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An Interview with Cynthia Claus, UU Service - spirit

Sunday, October 15, 10:30am
Posada de La Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15

An Interview with Cynthia Claus, UU Service - spirit

by Jon Sievert

At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, Cliff DuRand interviews Cynthia Claus about the winding path her life has taken and what it has taught her.

Behind each person there is a rich, unique, and complex story. Cynthia’s tale is told through one of a series of occasional interviews with members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel. We all know people casually, but what enriches our lives is having friends we feel close to. That can help us learn more about the values, experiences, and challenges that our acquaintances have faced in their lives.

Cynthia will discuss her early life as a third-generation UU in Philadelphia, and how that influenced the course of her life and established her values. She’ll also relate how her various volunteer experiences shaped her life.

Cynthia has recently published a travel memoir titled Orchid Sari: The Personal Diary of an American Mom in 1960s India. In 1968, Cynthia, an American mother, and Suresh, an Indian father, accompanied by their two-year-old son, Ajay, traveled to India to present themselves to Suresh’s relatives for the first time. She faithfully captures all she experiences and her honest reactions to it. From impossible toilet situations to mysterious family relationships; from snake-charmers to fire-breathers; from soul-crushing bureaucracy to fouled-up reservations; and from beggars with matted hair to the Taj Mahal, Cynthia relates her adventure while gamely keeping her son entertained and out of danger in a society that is like nothing she could have imagined.

In 1965, she received her B.A. degree in English from Temple University in Philadelphia. After working for a neighborhood-organizing group and at an alternative school, Cynthia served as the administrative assistant to the president for publications at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia for many years. In that role, she was the editor of the quarterly alumni journal and served as managing editor of two other journals, one on preaching and the other on inner-city ministries. After retirement, Cynthia spent 14 years as a volunteer teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) at Nationalities Service Center and International House, both in Philadelphia, in settings ranging from the classroom to conversation groups to one-on-one tutoring. She moved to San Miguel de Allende in 2012 but continues to travel, blog, and photograph in places like Alaska, Morocco, South Africa, and Mexico. Service music and Special Music is performed by Paula Peace, the retired founding director and pianist of the prestigious Atlanta Chamber Players.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at La Posada de Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio #15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at

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