UUFSMA Newsletter September 7, 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 Three)

Make a Joyful Noise—

Music and Unitarian Universalism


Music, creativity and expression go hand in hand with Unitarian Universalism. We sing for joy and sorrow. We sing for justice. We sing to celebrate the gathering of individuals with a passion for community and service

Do you know that some of our best known and well-loved English Christmas classics are Unitarian in origin? "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” is an old Unitarian tune. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was composed out of despair during the Civil War by life-long Unitarian, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


Music, creativity and expression have been a cornerstone of our services since our beginnings in 1987. Each service includes music designed to complement the topic and essence of the day’s service. Our earliest services included UU members performing on an old electric organ and special music lined up by the legendary George Bell. By the mid-1990s, the old electric organ gave up the ghost and the membership purchased a magnificent Bösendorfer grand piano, which has continued to enrich our services ever since. Over the years, our Fellowship has been graced by the keyboard talents of members Elena Shoemaker, Ann Riley, Elsmarie Norby, Liz Stone, Marianne Koerner and, most recently, pianists Malcolm Halliday and Paula Peace.


In addition to the weekly preludes, hymns and offertory selections on the piano, each week pre-pandemic, the UUs invited special guest musical talent that comes through this gem of a city we call home. Retired photographer and music writer Jon Sievert was in charge of lining up the range of talent. One Sunday it might be a select set of young singers in town to pursue a dream of international operatic careers. The next week might feature gypsy jazz or the indigenous Mexican songs offered by Yoremem Jacobi. Another week it might be local talent such as the acclaimed pianist Ken Bichel … or guitarists, native flutists, horn players, bell ringers, violinists, counter tenors, or concert duos—all performing for an appreciative and always enthusiastic audience.


In January 2019 the UUFSMA appointed its first minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello, who has a passionate commitment to the role of music in Sunday services. With his deep knowledge of the UU hymnal, he expertly weaves together meaningful hymns and anthems in support of the day’s sermon and our commitment to spirituality, community, and social justice.


Since March 2020, when the Fellowship switched to virtual Sunday services, Paula Peace and Malcolm Halliday have designed creative ways to broadcast live and pre-recorded performances of rich and varied musical styles including piano, organ, vocal, world artists, classical masters, and pop giants. Today, during Covid, Sunday services continue to be filled with wonderful music. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!


                        We make a joyful noise! We are Unitarian Universalists!


Any “Big, Hairy, Audacious Ideas”
for our Future?
Members of our Fellowship may be aware that the Board recently established a committee: “Envisioning Our Future.” The committee would like to invite anyone from our Fellowship to provide input, sharing “Big, Hairy (or, modest!), Audacious Ideas” for the committee to consider as we look toward the next 10 years and beyond. It would be important to keep in mind that we would like any of our Core Values to “drive” the idea or project. Please submit to committee chair, Jurgen Ahlers, 1jurgenahlers@gmail.com. Thank you!

Laptops for Students

On Sunday, August 23rd, the UUF collected over $1,000 USD toward the purchase of new laptops for university students as part of our “Blue Plate Special” collection.  The Social Action Committee would like to thank all our donors for their generosity, particularly now. Such giving makes possible the college education students have dreamed about despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Another way all of us – whether currently in San Miguel or elsewhere -- can give to this cause is by donating any discarded laptops we may have at home. If the equipment can run at least Windows 7, it would be welcome.  Computadoras Pro Jóvenes (CPJ) will wipe it clean and refurbish it for student use. 

If you are currently in or able to get to San Miguel, you can contact Bob Millage who is part of Computadoras Pro Jóvenes at remillage@msn.com and he will come pick up your laptop/s. If you are currently in the U.S. or Canada, please contact our UUF Administrator Denise Galipeau at denise.uufsma@gmail.com who will forward an address to which your equipment can be sent. Several members of our fellowship are in the U.S. and are planning to return this fall. They have generously offered to collect the equipment and drive it down when they return. 

Time is of the essence! Folks are returning in September, October and November. The earlier we can get students a functional laptop, the greater their chances of succeeding in school. 

Thank you!

Update from your UU COVID-19 Taskforce

Reported coronavirus infections have been increasing rapidly in recent days in SMA.  We also know that many infected Mexicans are continuing to work, because they have to in order to support their families.

At the same time, more tourists are arriving, churches have reopened, weddings are resuming, and more restaurants and hotels are open.  

So now is the time we should be even more vigilant in maintaining the practices that have kept us safe up to now:

·        Wear masks, 

·        Keep adequate distances,

·        Avoid unnecessary shopping, restaurants, and other group gatherings,

·        Stay at home whenever possible.

Be safe and be well!


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


Care Team
Judy McKay is at home recovering well and getting stronger each day. If you would like to bring her some food, please call her or email her before. The Care Team advises that you do not go into the house. Her care taker can receive your delivery at the garden door. Thank you.
Judy’s email: smarentals@gmail.com. Telephone: 415 120 0920.

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!

Please join us for our first virtual Circle Cena on Monday, September 7, 6-8 pm CT, for an opportunity to chat at length with others from our Fellowship.

Zoom Meeting ID: 933 4453 2026 and Passcode: 679095 or https://zoom.us/j/93344532026?pwd=NXhpWmJlV004OWgrTHpqTFpUL3lmUT09

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, September 8 (11:00am)

The Tuesday Zoom discussion group is led by Bill Dalsimer and Liz Stone. 
Topic:  Pleasures and Passions. During this time of pandemic, where have you found pleasure? In life, do you have or did you have a passion? How have your pleasures/passions changed over time?

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


Thursday Discussion group, September 10 (11:30am)
The Thursday Zoom discussion group is led by Trish Snyder. 

Topic:   What was the happiest day of your life? Where were you? Who were you with? 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.


Saturday Discussion Group for people living alone (4:00pm) 
The Pandemic, You and Me
To join this group, please contact Helen, at helycres@icloud.com  or jane.wilkinson@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, September 13, 10:30am 


“How to Fix Water, When Water Isn’t
the Problem”

Charles Fishman

A forceful, challenging, and inspiring public advocate for safe water, Charles Fishman, the guest speaker for this Sunday’s UUFSMA Online Service, will talk about the water problems that affect the health and safety of people in the region of San Miguel de Allende. Here overuse is depleting groundwater. Many people also rely upon water sources poisoned with arsenic and fluoride and unsafe for drinking and cooking.

Fishman acknowledges that such problems are solvable. People can be taught to use less water, harvest rainwater, replenish groundwater, and remove chemicals from life’s most essential liquid. However, the hard part is winning the hearts and minds of people to using water more smartly and safely. People need to demonstrate impatience for a plan to fix urgent problems, such as the poisons in the water children drink every day. Conversely, the community needing safer water must also be patient about fixes for problems requiring decades to conquer with small increments of annual progress.

The technical solutions can be elusive because they require adapting attitudes and habits to the risks of the region’s situation and persuading farmers, real estate developers, and government officials to approach water-use in new ways. Outlining solutions, Fishman will share stories from other places with water problems as serious and solvable as those San Miguel faces.

Fishman’s “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life & Turbulent Future of Water,” is one of this generation’s best-selling water books about a revolution in water use akin to the current revolution in computing, medicine, and communication. Fishman has addressed audiences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California Los Angeles, the Hershey chocolate company, and the U.S. State Department. A former reporter for the  Washington Post, he is the author of three  New York Times bestselling books. He grew up in Miami, Florida, graduated from Harvard, and lived for a while in Mexico City. He lives today in Washington, DC, with his wife, their two children, and two Labrador Retrievers beside a two-foot wide creek.


To participate in our online Sunday Service, 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.

Through grants and awards, UUFSMA donates fifty percent of all income it receives 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’s Donate button. Now more than ever, your support is essential.

Due to the arrival of the coronavirus in San Miguel de Allende, UUFSMA has
indefinitely suspended in-person Sunday services and other gatherings. We advise members and friends to follow the advice of reputable public health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control, and to contact our Minister or Care Team for needed assistance. 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
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.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