UUFSMA Newsletter November 18, 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.

Member Profile

Cynthia Sterling was born and raised on the North Shore of Long Island in the city of Glen Cove, where her father was an old-fashioned doctor who still made house calls. She attended Cornell University with a double major of Sociology and Psychology. When the CIA were recruiting on the Cornell campus her senior year, Cynthia signed up as she thought it would give her a chance to travel. After graduation she moved to Washington, D.C. but soon learned that the women recruits were mostly used as secretaries and so she quit after only a year.

Back in New York, Cynthia held a variety of jobs including selling photography to ad agencies, management in NBC’s trade department, and assistant to the Advertising Manager of Glamour Magazine.

Cynthia then married a man in the antique business. They had a shop in Locust Valley on Long Island before moving to Woodstock, Vermont. There, they opened a combination antique shop, used book store and coffee house selling 10 kinds of coffee and baked goods made by local women. Yet when their family grew to include three children, they decided to sell the shop and move back to New York.

Newly divorced, Cynthia moved to Sea Cliff on Long Island and began working for the Nassau County Department of Social Services where she would work for the next 30 years. She bought a house in Bayville and started attending the Shelter Rock UU Church.

Cynthia heard about San Miguel de Allende from a woman she met at a dowsing conference who owned some casitas here. Cynthia came to check it out and ended up moving here 12 years ago. She jumped into volunteer work right away proofreading La Atención at the library, helping with the ALMA sales, helping at El Charco del Ingenio, and joining the Audubon Society.

Those beautiful flowers that grace the dais every Sunday are thanks to Cynthia. She picks them out, arranges them, brings them in and decides who to give them to after the service. Cynthia lives in a condo in the La Lejona neighborhood with a rescue-dog named Pancho and a calico cat named Sheba.

Sunday, November 24th will be a Blue Plate special, which means that the collection will go to help ABBA House in Celaya.

ABBA, A.C in Celaya, founded by Pastor Ignacio Ramirez
in November 2014, was designed as a Respite Center to
accommodate around 75 migrants on a short term basis for 72 hours. It recently housed 220 men, women and children.

In an average month it presently feeds and houses around 600 migrants. ABBA provides psychological counseling, legal advice, clothing, and emotional and spiritual support in a clean, safe and secure environment.

Increasingly, many migrants are finding their dream of working in America shattered and wondering where they can raise their children free from violence.

Check out ABBA's website for more information www.abbahousecelaya.com.

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.

Care Team
The care team is holding its monthly meeting this Thursday at 3:00 pm at Quinta Loreto. If you would like to attend please let Joan or Francoise know.

Mark Johaningsmeir has undergone successful shoulder replacement surgery with a highly skilled surgeon in West Palm Beach Florida. He is recovering at a friend’s home and has started physical therapy. Your emails and calls are welcome!
Markjohaning@gmail.com. Telephone: +52 415 119 4759

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 19, 10:15 am, What is a successful life? What are your criteria for your own? Have they changed over the years, either personally or culturally? 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 20, 1:30pm, OKO, Plaza la Alhondiga Local 1F, across from La Comer.

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 24, 10:30am


Practicing Love

Rev. Patrice Curtis



The Rev. Patrice Curtis of the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater (FL) explores why and how it is important to go beyond the idea of love and become practitioners of love at this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service.

Drawing on the work of author Gary Chapman, she will amplify different ways of expressing love - not in the way comfortable for the giver but by looking at love the person receiving.

In religious movements and spiritual communities alike, the concept of love is ever-present. For example, there is the agape love of Martin Luther King, Jr. that binds us together. There is the love expressed by Unitarian Universalist theologian Rev. Dr. Rebecca Anne Parker, who speaks of a love surrounding all of us. When a child is dedicated to a Unitarian Universalist congregation and to Unitarian Universalism, we speak of original blessing, and we are reminded of the pure love of a baby. 
Each of us grows into a unique understanding of love, from what we experience and what we observe. Through this, we learn to recognize love in different ways. Faith traditions profess to want nothing less than to transform the world so that goodness and kindness are available to all. Human relationships are bounded by love. Nothing short of the desire to transform the world in this way is why we should bother learning to be practitioners of love.

Prior to her ministry, Rev. Curtis traveled extensively and worked overseas in community development and humanitarian assistance. Her lifelong commitment to social justice drew her to work as an international aid worker at a refugee camp in the Sudan and later in Bosnia. She co-founded and mentored the creation of a Unitarian micro-enterprise in Kenya, which provided over 100,000 meals for impoverished children.

Rev. Curtis holds a MD in Public Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from UC Davis, and did post-graduate work in Anthropology at Oxford University. She discovered Unitarian Universalism in her forties and earned a Masters of Divinity at Starr Kind School for Ministry. Her ministry career includes serving as a project manager with the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California. After the 2016 presidential election she led religious professionals on a UUSC College of Social Justice journey to the borderlands of Arizona and Mexico.

Rev. Curtis is completing her call to the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater and will begin serving the Unitarian Universalist Association at the first of the year.

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.
Escuela de Educación Especial/San Miguel School for Special Education invites you to its store, Deseñas, where handcrafts are showcased to the public.

The students have been very busy over the past several months creating one-of-a-kind jewelry, woodwork and fabric items. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the extraordinarily beautiful silver jewelry pieces, wood cutting boards, artist easels, unique cushions, embellished denim jackets and much more; all offered at a great value by way of a donation to the school.

Please join us in showing our encouragement and support for the children and young adults attending Escuela de Educación Especial, a non-profit association where a bilingual model of Mexican Sign Language and written Spanish is used to provide an education to Deaf children from preschool through high school; as well as building dreams and hope for the future through vocational training programs. 

Every Friday from 11:00am until 3:00pm 
At the school on Canal 152, Centro
Admission: Free 
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

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico