UUFSMA Newsletter May 4, 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.

Dear Members and Friends of the
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende,
The Board is happy to announce that our Fellowship has agreed to allocate an additional $5,000 from our cash surplus to provide Matching Funds for donations from UUF Members and Friends to address the continuing food shortage for the neediest within San Miguel during the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage those of you who can, to consider donating part or all of your stimulus check as one option for giving. Most people are spending less now, and the peso’s 25% drop in value over the last two months means that your dollars are going much further here in Mexico.
Donations can be made directly through one of the options listed HERE and through the Fellowship's PayPal portal HERE. Please indicate that your donation is for "Food for SMA."  
The Social Action Committee together with the Board determined BASMA, San Miguel's Food Bank, to be the best choice of a recipient for our donations, as it is an integral part of the efforts of groups like the Amigos al 100, the Bomberos through the Red Cross, and Patronato Pro Ninos to distribute food to the most vulnerable members of our community.
Periodic updates on the status of giving will be posted in the newsletter, Google Groups, Facebook, and through direct communication to the membership. Together we can make an important difference during this difficult time for those in greatest need.
Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

We want you to stay well. COVID-19 is now strongly impacting some areas of
Mexico, and continues to spread slowly in San Miguel – so it’s crucial that we
continue our safety strategies faithfully. You may have noticed that not everyone
you see is following the rules! That’s very sad, but we must continue to follow the
guidelines, and not personally push the envelope. It’s too risky!

The data still remains clear: the best strategy is to simply STAY HOME. And if you
truly must go out, stay away from people – at least 6 feet. Pretend that everyone
you see is infected…and maybe that you are! Wash your hands frequently, don’t
touch your face, and wear your mask correctly – covering your mouth and nose.
Masks are not easy to wear, and you can’t fiddle with them without risking
contamination. Each mask must be washed with soap and water after each use.
Remember, your mask is primarily to protect others, not you -- but if worn or
handled incorrectly, it can become a source of virus to infect you.

The most important thing is that we isolate as much as possible, and keep our
distance if we’re out. Any time we fail to follow these guidelines, we take a risk
to ourselves, which then creates a risk to others. Please don’t cheat!

We also want you to remember that despite the best precautions, this virus may
find its way to any of us. The COVID19 SMA Facebook group has produced both a
planning guide a detailed Home Care manual – we urge you to read them!

Please be sure you know how to contact your medical provider, and that you already have your supplies in case you become sick. Think about your home -- what room will you use if you become ill? Could you start to unclutter it a bit now? how easily and safely could you get to the bathroom? Where exactly will you keep your thermometer, your notepad, your phone?

These next few weeks are critical, so please do everything you can to stay well, stay safe, stay connected with your friends, family and fellow UUs, and stay home!

If you find yourself worrying about “worse things to come,” you might find this article about “Anticipatory Grief” helpful:

And for something quite a bit more entertaining– take a look at a show on YouTube called SGN (which stands for “Some Good News”). It's a wonderful compilation of good news videos, heartwarming commentary and funny remarks without being politically or critically negative or frightening. There are six episodes so far…


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

            Help Donate to Purchase ABBA and Assist Migrants

Many UUFSMA members and friends have donated generously over the past three years to support the work done by Pastor Ignacio at the ABBA shelter in Celaya. Migrants continue to arrive at ABBA from Central America and elsewhere, seeking respite and sanctuary from the horrible conditions in their homelands.Now they face the additional danger of COVID-19 infection.

We now have a unique opportunity to help ABBA continue and expand its mission in providing humanitarian aid to migrants in transit, treatment to those who have fallen from trains and sustained amputation, and those seeking asylum, safety and opportunity in Mexico. The former landlord of ABBA has defaulted, and the bank has foreclosed on the property. At the current exchange rate, Pastor Ignacio can purchase the ABBA building for just $80,000 USD, but he needs our help.

There are two donors who have pledged matching donations, so our target is to raise $40,000 USD to cover the cost of the building and renovations. There are two ways you can give:

1. You may give to the GoFundMe site managed by Stan Allen: https://www.gofundme.com/abba-house-shoes-for-immigrants.

2. If you want a US tax deduction, you may donate to the Latin American Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3), at: https://latinamericanrelieffund.org or by check sent to: LARF c/o Sher Davidson, 3501 Summerlinn Drive, West Linn, Oregon 97068.

Donations to either site above will be matched, and 100% of funds will go to the purchase of ABBA’s home.


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, May 5 2020, 09:30 AM Mexico City Time

         Every week on Tuesday
        May 12, 2020 09:30 AM
        May 19, 2020 09:30 AM
        May 26, 2020 09:30 AM
        Jun 2, 2020 09:30 AM
        Jun 9, 2020 09:30 AM
        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
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!

The Tuesday discussion group that met at Quinta Loreto is now meeting using Zoom.  Liz Stone and Bill Dalsimer are moderators. 

The topic for Tuesday, May 5 is

The topic is The Future: What will it be like? What changes might we make when the pandemic is over? What have we learned about ourselves?


A different discussion group meets on Thursdays, is moderated by Trish Snyder.

The topic for Thursday, May 7 is 
What movies, documentaries, and books have you read in the past six weeks that you can recommend to others? Upbeat preferred, inspirational nice, or just plain distracting!


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


If you'd like to form a third discussion group, perhaps with a different focus, Jane Wilkinson and Diana Amaya can help you. Possible topics are political policy, cinema, sports, religion/spirituality or anything else that interests you and might appeal to a group of other UUers. 

Contact Jane at  jane.wilkinson@gmail.com or Diana at di.diana.amaya@gmail.com.


Wednesday Lunch Bunch has been suspended indefinitely.


Saturday Men's breakfast group has been suspended indefinitely.

The Circle Cena has been suspended indefinitely.

Attached is a link to the recording of our Zoom Sunday Service held on
May 3, 2020.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/uf4kCuqu1j5IeKvt5WTYAr4oR5yiT6a80yQarvsInRzBPhMn4JtudXwTGejVvZQg Password: 8C@*0.0! 

Sunday, May 10, 10:30am


Hearing Mom's voice

Rev. Tom Rosiello



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

Contrary to popular notions, Mother’s Day was not created by the Hallmark Company to sell greeting cards. Women committed to social justice established this Sunday to honor mothers around the world and motivate them to rise for peace. After writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Unitarian Julia Ward Howe went on to create the holiday and, since then, it has become an annual celebration of the esteem in which mothers deserve to be held for their love and sacrifice in bearing each new generation of humans. However, Howe did not make this observance happen alone. Her Methodist predecessor, Anna Jarvis, worked to raise awareness of the poor state of public health conditions in her Appalachian community. She too believed mothers could become the most successful advocates for many social causes. 

As Rev. Tom Rosiello, the Fellowship’s Affiliate Minister, will emphasize, for these pioneering feminists, Mother’s Day became a day when women's voices would not be ignored, even in the celebration’s early years before women could vote. In her Mother’s Day Proclamation, Julia Ward Howe called on women to:“Arise then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts... Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.”

Besides exploring these historic Unitarian roots, Rev. Rosiello will also reflect on the feelings of daughters and sons toward their mothers and consider the tireless struggle of mothers providing for and raising children in Mexico and throughout a patriarchal world where their work remains widely unrecognized.

The service will also include the voices of women in the proclamations and pacifist hymns of Julia Ward Howe and the Hispano-Anglo poetry of Rev. Theresa Soto. Pianist and vocalist Malcolm Halliday will perform Mother’s Day musical selections and lead the UUFSMA online fellowship in singing hymns.  

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 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 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. 

  We Invite You to Share Your Feelings!

The UU Fellowship of SMA is building a repository of individuals’ feelings and experiences during this pandemic. Tell us what and how you are doing that would be helpful to others during this difficult time. Submissions and excerpts will be read at the upcoming
Sunday, May 31st service.

We live amid an event that is more stressful than most of us have ever experienced. This straight-from-hell coronavirus landed upon the world seemingly out of nowhere. Being largely confined indoors, we don’t live our lives as usual. To make it worse, every time we turn on the media we see and hear the suffering and sorrow of people everywhere in the world. We all need help and comfort.

Please email your experiences in 250 words or less to mqcarroll@gmail.com before Friday, May 8th. You may include a photograph or illustration. Also, please know your work may be edited and will be shared with the public.

Organized by UUFSMA Sunday Service Committee Members,

Matthew Carroll
Helen Rivas-Rose
Hilary Toyryla

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).

A collage of greetings from many of the deaf students at
Escuela de Educación Especial 

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,  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