UUFSMA Newsletter September 9, 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 Board of Directors meeting is Thursday, September 12 at 1:00 PM. If you are interested in attending, please contact Board President, John Simsarian at jcsimsarian@yahoo.com.


Jim Chase was born and raised in New York’s finger-lakes district. He attended several colleges in the area and ultimately earned a degree in Business and Environmental Studies from State University of New York in Albany. He worked writing Environmental Impact Statements for various entities, but eventually changed careers to Insurance Underwriting in favor of a steadier paycheck.

In 1979, Jim and his wife Chris, who he met and married 

 in Albany, moved to San Diego looking for a better climate. Jim started writing Environmental Impact Statements again, and continued working in Insurance Underwriting until retirement.

After several vacations in various places in Mexico, including San Miguel, Jim and Chris
decided to move here in December 2017. They had been very involved in their UU congregation in San Diego so they felt right at home joining our Fellowship. Jim and Chris have a home near the Santa Julia neighborhood with a beautiful view of our
town. He returns to San Diego every 60 days or so to go sailing in the Pacific with a friend on his Islander Freeport 38-foot sailboat.

We see Jim most Sunday mornings preparing and presenting the coffee for our social hour. Jim is also very involved with the Democrats Abroad organization and can be found registering people to vote and giving instruction on how to “vote absentee” at various places around town.

Care Team

Pat Scott, who is a member of the Care Team, is recovering from knee surgery and has to move to a one-floor, street level apartment in Guadiana. Pat needs some help in packing her things in preparation for the move. She is also planning a garage sale at Kate Mill’s at Las Moras 5A next Friday  and could use help with that. If you can give Pat a hand, she would be most appreciative. Please contact her at: mermaidpls@gmail.com. or call her at: 415 154 1138.


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 10, 10:15 am, What do you want to get out of life?  How are you working on getting it?  How do you use your connections? 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 11, 1:30pm, La Frontera, Refugio Sur #28.

Saturday Women's breakfast group is 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 8 Service
Many people were moved by Bruce Neuburger's talk at our UUF service yesterday. If you missed it or want to review it again, please click on this link - http://www.uufsma.org/speakers.html and scroll down to Bruce's name.

Below is the poem that was read during Opening Words - 

Home by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Sunday, September 15, 10:30am

Hector Ulloa

Is History a Trustworthy

Account of Events?


At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, Hector Ulloa explores alternatives to what we know about Mexican history and its Independence movement.

Children are taught history in school to become aware of events that led to where they are now. But history depends who narrates it, and the victors write history. In many ways it is mainly employed to extol the achievements of those writing it. That’s why it is plagued with heroes and heroic battles. But is it reliable?

Ulloa, a former editor of Atención, thinks written history should be taken with a grain of salt. In a light, free, and easy way, he approaches topics like the Conquest, Independence, and the Revolution from a perspective not found in typical textbooks.

How could 500 Spaniards defeat one of the most advanced and powerful civilizations in America? What happened to all the knowledge these ancient civilizations had? Why is Miguel Hidalgo named the “Father of Independence”? What happened to the vast area then called the New Spain? How come it split up into so many small nations? Why did Texas want to become independent from Mexico? Did Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana actually betray Mexico? What was the motivating force behind the annexation of New Mexico, Arizona and California to the United States? Was Benito Juarez as good as they say he was? Was Porfirio Diaz as bad as they say he was? Who were Villa, Zapata, Obregon, and Carranza… really? These and many more questions are addressed in his talk and a discussion group following the service.

Ulloa’s approach is not meant to cause controversy but rather to raise awareness of how some things may have actually taken place based on logic and common sense and the political and social backdrop behind them.    And now that the regime has changed, he also speculates on the possibility of changes to written Mexican history. A considerable number of intellectuals are already demanding that the names of Presidents like Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and Luis Echeverria be removed from streets and other public places named after them for their roles in the massacre of hundreds of students in 1968 and 1971.

In addition to his stint as the editor of Atención, Ulloa was the press secretary to SMA Mayor Jaime Fernandez and the academic director of the Instituto Allende. He moved to Toluca in the state of Mexico in 2011, where he established Iconofilia ( iconofilia.hectorulloa.com) to practice and teach the art of digital photography. The Mexican trio Los Coyotes are the day’s guest musicians.

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
It is that time of year when the UUFSMA is soliciting grant proposals from qualified agencies. If you are interested in applying or know of a worthy organization that may like to apply, please find and complete the Request for Proposal in the Social Action area of the UUFSMA website - www.uufsma.org. 

Proposals are due on October 31, 2019. 

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:
  • Food:  Beans, rice, granola bars
  • Personal Hygiene: Small soaps, small containers of shampoo, tooth brushes, small tubes of toothpaste
  • Other:  Socks (all sizes), lip balm, ponchos (rainy season)
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.

Where It Gets Hotter – Democratic Debate Watch #3

Democrats Abroad invites all interested parties to join us at the San Miguel Playhouse for the third debate of the presidential race to 2020.

September 12, 2019 at 7pm - 10pm

The San Miguel Playhouse, Independencia #82

Free event, limited seating 

Please RSVP at https://www.democratsabroad.org/hopebradberry/houston_is_where_it_gets_hotter

Or email us at Info-MX-SMA@democratsabroad.org

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.

Small Group Discussions 

UU Southside Neighborhood Party

Saturday, September 14
all Southside (and campo) Neighborhood UUs are invited to meet at the Flor de Jamaica restaurant in Los Frailes at 5:00pm. It will be Happy Hour, so you can have two of your adult beverages for the price of one. We'll order some botanas which everyone can chip in to pay for. We'll have space Inside reserved for us.

Please come - rain or shine - and meet or say hello to your Southside neighbors and catch up on what everyone's been up to over the summer and celebrate Mexican Independence!

Please RSVP your hostess, Lydia Jane. Any questions, let her know. Looking forward to seeing you all pronto!

Lydia Jane Failing, lydiajane56@gmail.com.

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