UUFSMA Newsletter July 8, 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.

Finance Committee Recruitment—Volunteers Needed

The Board is forming a working Finance Committee to review and advise on several
financial matters concerning our Fellowship. Among other things, this Committee will be
charged with researching and making recommendations as to the optimum size of our
operating reserve as well as what to do with funds that exceed that operating reserve. It
also will become acquainted with the Treasurer's job with an eye towards its
manageability and treasurer succession. The Committee should provide backup to theTreasurer and support by offering structure and clarity. It will recommend practical audit controls. The Board would like the Committee to review our budget and make
recommendations for the next fiscal year. Committee people can also serve as a resource
to members who have questions.

We are recruiting volunteers to work on this Committee. Volunteers should understand
basic financial management principles as it relates to our congregation (including our use
of duel currencies and cross-border banking) and be prepared to review and understand
our bookkeeping software and methods. Volunteers will delve into some of our
procedures in order to understand them and make recommendations. Volunteers need not be full time in SMA.

We want people who can apply a large dose of common sense to this charge, be willing
to put in some time, and be willing to engage in positive, collaborative discussions in the
process of making recommendations.

A Committee member will serve as the chairperson. The Treasurer will not chair the
committee but will participate and advise as needed. If you are interested in possibly
helping with this important Fellowship Committee, please contact Jane Wilkinson,
Treasurer, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com or John Simsarian, President,


Ellie Goodwin grew up in North Carolina and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education from the University of North Carolina. She later received a Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Georgia State University in Atlanta which led to her career.

For 30 years, Ellie worked for the US Office of Personnel Management, an independent agency of the Federal Government that manages the government's civilian workforce. She worked in management in Atlanta, Denver and finally Washington D.C., and at times had up to 1,000
people working for her.

In 2008 Ellie retired from the OPM (at 55!) and she and her husband David bought a house in San Miguel where they began spending part of each year. Ellie worked part time for the US Marine Mammal Commission which provides oversight of all marine mammal conservation policies and programs carried out by federal regulatory agencies.
Ellie and David moved here permanently in 2010 and she “fully retired” four years ago. David passed away earlier this year.

Raised in a Southern Baptist home, Ellie didn’t discover her inner UU until college. After
graduation, she joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. Having been on our fellowship’s Board of Directors for 10 years now, Ellie will rotate off the Board next spring. She has been Chair of our Sunday Service Committee and instrumental in
bringing guest ministers to our pulpit. Ellie is currently co-chair of the Member Services Committee.

Ellie lives in the San Antonio neighborhood where she is a frequent hostess of our Circle Cena potluck dinners. When she is not volunteering at UU, she is usually reading and enjoys being in two different book groups.

Thank you, Ellie, for all you do for us.

Care Team

News from our members:

Linda Sorin is making an excellent recovery after her rotator cuff surgery and has begun to go out …She much appreciated your visits.  She is available to meet you for dinner or lunch.  Please, contact her at: 415 154 9044.

Happy Birthday to Maxine Arnold,  and our very best wishes for a prompt recovery!  Maxine is slowly getting stronger after her recent bout with pneumonia… She appreciates the help with food and walking her dog that she has been receiving.
Death Café San Miguel
Monday, July 15, 4:00-6:00pm
The Death Café (www.deathcafe.com http://deathcafe.com/) is an international movement founded in England by Jon Underwood, based on the work of Bernard Crettaz. At a Death Cafe, people—often strangers—gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss death with the intention of increasing awareness of mortality and help people make the most of their finite lives. Death Cafés have no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product, or course of action. 

We meet as equals—as people who are going to die. One conversation at a time, we transform our relationship to loss, aging, mortality, dying and death, so we may transform also the way we live. Death Cafés are run in circle format, and everyone has a chance to share questions, ideas, experiences, concerns. 

Colonia Santa Cecilia, 1km north of Fábrica la Aurora 
Your $150 peso donation covers cost of hosting, water, tea, coffee, cake*, and clean-up 
* Gluten-Free cake available if requested in advance 
Space is limited, so please reserve your place by emailing 

Our meetings are an open, respectful and confidential space where people can express their views safely. The Death Café is an opportunity to discuss death without expectations. This is not a group therapy or grief counseling session. 

Your host, Wilka Roig, MTP, MFA, is a transpersonal psychologist, death doula, grief counselor, dreamworker, artist, baker, and mythmaker.


If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does please contact Francoise, Lydia Jane, 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, 415-120-2119,  tomrosiello@gmail.com
Françoise: 415 149 3053, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Lydia Jane: 415 149 3784,  lydiajane56@gmail.com
Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu 

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, July 9, 10:15 am, Immigration; Why does anyone leave his/her own country to live in another? Is it a temporary move to solve a problem? Is it only immigration when the persons want to live permanently in the new place? Do newcomers realize that the culture may well be very different from that they are used to? Are we ready and/or able to accommodate new ideas? Join 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, July 10, 1:30pm, Café Rama, Calle Nuevo 7.

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, August 5, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, July 14, 10:30am  

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Rev. Tom Rosiello



The Rev. Tom Rosiello, Affiliate Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende, explores the tension between freedom and equality at this week’s Fellowship service.

On this Sunday, the French celebrate Bastille Day, which marked the turning point in the revolution that ended autocratic rule in their country. Two weeks ago the United States celebrated the 4thof July, and in September Mexicans celebrate their Independence Day. All of these holidays recognize the struggle for freedom, equality, and the establishment of democratic rule. These events altered the course of human history and established new ideas that are the hallmark of Liberal Enlightenment thinking. 

The French revolution gave rise to the tripartite motto of France: Liberté, Equlité, Fraturnité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). During his recent visit to France, Rev. Rosiello encountered these words engraved above the doors of many public buildings and reflected upon them as he traveled throughout the country. In his sermon, Rev. Rosiello shares his understanding of what these words really mean and how we measure up today to the standards they set. What has become clear over the past 200 plus years, however, is that these ideas are more easily proclaimed than accomplished.

“The tension between freedom and equality is essentially the core of the debate between liberals (who emphasize equality over freedom) and conservatives (who emphasize freedom over equality). We know that both rights are important but how do we balance them?” Maybe, he suggests, the answer lies in the third part of the French motto. Fraternité is not a right as are the other two, but what might be described as a moral obligation. What does that moral obligation look like, and how might it shape our view of the rights of freedom and equality? 

Today we are witnessing a rise of nationalism and racism around the world that devalues and demonizes the other. We see elected officials shamelessly creating schemes to suppress the vote of minority groups, increasing episodes of hate speech and crimes, and the loss of some hard-won rights for the LGBTQ community. The enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and democracy are in trouble. Rev. Rosiello looks at what a liberal faith teaches us about freedom, equality, and the democratic process.

The music for the service includes themes of freedom and liberty provided by pianist Malcolm Halliday and vocalist Paola Juarez. Included among them is the Mercedes Sosa song, " La Tiempo de Libertas."  

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our 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 visit our website at uufsma.org. Our Sunday morning Children’s Religious Education program is on summer break until September.

Social Action

Lights for Liberty

This Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of Americans to detention camps across the country, into the streets, public spaces and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees. Many UU Congregations have organized or joined with others to make our voices heard near and wide.

Here in San Miguel our Fellowship joins Democrats Abroad, Caminamos Juntos and the
Latin American Relief Fund as a supporting partner in this event.

Please join together this Friday, July 12th and light one small candle at the Lights for
Liberty vigil at 8:30 PM at the kiosk in the Parque Juarez.

We will observe a moment of silence at 9:00 PM.

Small Group Discussions 

Watch this space for information about two Small Group Discussions coming in August.

If you have an idea about a new group, please pass your suggestions to Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com or Joanna Kafarowski, joannakafarowski@gmail.com, co-chairs of the Member Services Team.

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 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 MeDowell, 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
Lydia Jane Failing, lydiajane56@gmail.com
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

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

Greetings & Name Tags
Jim Harper, smaharper@yahoo.com 

Membership Services
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com
Joanna Kafarowski, j

Neighborhood Groups
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.com

Order of Service
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com

Small Group Discussions
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 
Joanna Kafarowski, joannakafarowski@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

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