UUFSMA Newsletter June 8, 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.

The next UUFSMA Board meeting will be on Thursday, June 11 at 1:00pm. If you wish to attend this Zoom meeting, please contact Board President, Dan Neuspiel at dneuspiel@gmail.com.
On Monday, June 15 at 11:00 AM the Get Out the Vote Team from Democrats Abroad will host a virtual Zoom training to help voters who live in Mexico request their ballot for the upcoming elections or register to vote if they have not voted in a long time. After the Zoom training the San Miguel team will also be available to help voters individually by email or phone. Please click the link to RSVP.

Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

There is some good news and bad news. The good news is that as far as we are aware, because of our safe behavior, no members of our Fellowship have become ill with Covid19.

The bad news is that cases are on a rapid increase in Mexico and in San Miguel. As of Sunday morning, there have been reports of 24 active cases, 37 total cases and two deaths in SMA, and we know that the actual number is much, much higher. So please continue to stay at home whenever possible.

If you must leave your home, wear a mask and keep two meters or six feet from others.

And be prepared at home in the event that you do get sick; the Home Care Guide at Covid19sma.com is a great resource for this.


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


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 9, 2020, 09:30 AM Mexico City Time

         Every week on Tuesday
        Jun 16, 2020 09:30 AM
        Jun 23, 2020 09:30 AM

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 is pleased to present the third of our workshop series on Preparing for a Thoughtful Death, which will be held on Wednesday, June 10 at 10:00am via Zoom. 

Our speaker will be Dr. Pepe Valencia, who has over thirty years experience in Mexico in elder care and assisting the dying making the last, final transition.  Dr. Pepe will address the topic of: Having “The Conversation” with your loved ones regarding your desires for your Thoughtful Death, including the importance of having an Advance Directive in place. "The Conversation" is an initiative started several years ago to help people understand how and when to hold the very necessary conversation regarding their wishes for how they want the final days, ceremonies, burial, commemorations, etc. to be carried out for them. 

Our first two workshops had over 50 people each and received very positive reviews of both the content and the speakers; we expect this one will be equally valuable to you. 

If you have not previously registered for the workshop you can do so by sending an email to info.uufsma@gmail.com. If you have registered, you will receive an email link to the Zoom meeting on Tuesday afternoon and/or Wednesday morning which will provide you with access to the workshop. The recordings of the workshops are available on our YouTube channel:  UUFSMA.

In Need of Medical Services, or Any Other Kind of Service?

Zoom presentation by Ron Lenox, owner of  DiscoverSMA.com
Thursday, June 11, 1:00pm

Register at Ron@DiscoverSMA.com.

One of the most common questions that come up for us ex-pats in SMA is related to medical providers: Who’s good, how long have they been around SMA, what experiences have we had with them?

DiscoverSMA.com has a comprehensive listing of many service providers, including Medical Providers, with feedback from others regarding the service they received.

Learn how to make the best use of DiscoverSMA.com in this informative presentation by Ron Lenox, who developed the site and keeps it up to date. Ron made a presentation to the team about a year ago and folks who attended were amazed at the rich content of the site and how useful it can be.


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 9 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone. 
Discussion:  Prior to our next discussion, participants are encouraged to take a couple of the tests at this website: Implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest. We will discuss which ones you took and if your test results surprised you. Did you learn anything from the tests you took that you didn’t already know? Did you find that the tests were helpful in opening a conversation with yourself or others? When you perceive prejudice or implicit bias in family and friends, do you raise this with them? How do you approach a conversation about prejudice and bias?


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

Discussion:  Can you recognize and address your frequently unrecognized prejudices. How do you acknowledge them? (Think race, gender identity, weight, mode of dress, political and religious beliefs, mental and physical disabilities, behaviors, speech). What prejudices do we carry with us that we recognize? How comfortable are you with them? Where did they come from? Do we talk about them? What can we do about them?


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


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 7, 2020.


Sunday, June 14, 10:30am


“Behave As A Human”

Speakers: Rev Arvid Straube



This service will be transmitted via Zoom. Those interested in viewing this and future Services should either download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app or go to the zoom.us site and click  



Or use the Zoom Cloud Meetings app on your smartphone or tablet

The Meeting ID is 414 604 040, PASSWORD 294513

In this Sunday’s online UUFSMA service, the Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube will explore the conundrum of control in a time of fear and panic.

During this extraordinary time, there are so many things we cannot control. We can’t control what other people do or think. We can’t control how well strangers, neighbors and friends follow distancing guidelines. We can’t control how long the pandemic will last. There is no way we can predict what will happen to us or anyone else. As difficult as it may be, we would be better off not wasting energy on worrying and thinking about things beyond our control. As self-help writer Byron Katie wrote, “If you fight with reality, you lose, but only 100 per cent of the time.” 

The First Century rabbi and sage Hillel said, “In a world where no one is behaving as a human being, you must behave as a human being.” Most people show compassion and humanity during this uncertain time. We witness many acts of consideration, creativity, sacrificial service and generosity, not only by heroic health care workers but also ordinary clerks, delivery people and cleaning staff.

But not everyone acts from their best selves. Unfortunately, the fear that the Covid-19 pandemic generates in most of us inspires forms of cruelty, divisiveness, greed, deception and hatred in some others, even at the highest levels of government and business. And while it can be easy to hate the haters, that response also increases suffering.

The German word for human being is “Mensch.”  However, in Yiddish, a language with roots in German and Hebrew, a Mensch is not just any human being, but an extraordinary human being. A Mensch is a person of great kindness and integrity. While we cannot control much that is outside ourselves in this time of suffering and loss, each one of us does possess the power to choose our attitudes and actions. We can choose to be a Mensch and behave like an authentic human being. Panic and fear are as contagious as any virus yet so are calmness and kindness.

Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube lives near San Diego with his wife Sonya Prestridge. He has served Unitarian Universalist congregations for 35 years. Dr. Straube earned an M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School. In 2014, Meadville Lombard also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. He now teaches at that school while also pursuing a ministry of spiritual direction and meditation coaching. Arvid and Sonya have had many extended visits to San Miguel and look forward to visiting again in the post-pandemic future.

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 Affiliate 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 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.


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