UUFSMA Newsletter January 20, 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.

A warm welcome to the following visitors who signed in at yesterday's service:

Pat Bagg, Patty & Stan Benjamin, Chris Crossgrove, Juan Degnon, Don Haslam, Shoshona Levinson, Alex Obriecht, Jennifer Rodriguez, Barbara Sarah, Careen Shannon, and Ellie Winninghoff.

We look forward to getting to know you better when you visit us again and hope your schedule might allow you to join us in some of our upcoming activities.  
Here are some of the treats served at the last Circle Cena.
This is what you have to look forward to in joining one!!
Don't forget to buy your tickets for this terrific benefit concert 
on February 1!

Tickets can be ordered online at boletocity.com or purchased on the second floor of Mercado Sano. Payment by cash, credit/debit cards and PayPal is accepted.

Pledge Drive 2020
We are kicking off the 2020 Pledge Drive in a Souper Way on February 9. Yep. We are serving soup after the service on February 9 instead of the regular old coffee and tea.   The Pledge Committee members are each making a pot of soup and so is our minister. If you are willing to make a batch of any kind of soup to serve 12 people and/or if you have a crockpot to keep the soup hot, please contact Arlena Lawrence at 154-8410   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Thank you so much,
Carolyn Simsarian, Christie McGue and Trish Snyder
Pledge Committee

Cynthia Sterling, our flower diva, is taking a much needed break while her daughter is visiting. During January and February, the Sunday flower arrangements will be done by Alan Shivas, a professional landscaper and flower arranger/designer from Canada.
VOTE IN 2020!

Need help receiving a ballot as an expat? 

After the Sunday service, Jim Chase will help you to register to vote based on your previous U.S. address.

Care Team
Lydia Jane is making a great recovery from her foot surgery. We hope to see her next Sunday! Meanwhile, please feel free to contact her and make a lunch date: lydiajane56@gmail.com.
John Verplank was taken to MAC hospital last week with Influenza Type A and viral pneumonia. This is an extremely contagious illness, and he said that doctors and nurses in the hospital would not enter his room without wearing a mask and gloves. He is back home recovering, but his wife Patricia seems to have been infected. Our warmest wishes for a prompt recovery to both of them!
We heard at today’s service that our indefatigable friend Luisa Field has been hospitalized in the US with some serious heart problem. If anyone knows more about Luisa’s condition, please let Françoise know.

Lee Knox's chemotherapy treatments will begin on January 28th. She (and Lyn) will spend three days in Querétaro with a treatment each day. Two and a half weeks later they return to Querétaro for another three days of treatment. Lee will have four rounds of this total.
Welcome back to Care Team members Donn Zellet and Karen Woolhouse and husband David Lewis. They recently returned to San Miguel and are already busy helping with the Care Team.  Thank you!

The Rotary Club of San Miguel is planning a series of presentations dealing with health facilities/issues in San Miguel. The first one is Tuesday, January 21 at Los Arcos, Stirling Dickinson 27. Doors open at 9am. The Director of Unimed Health System Hospital, 
Valeria Ramirez, will be speaking about medical care here in San Miguel.. 


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, January 21, 10:15 am, Fear: What are you afraid of? Why? Do you make plans to get around this fear? Or do you not have any? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone. The group meets at the Quinta Loreto restaurant at Loreto 15.


Wednesday Lunch Bunch, January 22, 1:30pm, Media Naranja, Calz. de la Luz 110, enter from Hidalgo, upstairs.

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, February 3, 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Exploring Unitarian Universalism

A Three Session Course taught by

the Rev. Tom Rosiello

February 4, 11 and 18  (all Tuesdays) 

from 1:30 to 3:30 PM

Offered free of charge to UUFSMA members

Have you wondered about where this religious tradition comes from? What are its roots? Did you know that six US presidents were Unitarians? That the vast majority of famous 19thcentury American authors were Unitarians? Did you know that the leaders of almost every social justice movement from abolition to womens suffrage, from prison reform to proper treatment for the mentally ill in 19th and 20th  Century United States were either Unitarians or Universalists? Did you know that we were the first denomination to ordain women and openly gay ministers? Did you know that today there are 400 Unitarian churches in Transylvania? Do you wonder why we light a chalice at the beginning of our service and why we have a covenant?  

To explore these questions and many more, you are invited to a three-session class on Unitarian Universalist history, theology, polity and traditions taught by our Affiliate Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello. The course will be offered on Tuesdays, February 4, 11, and 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at Tom and Malcolm
s home in Los Frailes. (Directions will be provided with registration confirmation.)  Space is limited and the course is offered free of charge to UUFSMA members and will be on a first come first served basis. Sign up sheets are located on the Welcome Table after services in February or you can email Tom directly at tomrosiello@gmail.com to register.

Sunday, January 26, 10:30am


The Cruel Damage of
US Immigration Policy


David Bacon



Immigration has been one of the hottest issues in the U.S. for some time.  Under President Trump it has given rise to some of the cruelest, most inhumane policies in recent memory. At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, author/photojournalist/political activist/union organizer David Bacon discusses the mistreatment of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and the conditions of their lives.

The decision to migrate is rarely voluntary. Free trade agreements and economic policies that exacerbate and reinforce extreme wealth disparities make it impossible for Mexicans to make a living at home. And yet when they migrate to the United States, they must grapple with criminalization, low wages, and exploitation. Now current U.S. policies are forcing these migrants to return to Mexico where they often have no support network or means to feed their families.

His latest book, In the Fields of the North ( En los campos del norte) includes more than 300 photographs and 12 oral histories of farm workers. Earlier books The Right to Stay Home and Illegal People, both published by the Unitarian Universalist’s Beacon Press, discuss alternatives to forced migration and the criminalization of migrants. Previous books include Communities Without Borders with over 100 photographs and 50 narratives about transnational migrant communities, and The Children of NAFTA, an account of worker resistance on the US/Mexico border in the wake of NAFTA. 

Based in California, for more 25 years David Bacon has been documenting labor, the global economy, war and migration, and the struggle for human rights. His articles on these topics often appear in The American Prospect, The Nation, The Progressive and other journals. Bacon’s photography provides a stirring look into the lives of working people at the bottom of our society, people who grow and prepare the food we eat, who clean our houses and hotel rooms, who care for our children, and their struggles for a better life. In many ways the injustices our society inflicts on working people are concentrated with immigrants, especially those of color. You can view his photographs at http://dbacon.igc.org/  He will illustrate his talk with some of these images. 

David Bacon will also speak on Mexican workers and the AMLO government at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 25 at the Biblioteca.

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Sunday morning 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.


Rainbow News
A few good men and women met Saturday to inaugurate the 2020 UUFSMA Welcoming Congregation activities.

Our congregation has voted to move ahead with obtaining this certification from UUA, and after discussion with board members and volunteers, we have gathered to learn more about the LGBTQ+ culture and what is needed to acquire this certification.

Being part of a very mobile congregation, located in Mexico, provides unique opportunities and challenges for us. We have shared some great ideas for ways to serve, support, and assist the LGBTQ community within and around us.

With shared leadership, broad life experiences, enthusiasm, and commitment, we invite you to make a commitment to join us the second Saturday of each month. The next meeting will be held February 8th, 11:00am -1:00pm in San Antonio. Meeting focus: Best use of small covenant groups, as well as your constructive and brilliant ideas.

Please contact Donna Shubrooks at 
donnashubrooks@gmail.com for location and information.

UUA Annual Meeting - June 24-28, 2020 in Providence, RI
Worship, Witness, Learn, Connect
Policy-making through the democratic process

Rooted, Inspired and Ready!

*Interested in becoming one of UUFSMA's three voting delegates?

*Interested in joining fellow UUFSMA members Tom Rosiello and others?

For More information visit the UUA website - www. UUA/Annual/Meeting.org or speak with one of UUFSMA's prior delegates - Lynn and Lee Knox, Dianne Daily or Bob Doupe.

Please contact Board President, John Simsarian, if interested in attending. We have limited funds available for attending delegates. And, there is a 20% discount for early registration by March 15th.

                                        Calling All Canadian UUs!   

The Biennial National Conference of the Canadian Unitarian Council will be held May 15 – 17, 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The theme this year is “Making Waves”, and the Host Committee at the UU Church of Halifax is planning a grand time, with lots of music and Maritime hospitality as well as workshops and a Sunday morning service and a full youth program.   

For more information, ask Karen Woolhouse at 

We now have held Neighborhood Connection (NC) gatherings all over town. These are an opportunity for UUs to get together with neighbors for social and care purposes.  If you are interested in being in one and have not received an invitation to a gathering, please send your request to Joan Wolf who is keeping the grouplists current.  Her email address is joanwolf@umich.edu.


Usually a Neighborhood Connection gathers in the home of a volunteer host for a potluck happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  All attendees contribute a finger food to share and bring their own beverage.  Many close UU friends are made this way.

If you are willing to host an event, contact Ellie Goodwin at epgoodwin@hotmail.com

Small Group Discussions 

The Guantanamo Military Commission and Why They Have Failed
February 11, 2020, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Richard Kammen, a UUSMA member and part time resident of San Miguel, worked in the U.S. Military Commissions system for nearly ten years representing one of the major Guantanamo Defendants. Rick will describe his experiences, how U.S. governmental and judicial misconduct caused him to leave the case and why the Military Commissions have failed to provide any resolution to the serious cases that are languishing there.

January of 2020 is the 18 th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay. Rick has been going there since 2008, most recently in October 2019. He will discuss the military commissions, the CIA torture program, and the future of Guantanamo Bay. This discussion will summarize and update discussions that Rick has led before.

These discussions have been booked up with curious UUs, so make your reservation soon. Location of this discussion is Rick’s home in Colonia Guadiana, Guadiana 19-1, just below the corner of Corner of Guadiana and Gorrion.

For reservations, send an email to Ellie Goodwin at epgoodwin@hotmail.com


The book We: Reviving Social Hope by philosopher Ron Aronson will be the
focus of a UU discussion group the first week in February, organized by the Social
Action Committee.The author will be our Sunday speaker on February 2. His
book is a message to save us from the despair, cynicism and defeatism that
paralyzes too many in these troubled times.

Aronson argues that social hope is born from collective action, a 'we', not just 'I'. It
is in a movement that 'we become members of a larger entity, drawing power from
it, having responsibility to it, and experiencing ourselves within it.' Through
collective action 'the formerly powerless can generate something new, social hope,
by acting together.' And this can change not only the world in which we live, we
also change ourselves.

If you would like to participate in discussion with the author, sign up with Cliff
DuRand by email to global.justice.cliff@gmail.com. You are expected to have
read the 180 page book in advance. Order your copy now.


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 third 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.
On Tuesday, February 11, there will be a fundraiser for a national movement to close U.S. migrant detention centers spearheaded by the Japanese-American organization Tsuru (Cranes) for Solidarity. Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Justice, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Latin American Relief Fund, and Caminamos Juntos.
The public is invited to the Sindicato on Recreo #4 at 6:00pm for a showing of the film  Never Give Up! (57 minutes with Spanish subtitles) detailing the experiences of the father of leader and activist Holly Yasui, who was detained in the U.S. during WWII and subsequently fought to achieve redress all the way to the Supreme Court.
There will also be a showing of a short film showcasing the history of the Tsuru for Solidarity movement.  For additional information, please see articles that Holly Yasui wrote about Tsuru last summer:
Look for additional information about crane folding workshops here in San Miguel later this spring.
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

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
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.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