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How to Vote for a Settled Minister


Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church is VERY HAPPY to announce

Our Ministerial Candidate, Rev. Kristen Kuriga!



Dear Saltwater UU Church,

I am very excited to be the candidate for ministry at Saltwater UU! I am moved by your commitment to spiritual growth, social justice, shared ministry, and being a welcoming and caring community. I look forward to meeting you during candidating week on May 13-20. Before then, if you would like to know more about me, feel free to visit my website: I can’t wait to worship together, share stories and dreams, and get to know you and the community more deeply.



Rev. Kristen Kuriga


Rev. Kristen Kuriga received her Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She also has a Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor of the Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She served for seven years as the Social Justice and South Bay Ministry Teams Coordinator at the First UU Church of San Diego, including providing leadership at a bi-lingual, multicultural campus on the US-Mexico Border. She completed her internship as a Chaplain Resident at Sharp Memorial Hospital, honing her skills in pastoral care. Prior to that, she worked as a labor and community organizer and lived and studied at a Zen Buddhist City Center. Her call in ministry is at the intersection of spiritual practice, social justice and art. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband Joshua, and their two cats Benny and Joon. This summer they are expecting a new addition to the family!

From her website

“A thread that runs through all of my life experiences has led me to answering the call to ministry. My childhood opened me to the need for justice, and my journey as an organizer and spiritual practitioner brought me to the faith tradition of Unitarian Universalism. I seek a ministry where I can bring my skills in service to our faith: my passion for justice, storytelling, and art; my commitment to spiritual practice, creating the beloved community, pastoral care, and developing leaders; and a mind and heart that cares about spiritual growth, healthy organizations, and living into our mission. I am excited about serving our faith tradition as a Unitarian Universalist Minister, and sharing a message of love, hope and justice within our congregations and the larger community.”

Join us for worship with Rev. Kuriga at 10:30 am on May 13 and May 20!

Watch for other Candidating Week events, schedule to be published soon.

Join our congregation by April 29, 2018 and share in the vote to call at 12:00 on May 20!

For more information, visit



Saltwater’s 2017-2018 Search Team

April Update and Reasons to Celebrate

In the summer of 2017, the Search Team was commissioned to find the next minister. After a survey with about 140 respondents, 12 or 13 cottage meetings, a website (created solely for the search), 20 applicants, and 3 pre-candidating weekends, we can nearly say: “mission accomplished”.

At this point, we have made an offer to one of our pre-candidates and they have accepted. We are matched with the person that is the best fit for the position, and our candidate feels the same way. Like many of us the candidate has a passion for social justice and has spent much of her life fighting for noble causes. The candidate shares our values and throughout her life they’ve sought spiritual growth. Now, as our stories merge, she seeks to “dedicate her life to building [our] beloved community and walking alongside us in moments of joy and challenge.”1

We look forward to introducing her to you in person during Candidating Week: May 13th – 20th. For now, it’s important to acknowledge the milestone in the life of our congregation and to recognize those that made it possible. Before the Search Team was even formed there was work to do. The process of selecting the team had to be decided upon and then implemented. This work was done by the 2016-2017 board. We would especially like to thank former board chair, Lisa Key, for her role in asking each of us to participate in the search.

In the early stages of the Search we conducted an online survey and cottage meetings. This effort was led by Meri Murphy, but it wouldn’t have been the same without Pat Montgomery and Cuba Jiminez who were partnered with Meri to craft the questions used in the cottage meetings. Early on, the team was also assisted by Debra and Ray Valpey, who built the ministerial search display that has lived in the welcoming room for the past six months. Throughout the entire search, the team was supported by Judy Zimmerman our transitions coach, who also led the retreat that kicked off the work of searching for a minister. We were also supported by Tandi Rogers (our UUA District Representative) and Keith Kron, UUA Director of Transitions. Last but not least we often sought and received aid from our own minister Rev. Helen Carroll. Who not only advised us, but also spoke – very highly of us – to many applicants that contacted her with questions about Saltwater.

It has been a privilege serving as members of the search team, and we thank you all for this opportunity of a lifetime.

-Submitted by Daniel Nzabanita

Late February Update

First and foremost, know that the Search Team is on schedule and everything is going well. For the members of the Search Team the work officially began on August 11, 2017 when we had our retreat to get to know each other and to begin deciding how decisions would be made. After 189 days we reached the Pre-Candidating phase of the search. During this part of the search we get to meet the candidates in person.

Many of you are aware that we are required to maintain a degree of confidentiality regarding who the candidates are. Some of the candidates have not informed their congregations that they are in search, and it’s important that they are the ones to inform their congregants if they end up leaving their congregation. To maintain confidentiality, Amanda Radak – who is organizing the pre-candidating weekends – had to make sure she arranged meetings in locations that are not likely to be visited by friends and members of Saltwater.

Although we only have a weekend with each candidate, the time we get to spend with them is enlightening. We get a sharper view of their strengths and weaknesses, in addition to getting to know them as people. Each candidate we’ve interacted with has been special. The team is excited about the work that needs to be done and we are confident that we will present you with the minister that Saltwater needs.


 Early February Update…

The Search team has received plenty of information from the congregation. Now we would like to share a bit of why our applicants are attracted to Saltwater:

From California to Connecticut the beauty and access to nature in the Pacific Northwest is known. Many a minister hope to come enjoy the conifers, mountains, and breathtaking views of the area. The landscape is not the only reason that Saltwater is attractive. The social and political openness and civility are another big draw as well. Finally, we are known for our commitment to social justice. We were described by two applicants as “small but mighty” and “not stagnant”. Saltwater is also known for being a very warm community.

If you haven’t checked out the packet, that gives you the image of Saltwater that was presented to the applicants please visit:

Suzanne Laurel, MST Chair


What are people saying about us…

My name is Dr. Lorelei Walker and I am a former leader of Health Equity Circle, a student organization at the University of Washington.  We believe health is more than healthcare and organize to push back on the social determinants of health. In 2015, Health Equity Circle and Saltwater Church formed a relationship when Sound Alliance began to organize our members through the Best Starts for Kids Initiative in King County. Out of the 21 institutions involved in the Sound Alliance work, Saltwater Church has by far been the most dedicated, engaged, kind and compassionate source of energy and momentum I have seen demonstrated by an institution. Every single time I engaged in a Sound Alliance event, a compassionate and caring Saltwater team member was there to walk the path with me, bringing insight and energy to the conversation. Saltwater sets a powerful example to other institutions, demonstrating the importance of showing up, having the conversations, and doing the work. Each member exuded a sincere love and concern for community members who are disadvantaged. I’ve visited the church and was immediately surrounded by a feeling of love and safety as if I had found a slice of heaven on earth. Every single experience I have had with a Saltwater team member has been meaningful and engaging. Seriously, this congregation rocks on all accounts.”


Image result for survey results




Check out our survey results

Formatted MST Survey Results