UUFSMA Newsletter November 5, 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.

Ofrenda at San Juan de Dios Market in remembrance of migrants who have died.



To the Jewish congregants of the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who were celebrating Shabbat and a newborn’s life in your Sanctuary on Saturday, Oct 27, 2018. 


We send our deepest support and condolences for the savage murder of the 11 congregants whose lives were taken from your holy community.


It is horrifying and outrageous that a man shouting hateful, anti-Semitic words about Jews and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) would violate your day of rest and murder your members because they are Jews.


Our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is also inclusive and supportive of strangers and refugees, values that guide the works of your congregation. 


Members of our Fellowship and others residing in the city of San Miguel have been helped by HIAS. Others who reside here have roots in Pittsburgh and have been members of your community. Our hearts have been broken by the loss of your deeply loved and respected congregants. With you, we also mourn this hateful attack on human decency and traditions of welcoming acceptance for all people that the world has come to recognize as part of fabric of the United States.


Our Fellowship also supports programs to assist people deported from the US and those who are fleeing violence in Central America as they come to our city in Mexico. As does HIAS, we welcome strangers and shelter refugees when they appear among us. As you do, we revere life as the most precious blessing shared among all humans.


To honor the murdered members of the Tree of Life Congregation, we will be dedicating in their names, resources and good works that our Fellowship devotes to the assistance of refugees who are arriving here in our community. 


The American citizens in our congregation will cast their votes with a determination to elevate leaders who will extinguish the hate that is inflaming the political climate of the United States.


As your fellow compatriots in the causes of love, tolerance and peace, we have every confidence that your congregation will continue to a be a haven and Tree of Life for those who enter your doors. In the words of the Kaddish, “may there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel.”


With love and friendship,


John Simsarian, President

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende

A new feature in our UUF newsletter will be a monthly Poet's Corner where we will feature a poem from UU members and others in San Miguel who are poets and all of those wonderful poets we have been exposed to over the years. If you have a poem you wish published, please send it to Denise at denise.uufsma@gmail.com

o inaugurate our Poet's Corner, we are publishing a poem by Wendell Berry submitted by Judy Rosenthal. 

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. 


Wendell Berry

Member Profile

Lee Veal was raised in Texas but spent his summers in Tamaulipas, Mexico on his grandparents’ farm; hence, his flawless Spanish. His grandfather, along with a group of other US farmers, bought land in Tamaulipas in 1906 and created a community there. Lee’s grandfather married a local Mexican woman and started a family on the farm.

After receiving a degree in computer programming from Tyler (Texas) Junior College, Lee embarked on a 30-year career in that field, mostly as a programmer for the City of Garland, Texas

Lee married Carol in 1967 and their son, Michael, was born in 1970 while they lived on a military base in Alabama, during Lee’s 2-year Army stint.

Both Carol and Lee were raised Southern Baptist but were no longer involved in the church. They went in search of a different way to provide their son with religious education and settled on the Unitarian Church of Richardson, Texas.

After he retired (at 48 years old!) Lee and Carol took a long trip around Mexico visiting many cities and towns. When they returned to Texas, Carol said she “could live in San Miguel de Allende.” They moved here in 2000 and became an integral part of our fellowship. Carol passed away from cancer in 2010.

In 2009, while serving as Board President of our fellowship, Lee received a letter from a gay couple in Celaya looking for someone to officiate their wedding in San Miguel de Allende. Lee coordinated the event and arranged for a visiting UU minister to conduct a bi-lingual ceremony with Lee as translator.

Lee lives in the Caracol neighborhood. He has created his own scholarship program to pay for the education of a handful of children of his neighbors and friends. We see him most Sundays running the sound equipment for our services. Thanks, Lee!

Yesterday's Children's Program focus was on homelessness and included making balls of yarn from skeins (to make hats for those who are out in the cold), yarn art and music/dances from other countries. A big thank you to the Train Tracks project for sending us another terrific volunteer teacher!

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.

Our UUFSMA Care Team has coordinated the following education program for your benefit:


Building Your Quality of Life
Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 2 – 4 pm
Hotel Quinta Loreto TV Room (Cjon de Loreta 15; Parking available)
Presenter:  Bernice “BC” Marks, B.S., M.S.
This presentation is a continuation in the series of programs coordinated by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel’s Care Team. The goal of these programs is to improve the health-related knowledge of our community.
BC will provide an easy-to-follow, basic, daily routine based on the latest research on optimal nutrition, movement and supplementation. You will learn:  what foods to eat, how to shop, how to easily keep toned, research on medication, what to avoid and more for your healthy lifestyle. There will be tips on what sweeteners are best, the healthiest fats and why, brand selection of foods and supplements and managing your restaurant experiences.
Please come with questions & devices (or notepads and pens).
BC has 50 years’ experience in the health and nutrition industries, including as Founder/owner of The Natural Pantry health food store in Scottsdale, Arizona, and as a manufacturers’ rep of supplements, foods and cosmetics in five states.  She has provided BC’s Healthy Lifestyle classes for men and women throughout the US and Mexico.  Disclosure: She no longer has any financial relationship with any nutritional products.
The $100 MX pre-registration fee can be provided to Chris Chase, Care Team member, on Monday or Tuesday, Nov 5 or 6, at the café in the Biblioteca from noon – 1 pm. If you have questions, contact her via  chris.chase1955@gmail.com or 415-170-4544.


An excellent community education program we recommend is:


Peace of Mind invites you to attend their seminar on How to Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency at the La Casona Convention Center on Tuesday, November 13th at 6pm.


Learn first-hand from local Medical & Legal experts on how to prepare for medical emergencies in Mexico.


At this two-hour presentation, you can access information and resources that will help you reduce your risk of medical tragedy.


Medical emergency topics include:


              How the Mexican Red Cross responds & what you need to know.

              The difference between Seguro Popular, IMSS, & private health insurance plans.

              How public & private hospital services work.

              Private hospitals & clinics in San Miguel – how they compare.

              How to report medical emergencies & what to expect.

              What legal documents are recommended in Mexico.

              Tips on life & death preparedness.


Date: Tuesday, November 13th

Place: La Casona Convention Center, Salida a Celaya #77 (adjacent to La Casona Hotel)

Time: 6:00pm- 8:00pm

Seating limited --Doors open at 5:30pm

Cost: $150 pesos

Presenter & Organizer: Melanie Lansing

Heath Resources Area5:00pm-8:00pm


RSVP Required. Please reserve your seat(s) by emailing  peaceofmindSMA AT gmail dot com  or calling Melanie at 415-108-0810 Mx. Cell / 971-327-7187 USA.


See her advertisement next week in La Atencion for more details (Friday, November 9th edition). A pen and paper is recommend to take notes.


Peace of Mind is a community service project created by Melanie Lansing, and a team of San Miguel medical & legal experts for the purpose of raising awareness among the English-speaking community on medical emergency preparedness.

We suggest you arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

Please let us know if you or someone you know needs help.  The Care Team is here for you!
Meanwhile, take Care!

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 6 10:15 am, Morality. What is moral? Is it something which only depends on an individual? Can there be a group morality?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 7, 1:30pm,  Don Lupe, Salida a Celaya 12 (next to Pemex station).

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.

Sunday, November 11, 10:30am  

Born Again Pagan

Steve Brooks

In a service titled “Born-Again Pagan,” speaker/songwriter Steve Brooks celebrates and explores the oldest of all old-time religions: the worship of nature. It’s a tradition that’s gotten bad press from mainstream religions for more than 2,000 years. But it’s a tradition, he says, that might be just what we need to save our planet.

In the service, Brooks corrects many misconceptions about Pagans. Far from being godless, he says, they have more gods than any other religion. He’ll show the influence Paganism has had on Christianity, from holidays like Día de los Muertos to thinkers like St. Francis of Assisi. In fact, he says, one can be a Pagan and go right on being a Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist. You just have to make more room on your altar.
Brooks speaks from personal experience. He became a Born-Again Pagan at age 25, not by converting from another religion, but by discovering that there was a name for the spiritual ideas he already had. He talks about how diverse Pagan beliefs can be. He’ll tell stories about what he’s learned personally from two traditions – Wiccan and Native American – and read from works by the Lakota medicine man Black Elk and the California witch Starhawk.
He’ll also give a taste of Pagan ritual, by calling and releasing the four directions. As a performer, he’ll fill the service with music, including Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” Pete Seeger’s version of “Old-Time Religion” and his original Pagan Gospel song “Born-Again Pagan.”
Steve Brooks is a musician and speaker from Austin who has brought his unique blend of message and music to more than 35 Unitarian Universalist churches, across Texas and beyond. He’s a charter member of Austin's Wildflower Church. 
Musically, he's known for writing a song-a-week for Jim Hightower's radio show, and for songs that have been recorded by folk and Americana artists like Slaid Cleaves, Christine Albert, Russell Crowe, and more. He was twice nominated Singer/Songwriter of the Year at the Texas Music Awards, and he recently became the newest member of the legendary 60’s folk trio The Limeliters. A master of words as well as music, he was featured on TV's "I've Got a Secret" as six-time World Pun Champion. 
Samples of his sermons and songs can be found at  www.stevebrooks.net. While in SMA, he will also perform his original songs Nov. 16 and 17, at the Shelter Theater VG4.

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.

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

Get your tickets to this year's US Thanksgiving Comida at the Welcome Table after Sunday's service. It will be at La Frontera, 1:30pm, Thursday, November 22. Tickets $450 pesos.
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.
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.

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


Then click on “Membership”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