UUFSMA Newsletter November 19, 2018

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.

Letter to the Editor

With Thanksgiving coming soon, I’m drawn to express my gratitude to our wonderful UU community.

Congratulations to our Search Committee and Board for securing Tom Rosiello! He has, for years, been a source of thoughtful suggestions and caring to our fellowship. I look forward to his wisdom and insight.

Caminamos Juntos! What marvelous achievements you’ve made! I know many members have contributed time, money and ideas to this project. Bravo!

Our invigorated Care Team is such a blessing. I appreciate them personally, and on behalf of those who sometimes need a helping hand, say thank you for your efforts.

As for all our other “minions” that volunteer, wow! Where would we be without all of you?

Thank you.

Arlene Van Note

Member Profile

Judy Rosenthal was raised in the town of Skaneateles in New York’s finger-lakes area. She studied English Literature at Binghamton University and received a master’s degree from University of Pittsburgh. She then embarked on a 35-year career as professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies at Fresno State University in California.

Raised in a Congregationalist family, Judy found the Unitarian Universalist movement in 1995 in Fresno through the other professors there, but she says she wishes she had found us sooner!


After a number of trips to Mexico, Judy and her husband bought a house in San Miguel de Allende in 2005. She immediately got busy as a volunteer with a variety of local non-profit organizations and joined three book clubs, as well as the Shakespeare readers’ club.

Judy chairs the English Book Committee at the Biblioteca as well as volunteering there two days a week. She plays bridge two days a week and does yoga twice weekly, too. She has been on the Board of the UU Fellowship for the past eight years.

Judy lives in the Aldea neighborhood with her husband of 38 years, George Hedgepeth, and their yellow Lab, Crissy.

Care Team

If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe. If you wish to better  understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand. If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another. 
  - Dalai Lama 

Hello from your UUFSMA Care Team!

if anyone would like to visit those who are currently homebound, please reach out to a Care Team member listed below to learn who is ready to have visitors.

Upcoming Events:

Be Well San Miguel and UNIMED hospital invites you to an informational presentation about Vumi Health Insurance on Wednesday, November 21 at 5pm at La Casona.

Vumi is converage tailored for the expatriate. Relatively new on the scene, it offers excellent packages at reasonable rates. Insurance agent Victor Ruiz will be presenting. 

Join us for wine and appetizers. The event is free. Please RSVP to deborah@BeWelSanMiguel.com 

U.S. Medicare in Mexico -  a group discussion for UUs

U.S. Medicare will pay for some services in Mexico under certain conditions, but there are "rules" attached. What are they?   Are the rules different depending on whether you have Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplemental Plan?  Will the hospitals and doctors in Queretaro and San Miguel accept my Medicare card?  If I want to change my Medicare insurance plan when can I do it?  Do I need Medicare insurance?  Eileen Carafiol MSW,MBA, who worked for over 30 years in the Medicare health insurance industry, including years spent with the federal government agency which oversees Medicare, can help you with these questions.  

Eileen will meet with us for a discussion and to answer questions after the Sunday service on December 2.  Eileen is not an insurance agent and will not be selling insurance.

The Medical Resources Directory is an important component of the Care Team’s services to our Fellowship: contact information for medial / health care providers in and around SMA. But as SMA is growing so rapidly, the data is constantly changing. We would greatly appreciate help from a computer savvy member who could convert the current Word Table document into a database that can be linked on the UU website, to provide easy access and up-to-date information. After that is accomplished, keeping the data up-to-date will be an ongoing endeavor.  

If you have the skills to support us in this crucial effort, please contact me, Lydia jane Failing, at  lydiajane56@gmail.com and let’s see what we can work out!  

Please let us know if you or someone you know needs help. The Care Team is here for you. 
Meanwhile, take Care! While Francoise and Lydia Jane are out of town, please contact Chris Chase at 415-170-4544.
Francoise: 415 149 3053
Lydia Jane: 415 149 3784  

For pastoral care please contact Rev. Wyman Rousseau at    emailforwyman@gmail.com
For a copy of the Medical Resource directory, contact either Lydia or Francoise.

Calendar of Activities

Tuesday Discussion Group, Novembr 20, 10:15 am,  How do you react to criticism? Constructive or otherwise? Can you analyze why? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone. The group will meet at the Quinta Loreto restaurant, Loreto 15.

Wednesday Lunch Bunch, November 21, 1:30pm,  NO LUNCH THIS WEDNESDAY BECAUSE OF TURKEY DAY!

Women's breakfast group meets at Oso Azul, Zacateros 17 at 9:30 each Saturday morning. As the weather gets cooler, be sure to seek out the group in one of the inside spaces. 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, December 3. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence,   lawrencearlena@yahoo.com. Cut-off date for this Circle Cena is Sunday, November 25!

Sunday, November 25, 10:30am  

The Power of Writing to
Heal and Transform

Reyna Grande

At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, author Reyna Grande discusses the power that writing has to heal and transform your life.

Words have power. How can you use writing as a way to disinfect your wounds? Why is confronting and facing difficult truths the path toward healing?

Writers, intellectuals and influencers have known about the power of ideas for centuries. Writing, or more accurately expressive writing, has been used as a form of therapy for decades. The written word has enabled people to record events, pass down traditions and aided us in developing complex reasoning. Writing, in fact, helps us to discover what we already know; it’s the process of streamlining our own ideas, a transformation that starts in our minds and is channeled through pen to paper. Transformation is the key word here, because words have the ability to change our way of thinking and empower us. Transforming your pain into art can lead to the road to salvation for both the writer and her/his readers.

Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, where she writes about her life before and after coming from Mexico to the United States as an undocumented immigrant. The much-anticipated sequel, A Dream Called Home, will be released this fall. Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, and Dancing with Butterflies.

She is the recipient of an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, and three years later was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received a 2017 Honor Book Award for the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, a 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association, and an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award 2017. Currently, she teaches creative writing, travels across the country and abroad to give presentations, and is at work on her next book.

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

Social Action

Blue Plate Special for November 25, 2018

The entire collection plate on this Sunday will go to our Biblioteca Publica. These funds will be applied entirely to buy books in Spanish for Mexican children.


In addition, the library will be introducing a weekly program to read stories in Spanish to the children of San Miguel.  This is such an important service.  Please help.

ABBA House, Celaya
Every Monday when I go to ABBA, I always arrive with a little apprehension and excitement because I never know what to expect. However, as soon as I get inside the ABBA doors, I find a quickly forming family of migrants and volunteers dedicated to creating a safe, warm place that offers humanitarian services with respect and dignity. One of the important things ABBA provides is safety and support. Many of the men arrive alone but everyone leaves ABBA in newly formed groups.

Monday we bought 50 pairs of shoes; got 2 months supply of seizure medications for Moisel who suffered head injuries from an assault in Irapuato; prepared banana and pineapple snacks before lunch; interacted with volunteers from Brazil who are a traveling clown troupe with their film crew; created some paper and pencil word search games for the new arrivals; made more repairs to the basketball hoop that gets lots of attention and abuse; and just had some quiet moments with migrants as they work everyday to move forward in their goals but deal with the losses behind and the unsettled day ahead. Their resilience , strength and youth are inspiring. At the end of the day, saying goodbye to these young, brave and hopeful men, who I will never see again requires quiet belief that their God will guide them carefully. We embrace warmly and I ask them to take care of each other and be careful every step of their way. The ride back to San Miguel is always quiet.
Stan Allen
3rd Annual Holiday Craft Fair
Friday, November 16th
11am - 2pm at Umarán 107, Centro SMA

An Invitation to Join Us!
If you are in San Miguel during November please join us for EEE's  3rd Annual Holiday Craft Fair where many excellent items handcrafted by the students will be on display and available for sale at economical prices. The older students have been working diligently with instructors and volunteers to prepare themselves for future employment opportunities by first learning vocational skills and then creating attractive products to be marketed to the public. The sewing workshop has been creating beautiful girl's dresses, cross stitched pieces, cushions, and other wonderful Christmas themed items; while the wood working shop has been making excellent small puzzles, small household items, as well as attractive furniture including tables, benches, book shelves, artists easels and other smaller decorative pieces. The jewellery program has many new and exquisite imaginative very well priced silver jewelry items to show you. And they have been getting plenty of compliments on the finished products. Please come and offer encouragement to this great group of young people!  An admission donation of pesos $200 will go toward any purchase you make that day. There will be refreshments and goodies served. We would love to put a ticket(s) aside for you, just drop a line to John at  jd98lv@hotmail.com

Join us on Sunday, December 9th for our Third Annual Holiday Bazaar!

It's time to let your creative light shine and take this opportunity to sell your crafts, art, books, etc. If you aren't 'creative' you might look through your closets and donate something for our White Elephant Table.

If you'd like a table at the Bazaar, there will be a sign up sheet at the service this Sunday, or contact co-chair Arlena Lawrence at  lawrencearlena@yahoo.com or call 154-8410.

Cut off date for the Bazaar is Sunday, November 25!
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
Judith Rosenthal, 1st VP, 154-9659, judithr@mail.fresnostate.edu
Chris Chase, 2nd VP, 170-4544, Chris.Chase1955@gmail.com

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, 152-8019, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com
William Dalsimer, Secretary, 917-991-7841, wrdalsimer@gmail.com
Eleanor Goodwin, 152-5700, epgoodwin@hotmail.com
Jim Harper, 152-2380, smaharper@yahoo.com
Paula Peace, 102-1072, paulapeace@bellsouth.net 
Peter Podesta, 101-0904, parlino27@gmail.com

Dick Snyder, 121-0612, rcs39@aol.com

If you would like a copy of minutes from a Board of Directors meeting, please contact John Simsarian, President.

                    Committee Chairs and Activity

Canvass 15 
Trish Snyder, 121-0612, trishsnyder49@gmail.com
Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, 154-8504, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com
Nominating Committee
Cynthia Claus, cclaus731@gmail.com
Administrator (OOS, website, newsletter, committee & board support)
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com 


Care Team
Lydia Jane Failing, lydiajafa@yahoo.com
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com

Children's Program
Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com

Circle Cena
Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Discussion Group
Liz Stone, elmendorf7@aol.com

Neighborhood Groups
San Antonio, Eleanor Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 

Sunday Service Co-Chairs
Paula Peace, paulapeace@bellsouth.net
Diana Ekizian, djekizian@gmail.com

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

Greetings & Name Tags
Jim Harper, smaharper@yahoo.com 

Ministerial Liaison
Eleanor Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.com

Order of Service
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com


Social Action, Outreach and Publicity
Christie McGue, 231-342-6960, clmcgue@gmail.com

Social Action Committee
Dick Snyder, 121-0612, rcs39@aol.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