UUFSMA Newsletter June 22, 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.

Message from Board President, Dan Neuspiel

Generous Members Step Up to Fund Computer for Audio Consultant
Our virtual Sunday services and other Zoom programs have benefited greatly from the skill and effort of our audio consultant, Diego Vargas. But we realized recently that his assistance required additional computer equipment that was not part of our budget this year.  
Fortunately, a call for donors last week resulted in five donations within a three hour period, and $1,200 USD was raised to pay for this equipment. 

We thank the following donors for their generosity:

Gary Belkin and Ed Tudor
Beryl Gilmore
Ellie Goodwin
Mary Murrell
Ellen and Steve Steury
Diego is now choosing the equipment, and we look forward to this purchase helping to bring even more improvements to the quality of our services.

Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

Infection rates in San Miguel de Allende and our entire region continue to climb, so this is not a good time to relax our precautions. Both testing and hospital care are limited here, so our goal is to minimize risk and not get sick!

The new advice from the World Health Organization says that physical distance from others is our most important strategy. Masks are advised for times when we cannot reliably maintain a distance of at least 6 ft – times like taking a taxi, going to the bank or the grocery store, accepting a delivery at the door, or having the refrigerator repair guy in the kitchen.

Which kind of mask? It depends...for those of us age 60 or older, or who have any underlying medical conditions, they now suggest a protective mask, one that actually protects you as well as protecting others. So this is not just a fabric mask. They mean either a real surgical mask or an N95 respirator – these meet government standards for filtration.

How will we get these masks? The Facebook Covid19sma group is almost ready to announce a program where we can pre-order this equipment, and they will obtain and deliver it. They will also explain how to use these types of masks correctly, and how to maintain them. This should be in place very soon.

The Task Force leaves you today with three important points from an interview on NPR with a noted infectious disease epidemiologist at U of Minnesota:

1. This pandemic is not going to slow or stop any time soon. We must learn to live with it.

2. Almost all virus transmission is through the air. We do not need to worry quite so much about contact from surfaces and objects. Of course, we still need to wash hands frequently and disinfect door handles and phones. But the bottom line is: avoid sharing air with anyone who might be infected – and that could be anyone at all! Keep a safe physical distance – that means 6 feet, not 3 or 4. Meet outdoors (it dilutes the virus) or meet in well-ventilated spaces. Moving air is safer than still air.

3. We know that the duration of our exposure to virus in the air is important, but we do not know (yet) how much exposure it takes to get infected…5 minutes? 10? Exactly how much virus is that? These and many other questions are still being studied. Our immediate goal is to stay safe and healthy while scientific research finds more answers for us.

Here is a link to the full interview:

For now, please stay safe and think carefully about where you might be sharing air!


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

Home Care Guide for COVID-19

Active Listening

Weekly Feelings Chart

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is now on YouTube.

You can visit the UUFSMA YouTube channel at this link. There you can watch videos of recent UUF Sunday Services and workshops, including the powerful series “Preparing for a Thoughtful Death.”

Take a look, and if you have comments about the channel, send them to info.uufsma@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,

Topic: Tom’s Zoom Meeting

Time: Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 09:30 AM Mexico City Time

         Every week on Tuesday
        June 30
        July 7
        July 14
        July 21
        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

Preparing for a Thoughtful Death
We will have the final workshop in this UU series on Wednesday, June 24, 10 AM on Zoom. Carlos Chancellor, a Jungian-Archetypal Psychotherapist Dream Worker will use his mesmerizing voice to guide us through the idea of the sacred space created around death, dying and grieving. Wilka Roig will then give us a wrap up of the ideas which have been presented during the series, and offer ways we can continue on in our pursuit of Preparing for a Thoughtful Death.

The workshops will be continued under the umbrella of the Elizabeth Kuble-Ross Foundation, with monthly workshops starting in July.  If you have not registered for the workshops previously send an email to 
info.uufsma@gmail.com.  If you have, you will receive the Zoom location prior to the workshop.   


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, June 23 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone. 
Discussion:  What is a mensch? A loveable person of integrity, generosity or spirit of kindness and willingness to show up when needed. Often someone smart enough to solve problems for others who can't manage for themselves. Trustworthy.

What are your characteristics of a mensch? Has there been a real mensch in your life? What part has he/she/them played? Have you ever discovered that your “mensch” was an “unmensch”? (defined as an unlikable or unfriendly person?) Did you ever date a mensch?  At what age did attraction to a mensch vs the "bad"-boy/girl happen?


Thursday Discussion group, June 25 (11:30am)
The Thursday Zoom discussion group is led by Trish Snyder. 

Discussion: Police Reform.


Although both groups are very popular, there is room for one or two more in each group.  If you are interested in joining, please e-mail jane.wilkinson@gmail.com

UUFSMA Buddhist Group, Sangha of the Heart, Starting June 26
All are welcome to participate in a free weekly Zoom sangha which Joan Wolf is starting on Friday, June 26 from 10:00 to 11:15 AM. Regular participation is encouraged or drop-in when you want. Here is the link, meeting ID and password:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 818 5260 6104
Password: 646180


Sangha is the Buddhist term for a community of practitioners. You do not need to identify as Buddhist to join, nor do you need to be a member of UUFSMA. And you also do not need any previous experience in meditation.

We will be using the teachings (called Dharma) of Buddha as the base. Each week we will
explore a variety of practices including meditation (guided and silent), mindfulness of daily
actions, deep relaxation, and Dharma reading and sharing. Many people are learning of the stress reducing benefits of these practices. What is often not discussed is how difficult it can be to maintain a meditation practice on ones own. The Buddha realized this 2,600 years ago and the first thing he did after awakening was to begin building a four fold sangha of monks, nuns, lay men and lay women. Sangha is one of the three jewels of Buddhism. The other two are the Dharma and the Buddha. The Buddha in this sense is not the historical person, but the awakened nature present within every being.

While taking Reverend Tom Rosiello’s recent Exploring Unitarian Universalist class, Joan
learned about the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship (UUBF). This spiritual identity group is a thriving part of the UU world, with over 100 practice groups in the US and Canada. Unitarian’s interest in Buddhism has deep roots and dates back to 1844 when Elizabeth Palmer Peabody published a chapter from a Buddhist sutra in the Transcendentalist Journal, the Dial. This chapter “The Preaching of Buddha” was the first Buddhist text published in the English language.

UUBF states that anyone who wants their group listed "must have a Buddhist and UU
connection, the type of Buddhism is not important." Joan approached the Board and received approval to start the sangha. Besides being a UU member, Joan is a member of Thich Nhat Hahn's Order of Interbeing community. She accepted the 5 Mindfulness Trainings and received the Dharma name Mindful Intention of the Heart. Currently Joan is an aspirant working with Dharma teacher Jeanie Seward-Magee to become a full member of the Order of Interbeing.

Called Sangha of the Heart as an homage to the place where we live, the heart of Mexico and in recognition of the heart opening practices, Joan will draw on teachings in the Thich Nhat Hahn tradition. Donations are welcome but there is no fee.

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.


Saturday Discussion Group for people living alone, (11:00am)

This Zoom group is for the mutual support of people living alone in these anxious times. Participants can connect with others similarly situated to share resources, concerns, and tribulations. Helen Rivas-Rose is the moderator. 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
June 21, 2020.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/4tdOIIP5pj9JQpXNw2TfUbFmJd_gaaa81iJP-PUFmUpNpjdglNujiFENdzntH4CF Password: 1l$$7b08 

Sunday, June 28, 10:30am


Unitarian Universalist General Assembly Online Service

“Striving for Liberation
on a Thriving Planet”

Rev. Joan Javier-Duval


Click on this link to join the Service

This Sunday’s UU online service will be broadcast from the annual General Assembly of
the Unitarian Universalist Association, each year’s largest North American gathering of UUs for worship. This year’s General Assembly is fully virtual. The inspired and highly recommended service will substitute for the regular UUFSMA Sunday Service produced in San Miguel. Moreover, it will be broadcast twice, first at 10 am Eastern Daylight Time and later at 10 am Pacific Daylight Time (9:00 am and 12:00 pm in San Miguel).

Two Unitarian Universalist ministers, Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and Rev. Mykal O’Neal
Slack will lead the worship, and Rev. Javier-Duval will deliver the sermon. Her words will
express a world view of beauty, gratitude, and love at the heart of faithful striving for collective liberation and a thriving planet.

Community Minister for Worship and Spiritual Care for Black Lives of Unitarian
Universalism, Rev. O’Neal Slack will lead the General Assembly Service toward a deepened vision of “a spiritual community committed to supporting Black folx in our faith” and “spaces for LGBTQ people to access resilience, healing, and spirituality.”

Both service leaders represent the daily work of radical inclusion and cultural shift at the
foundation of Unitarian Universalism. Their leadership within the UU ministry will have a
powerful echo in the musical program directed by Benjie Messer of Phoenix, AZ, who will bring together an online orchestra of many of the finest musicians in the North American community of Unitarian Universalism.

In creating the General Assembly service, the three will encourage participants to reflect
upon the beauty and joy of Unitarian Universalism’s commitment to inclusion and diversity in a community of love and faith. Rev. Javier-Duval, Minister of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, VT, is mother of a kindergartner, spouse of a proud Vermonter, and daughter of Philippine immigrants. Rev. O’Neil Slack, co-founder of the Transforming Hearts Collective, is a husband and father from the South, committed to healing, truth-telling, community accountability and care. Mr. Messer completed the UUA's Music Leadership Certification Program after leading a New Orleans brass band, arranging scores for a digital music start-up, composing instrumentals for film and media, and teaching future musicians from preschool through college.

To participate in the UU General Assembly Sunday Service, visit the UUFSMA website
at www.uufsma.org where a link will be posted for joining the event. Or participate through
www.uua.org/ga where a link will also be posted.

The worship service will include a collection for the Tomaquag Museum, an indigenous
museum and archive of Southern New England tribal communities.

Through grants and awards, UU Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende donates fifty
percent of all donations 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. More than ever, your support is essential.

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.

Click on the link below to read the latest update from Caminamos Juntos.

Click on the link below to read a special message from Casita Linda's Board President.


Dear Unitarian Church members

My mane is Guadalupe Avarez and with Myrna Montes we are the main volunteers at Amigos Al Cien.

Amigos al Cien started March 19 as a response to the Covid19 Pandemic and the closing of hotels, restaurants and everything related to tourism, being San Miguel a town with 70% of its jobs dedicated to tourism we knew it would be very hard for the citizens of San Miguel.

We started delivering only 150 food basic packages, and now with your help we are delivering 4000 food packages a week, what we do is give the families enough food for 2 weeks, so they would only come to pick up 2 times a month.

The basics are

2 kilo of beans
2 kilo of rice
1 kilo of lentil
50 grams of oatmeal
Milk (we just got a donation )
1 or 2 tuna cans
6 pastas
1 liter of cooking oil
1 kilo of sugar
1 package of 4 rolls of toilet paper. 


We add anything extra that is donated, like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots etc.

This food packages are delivered in Salon Acuario, ( this is also donated ) and one family member comes every 2 weeks to pick up, we give them mask  so they can be safe,  we ask them to bring a recycle market bag so they can take everything home.

We deliver food packages to more that 100 communities  and to most of the colonias in town, we give just to the people that have lost jobs (we know there is a big need but we just cannot help all).

In terms of volunteers there are days were we are more than 30 and days that there are 10, this depends on if the volunteers have to work or take care of loved ones.

Myrna,  I are volunteers every day.

Thank you again.

Myrna Montes and Guadalupe Alvarez

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

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