UUFSMA Newsletter February 24, 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.

             Pledge Drive Update

Only one week to go to meet our $75,000 goal. We can do it!  If you have not had the chance to fill out a pledge card, please see greeter Jim Harper who will have pledge cards and envelopes as you enter on Sunday morning. Take a few minutes to fill out the card, place it in the envelope and drop it in the collection basket when it comes around. Thank you for every penny and peso to keep our fellowship and its mission strong.
Trish Snyder, Carolyn Simsarian and Christie McGue Pledge Team 2020

For information on ways to pay your pledge/donation in U.S. dollars with direct deposits or PayPal, please write uufsma.treasurer@gmail.com. And, If you are not in San Miguel and want to renew your membership and support of UUFSMA long distance, you can email your 2020 pledge to Jane.
A warm welcome to Jenny & Bruce Brooks, Marion Brown, Kathleen Gray, Peggy Harvey, Beverly Hill, Beth Lazer, Raul and the MANY other Visitors we welcomed to our service this week. It was a joy having you with us, and we look forward to your next visit.

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. 
In order to vote at the meeting, you need to be a  Pledging Member
by March 2nd.

Please mark your calendars and attend.

Care Team
Our warmest thoughts, and many loving hugs, are with Liz Stone whose husband, Mike, died peacefully at home a few days ago. We love you, Liz!

The Care Team is having its regular monthly meeting this Thursday at Quinta Loreto from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.  You are welcome to attend, but please let Joan or Françoise know.

The Care Team is finalizing the details for an all-day workshop planned for Saturday, March 21st. Look for a flyer with detailed information which will be available at the service next Sunday.

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 25, 10:15 am, Have you ever made a mistake? Did you know it was a mistake at the time? Was it really a mistake? Can we learn from our mistakes? 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 26, 1:30pm, La Cocina, Café de Viajero. Pila Seca 1.


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, April 6 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, March 1, 10:30am


Beginning With Blessing


Rev. Laurie Bushbaum



In this Sunday’s service at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende (UUFSMA), Rev. Laurie M. Bushbaum, a guest UU minister from Carbondale, CO, will ask, “What does it mean to give a blessing or to receive a blessing? And why has that been a traditional religious word that makes many religious liberals uncomfortable? Is ‘blessing’ a word we can reclaim with meaning and purpose?”

The poet James Wright describes a blessing given him by ponies along the side of a road in rural Minnesota. And a young Unitarian Universalist studying violin at Juilliard plays everything he has for the first responders at Ground Zero . Theologian Matthew Fox turned the whole concept of Original Sin upside down and begins his theology with Original Blessing. So, let’s begin with blessing…


The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker wrote :

Your gifts—whatever you discover them to be—

Can be used to bless or curse the world.

The mind's power, the strength of the hands,

The reaches of the heart,

The gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting  

Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,

Bind up wounds, welcome the stranger,

Praise what is sacred, do the work of justice or offer love.


In Parker’s words, we begin to see the multiple ways in which we can bless or curse the world . As a shy, Jr. High Protestant girl, Rev. Bushbaum was once blessed at the communion rail by a Catholic priest. It left a lasting impression on her heart; 30 years later she recognized the moment as she prepared to lay her hands in blessing on children in her own congregation.

Rev. Bushbaum has served in the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for more than 30 years. A flat-lander from the U.S. Midwest, she currently lives with her partner in Colorado and serves a congregation there. When not working, she skies, hikes, cycles, and enjoys yoga. Her work as a fiber artist has appeared in many juried exhibits.

Also launching on March 1 is the highly renowned Unitarian Universalist Our Whole Lives (OWL) program, an eight lesson sexuality education program, this session for children 5-9 years old. Interested parents and their children must attend Orientation on March 1 from 10:30-1:00. For details and RSVP, contact chris.chase1955@gmail.com.

Welcoming people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity, the UUFSMA meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15. Visitors are invited to attend the service and join UUs for coffee afterwards. The fellowship is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit our web site at uufsma.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.

Small Group Discussions 

The group discussion of We: Reviving Social Hope has been rescheduled to Friday February 28 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.

Mujeres en Cambio celebrates 25 years of serving young women in the campo through scholarships.
Thursday, February 27th
6:30-10:00 PM
Instituto Allende
Ticket: $1,000 pesos
Tickets available at the door and at
Tesoros in the Biblioteca
Music, folkloric dancing, lottery, and prizes!
You can wear a Carnaval costume or come as you are!
Next Sunday is the FINAL day to donate used women's shoes for the Ser Mujer installation on violence and women. We'll be hanging 303 pair of women's shoes from a building in Colonia Guadalupe representing the 303 women who were killed in 2019 in the state of Guanajuato. All kinds of women's shoes will be accepted. If they are high heels or in bad shape, we will paint them red before hanging them. If they are walking shoes, we will donate them to the women migrants at ABBA house. Bring your shoes and leave them at the entrance next Sunday.
Amistad Canada supports many of the organizations that the UUF also supports - Escuela de Educación Especial, Feed the Hungry, Jóvenes Adelante, Patronato Pro Niños, and So Others May Eat.
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