UUFSMA Newsletter September 30, 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.

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
Last Thursday, your Care Team had its monthly meeting at the beautiful country home of Kathleen Bennett.  Thank you, Kathleen, for welcoming us in your campo retreat! We enjoyed the hike and then sitting on your terrace facing a sweeping view of San Miguel and its surroundings, with the lovely Picachos behind us.

Cynthia Sterling has been keeping a low profile while making a complete recovery from bronchitis. But, yesterday, she snuck into the Aldea before the service  to deliver a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers,  and then disappeared!  Thank you so much, Cynthia! Next Sunday, we hope  you will feel that you can stay!   


Guest Speaker Janet Dennett will talk about Anyone Can Be a Caregiver at the next Midday Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, October 1, 9:30am. Meeting will be held at Los Arcos, Stirling Dickinson 27.

Since the publication of her memoir, The Dwindling: A Daughter's Caregiving Journey to the Edge of Life, Janet has become an advocate for caregivers and issues of late-life care.


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 1, 10:15 am, What is right? Can we judge the past by the present day standards? Have we gotten better; that is, more civilized? Are we always responsible for what we have done? 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 2, 1:30pm, El Rinconcito, Refugio Norte 7, San Antonio.

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 6, 10:30am


To Savor the World or Save It?

Rev. Stephan Papa



At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, the Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa explores the relationship between social action and spirituality.

Richard Gilbert wrote that he arises in the morning “torn between the desire to save the world and to savor it.” William Sloan Coffin said that Unitarian Universalists have “a thick ethic, but a thin theology.” Do we need to develop both social action and spirituality? People tend to emphasize one or the other as if they are polar opposites, but they are not. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated the importance of both. How do we do that in our lives? Is pursuing spirituality just a way to avoid changing yourself or society? Do you experience the call to social justice as being more shaming than inspiring? MLK said we need to “reestablish the spiritual ends of our lives in personal character and social justice.” How can the Fellowship help you develop your spirituality and your social activism? What will your role be in the revolution?

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.

He organized and led extension committees for the Florida, Mountain/Desert, and the Joseph Priestley Districts and helped sponsor three new UU congregations. He served on the Moderator’s Congregations Come First Task Force, the UU Fund for a Just Society, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and in various roles in UU Minister’s Association chapters. 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. Rev. Papa’s wife, Patty Prevost, is a retired public radio and television development director. They enjoy travel, the arts, skiing, hiking, biking, yoga, and babysitting their new grandson. Their daughter Alexandra is an elementary school counselor 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.
The UUFSMA has been supporting four Jóvenes Adelante scholarship students throughout their university journey. We are delighted to share with you an update of how these young individuals are performing in their studies. 
Maria de La Cruz Salinas Deanda
Major: Mechanical Engineering
University: ITSES
Graduation Date: December 2020

Maria is in the last segment of her university work. She is taking the last two courses: Hydraulics & Neumatics and Industrial Installations.

She will finish in December at ITSES. At the same time she is working full time with DRAXLMAIER, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Miguel Angel Ramirez Palma
Major: Mechanical Engineering
University: ITSES
Graduation Date: Spring 2020

Miguel reports a 9.2 average this past semester and continues with one-on-one English tutoring. He is excited about looking into a three-month internship provided by the State of Guanajuato for university graduates. Miguel reports being extremely busy as this is his last semester where his workload is heaviest. He has class projects in various subjects, German and English classes and his job on weekends in addition to studying for final exams. 
Cecilia Velázquez González
Major: Nursing
University: UCEM
Graduation Date: Summer 2020

Ceci has just finished all her subjects for her career, and she's waiting to be assigned to a clinic to be able to begin he professional practice beginning next January. As always, she expresses enormous gratitude to her mentor and sponsors.
José Luis Bustamante González
Major: Mechanical Engineering
University: ITQ
Graduation Date: Spring 2020

Luis struggled over the past year and had to retake two classes this past semester. He is currently on academic probation with Jóvenes Adelante and has two new mentors. His new mentor meeting regime has been  increased to twice a month, and he is undergoing intensive review of his knowledge base with one of his new mentors who is a mathematician and engineer.
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