UUFSMA Newsletter September 23, 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.

Care Team
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.


Medicare in Mexico lecture by Medicare expert Eileen Carafiol

An opportunity to buy an 'Early Bird' discounted ticket to the upcoming Medicare in Mexico lecture will be offered following the Sunday Service on September 29th. Early Bird ticket price is $500 pesos with 15 discounted tickets available on a 'first come, first serve' basis. Only one ticket per person, please. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 29th from 2:00-4:00pm at La Casona Convention Center. The lecture will cover many critical issues.

Eileen Carafiol, MSW, MBS, is a former Medicare federal official who, in her retirement, occasionally offers large lectures and small workshops on key medicare issues so the US expat community can become better informed and make good decisions as they navigate the Medicare maze.

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 24, 10:15 am, Racism – building on Rev. Tom Rosiello's sermon yesterday. 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 25, 1:30pm, Turk, Salida a Celaya16.

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 29, 10:30am


Rebooting Your Life


Rev. Tom Rosiello



This is the time of year when Jews around the world observe what are often called the High Holy Days, which begin at sundown Sunday Sept. 29 with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and conclude 10 days later with Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Affiliate Minister the Rev. Tom Rosiello explores the teachings these holidays have in the context of Unitarian Universalism.

“We’ve all had the experience of our computer freezing up or the picture on our television becoming snowy or breaking up,” says Rev. Rosiello. “We know what to do. Reboot! Let the machine get a fresh start. In a sense this is what the teaching of the high holidays suggest that we do each year with our lives. But it is not quite as easy as pushing a button.

“To get a fresh start to return to our true selves, we must first look back over our past year and honestly identify where we have ‘missed the mark,’ where we have done things we ought not to have done or failed to do those things we should have done. Then we must engage in a process of seeking forgiveness called teshuvah (returning), which involves trying to right any harm we may have caused and committing to not repeat the same behavior. These holidays remind that we can restart our lives, we can make things right, we can repair relationships that are broken. We even can do our part to repair the wrongs of the world.”

Guests from all religious traditions or backgrounds are welcome, especially families with children. The service begins with the telling of the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale in a version especially for children. Then the children will leave for their own special morning program.  

As always, music will be a central part of the service. This Sunday’s music will feature music from the Jewish tradition and music reflecting the themes of the High Holy Days. The pianist is Paula Peace.

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.
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

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