UUFSMA Newsletter October 12, 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.


 (Part Eight)

     Why I Am a Unitarian Universalist

How many times have I heard people remark, “You can believe anything and be a Unitarian Universalist”?  Or someone might say, “I go to the Fellowship because I don’t believe in organized religion.”

While Unitarian Universalism is a religion, as a free religious faith, we have no creed.  But our faith does have requirements. To become a Unitarian Universalist, you make no doctrinal promises, but you are required to do much more. You are required to choose your own beliefs — you promise, that is, to use your reason and your experience and the dictates of your conscience to decide upon your own theology, and then you are asked to actually live by that theology. You are asked to take your chosen faith very seriously.

Unitarian Universalist theology is of this world, not of the next. Our faith is focused not on what we believe, but how we love. For Unitarian Universalists, the question is never “What do you believe?” but rather “What kind of person have you become? What are the fruits of your living?”  What will be your legacy?

This is why I choose to be a Unitarian Universalist.


Mis Hermanas

Mis Hermanas, (“My Sisters”), was/is a diverse and talented group of women
committed to each other and to the future of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Founded in May 2019, these twelve Fellowship leaders meet weekly sharing ideas, histories, and joys and concerns while putting their individual and combined energies into volunteering within the community and UUF. Their involvement includes serving in various capacities for the UUFSMA: Board of Directors, Sunday Service Committee, Care Team, Finance Committee, Envisioning Committee, Music Committee, Nominating Committee, Rainbow Group,LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation Committee, COVID-19 Task Force, and Endowment Committee, as well as producing seminars for the “Preparing For a Thoughtful Death” series, leading a UU Buddhist Affinity group, representing the UUFSMA at the UU General Assembly, and coordinating a community-wide mask making project.

Members include Lydia Jane Failing, Ellie Goodwin, Margo Johnson, Veronicka Koebach, Chris McCaskill, Paula Peace, Donna Shubrooks, Linda Sorin, Hilary Toyryla, Cornelia Ulrich, Joan Wolf, Jenipher Young-Hall.

“We are grateful to the UUF for creating the opportunity for our union and proud to join together to optimize the impact we can have on UUF’s future through our Legacy Founders Society donations.”

Photo Directory

Members, don't forget to send your photo and answers to the questions we sent you via email.

Please send in your responses and 
photo, if you haven't already done so, to Denise at denise.uufsma@gmail.com. If you didn’t receive the email, contact her.

In the original request we omitted asking for phone 
numbers & the colonia you live in. Please add that information to your response.

Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

COVID-19 cases are up, pretty much all over the world. You may have seen a
notice that the SMA health dept has sharply reduced the number of PCR tests
being done for symptomatic patients. This is a state-wide policy, now being
enforced. The “official” numbers of cases will now be smaller, but only because of less testing. Please don’t be fooled!

Private testing is available in SMA, although expensive. There are less expensive options in Querétaro, but that state has had a recent upsurge in cases … so be careful in Querétaro.

People sometimes need to get tested before they travel – and in the last two weeks, three
 SMA residents with no symptoms at all were found to be positive for COVID-19. This reminds us that we cannot know who is infected. We need to help each other, and the whole community, by thinking and acting like we are the contagious ones.

Please, let’s continue to use all the tools at our disposal – masks, distance,

outdoors or good ventilation, short time of contact, handwashing. No single tool is enough, but if we do as many as possible, as often as possible, we can reduce the risk for everyone. We remind you to be especially careful about eating and drinking with others – when masks are off, the risk is higher!

Finally, we urge you to get your flu shot soon – it’s free at the public clinic in La
Lejona (a few blocks behind La Comer), or check with your doctor. The high dose vaccine for the 65+ crowd is not available in San Miguel currently, and probably won’t become available. We are better off to get the regular dose – definitely better than doing nothing!

Stay safe, everyone!

If you have any questions, please contact Bonney McDowell, member of the Task Force at miko789@gmail.com.

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!

Tuesday Coffee Chat with Tom Rosiello (9:30am)

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

Tuesday Discussion group, October 13 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone. 
Topic:  Let's talk about civility and respect. What values, attitudes and behaviors encompass the hallmarks of civility? How is respect so much more than tolerance? How do we model respect for all diversity to our children and others when we usually seek out "our own kind" in our neighborhoods, our faith communities, our friendships and our political affiliations? When you experience or witness rude or discourteous words or actions, how do you react? What have you learned from such experiences?

Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81997626702


Thursday Discussion group, October 15 (11:30am)
The Thursday Zoom discussion group is led by Trish Snyder. 

Topic:   Spiritual vs. Religious. Are they different and if so how? Have you experienced an event that has challenged your ideas or beliefs about either? We’ll explore if and how we define the two.
Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/857215447


If you are interested in joining, please e-mail jane.wilkinson@gmail.com.

Friday Buddhist Group, Sangha of the Heart (10:00am)
Regular participation is encouraged or drop-in when you want. Please email Joan at joanwolf@umich.edu if you would like to be added to the Sangha of the Heart email list and receive the Zoom link in a weekly reminder.

Online Games - Saturday, October 17 (2:00pm)

Many of you have wanted to get to know others in our Fellowship more informally. If you are up for trying to play some online games, join us this Saturday from 2-4 pm, Central Time.  Come prepared for laughs!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 964 6346 8884
Passcode: 419268


If you have questions, email chris.chase1955@gmail.com


The recording for the last Sunday service will be available on the UUFSMA Youtube channel within a few days.

Click Here to connect to our Utube site.

Sunday, October 18, 10:30am


“Taking the Long View”

Rev. Tom Rosiello

In this Sunday´s UUFSMA Online Service, the Reverend Tom Rosiello discusses why it is important to take the long view and look beyond today. Most if not all public and private organizations go through regular reviews of past years’ performance. They assess potential opportunities and constraints and then prioritize future objectives. Nonetheless, this exercise can overlook significant questions. Why does the organization exist? Does anyone care about its work? Will it have necessary resources? So too the UUFSMA must evaluate its mission. This Sunday Rev. Rosiello invites participants to consider what we can do to help sustain the Fellowship into the future.

Almost 200 current members of the Fellowship and many former members during the preceding 33 years have developed the UUFSMA into an active, creative partner in the community life of San Miguel de Allende. The Fellowship now asks its members questions about the future. What will work today and in coming years to remain relevant and vital to the future of the Fellowship and the community of San Miguel de Allende?  We are the legacy of those who came before us. We are stewards for those who come after us. Will that future be haphazard or purposeful? What can the Fellowship do to shape its future purpose? What do we wish to say to members of the Fellowship and the SMA community who follow us? What do we wish that community in the future to say about us? Join in this Sunday’s reflection on legacy and stewardship and its accompanying music and words to underscore the need for such insights. 

Rev. Tom Rosiello has been Minister of the lay-led UUFSMA since January 2019. Previously he was Minister of the First Parish of Stow and Acton, Massachusetts, where he is now Minister Emeritus. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Suffolk University Law School, Rev. Rosiello is active in many causes for social justice, including AIDS, gay rights, poverty, and prison reform. He taught at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Before entering the ministry, Rev. Rosiello was a trial lawyer for nearly twenty years. 

To participate in our online Sunday Service from wherever you are located, 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, CDT time.

Through grants and awards, UUFSMA donates at least fifty percent of its budget 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 website home page Donate button. Now more than ever, your support is essential.

Due to the coronavirus, UUFSMA has suspended in-person Sunday services and other gatherings. Previous online services can be found on the UUFSMA’s YouTube channel. Go to https://www.youtube.com/ and enter UUFSMA in the search box. The UU Fellowship welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.


If you would like to have 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. 

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 budget. 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).

Click on the links below to view the documents.


What is your legacy?  How do you wish to be remembered?  All your life you have worked hard and supported the causes you care about – don’t let that be forgotten. 

If you are thinking about including the UUFSMA in your legacy, contact Steve Singer, Chair of the Endowment Committee, stevesingermx@gmail.com, to discuss the benefits of giving a current or future gift to the Fellowship.

Thank you.


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, Board President.

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

Endowment Committee
Steve Singer, stevesingermx@gmail.com

Nominating Committee
John Simsarian, jcsimsarian@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 Cánepa, 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