gmail.com or call 415-149-3784.

Eileen Carafiol will be presenting an expanded version of the "Medicare in Mexico" lecture on Tuesday, February 26th at La Casona Convention Center, Salida a Celaya 77. It will be a two-hour seminar from 2-4pm. She will go into more detail about exactly what to look for in Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans to determine whether emergency care provided in Mexico will be reimbursed by Medicare. She will walk you through the steps to finding these Medicare insurance plans and will offer practical advice on how to meet the all-important “residency” requirement rules. Tickets are available through PayPal ($40US) at  MedicareMx@gmail.com or at Solutions, Recreo 11 ($700p).  Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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 Francoise, Lydia Jane or Gloria.

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
What's Buzzing with the Children's Program

After reading the most beautifully illustrated book, Old Turtle, which explored different ideas of God, our Fellowship's children molded colored pipecleaners to help them memorize the color-coded seven UU principles.
The end of another joyful session. Everyone holding the fabric with knots, saying together:
We are connected to each other.......
 Like the knots in this circle........
 We will go out from here........
 And  we will return....... 
 Weaving our spirits strong........
 and our love, many colors.

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, February 19, 10:15 am, Why are we so divisive both politically and socially? Is it a case of fear of others? Are we any better off from using this strategy? 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 20, 1:30pm, Los Milagros, Calle Relox 17, between San Francisco & Mesones. 


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, 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 24, 10:30am  


Cultivating Kindness

Rev. Tom Rosiello



This Sunday, The Rev. Tom Rosiello, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Affiliate Minister, leads a worship service focused on “cultivating kindness.” When the Dali Lama was asked to describe his religion, he quickly responded, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

Teachings of kindness and compassion are at the heart of every major world religion. Yet we live in a world often lacking in even the simplest forms of kindness and compassion at the level of both interpersonal relationships and even government policy.

Rev. Rosiello puts it this way: “We all know how wonderful it feels when someone treats us with kindness, especially in a time of need. We too have experienced the joy that comes back to us when we are kind to others. Yet so often we are held back in expressing it. How many times a day do we pass up the opportunity to really be kind to someone? How often is kindness and compassion an essential consideration when making decisions? As Unitarian Universalists we say that we affirm and promote compassion in human relationships. It seems to me that we need to find ways to cultivate the expression of that kindness and compassion for others.”

This inspiring message is expressed in spoken words and in a variety of musical selections, and it includes a special message for children based on the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. Musicians for the service include brother and sisters, Malcolm Halliday (pianist, vocalist), Marion Halliday (folk singer and song writer) and Jane Halliday (violinist and vocalist), who will be joined by friends Meghan Cary (guitarist and vocalist) and Peter Farrell (keyboard.) The music includes two original songs performed by their composers and a moving interpretation of David Friedman’s song “We Can Be Kind,” which captures the essence of the service.

All are welcome to attend the service. Families with young children are encouraged to bring them to participate in the first part of the service and in the morning’s religious education program. If you have been looking for a spiritual community that will care about you and cultivate your own kindness towards others, this would be a wonderful Sunday to join us.

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.


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.

Escuela de Educación Especial or San Miguel School for Special Education is presenting the 2018 Academy Award Winning Short Film, The Silent Child, with a special screening of this inspiring work on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019. 
This insightful story is inspired by the real-life experiences of a deaf child. Observing one of the loneliest and also avoidable struggles that deaf children face, in Mexico and around the globe, is very moving. Almost 80% of deaf children attend mainstream schools with no specialized support in place. This is reflected in the grades of these children as well as their mental health and well being.
The event will also be an opportunity to announce and celebrate EEESMA’s new partnership with Amistad Canada. This partnership allows Canadians to receive tax receipts for donations to the school. See  www.amistadcanada.org for more information. We hope to see many of our Canadian friends at the screening but, of course, film enthusiasts from all countries will be warmly welcomed. 
Please join us in showing our encouragement and support for the children and young adults attending Escuela de Educación Especial, a non-profit association where a bilingual model of Mexican Sign Language and written Spanish is used to provide an education to deaf children from preschool through high school; as well as building dreams and hope for the future.
Date: Tuesday, Feb 26th, 2019
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Teatro Santa Ana, Reloj 50, SMA
Tickets: MXN$250 available at the theatre box office
Includes a wine and cheese reception following the 20-minute long film.
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.


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