UUFSMA Newsletter January 14, 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.

From: John Simsarian, President UUFSMA


We are starting the new year, and I am drawn to make a few brief comments.


During 2018 we have experienced a continuation of the hate speech, racism, xenophobia and so on emanating from the administration of the U.S. government.This Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has been an important resource and community for reinforcing our shared values and vision during this difficult time. You can find these important principles on our UUFSMA website. They are also printed on the cover of the Order of Service.


2018 has been a highly successful year for the Fellowship due to all the volunteer work carried out by members. A reflection of this is shown in our average Sunday attendance which has increased by almost 20%!


In addition to the successful internal operation of the Fellowship, we have distributed the largest amount of annual funding ever to thirteen different San Miguel non-profit agencies. This includes the Fellowship playing a crucial role in the launching of a new non-profit program. Caminamos Juntos was established to support Mexicans, who have been deported from the U.S., to form a new life here in San Miguel. Helping to start needed NGOs is consistent with the Fellowship’s 32 year history. The Fellowship has also been a drop-off site for needed supplies to support members of the Central American Caravan passing through central Mexico.


2019 promises to be another successful year for the Fellowship. However, we are not going to sit back with business as usual. 


An important development for the Fellowship is the appointment of Tom Rosiello as our first-ever ordained minister. He has accepted the role of a part-time Affiliate minister.


Tom started his professional career as an attorney and practiced for nearly 20 years before going to Harvard Divinity School. He is Minister Emeritus of the First Parish of Stow and Acton in Massachusetts where he served as minister for 15 years. He is not a stranger to this Fellowship having delivered sermons as a guest minister during the past almost 10 years. 


Another 2019 development is that a strategic planning process has been launched.  Those who were members in 2018 have received, by email, a survey to complete and there will be focus groups starting on January 20 for additional input into the planning. If you were not a member in 2018, but plan to be one in 2019, and would like to participate, please see Ellie at the Welcome Table after the service or email her at epgoodwin@hotmail.com. This planning process provides an opportunity to make suggestions for the future of the Fellowship. We would like as much participation as possible.


Best wishes for the New Year!

Member Profile

Dorie Beach was raised in Absecon, New Jersey near Atlantic City. She attended Douglass College, the women’s college of Rutgers University, where she majored in Sociology and minored in Art. She married in her junior year and did not finish her degree until she had raised three children. She then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University on Long Island. She continued with graduate training and certification in EMDR, EFT (tapping), Gestalt Therapy, 

Family Therapy, Community Group Leadership and Guided Imagery.

After working in clinical social work for a while, Dorie became the Director of New York City’s Family Court Mental Health Clinic on Staten Island. She also had a private practice in New Jersey and New York City.

In her early 50’s Dorie moved to Phoenix. There, she worked in medical social work at a hospital’s oncology department. She also led cancer support groups and volunteered at both the American Cancer Society and in hospice. She led a bereavement support group and lectured on individual and family dynamics of cancer patients.

Dorie had become a UU when she was a young mother living in Plainfield, New Jersey looking for an enlightened way to educate her children about moral and spiritual values. So, it was a natural progression to join our UU fellowship when she moved here in 1999. In San Miguel she has served on the Boards of Directors of this Fellowship, Mujeres en Cambio, Hospice San Miguel and the former Community of Hope.

Dorie has continued her private practice here in San Miguel in her home on Calle Loreto.  She practices Individual, Couples and Family Therapy, as well as EMDR, EFT (tapping), Bereavement Counseling, End of Life Counseling and Support for both the patient and family. You can contact Dorie at delaplaya3@yahoo.com.

The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had quite a crowd a couple of weeks ago! Try a new restaurant every week. Meet new friends. Come join us! Wednesdays at 1:30pm. The name of the restaurant of the week is listed in the OOS, the newsletter, and on the website.

We have a new team of  Ambassadors to welcome people at the Sunday 
service and social time.  These Ambassadors have a butterfly posted on their nametags.  Look for those butterflies and walk right up to ask 
questions, make suggestions, give feedback, etc.

Care Team

Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indee, that's all who ever have. - Margaret Mead

We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Victor Bremson, a stalward of our Fellowship. Victor addressed us at Sunday Services with a depth and intelligence well-appreciated, often instigated insightful conversations during after-service lunch gtatherings, and was an excellent Mexican Train dominoes player to boot. He passed suddenly while on holiday with his wife, Roberta, in Asia. His remains are being transported back to their hometown of Seattle. You can share your condolences with Roberta at rbremson@comcast.net or via snail mail at 13730 15th Ave. NE #C202, Sattle WA 98125. There will be a card for Roberta that you can sign at the Cate Team/Welcome Table next Sunday.

Our best wishes to Theo Billings who has to undergo yet another hip surgery. For an update on Theo's condition, please contact Françoise.

The Care Team is having its next team meeting on January 24th.  If you have been wondering about the work we are doing and who we serve, or would like more information, you are welcome to attend the meeting.
Please contact Françoise at  Francoise.yohalem@gmail.com for more details or to let her know of your interest.
The Care Team has initiated a new "Circle of Life" window here for announcements of special importance and interest to our Fellowship, such as births, marriages, and deaths.  If you have such information you would like to share with the full Fellowship, please send the pertinent details to either Lydia Jane or Francoise for inclusion in our on-going and never-ending Circle of Life. Sharing is a vital thread of our community, keeping us all connected and informed. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does, please contact either Francoise or Lydia Jane.
Françoise: 415 149 3053
Lydia Jane: 415 149 3784  

For a copy of the Medical Resource directory, contact either Lydia or Francoise.

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, January 15, 10:15 am, This week we ask participants to bring a list of 10 things they like about their Mom, and the same for their Dad. Do this for at least 2 days (up to and including 5 days is OK). The things may be physical, spiritual, mental and emotional. You can include subjects we haven't thought of! 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, January 16, 1:30pm, Turk, Salida a Celaya16.

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, February 4, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.

Sunday, January 20, 10:30am  


Annual Membership & Pledge Drive

Trish Snyder & Carolyn Simsarian



The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende kicks off its 2019 membership and pledge drive at this Sunday’s service with a look at its ongoing role in assisting the local Mexican community.

Established more than 30 years ago by a group of like-minded expats, UUFSMA is one of only three UU congregations in Mexico and has been recognized internationally for its support of organizations that provide health care, education, clean water, and sustainability to the Mexican community. Locally, UU members have been instrumental in founding life-changing non-profits like Mujeres en Cambio, Jóvenes Adelante, and Caminamos Juntos.

What makes Unitarian Universalists different from other religions? While many UU congregations have formal church buildings and full-time ministers, the UU Fellowship in San Miguel meets at the Hotel La Aldea, with a sunlit and stunning view of the Parroquia from their meeting space. Half of the services are led by visiting UU ministers, our part-time Affiliate Minister and half are lay led. “This enables us to put our money where our values are – improving the lives of others.” said Trish Snyder, co-chair of the membership drive with Carolyn Simsarian. “Our membership has chosen to give more than half the annual budget in grants to well-vetted non-profit organizations in and around San Miguel de Allende.”

Unitarian Universalists are guided by Seven Principles, the first of which is to respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person. “We live our values and are well known for our charitable works throughout history and the world,” says Snyder.

This commitment to a better world motivates UU members and friends to contribute financially. Is the choice to donate solely altruistic, or are there other reasons to give? “We know that charitable giving improves self-esteem and increases our sense of connection to the world,” says Carolyn Simsarian, who will present Sunday’s talk. “The benefits of giving back encompasses everything from a greater sense of pride and purpose to positive self-regard….and a whole lot more,” she concludes.

Learn more about Unitarian Universalism and how you can be part of improving the world and our pueblo magico, which is surrounded by serious poverty. This Sunday’s service will include a brief presentation on the organizations supported by the UUFSMA, including CEDESA, Patronato Pro Niños, Jóvenes Adelante, Mujeres en Cambio, Libros para Todos, Caminamos Juntos, Caminos de Agua, Escuela de Educación Especial, Casita Linda, and Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora. Representatives from the grantee agencies will be present at information tables for those wanting to learn more or to volunteer.


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 La Aldea or check out our website at  www.uufsma.org

Social Action
 Escuela de Educación Especial Upcoming Event - February 6th, 2019
The 2017 Academy Award Winning Short Film,The Silent Child, will have one of its two screenings in San Miguel on February 6th, 2019. You won’t want to miss experiencing this insightful short story 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 main stream 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.

Prior to the screening, short remarks will be made by our special guest, Dr. Margaret Finnegan, PhD., Coordinator, Education of the Deaf MA Program and Online Instructor in Deaf Education MA Program at Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL. Margaret speaks not only from many years of professional deaf education experience but also from personal experiences, being herself the mother of a deaf child. 

Please come join us and show your encouragement and support for the children and young adults attending Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende. This very special school is a nonprofit 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: Wednesday, Feb 6th, 2019
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Teatro Santa Ana, Biblioteca Publica, SMA
Tickets: MXN$250
Includes a wIne and cheese reception following the 20 minute film and open questions and discussion.

More details to come closer to the date. Please mark your calendar to attend this unique and perception-altering event and send an RSVP to John at  jd98lv@hotmail.com
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.

                    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

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, 231-342-6960, clmcgue@gmail.com

Social Action Committee
Dick Snyder, 121-0612, 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:


Then click on “Membership”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