UUFSMA Newsletter July 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.

Preparing for a Thoughtful Death Series: Legacy
Wednesday, July 22nd, 11 a.m. CDT

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 857 4382 4528
Passcode: 057260
In her first presentation to our group, Wilka Roig mentioned "Legacy" as one of the aspects of Preparing for a Thoughtful Death which we should consider; what would we like to leave behind?  It can be simple, such as being kind to our neighbors, or more complex such as supplying Covid safety masks to people in need of them right here in SMA.  

Our legacies can take many forms: spiritual, financial, philanthropic - in this workshop we will talk about the most basic forms legacies can take:  leaving something to be remembered such as in an endowment; leaving our affairs in order so our family and/or friends have a relatively easy time taking care of our affairs after our demise, and how we plan for our final ritual of passing on, to be remembered by.  

In this workshop Dan Neuspiel, President of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA, will address the broad issue of legacy, and how we can utilize opportunities such as the newly developed endowment fund the UU has set up; Ana Andrade, Attorney at Law, will explain and answer our questions about what documents we need to have in place in order for our wishes to be fulfilled; Oliverios Fernandez, of Jardines Nueva Vida / New Life Gardens funeral home, will address our questions about what the laws are here in GTO state (these regulations vary from state to state) regarding funeral arrangements.  

We know many of you have been spending time thinking about our options surrounding Preparing for a Thoughtful Death; here is your opportunity to ask some experts about the nuts and bolts of making the best arrangements you can to be prepared.  

We hope you will join us, we will send out the Zoom link the morning of the workshop, Wednesday July 22, 11:00 AM, CST. 

Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

The UUFSMA Covid19 Task Force comprises members who are physicians, nurses, social workers and care team members with many years of pertinent experience.  The number of active cases of Covid19 in SMA and many parts of the US continue to increase, so it is essential that we all keep up our safe habits.


As many local hotels and restaurants have reopened, and since most of us are feeling the frustration of home isolation, it is tempting to risk social interaction with others, and believe that by wearing a mask you will be protected.


But as we learn more about transmission of this virus, we know that any indoor activities raise your risk of infection, even while wearing masks and keeping some distance.  We know now that aerosolized virus particles can be contagious in an indoor space with poor air circulation beyond six feet of distance and even after the infected person has left the room, and this is particularly concerning because we also know that 40% of infected people are completely without symptoms.


So we strongly advise continuing to stay home whenever possible, take special precautions when you must go out or when anyone must enter your home, and take advantage of the many opportunities for social interaction on Zoom or other technology until this pandemic recedes.

To order masks: https://covid19sma.knack.com/covidmasks#start/english/ Instructions for use and care of masks:

The Home Care Guide: https://www.covid19sma.com/homeandcareguide


If you have any questions, please contact Bonney McDowell, member of the Task Force at miko789@gmail.com.



Coffee Chat with Tom on Zoom

Join me for coffee/tea and a chat. We will start at 9:30 tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Hope you will join me and many of your UU friends.

The information for how to connect is below.

Hasta mañana,

Tom’s Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 09:30 AM Mexico City Time

         Every week on Tuesday
        July 28
        August 4
        August 11
        August 18
        August 25

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar
system. Click here.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 442 374 895
Password: 724450

Care Team


The Care Team would like to invite you to a Workshop with Dr. Stephanie Studenski, on Thursday, July 23rd from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

To register, please send an email to Diana Amaya:  Info.uufsma@gmail.com 

In service to Vulnerable Older People: Roles and Practices
How can we best support the vulnerable older people in our lives? This session will help listeners identify vulnerable older people, provide suggestions for markers and red flags for changes in mental and physical health and offer a toolkit of strategies for successful interactions, whether in-person or at a distance.

Stephanie Studenski

She is a nurse and a physician who is board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology and geriatrics. Her 40-year professional career in academic medicine included clinical practice in hospital, outpatient, long term care and home visit settings. She developed and taught courses about aging to students ranging from high school through all levels of health professionals and graduate students. Her research focused on aging and physical function, with a special interest in movement and the brain. She was principal investigator for multiple multidisciplinary NIH grants and served as a member of the Advisory Council to the National Institute on Aging. She has been the Keynote Speaker at conferences across Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. She has dedicated her career to developing and testing ways to help older adults stay as independent and fulfilled as possible.

Stephanie spends a great part of the year in San Miguel with her husband,
Joseph Plummer.

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, July 21 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone. 
Discussion: If you were to get a terminal illness and knew the end was near, what unfinished business do you have? What would you do with the time remaining?


Thursday Discussion group, July 23 (11:30am)
The Thursday Zoom discussion group is led by Trish Snyder. 

Discussion:   If I were hospitalized, with Covid-19 or anything else, what would I want to have completed before I left? People I want to talk to? Connections or re-connections I wish I’d made? Closets that I wish I'd cleaned out? Revised will that I didn’t get to?


If you are interested in joining, please e-mail jane.wilkinson@gmail.com.

UUFSMA Buddhist Group, Sangha of the Heart every Friday (10:00am)
All are welcome to participate in a free weekly Zoom sangha with Joan Wolf on Friday mornings from 10:00 to 11:15 AM. Regular participation is encouraged or drop-in when you want.

Please email Joan at joanwolf@umich.edu if you would like to be added to the Sangha of the Heart email list and receive the Zoom link in a weekly reminder.

The Philosophy Group Reopens
For many years (before COVID-19) the Philosophy Group met in San Miguel de Allende weekly. The last few years it was at Quinto Loretto in the TV Sala on Fridays. Well, guess what? It’s meeting again on Friday, July 24, at 11:30 a.m., at Quinto Loretto TV

Please come and get us started again. Mandatory: Wear a face mask, please!
If the Sala gets too crowded, we’re planning on moving outside.

For more information, please email Michael at mmmickey55@yahoo.com.


Saturday Discussion Group for people living alone, July 25, (4:00pm)

Topic:   Finding Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Energy and Counseling in San Miguel.

To join this group, please contact Helen, at helycres@icloud.com  or jane.wilkinson@gmail.com.

Attached is a link to the recording of our Zoom Sunday Service held on
July 19, 2020.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/v5cJI367UlOcrfBwVn9SPI5GLnVaaa81nJK86Vbxa6gEtPiS2KRlbfpgoRjbYY Password: 0lZDM*8J 

Sunday, July 26, 10:30am



“A Robust Public System for Health”

Cliff DuRand

In this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship online Service, Center for Global Justice co-founder Cliff DuRand will talk about the colossal failure of the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He will acknowledge that this failure has not been due solely to poor leadership.  He points as well to structural shortcomings in the country’s medical and public health system and the examples of other countries that have done much better with less. 

DuRand points to Cuba as one example. While much poorer than the United States and other developed nations, Cuba has also managed the pandemic while under a punishing economic blockade imposed by the U.S.  Despite these burdens, Cuba has contained the virus with one of the lowest death rates anywhere. It owes this success to its robust public system for health.  Since the 1959 Revolution, Cuba has prioritized development of its human resources.  As a result, it has more doctors per capita than any other nation and a system of universal free preventative health care.  Moreover, Cuba shares its human wealth with others by sending doctors to help combat Covid-19 in 31 countries. 

All this will be discussed by Cliff DuRand this Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist service.  He has traveled annually to Cuba for nearly 40 years, leading hundreds of people on educational trips.  He is a co-founder of the Center for Global Justice and a former Philosophy Professor at Morgan State University.  He and his wife Julie DuRand have lived in San Miguel since 2004. 

To participate in our online Sunday Service, visit the Fellowship’s website at www.uufsma.org and click on the Zoom Service button displayed on the home page. If requested, enter password: 294513. Sign-in between 10:15-10:25 am.

Through grants and awards, UUFSMA donates fifty percent of all income it receives to support nonprofit organizations that provide health, educational, and environmental services for underserved communities in the San Miguel region. Please support this work by clicking on the website home page’s Donate button. Now more than ever, your support is essential.

Due to the arrival of the coronavirus in San Miguel de Allende, UUFSMA has indefinitely suspended in-person Sunday services and other gatherings. We advise members and friends to follow the advice of reputable public health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control, and to contact our Minister or Care Team for needed assistance. The UU Fellowship welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.



If you would like to have a joy, sorrow, or concern shared during the service on Sunday,  please email it to me at tomrosiello@gmail.com and I will share it for you. 

Social Action

The UUFSMA Social Action Committee solicits, reviews, and recommends funding for grant proposals from local Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) aimed at improving the quality of life for Mexicans living in and around San Miguel. In 2020 the UUFSMA provided financial support to 13 NGOs with over $54,000 in grants, representing more than 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”.

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM and all are welcome. For
additional information, please visit our webpage at http://www.uufsma.org/social-action.html and/or contact Committee Chair, Rebecca Langrall (rlangrall22@gmail.com).

Click on the links below to view the documents.


SMA Community

Volunteer Opportunities

(click on the name of the NGO to learn more about the organization)


Caminamos JuntosVolunteers needed to help make connections in the private sector of education and possibly fundraise for individual children to be able to attend a school that will meet their needs.  Contact Cathy Canepa at ccanpamd@gmail.com.

Caminos de Agua – Volunteers interested in offering translation support should contact Director Dylan Terrell at dylan@caminosdeagua.org.  Volunteers interested in providing technical support (chemists, engineers, and other scientists) should contact Director of Technology, Allie Reiling at alexandra@caminosdeagua.org. Volunteers interested in providing fund-raising and event coordination/planning should contact Associate Director Paco Guajuardo at paco@caminosdeagua.org.


Centro Infantil de Los Angeles – Help with the day-to-day operations of children’s daycare.  Contact Skylar to set up the short training at skylar@centroinfantil.org , +1-205-873-4038.


El Charco del Ingenio– Volunteers needed to work with plants in the botanical collection; propagate plants in the nursery; prune native vegetation; assist at the Visitor Center; guide visits; help with the environmental education program; engage in library and office work; support publicity, marketing and fundraising; assist with membership; help with workshops and events; and more.  Contact Volunteer Coordinator Naomi Zerriffi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com. Click HERE to download the form for volunteers to complete and send to Naomi.


Escuela de Educacion Especial – Volunteers needed to help staff the school store.  Contact Director John Doherty at jd98lv@hotmail.com.


Feed the Hungry – Post-pandemic, volunteers are needed to pack and deliver food. Contact Jonna Stratton at jonnainmex@gmail.com.


Fundación de Apoyo Infantil – Volunteers are needed to work directly with students on lessons related to environmental education.  Two-day training, two-week commitment, Spanish required.  Contact Fabiola Berenice Morales Llamas at beleo2d@yahoo.com.mx


Jovenes Adelante – Volunteers needed to mentor a student.  2 – 5 year commitment. Click HERE for more information.  If interested, please contact Nora Weaver at noraweaver@jovenesadelante.org.


Libros Para Todos - Volunteers who speak Spanish are needed to accompany leaders on school visits to read to children and help them with their reading, usually one-on-one or in a small group. 3-hour commitment during a weekday morning.  Transportation not required though sometimes helpful because the truck only fits 2 people. Other volunteering includes help planning author events, ushering at concerts, evaluating submissions for a summer writing contest, and helping out at workshops. Contact Daniela Franco, danielaelenafranco@gmail.com.


Mujeres En Cambio – Volunteers needed to distribute scholarships (becas), some in the campo.  Contact Rhea Calkins at rheabcalkins@yahoo.com, 152-0858.


Ninos Con Autismo - Volunteers needed to help identify possible children needing services and assist with event planning. Contact Joyce Grenis at joyce.grenis@gmail.com


Patronato Pro Ninos – Volunteers needed to deliver/pick up supplies/materials each 4th of July; deliver flyers each Feb. and Nov regarding oral health campaigns; seasonal needs based on existing programs; writers/creatives; calling campaigns; help with this year's 5th Anniversary celebrations; help with the database; committee work by non-board members. Contact Claudia Briones at wawis18@hotmail.com , 415-152-7796. 

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 2020-2021 (as of April 1, 2020)

Dan Neuspiel, President, 415-154-5021, dneuspiel@gmail.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
Joseph Plummer, Secretary, 412-371-0237, wordfisher@gmail.com 
Bonney McDowell, 415-145-7689, miko789@gmail.com
Jim Harper, 152-2380, smaharper@yahoo.com
Rebecca Langrall, 415-151-0065, rlangrall22@gmail.com
Joan Wolf, 
415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu

Jurgen Ahlers, 
415-167-1203, 1jurgenahlers@gmail.com

If you would like a copy of minutes from a Board of Directors meeting, please contact
Dan Neuspiel, Board President.

Affiliate Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello, tomrosiello@gmail.com 

                    Committee Chairs and Activity


Pledge Team
Trish Snyder, trishsnyder49@gmail.com
Carolyn Simsarian, 

Finance Committee
Margo Johnson, margoj325@outlook.com

Endowment Committee
Steve Singer, stevesingermx@gmail.com

Nominating Committee
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.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
Eleanor Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.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
Rebecca Langrall, rlangrall22@gmail.com 

Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico