UUFSMA Newsletter September 16, 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.

Los Coyotes del Camino Real playing at our service yesterday. Kudos to Jon Sievert who keeps his ear to the ground in finding us an ongoing roster of terrific Guest Musicians. Thanks, Jon!

Care Team
Cynthia Sterling is still fighting a bad bout of bronchitis. She appreciates your visits and the chicken soup but she is still exhausted from the coughing and lack of sleep. These symptoms should improve soon, and she would be happy to hear from you and will soon be ready again to have visitors. Her email is: Sterlingsilver33@gmail.com.  We miss you Cynthia!
AMEXCARE, a non-Mexican Health/Travel Insurance company in Mexico is having an Information and Sign-up Reception on Wednesday, September 25th. at 3:00 p.m. at the Biblioteca Publica.

For more information contact: alejandra@amexcare.com or see their website Amexcare.com.


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, September 17, 10:15 am, After 9/11: How safe are we? Are we more fearful? Do we really know what is going on? 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, September 18, 1:30pm, Media Naranja, Calzada de la luz 110, enter from Hidalgo, upstairs.

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, October 7, 2019. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, September 22, 10:30am


Becoming an Anti-Racist


Rev. Tom Rosiello



The Rev. Tom Rosiello, Affiliate Minister of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende, explores the difficult issues of racism at this week’s UUFSMA service.

The word “racist” has become a highly charged pejorative insult instead of the important descriptive label it should be, and that steers our conversations away from the real issues. According to Rev. Rosiello, the first step to addressing racism is to honestly acknowledge its existence in our institutions, in others, and in us.

“In spite of generations of laws, proclamations of equality, and our political leaders’ universal declarations that they are non-racist, Americans live in a society permeated by racism. Some of it is as blatant as voter suppression laws, immigration policy, and massive inequality in our criminal justice system. Much other is less blatant but equally potent. We cringe when one of us is called ‘racist.’ Many of us proclaim we are non-racist, maybe even ‘the least racist person you ever met.’ The hard truth, as author Ibram Kendi observed, is that denial is the heartbeat of racism.”

Rev. Rosiello points out that to say you are non-racist is not enough. “The opposite of racist is not ‘not racist. We must be ‘anti-racist. ‘Not racist’ implies a neutral space where all is ok as long as our laws are equal. There is no space for neutral ground in the struggle for racial equality that does nothing to attack the existing racial hierarchy. Non-racist neutrality is a way of perpetuating racism. Anti-racism, on the other hand, requires a radical realignment of our thinking. We can’t think about non-racist policies that purport to make everyone equal but fail in the light of the reality of deeply rooted racism. We must adopt anti-racist policies that affirmatively work to remedy racial discrimination. As author Ibram Kendi poignantly states, ‘the only remedy to racist discrimination is with anti-racist discrimination.’”

In the words of President Lyndon Johnson: “You do not take a person, who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of the race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all others’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.”

The service is supported by music led by pianist Paula Peace that celebrates traditional American spirituals of the heart and spirit and hymns central to the struggle for racial equality.

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

Global Climate Strike – September 20, 2019

The Global Climate Strike, inspired by Greta Thunberg, is coming to San Miguel de Allende on September 20, 2019. The San Miguel event will be called Climate Action for the Future, and is scheduled to start at noon in Parque Juarez. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is joining with a dozen other organizations in organizing this event. Our Social Action Committee encourages all members to support this response to our climate emergency.

You can get more information by looking on Facebook. Under “events,” look up Climate Action for the Future (Public Event). You can join the organizers by looking up “Joe Climeo,” the joint name for the organizers. There is also a Facebook group to join at “Climate Action San Miguel de Allende.”

If you’d like to contact the organizers, send an email to the Social Action Committee representative Diana Winer at winerdiana@gmail.com or climate.action.sma@gmail.com.

September 2019 UUFSMA Statement Regarding Caminamos Juntos

The UU Fellowship provides grant funding to help support 11 different San Miguel-based NGOs.These organizations are assisting Mexican citizens by addressing social, economic and environmental issues right here in San Miguel.

In early 2018, in response to the current US administration’s racist and xenophobic targeting of Mexican nationals for deportation from the United States, the Fellowship played a critical role in launching Caminamos Juntos (We Walk Together).

The Fellowship applied to the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association to receive a Chalice Lighter Call. Through this internet crowd sourcing, and together with a grant from the Fellowship, Caminamos Juntos (CJ) was started in the spring of 2018. This initial support, as well as a grant this year, has provided the base for CJ to carry out additional fundraising from individuals and organizations.

As a result of the proactive response and funding from this Fellowship, CJ has so far provided support to 64 people who have arrived in San Miguel as a result of deportation. This includes 11 families with 27 children, many of whom do not speak Spanish.

CJ provides direct assistance, including such things as employment referrals, locating housing, mental health intervention, securing necessary legal documentation, providing Spanish lessons, and providing cultural and emotional support. CJ is also a resource to people in San Miguel, elsewhere in Mexico, and in the United States who are seeking
information about deportation,

Again, this is an example of just one of the 11 organizations that the UU Fellowship helps to support. Over half of the funds we raise are granted to local NGOs. The other funds address the operating needs of the Fellowship. We are making an important contribution to the Mexican community.

Please give generously. Thank you!

Small Group Discussions 

What do you love most about living in San Miguel?

Some of us are new here, some return annually, and others have been long time residents. With the recent violence, corruption and negative news stories, how concerned are you? What keeps you grounded here? Do you encourage others to move here now?

Join us on Tuesday, September 24th from 3:00-5:00pm to focus on and share the positive features of daily life that matter to us most.
Please RSVP to Donna Shubrooks at 415-167-1648. Space limited to 10 for discussion.

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


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