UUFSMA Newsletter January 6, 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.

UUFSMA President's New Year Message


As a result of the work of many, 2019 has been another successful year for the Fellowship. The attendance at Sunday Services continues to be strong and our membership continues to grow. With the growth of membership, we are able to raise more funds to award in social justice grants to organizations that assist Mexicans to address issues of poverty. Additionally, we have been able to expand the programs and services to
our members.

It is a challenging time during which the Fellowship becomes even more important as we support one another to act on the UU principles.

The theme of this year’s Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly was, “The Power of We”. The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of UUA, in addressing the issue of feeling discouraged and wanting to give up, writes the following in the Spring 2019 UU World Magazine. “We don’t create any real positive impact alone. Community gives us strength. Love gives us courage. Remembering we are not alone—remembering the people, the family, the community, the ancestors we belong to—gives us resiliency and power to keep on loving, keep on acting, keep on working for the values and commitments we hold dear.” I am grateful to be a member of our UU Fellowship and to share our values and to support each other in our efforts to make the world a better place.

Our UU community helps to hold us together. This is possible through the volunteer work of many and the work of our part-time Affiliate minister and includes:

  • Commitment to social justice through our individual work and our collective fund       raising to support San Miguel NGOs;
  • Support of one another through our Sunday Services, Care Team, many                   activities, and interpersonal connections;
  • Our efforts to continue to learn and grow as individuals and community.

Thank you for helping to make this Fellowship vibrant.

Best wishes for the New Year!

John Simsarian, President
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende
January 1, 2020

Care Team
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 7, 10:15 am,  Looking backwards at the last 10 years. What has been happening in your life, what changes have you made, how have you grown? What has the time given you? 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 8, 1:30pm, Vivali, Herandez Macias 66.

Women's Saturday Breakfast: The popular women’s breakfasts are resuming at Oso Azul, Zacateros 17 in Centro at 9:30am on Saturday, January 11. Open to all women, and always enjoyable

Saturday Men's breakfast group -  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 3, 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, January 12, 10:30am


Seeking the Truth

Rev. Tom Rosiello



At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, the Rev. Tom Rosiello explores the concept that seeking the truth is at the core of every religious tradition. Many religions teach that they possess "the one truth" and that all other "truth" is wrong, even dangerous. Too often, “truth”, as a particular group sees it, is used to judge, persecute, and even vilify others.

That is not the case for Unitarian Universalism, which affirms each individual’s free and responsible search for his or her own truth. As Rev. Rosiello puts it: "In our tradition we encourage folks to live with the questions and work towards responsibly discovering what the truth is for them.”

Nearly 200 years ago Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing described that approach well when he wrote that “we are a faith that jealously guards our intellectual rights and powers….which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith…which opens itself to light whenever it may come… which receives new truth as an angel from heaven… which discovers everywhere the radiant signatures of the infinite spirit”

That new light came into this religious movement from the Transcendentalists like Unitarian minister Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that we do not need a particular great book, (a secondary source) to know that truth, but that fundamental truths are known to us first hand, intuitively. Later, new light came from the Humanists movement that aligned truth with scientific verifiability. For them, truth comes from direct observation, experimentation, rational analysis, and values that are derived from human needs and interests as tested by experience.

“There certainly are truths in every one of these traditions but none should be exclusive,” says Rev. Rosiello. “It is so satisfying to bring together the teachings of our biblical roots, the thoughts of our forebears or other world religions, and the most recent scientific thought or poetry as we consider what our truth is.”

Following the service there will be a “Newcomer’s Coffee Hour” where you will be invited to ask your questions about Unitarian Universalism and the UU Fellowship here in SMA to Rev. Rosiello and others.  As always our service will be enriched by wonderful music.  Pianist Malcolm Halliday will be joined by violinists Felicia Moye and George Figuero and will perform movements of Bach’s Sonata for two violins as well as some exciting tango music. There will also be a special program for children. All are welcome.

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.

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, Dianna 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 
There will be a Neighborhood Connection gathering of Centro - Colonias Centro, Balcones, Atascadero and above on Tuesday, January 7. 

If you live in 
one of these colonias and have not received an invitation, let Ellie
Goodwin know, epgoodwin@hotmail.com.

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 

Cliff DuRand will be ordering a number of copies of the book.  If you want him to include one for you, let him know before Friday at global.justice.cliff@gmail.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.

One beneficiary of this Fellowship’s generosity is the Fundación de Apoyo Infantíl, a new grantee for us in 2019, whose goals include empowering children and adolescents to help create and participate in communities that are environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically viable.  

FAI asked us for help with their environmental education program, PEASMA. We gave them a grant of $500 to purchase color-coded bins to support separation of recyclables, garbage, and organic waste at two of their most impoverished elementary schools, Virginia G. de Anguiano and Ignacio Aldama. In this way, we hoped to help them with their goal of teaching students about the importance of developing sustainable environmental practices.

In a video,  a student shares in morning assembly what he has learned as a result of using the new recycling bins at his school. In the video he reports, 'I want to share what I learned in the recycling workshop, with the support of teacher Berea. We separate the garbage and work with four colors: Green serves for organic leaves; yellow for the paper that has been used on both sides; blue is for bottles or cans that can be sold; black is for trash or things that we cannot use anymore. We also cleaned the school and we accommodated the trash in the four colors.'

Our hope is that with this early training, these practices will carry forward into students’ homes and their future lives.

With your generous giving we will be able to continue our funding of FAI/PEASMA and the many other NGOs we support.
Thank you, Rebecca Langrall

The Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende is opening its tienda 'Deseñas' every Friday from 11:00am to 2:00pm for your shopping convenience. Please come by the store on Calle Canal #152. (There is more than one #152 on the block, so please look for the sign and the purple and white ribbons). You will find many unique and exquisitely made silver jewelry pieces, woodworking items including designer cutting boards and artist's easels, many textile creations of special pillows, napkins, aprons and wine tote bags and, of course, Fernando's remarkable and 'in demand' whimsical watercolor collages of San Miguel architecture. Items are handcrafted by the vocational training students themselves, all of whom are Deaf.

You will not only take home a one-of-a-kind, beautifully handmade creation, but will also be helping to support this very important program.

Visit our website at - www.eeesma.com
Jovénes Adelants cordially invites you to attend its Mini Congress 1.0 on
January 18, 2020, 9:00am to 5:30pm.

The theme is Adaptation, Survival, Preservation
Convening the entire JA community of Sponsors, Patrons, Mentors, New Supporters, Current Students, Graduates, New Applicants, Volunteers, Staff and Board for a day filled with encounters, learning, play, intensive discussion, wine, and small bites.

The Morning Sessions begin with an open house/orientation for new applicants for the incoming 2020 class. We have 100 interested candidates to date! Care to meet some of these eager early birds? Come to the morning coffee session and audit the orientation. Also in the Morning Sessions, current students and graduates will choose from four special workshops, followed by a joint workshop with mentors and our mentor directors.

Care to audit, observe? You are most welcome and invited to do so! This is the point!!

After a short lunch, in the Afternoon Sessions (when we imagine most of our non-student constituents will arrive) we will have a fascinating panel discussion with our own students, graduates and experts: “Towards a Civic Alliance to Preserve the Cultural Heritage of San Miguel de Allende” followed by a wine & cheese reception, mingling and speaking with our professional panelists and student/graduate panelists, display tables, and student award presentations.

Space is limited, and advanced registration is essential. The event is FREE of charge. Please join us help make this new JA event a success!

For more information contact Don Krim at donkrim@jovenesadelante.org
Tickets of $300, $400, and $500 pesos 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.
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