UUFSMA Newsletter March 9, 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.

A warm welcome to all Visitors who attended our service this week. It was a joy having you with us, and we look forward to your next visit.
          Welcome to New Member
               Elisabeth Mention

A warm welcome to 2020 new UUFSMA member Elisabeth Mention, who has the following to share:
Q What months do you live in San Miguel?
I visit San Miguel during late January, February and early March.
Q How many years have you been here?
A I have been visiting since 1976.

Where did you live before here?
A I am a native southern Californian, but have lived in Port Townsend, WA, since retirement in 2005.
Q What was/is your occupation?
A I lived in Los Angeles where I was an art conservator at the Getty Museum.
Q What activities do you enjoy?
A I enjoy painting, gardening and dance.
Q Family?
A I am a widow with one daughter (Washington) and one step-daughter (France).
Q UU history?
A I am a member of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend, WA.

The Membership Annual Meeting will be held on 
Sunday, March 22 at 12:00 noon 
following the Sunday Service.
This is an important meeting for the Fellowship. 
In order to vote at the meeting, you need to be a  Pledging Member
by today.

Please mark your calendars and attend.
            Volunteers Needed!

We are in need of a few people who are willing to coordinate which individuals pass our collection baskets on rotating Sundays. There are many people who enjoy passing the baskets so it isn't difficult to recruit them. Please email 
chris.chase1955@gmail.com so we can have some new volunteers trained prior to April.  

Care Team

                                     Two Care Team workshops
                                            Saturday, March 21
                     Hotel Quinta Loreto Meeting Room, in the back

You can register for the morning or the afternoon session or both at the

Welcome Table on Sundays.

A $150 peso donation to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is requested of each participant, whether you attend one or both workshops.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before each session to sign in.

Morning Session 9:30 - 12:30

Your Gift is Your Presence, Tom Rosiello, moderator
The workshop is designed for those who are on the care team, those interested in joining, and  anyone who wants to learn about how to visit and be supportive of an infirm person or someone going through a difficult time.  Tom will lead a panel of professionals who will offer both practical information on resources in the community, spiritual grounding for care givers, and tips on how to better engage with the person you are visiting while observing
appropriate boundaries.

Afternoon Session 1:30 – 4:30

Preparing for a Thoughtful Death, Lydia Jane Failing, moderator
There is a saying “What does a Great Day look like?” and I reflect on that frequently.  Now, I’m wondering:  What does a Thoughtful Death look like?”  A serene garden setting filled with flowers; beloved friends gathered around ready to celebrate my life after my death; all my affairs in order; another beautiful day in SMA.   Wishful thinking?  Perhaps.  An impossibility?  Certainly not.  

While we may not be able to totally control the circumstances surrounding our demise, we can make thoughtful choices to make it as easy a transition as possible. At the workshop we will prompt you to think about it, with help from a panel of experts and thought-leaders on the topic.  

We’ll have a deep, historical dive into the ancient thoughts and wisdom concerning death; information on current non-traditional practices and how they apply in Mexico. There will be insight from a Mexico-based End of Life Planning and Support specialist and an overview of how our approach to death is changing and how we can adopt these emerging practices into our own plans for having a thoughtful death, right here in SMA.


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, March 10, 10:15 am, What creates a sense of belonging?  Where do you belong? How do you know it? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone. The group meets at the Quinta Loreto restaurant at Loreto 15.


Wednesday Lunch Bunch, March 11, 1:30pm, Café Rama, Nemesio Diez 7.


Saturday Men's breakfast group, men meet in the Jardin at 9:30am in front of the Parroquia and decide where to eat. 

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, April 6 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, March 15, 10:30am


Standing Against Violence


Veronica Sanchez Cruz



Veronica Cruz, the internationally recognized heroine of justice for Mexican women, will discuss violence against women in Mexico at Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (UUF) service. Her persistent voice has increased law enforcement’s recognition of the extent of gender violence and murder of women by domestic partners, so-called femicide, enabled by a cultural impunity for crimes against women in Mexico.

As part of Women’s History Month programs organized by Ser Mujer, Cruz will share her experience as a campaigner for legislative and judicial protection for Mexican women. While in high school offering door-to-door lessons in literacy, she began to hear about the dangers facing Mexican women in León, Guanajuato, where she was born. Physical attacks there have been recorded against 59 percent of females 15 years and older, well above the World Health Organization’s estimate of 35 percent worldwide. In 2019 alone, these horrifying events included the murders of 303 women, at least 25 by domestic partners.

To combat this grim reality for so many women, in 2001 Cruz and others founded Las Libres, which advocates for the legal rights of women to make reproductive and sexual choices for their own bodies. An active promoter of free and safe abortions for victims of rape and incest, Cruz developed a training program for volunteers to provide counseling and accompany women seeking abortions. In 2006 she was the first Mexican human rights activist to be awarded the Defender of Human Rights Award from Human Rights Watch. In 2010, More Magazine named her “the most dangerous woman in the world” for her advocacy of women’s rights.

From a house in Guanajuato, purchased by supporters in Portland, Oregon who fund ongoing operations, Las Libres’ work has obtained guilty verdicts, prison sentences and compensation for victim’s families for every woman murdered in the city of Guanajuato since 2014. This year, Las Libres succeeded in obtaining official declaration of a Gender Alert, designating areas of Guanajuato where women face high levels of violence. The designation obligates law enforcement to conduct in-depth investigations of violence and implement protective measures.

Maritere Dobarganes will provide simultaneous translation of Cruz’s presentation. For more information about Ser Mujer, visit sermujersma.com.

Welcoming people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity, the UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15. For information about our Children’s Sunday Program, contact us at chris.chase1955@gmail.com. Visitors are invited to attend the service and join UUs for refreshments afterwards. The fellowship is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit our web site at uufsma.org. 


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 first 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.




(yes, they’re letting us out in public for a third time)


Come to La Frontera on Saturday March 28, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, to hear Singer Forres performing all the songs that you ever knew but never knew you knew. 

Come hear:

  • Phil Singer strumming his heart out (we prefer he use a pick) on the 6-string and 12-string guitar and singing lead,
  • Steve Singer fiddling around on (what else) the fiddle, and
  • Don Forres playing every other instrument he happens to bring with him that day while singing harmony.

It’ll be a lot of fun. Call Noren at La Frontera Restaurant (now across from Lavinia’s Framing) to reserve a table at 152-4265.


All proceeds to benefit Caminos de Agua


Hope to see you there

Phil, Don & Steve

Proposed Non Profit Organizations Supported
by the UUFSMA in 2020
Caminos de Agua provides open-source solutions related to water quality and quantity for communities at risk on our aquifer in Central Mexico. Grant will fund a full time Community Outreach and Education specialist.

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 US. Grant will fund efforts to expand radio outreach and community assessment efforts.

Caminamos Juntos Newsletter
CJ Annual Report 2019

Casita Linda builds houses and provides workshops to help improve life for those living in poverty. Grant will fund 62 workshops in life quality enhancement such as self-esteem building, organic gardening, and family communication.
. 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. Grant will fund six promodores to provide workshops on identity building, the construction of dry toilets, rainwater catchment systems, organic gardening, and community leadership.

Centro Infantil de los Angeles provides high quality childcare (including health and educational needs) to low-income mothers allowing them to earn a living. Grant will fund scholarships for free childcare (infants of three months to four years) for seven children.

El Charco del Ingenio protects and preserves the territory and ecosystem of El Charco, providing ecological, scenic, educational, and historic value to the region. Grant will contribute to the development of a new Interpretive Center to encourage more visitors, particularly

Escuela de Educación Especial offers education to those with hearing impairment aimed at ensuring they become independent, literate, and productive citizens. Grant would go toward part of the salary of the Academic Director, setting up a new hearing clinic, and training

teachers to educate a child who is both deaf and blind.


Feed the Hungry offers school meals, family nutrition education, and community development programs. Grant will fund the purchase of food for 13,000 meals for two schools (20 mothers and 30 toddlers).

Fundación de Apoyo Infantil supports positive lifelong habits through classes for children in environmental education, organic gardening, and recycling. Grant will fund two rainwater catchment systems and 12 ceramic water filters for 12 classrooms in two of SMA’s poorest elementary schools.

Update of activities 2019
Jóvenes Adelante provides university scholarships and support to financially challenged youth. Grant will fund four students who will graduate in 4 – 5 years, depending on their field of study, including the cost of credentialing.

Read the latest JA newsletter by clicking on this link - 
Mujeres en Cambio provides scholarships to girls and young women in rural communities to keep them in school and help them attend college. Grant will fund 13 girls through one more year of junior high school or high school.

Ninos Con Autismo identifies, evaluates, devises treatment plans, and assesses progress for children with autism. As a new organization, these funds will assist with startup expenses.

Patronato Pro Niños provides medical, dental, psychological and nutritional care for children and adolescents from economically deprived families in the municipality of SMA. Grant will fund the Public Health Information Campaign and funding of a psychologist at the clinic.

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
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