UUFSMA Newsletter October 7, 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.


Stan Allen grew up in Washington State in a small town near Seattle, but moved to Florida to live with an older sister after his mother died when he was sixteen. He attended Eckerd College, which is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in St. Petersburg, Florida. He received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of Georgia in Athens.

After college, Stan joined the Peace Corps and served in Venezuela teaching in the Rural Primary Education Program, where he taught Health, Physical Education and Agriculture.

Stan worked in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker until he retired in 2011. Then he went to Cuenca, Ecuador where he continued teaching, and also spent some time teaching English and Spanish in a small town in Southern France.

As a volunteer, Stan has worked for International Rescue Committee and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). He has fostered a number of children and worked at Community Centers.

Stan spent a couple of winters in Guanajuato and a friend introduced him to San Miguel. He moved here three years ago. He first came to our fellowship because of a speaker he wanted to hear and kept coming back. He got involved with one of the non-profits we support, ABBA House, which is a safe house in Celaya that assists migrants. Stan goes to ABBA at least once a week to help out and also transports the donated goods (beans, rice, socks, shoes and other items) that we place in the plastic bins each Sunday as we enter our meeting space. He also started a GoFundMe site for monetary donations to ABBA House at www.gofundme.com/abba-house-shoes-for-immigrants which has raised $20,320 in the past year.

Always busy, Stan plays a lot of tennis, volunteers for S.O.M.E. (So Others May Eat), The Writing Conference, the Literary Sala and I3. He lives with his partner, Luís, in the Guadiana neighborhood.

The next UUFSMA Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 10th at 1:00pm. Anyone interested in attending, please contact Board President, John Simsarian at jcsimsarian@yahoo.com.
Carolyn Simsarian and Trish Snyder invite interested UUFSMA members to join the Membership/Pledge Drive Committee to help with the 2020 Campaign. Our first meeting will be in November with Rev. Tom Rosiello to establish a schedule and lay the groundwork. The Board will adopt the annual budget in early January and the final budget will be approved at the Annual Meeting in March. In between, our committee will be busy encouraging existing members to renew their pledges and motivating friends to become members with a financial pledge. Interested? 
Contact Carolyn at 
jcsimsarian@yahoo.com or

Care Team
Your Care Team believes you might be interested in the articles listed below. Just click on the link!


Francoise will be out of town for the last two weeks in October. If you need assistance, please contact Joan Wolf at the email or phone number listed below.


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, October 8, 10:15 am, What does ownership of something mean? What rights does it give you? Land, people, pets - ideas? How has it changed over time? 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, October 9, 1:30pm, Mario's Mariscos, Salida a Celaya 81.

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, November 4, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, October 13, 10:30am


What About Jesus?

Rev. Stephan Papa



At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, the Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa shares his thoughts about Jesus. Albert Schweitzer concluded that we will never be able to find the historical Jesus and that everyone projects his or her own views on his image.

Who was he? Was he a teacher or a savior, a messiah or a false prophet, a zealot or a peacenik, a God or a human? Did Jesus preach faith or works? How and why did the stories about him change over time? Why do so many people believe in him, and what value might we find in Jesus today?

“I believe that Jesus existed,” says Rev. Papa. “He was a real human being and a great moral teacher who asked people to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick to create a more just society and peaceful world.

“Jesus and the theology that the Christian church developed about him speak to so many people because it invites us to believe in the transformative power of love. It gives people hope and proclaims that the miracle of life even surpasses the reality of death. It says that someone in power somewhere in this vast universe cares about us, and that injustice and pain will not last forever. Inner and world peace are possible. Jesus offers hope, a faith to transcend our fear. That is a powerful, liberating message, a faith in the efficacy of love. Jesus is a model for me. His courage and commitment to love and truth inspire me. He is a model of selfless giving, of the transformative power of love who asks us to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister who last served the Two Rivers UU Congregation in Carbondale, CO. Prior to that he worked as a Special Assistant to the President of the UUA for Growth Funding for seven years, as the Senior Minister of the Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, PA, for five years, and the First Universalist Church in Denver for nineteen years. He also served congregations in Fort Lauderdale and Buffalo. Rev. Papa received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. In retirement, Stephan volunteers with the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, at the First Universalist Church in Denver, where he is minister emeritus, and as a Restorative Justice Facilitator in the Denver Public Schools.

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.

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.
Mujeres en Cambio

Our UU fellowship in San Miguel supported ten non-governmental agencies last year. One of these is Mujeres en Cambio, an all-volunteer organization with no staff costs. Last year our fellowship donated $2045 dollars to Mujeres.

The members of Mujeres believe in the “girl effect,” the idea that educating girls is the key to overcoming poverty in developing countries. We aim to improve the education of women in the campo and to teach them skills to enable them to earn an income, one of the surest ways to provide a pathway to a better future for their families.

These young girls would otherwise not be able to continue their education. In Mexico, education is free only through the 6 th grade. For education beyond that level, students are required to pay for tuition, books, school supplies, exams, transportation, school uniforms, and shoes. These expenditures often are too costly for many families, and as a result their children drop out of school, especially the girls. A scholarship from Mujeres
makes it possible for a girl who is an excellent student, and who maintains a high GPA of 8.5, to continue her education—from junior high through high school, to university.

Events are planned every month in the high season to raise money. Watch for the fashion show in October. For the 2018-2019 school year, Mujeres granted 131 scholarships to girls from 46 small villages in junior high and high school. They also granted 57 scholarships to university students. While these amounts do not cover all school costs, they are critical in helping students stay in school. This opportunity enhances both their quality of life and their ability to be role models for others. Many graduates have become
agents for change and helped to create sustainable communities in the campo.

With your pledges and weekly donations we will be able to continue our funding for Mujeres en Cambio and the other NGO’s we support.

Small Group Discussions 

Changing Reputation of Reason

The founders of our faith declared ours a rational religion. Our affirmation of reason has been distinctive and drew many of us to it. How can we keep believing in it when we see how irrational society and people are? In this age of “fake news “ where everything is suspect, when reason is seen as just another tool of oppression, should it still be part of our old trinity of freedom, reason, and tolerance (acceptance), or what should take its place? 

If as Pascal said “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know” then what are we to do in our current confusing political climate ?

The discussion, on October 12, 3 p.m. to 5:00pm, will be led by Rev. Stephan Papa from Denver who will a UUF guest minister for two Sundays in October. The venue will be UUs Sue Edelstein and Bill Spence’s house at Privada San Rafael Norte 3, Col. San Antonio.
To reserve a seat, contact Paula Peace at paulapeace@bellsouth.net.


In mid-January 2020, we'll start a discussion group about systemic racism and how we, unintentionally, are probably participants. This is an issue for all North Americans - and beyond.

To join this reflective group, we ask you to obtain a copy and read White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo. Phyllis Culp will facilitate the initial discussion of this book, and we will see if and how we want to continue after we discuss it. Group size is limited and all discussion must be confidential to group members.

Sign up now if you are interested by contacting Phyllis at phylculp@mac.com or signing up at the Welcome Table.

As our reflection and discussion warrant, we'll probably want to share our thoughts about other readings. Among them might be former UUA Common Read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-blindness by Michelle Alexander, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. We could also watch movies, make individual plans to change our behavior and group plans to take action on this problem, etc. Our potential for growth is unlimited. Hope you can join us. More to come about meeting specifics.


Women's Group, one of the small discussion groups recently launched for UU women, is full and active. Membership to the group has now been closed, and members will continue to meet each week for sharing and supporting one another.


Other UU women’s groups may be formed if more women want to participate. If interested please contact Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com or Joanna Kafarowski, joannakafarowski@gmail.com.


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.

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 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

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.

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


On the bottom right corner, click on 'Join Group' 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