UUFSMA Newsletter November 11, 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.

Fourth Annual

Holiday Bazaar
Join us after the service on Sunday, December 15th for our Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. Last year we had over 20 booths offering a wide selection of articles, such as books, crafts, chocolates, stained glass and more. And, don't forget to drop by our White Elephant booth for those hidden treasures. 

If you wish to have a table at the Bazaar, below are the rules:
  • For a half table to sell your items they should be brought on day of sale.
  • Set-up starts at 9 that morning.
  • Only members of UU will be allowed to sell.
  • There will be a sign-up Sheet at the Welcome Table beginning Sunday,  November 17.
  • Participants need to provide their own table covering (there will be two sellers per table).
  • No hang-up art so bring your own easels if you need them.
  • No glass objects.
  • Supply your own change.
White Elephant Table
If you have Items you don't want or can't use, but are in good condition (no clothes or shoes), they need to be brought early on the morning of sale (9-10AM). There is no storage at the Aldea, but items can be brought to Arlena's garage before the sale and will be taken over to the Aldea on the morning of the 15th.

To drop off at Arlena's, please call first -154-8410. The location is Gracia 5 in La Aldea. We prefer small items that can be sold from a table; that is, no furniture.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Arlena Lawrence at lawrencearlena@yahoo.com or call 54-8410.
Circle Cena

The Circle Cena is a concept begun by the Fellowship years ago as a social gathering for people who meet at a host's house once a month (usually but not always the first Monday of the month) for either a pot luck of botanas and dessert or a dinner. The hosts coordinate the event as to how many guests they can or want to have and who brings what food to share. As the groups change from ‘cena’ to ‘cena’, it’s a great opportunity to get to know other UUs.

There is a sign-up sheet at the Welcome Table on Sunday, or call Arlena Lawrence 154-8410 or email at lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.

Below are photos from the last Circle Cena. Come and join us for the next one on December 2!

                          New Google Group
We are switching our group message board from Yahoo to Google groups. Most pledging members have received an invite where they can join easily. Also, many prior Yahoo members were automatically transferred over. If you haven’t received any notice from us, and you would like to join our UUFSMA Google Groups, please email Diana Amaya at 
di.diana.amaya@gmail.com. All she needs is your email address and she will add you to the UUFSMA group.

On behalf of the UUFSMA, Bob Doupe and  Dianne Dailey presented a Resolution at the UU Delegate Assembly this past June. 

The Resolution addressed the issue of migrants at the US border and the horrific treatment they are receiving.The Resolution condemned the current US policies and called for support of the humanitarian action many citizens, including Unitarians were taking to assist migrants.The resolution was one of 12 presented for consideration. Only three resolutions were adopted by the Assembly, including ours.It passed with almost 100% support. 

The following statement was Bob's presentation before the Assembly. A copy of the resolution is posted on the bulletin board near the name tags.

Good Afternoon,

My name is Bob Doupe and I represent the UU Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Members of San Miguel’s UU fellowship are working tirelessly to support migrants coming thru Mexico from Central America, seeking asylum in the United States.

The migrants take unimaginable risks. They are fleeing violence and lawlessness in their home countries, and face hunger, bandits, kidnapping, severe physical harm and sexual
violence. Rather than a safe haven at our border, they face the tyranny of the current Trump administration. When the migrants are prevented from crossing legally, many face death trying to cross the desert. At the same time, humanitarians, including UUers in

border states, who reach out to help, are jailed and prosecuted for their efforts.

Also, families in the U.S. are torn apart as parents are arrested and deported. Our UU volunteers in Mexico work at a safe house that provides meals, medical care, shoes and clothing, a place to sleep and to shower, and legal advice to both migrants and deportees traveling in Mexico.

This is our fellowship’s passion.

This resolution condemns the horrific policies of the Trump administration. As Unitarians, we support migrants who risk everything to find safe haven and opportunity in the United States.

We ask that you support this effort to denounce the Trump administration’s cruel and immoral immigration policies.

Care Team
David and Silvia Stea are in serious need of our support; Silvia informed us that David fell again and had to call the Red Cross to help pick him up and get him back into bed. The Care Team is on alert for those offering help and would appreciate any and all support for them from the Fellowship. Please contact either Francoise 415 149 3053 or Joan 415 154 9660 to find out how you can help. 

There will be a SkyMed Seminar on Tuesday, November 12th at 11am at Cafe Martin, Relox # 41, Centro. Sarah Ash, Skymed Team Leader Mexico, will talk about evacuation of expats or visitors for medical emergencies. RSVP sarah.ash@skymed.com.

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, November 12, 10:15 am, Intuition: Have you ever experienced it, a feeling that you know that this will work, or that a person will call today? Is logic always the base of what we do? Have you ever felt connected to someone on a really deep level, for no reason you know of? 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, November 13, 1:30pm, Don Lupe, Salida a Celaya 6.

Saturday Women's breakfast group is currently on hiatus.

Saturday Men's breakfast group -  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, December 2, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, November 17, 10:30am


Finding Yourself in Community

Dr. Tom Rosiello



At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, Affiliate Minister Rev. Tom Rosiello explores the importance of community in shaping us as human beings from the standpoint of Unitarian Universalist tradition and many other sources.

The spiritual journey is often thought of as a journey of "finding yourself." Some would say this is a private journey of inward reflection but Rev. Rosiello suggests that is not the case. He proposes that it is community that makes us who we are and that our dependence upon community may far exceed what we realize. In Rev Rosiello words, the path of discovering "who we are?" starts with the question "whose we are?"

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke expresses this idea by posing this question:

            What have we learnt from living since we started,

            Except to find in others what we are?

This idea of "finding in others who we are" is also found in the African concept of  Ubuntu. According to Bishop Desmond Tutu, “ Ubuntu is the essence of being human.... (It) speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness.”

Rev. Rosiello is Minister Emeritus of The First Parish of Stow and Acton in Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Suffolk University Law School. Tom has always been active in a variety of social justice causes, ranging from AIDS and gay rights to poverty and prison reform. He served on the board of the Unitarian Universalists Urban Ministry, which serves a largely black community in Boston, and Partakers, an interfaith prison ministry that assists inmates with earning a college degree while incarcerated.

He also taught at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and helped train new ministers as part of Harvard Divinity School’s field education program. Prior to entering the ministry, he worked for nearly 20 years as an attorney, primarily in the criminal justice system as an Assistant District Attorney and a criminal defense lawyer.


Come and explore a theology of interconnectedness and the importance of community in knowing yourself. In addition to the morning's message, service includes a story for children, a time of sharing joy, sorrows, and concerns, an opportunity for prayer or reflection, a welcoming of new members, and music, including selections for piano and the opportunity to join in singing. Our pianist for the service is Mauro Ledesma.  

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Sunday morning 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 Groups

We now have held Neighborhood Connection (NC) gatherings all over town. These are an opportunity for UUs to get together with neighbors for social and care purposes.  If you are interested in being in one and have not received an invitation to a gathering, please send your request to Joan Wolf who is keeping the grouplists current.  Her email address is joanwolf@umich.edu.

Usually a Neighborhood Connection gathers in the home of a volunteer host for a potluck happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  All attendees contribute a finger food to share and bring their own beverage.  Many close UU friends are made this way.

If you are willing to host an event, contact Ellie Goodwin at epgoodwin@hotmail.com

           Join us for US Thanksgiving!

Once again we will be hosting a Thanksgiving Comida Buffet for US members and friends at La Frontera Restaurant.

Thursday, November 28, 2019, 1:30 p.m.

La Frontera, Refugio Sur #28, Colonia San Antonio
Tickets: $450 pesos

Sign up at the Welcome Table after the service. Seating is limited, so don't delay!

Small Group Discussions 

The book We: Reviving Social Hope by philosopher Ron Aronson will be the
focus of a UU discussion group the first week in February, organized by the Social
Action Committee.The author will be our Sunday speaker on February 2. His
book is a message to save us from the despair, cynicism and defeatism that
paralyzes too many in these troubled times.

Aronson argues that social hope is born from collective action, a 'we', not just 'I'. It
is in a movement that 'we become members of a larger entity, drawing power from
it, having responsibility to it, and experiencing ourselves within it.' Through
collective action 'the formerly powerless can generate something new, social hope,
by acting together.' And this can change not only the world in which we live, we
also change ourselves.

If you would like to participate in discussion with the author, sign up with Cliff
DuRand by email to global.justice.cliff@gmail.com. You are expected to have
read the 180 page book in advance. Order your copy now.


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.

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 third 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.
The annual Three Kings’ Day toy drive for campo kids has started. On January 3rd, Les Pearson and his volunteers will be taking toys to over 870 kids in 12 poor communities outside of SMA. The toys cost about $125 pesos per child and these toys are sourced through bulk buying. Monetary donations are needed to support this worthy project. Please donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/three-kings-day-toy-drive
Les Pearson at mexicokid77@yahoo.com or give your donation to Bill Wilkinson at the Sunday Service. You can read more about the toy drive on the Gofundme site. 
Non Profit Organizations Supported by the UUFSMA
Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora provides micro-lending, education programs and sustainability projects to rural communities. This year’s funding will support the educational component of the micro lending program. http://apoyo.mx/
Caminos de Agua provides open-source solutions for communities at-risk on our aquifer in Central Mexico. The funding will pay for a community engagement fellow. https://caminosdeagua.org/.

Caminamos Juntos helps meet the needs of Mexican Nationals deported from the United States.A network service coordinator will be hired to lead a complex effort to provide safe return services to deportees. https://www.cjsma.org/.


Caminamos Juntos Newsletter

Casita Linda builds houses, helps create a sustainable environment, and provides workshops to help improve life for those living in poverty. The grant will pay for workshops to prepare families that are receiving a house on subjects such as community building, recycling, home maintenance and related issues. https://casitalinda.org/.
CEDESA organizes communities for sustainable living in rural areas and will use their grant to support three community development specialists that train and lead communities in building cisterns, recycling, composting, community gardens and more.
Escuela de Educación Especial is a school for persons with hearing impairment. Their  mission is to ensure that all SMA children who are deaf become literate, independent, and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals. The grant will partially pay the salary of the Academic Director/Administrator. http://www.eeesma.com/.
Fundación de Apoyo Infantil facilitates learning processes, using participatory methodologies to promote children’s rights and the protection of their environment. The grant will help pay for classroom recycling bins. http://faiguanajuato.org/ 

Update of activities 2019
Jóvenes Adelante provides university scholarships and support to financially challenged youth. The grant of $4,845 USD will continue to pay for the scholarship of four university students. A one time grant of $10,000 USD will be used to strengthen the Betse Davies Special Star Fund. http://www.jovenesadelante.org/
Mujeres en Cambio provides scholarships to girls in rural communities to keep them in school.The grant will pay for five junior high and two high school students’ needs such as uniforms and suppllies. https://www.mujeresencambio.org/
Patronato Pro Niños provides medical and dental care to area children. This year’s grant will help pay for radio announcements to inform rural communities where the dental clinics will be each day. http://www.patronatoproninos.org/
San Miguel Literary Sala, Libros Para Todos promotes reading among children in rural communities. The grant will provide a special book for elementary children to read and then bring the author to town to meet the recipient students. https://sanmiguelliterarysala.org/community-projects/.

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
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

Peter Podesta, parlino27@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.

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

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico