UUFSMA Newsletter February 25, 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.

The UUA General Assembly 2019 will be held in Spokane, Washington from June 19 through to June 23. We would like to invite members of the Fellowship to attend and represent us. A small stipend will be available. If you are interested, please contact John Simsarian,  jcsimsarian@yahoo.com.


The theme this year is  The Power of We. In a time of great challenge and heartbreak in our world, what does our faith demand from us? At this year’s  General Assembly we will explore the power, possibility, purpose, struggle and joy of finding the path forward together as Unitarian Universalists. Attendees will leave inspired, with the tools needed to carry on the work into their own congregations and communities. Join us as we work for collective liberation inside and outside our faith.

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

On Saturday, Rev. Heather Janules conducted a workshop on “The Art of Caring” attended by current members of The Care Team and other members interested in joining the Care Team. The six-hour training was well attended, both inspiring and practical, and very much appreciated by all.
Left - care team members. Right - Rev. Heather Janules
On Sunday, the Rev. Tom Rosiello officially thanked members of the Care Team and awarded pins in recognition of their work. As part of the ceremony members of the congregation were asked to repeat the following: "Our Fellowship strives to assist those among us in times of need and maintain the bonds of connection when members cannot be physically present with us. In this spirit, and in affirmation of your call to serve, we commission you to offer kindness, care and compassion to those in need among us - especially those who might otherwise be forgotten - and we welcome and thank you for your role in the shared ministry of this Fellowship."

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
Longtime member of our Fellowship, Doris Rogers, passed away peacefully February 23. Doris was vibrant and musically active right up to the end of her joyful, active life - but she was cognizant that her time was near and seemed (almost!) ready to let go.

We will have a Tribute for her at a date to be determined; her "next of kin" is her UU Fellowship community, which she loved and we loved her back - so bring your remembrances to her Tribute and be assured that she does, indeed, rest in peace as a joyful soul.  
What's Buzzing with the Children's Program
Children participating with Rev. Tom, then leaving with their lit lantern for their Children's Program.
Children enjoying some outdoor activities after their reading time with the book 'Ribon Rescue'.

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, February 26, 10:15 am,  Expats in Mexico: Do we make a difference? What kind? Have we always understood the culture of the place we are living in? Have we done enough, or anything to improve our space on this small planet? 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 27, 1:30pm, La Cocina, café de viajero. Pila Seca 1. NW corner of Pila Seca and Hernández Macias. 

The next UUFSMA Board meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7. Anyone wishing 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, April 1, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.

Sunday, March 3, 10:30am  


Mexican Women’s Rights Progress

Alejandra Cervantes



Historically, Mexican women have had far fewer rights and protections than men. But, according to Alejandra Cervantes, this Sunday’s speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, things are slowly beginning to change.

Over the last 20 years, Mexico has progressed considerably towards the recognition of women as subjects of rights and reducing the historical disadvantages between men and women. Some examples include legislation in favor of women, which has given them more access to a life free of violence, more political participation, better health services, access to higher education, and employment with social security benefits.

In 2014, Mexico amended its constitution to require gender parity for candidacies for the federal and state legislatures. As a result, in the Mexican congress seated on Dec. 1, 2018, women make up 49 percent of the lower house and 51 percent of the senate. Mexiconow ranks fourthin the world for women’s legislative representation. And it is the only country with an elected senate that is majority female. Furthermore, the second most important political position in the country (mayor of Mexico City) also went to a woman. At the subnational level, women make up 50 percent of most state legislatures.

Domestic violence generated at the hands of male partners is a pandemic. Ana Güezmes, the Representative of UN Women in Mexico, states that 63 percent of women have suffered abuse by men. As a result, new laws in the Federal Criminal Code specify domestic violence as a serious act punishable by a term of imprisonment of between 1 and 7 years and a fine, as well as the loss of rights in respect of the victim, including inheritance and parental rights. The Federation and 27 federative entities criminalize marital rape and define sexual abuse as a criminal offense. Other advances include the creation of a national health care service, the decriminalization of abortion, and more women in the labor and educational market.

Alejandra Cervantes holds an MA in Education from Incarnate Word University and a BA in Language Teaching from UNAM. She has worked for several faculties and language centers at UNAM, including the one in San Miguel de Allende. Her interests are related to the innovation and use of technology in education, learning strategies, and gender studies.

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
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.

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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