UUFSMA Newsletter May 13, 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.

Care Team

It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.
-  Mother Teresa


Care Team members have been busy the past couple of weeks, and we have reports about their various activities.


Easter Sunday was extra special this year for Terry Daugherty. Terry turned 100 that day and loved ones from far and wide gathered in her beautiful Gaudiana home to celebrate.  An accomplished artist, Terry has been living in SMA for over 20 years.

A few weeks prior to her party, Terry’s son and UUFSMA member Michael Hertz reached out to the care team to set up visits with his mother. Terry is becoming frail, staying home and sleeping more. Michael lives with his mother and manages her care.

Care team member Diana Ellsworth has known Terry for years, owns some of her artwork and has been visiting. For me it’s been a pleasure getting to know both Terry and Michael better when I visit.  - Joan Wolf

Seeking help from the Care Team or serving as a care partner is a wonderful opportunity to bring our UUFSMA community closer.



ALMA Care Facility
A group of Care Team volunteers visited the ALMA facility on April 29, and those in attendance were Francoise Yohalem, Diana Amaya, Lydia Jane Failing, and Michael Murphy. The director of Alma, who has been there for seven years, was amenable and answered all our questions.


ALMA is a non-profit founded in 1992 by Mrs. Carmina Casas and Margaret Galloway with the mission to provide lodging and care to people over 65 from San Miguel who are not able to live alone, have no place else to go and often are indigent.  Funds are donated by Corporate and private sponsors, the monthly sale, and whatever fees the families of the residents can afford to pay.

ALMA is located behind La Comer in Colonia La Lejona Section 2.  It is a peaceful, clean, well laid-out facility with gardens, a physical therapy room that they are planning to expand, game room, dining room and multiple covered outdoor areas with fountains and gardens for relaxing.

There are three bedroom choices.  All choices include three meals a day, a doctor who visits three times a week and staff that is on-duty 24 hours a day.  

#1.  There are eight very large bedrooms that accommodate five beds and there is one bathroom that is shared.  The monthly cost is $6,000 pesos.

#2.  There are six private bedrooms with private bath and the cost is $10,000 pesos a month. 

#3.  There are four living room-bedroom-private bathroom units and the cost is $14,000 pesos a month.

Maximum capacity at ALMA is 50 people and currently there are 37 people living at ALMA.  The total staff is 20 and a few of them are bi-lingual.  Currently there are four expats residing at Alma; that number changes as would be expected.  Expats must have a power of attorney and that person must be living in San Miguel.  It is common for expats to have their own private caregivers with them.IT.  

The ALMA Board interviews all prospective residents who request admission; the process takes approximately 2 - 3 weeks.  The board will not accept people who are capable of living on their own, are confined to bed or have severe psychological needs.  The applicant must be mobile by use of walker, cane, or wheelchair.


Reviews by folks who have stayed at Alma have been mixed; some have done okay and some have not thrived. There have been complaints about the quality of food, which is pretty low-cost typical Mexican and the lack of many English speaking residents to befriend.  


Overall, if an expat can reside at one of the other assisted living facilities in SMA, those are likely better choices for long-term care.. 


Contact: 4 15 152 7210 or 415 152 2866, Email:  ingo@asiloalma.org


Corrinne Gilbertson, her husband and their three children, are leaving SMA and our UU Fellowship to head back to the U.S. Corrinne has been active in the children’s program and her youngsters have been a great addition to that program, Volunteers are being sought to help with children’s. programing, and if you are interested please contact Chris Chase,  chris.chase1955@gmail.com.


The Care Team is developing a list of home caregivers, of all sorts and services.  If you have utilized the services of a home caregiver, and would like to recommend him/her to other members of our fellowship, please send all pertinent information to  lydiajane56@gmail.com.  We would like to know what services this person provided, whether or not they speak any English, and how much you paid them. Your assistance in building this list will be greatly appreciated.

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,  lydiajafa@yahoo.com
Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu 

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, May 14, 10:15 am, What would you like to be remembered for? What is your legacy, to your family, to the people who know you? 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, May 15, 1:30pm, Vivali, Herandez Macias 66.

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, June 3 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, May 19, 10:30am  

AMLO's First Six Months

Hector Ulloa



At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, political analyst Hector Ulloa assesses the first the six months of Andrés Manual Lopez Obrador’s presidency.

“It’s been almost six months since Lopez Obrador took office as the new President of Mexico, and his detractor’s still can’t figure out what happened,” says Ulloa. “They still can’t accept the fact that he is already President and behave as if they were still campaigning. Former President Enrique Peña Nieto has disappeared from the political scene. He was recently seen frolicking at a posh beach resort with his daughter and new girlfriend. Felipe Calderon has been trying to put together a new political party after having divided his own PAN to the brink of extinction. Vincente Fox continually expresses his grievances through Twitter, trying to convince people that Lopez Obrador is ‘a danger to Mexico.’ He recently organized a demonstration demanding that AMLO resign immediately.”

What has Lopez Obrador been doing besides meeting with the press every single morning? Have there been any palpable changes now that he is President? His popularity has attained unprecedented levels in the last few months, now standing at 80% approval. Is this based on facts or merely expectation? What is the rest of the world saying about his administration?

Hector Ulloa has a longstanding relationship with San Miguel de Allende. He studied ethnology at the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City and communications at Monterrey Tech before moving here in the mid-1990s. He quickly progressed from a volunteer to assistant editor to the first Mexican editor-in-chief in Atención San Miguel’s history. This gave him an edge when writing editorials, since, being Mexican, he was not limited by law to express his views regarding Mexican politics.

Following his stint at Atención, he was named Press Secretary to then SMA Mayor Jaime Fernández, where he got to know how Mexican politics work from the inside and the dire conditions in which most people live in San Miguel’s rural communities. After that, he was the academic director of the Instituto Allende. Hector moved to Toluca in the State of Mexico in 2011, where he established Iconofilia ( iconofilia.hectorulloa.com) to practice and teach the art of digital photography.

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Children’s Religious Education program, 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 check out our website at uufsma.org.

Small Group Discussions 

For the tie that binds us to the UUF and to each other, we are offering small group discussions and invite you to participate. Some discussions last two hours; some groups will meet over time. All are on subjects of interest and facilitated by inspiring leaders.

Upcoming Short Discussions

What is Your Legacy?
Thinking about legacy prompts us to put our life into perspective -- making conscious choices about the kind of life we want to live. Our legacy is the part of ourselves that will be left in the hearts and minds of others we will leave behind. As we learn from our past, go through life in the present and foster our potential future, these experiences create our unique legacy. Our values, the examples we set, the paths we choose, the decisions we make, and the way we conduct our life, create our unique signature in this world. The question is what legacy will you leave? Are we living our lives to reflect the legacy we want to leave behind?

Join us for a meaningful small group discussion facilitated by UUF Board member Joanna Kafarowski at her home in Colonia San Antonio on Friday, May 24, 2-4 p.m.

Space is limited so please reserve your spot by emailing Joanna at joannakafarowski@gmail.com. Joanna will send her address to those who reserve.

Ongoing Small Groups

Women’s Group
Connect and interact with other women as we explore the multiple facets of womanhood. At the first gathering we'll decide when, where, and how often we will meet, group structure, and various topics that may be of interest. The goal is for women to have a place to express ideas, share experiences, reflect on the future and the past, laugh heartily, and, of course, make new friends.

All women who are UUF members or Friends are invited to this initial meeting, so come join us to plan how we will proceed. The first meeting will be hosted by Margo Johnson on Wednesday, May 15, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at her temporary home on Calzada de la Presa 14, Unit 3. Register for this group at margoj325@outlook.com 

If you, or a friend, would like to know more about the Rainbow Group (LGBTQ), please contact Arlene any Sunday or at  aavannote@msn.com

Watch this space for more Small Group Discussions and Ongoing Groups

In the summer we expect to begin an ongoing group of Jewish UUs and Buddhist UUs.

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.

We have revived Neighborhood Connections of UUs for social and care taking.  If you are interested in connecting with your UU neighbors, the sign up sheet is on the Welcome Table.
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 2018-2019 (as of April 1, 2018)

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 
Becky Langrall, 503-860-3115, 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,  jcsimsarian@yahoo.com

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, l ydiajane56@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.

To join our Yahoo group site create a Yahoo email account, then click on this link:


On the bottom right corner, click on 'Join Group' and follow the directions.


Facebook: “Like” us at: UU Fellowship of SMA. Website: www.UUFSMA.Org

Mail address: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA, Apdo 798, San Miguel de Allende 37700 Guanajuato, Mexico.

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico