Saltwater Church Newsletter May 1, 2020

Dear Saltwater Community,

We hope that you and your family are well. As we continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus through observing social distancing, we want to let you know about ways that you can stay connected through Saltwater Church.

Worship
Church zoom room (saltwaterchurch.org/calendar/zoom-room/)  
Each Sunday we are offering online worship through zoom at 10:30 am.

May 3: “Music & Spirituality: How They Intertwine in My Life,” Carolyn Cruso, Guest Musician and Speaker, hammered dulcimer player
Music and spirituality are inherently interwoven. The word inspiration contains the root for to breathe in; to infuse, as in with life; to animate.  Animate comes from the Latin for soul.  We play music and our souls are animated. Carolyn shares with us her journey, musings and distillation of much reading on the subject revealing that playing music is a spiritual practice and a devotion.

May 10: “Unfolding,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Join us to celebrate our annual flower communion: a ritual that honors our uniqueness and the gifts that we share with one another. For our virtual flower communion please send us a picture of you with a flower for a slide show we will share in worship. They can be emailed to minister@saltwaterchurch.org. The deadline is Wednesday, May 6th.

May: What Does it Mean to be a People of Thresholds?
In the month of May we are exploring what it means to be a people of thresholds. Thresholds, those liminal, in-between places, that can be both transformational and uncomfortable. Thresholds can be physical, like doorways and entrances. They can also be symbolic: rituals like graduations, weddings, memorials, and child dedications. The crossing of these thresholds are imbued with meaning. They mark a change or transformation in us and around us. What do we learn from being in-between? In the places where the sacred and the ordinary meet, where the known and the unknown meet, and where life and death meet. Soul matters describes being a people of thresholds as the practice of courageously stepping into the unknown and the new.

CUUPS Beltane Healing Ritual
Saturday, May 2, 2020, 4-5:30 pm, church zoom room
You are invited to join our CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) chapter for an online ritual to celebrate Beltane and to focus our energy on global healing in the face of COVID-19.
To prepare for the ritual next week:
1. Place flowers or other fertility symbols on your altar, table, or another centrally located surface area in your space to represent Beltane.
2. Find a symbol or symbols (not more than 3) that particularly resonate with your feelings and reactions to the COVID-19 challenge. These could be cards from a Tarot deck, Medicine Cards, Runes, any personal talismans you have, images you find on the internet, or that you feel like rendering artistically in the medium of your choice. Place these with the flowers on your altar or table. We will share our reflections in the ritual.

Board News

Congregational Budget Information Sessions
Wednesday, May 13th at 7 pm, Church zoom room
Saturday, May 16th at 10 am, Church zoom room
Join members of the Board, the Finance Team, and Rev. Kristen for an informational meeting about the proposed budget for the upcoming 2020-2021 church year. This will be an opportunity to learn about the financial health of the congregation and ways we are adapting to the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. The presentation will focus on changes to income and expenses and copies of the detailed line item budget will be provided.

Mission Statement Update

Remember the new Mission Statement? In the fall, the Mission/Vision subgroup of the Board held a series of mission statement workshops. After listening to what you value most about our congregation, we created a draft mission statement. We presented the draft at the Congregational Meeting in December where members offered their feedback. The Mission/Vision subgroup of the Board met after the December meeting to collate, organize, and synthesize your feedback, so we could again wordsmith away! It was a magical process to see how something new evolved out of all your input. We are happy to announce the birth of a well-revised proposed Mission Statement. And now we are ready to share with you again!

Wait. You may be asking, why are we even thinking about our Mission Statement right now in the midst of this crisis and all of this uncertainty. Because it matters. We believe the crisis makes our mission even more important than it was before. We want our Mission Statement to be a statement of our identity as a church and what matters most. It can give us something to anchor us in this time of uncertainty. And we want our Mission Statement to guide us and support us now and into the future.

On Sunday, May 17th, the new proposed mission statement will be shared during worship! You won’t want to miss it. And we want to once again have an opportunity to listen to your feedback. After the service you will be invited into a break-out group to reflect on some questions about the new proposed mission statement. While we planned this spring to begin the work of dreaming and visioning together for the future, we have decided that will come later. Now is the time to focus on our mission. We hope you will join us on May 17th!
–Mission/Vision Subgroup of the Board: Janeane Weprin, Mayda Taney, Anjali Lopez, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Save the Date: Congregational Meeting
Church Zoom Room, June 14th, 12 pm
Please put Sunday, June 14 on your calendar for the all-important annual business meeting of the congregation.  The meeting will be held via Zoom, shortly after the music service that day.  The agenda will be announced at least 10 days prior to the meeting. To vote at the annual business meeting you must be a member for at least 20 days prior to the meeting.  That puts the deadline for signing the membership book on May 24. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can contact Bev Ross or Rev. Kristen (minister@saltwaterchurch.org) to take the next steps.

Message from the Healthy Congregation Team on April’s theme of Liberation: Debra Valpey, Bev Ross, and Quinn Rose share some thoughts on the Soul Matters theme of Liberation as it relates to healthy habits that benefit ourselves and our community.

Working for liberation asks of us to expand our awareness of the challenges that others face. While their challenges may be invisible to us, they are real to those who live with them. Healthy communications with others requires that we listen with humility and accept people where they are. It is valuable for us to always be learning about their, and our, history, social structures, and the nature of power so that we may better understand the contexts of oppression that people struggle with. However, it is even more important that we not let that learning cause us to make assumptions about how an individual experiences their life; only they can teach us that. Let’s liberate ourselves and each other from self-imposed and self-presumed assumptions.

UUA General Assembly—Registration is open!
June 24-28, 2020
The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be all virtual this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to worship and learn alongside UU’s from throughout the country. The cost of registration is $150. You can find more information here: https://www.uua.org/ga/registration

Ways to Connect

Support Circles
(church zoom room)
We are offering a series of drop-in support circles on zoom. The format is simple: a chalice lighting, check-in, and a reflection question on our theme for this month. The circles are offered on Tuesday and Thursdays at lunch time, and on Tuesday evenings.

Tuesday, May 5, 12:30-1:30 pm
Tuesday, May 5, 7-8 pm
Thursday, May 7, 12:30-1:30 pm

Al-Anon Support Group (church zoom room)
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm  

Creative Hands (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
We will support one another in our creative ventures, as well as discuss ways that we can help our communities during this time.

Meditation Group (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 8-9 pm
Join the meditation group on zoom to help nourish your spirit. The group will have a teaching, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and an opportunity to share.

Writer’s Group (church zoom room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am- 12pm

Choir Fellowship (church zoom room)
Thursdays, 7-8 pm
Members of the choir are invited to join Tom Burt, Music Director, for a time of connection and fellowship.

Over Eaters Anonymous (church zoom room)
Fridays, 5-6 pm

Support Available
Do you need support? Please let us know, we want to help. Are you feeling lonely or isolated? We can connect you with a lay minister or another member of the congregation. Are you in a higher risk group and do not want to venture out to the grocery store? We may be able to connect you with someone in your neighborhood to help you get the supplies you need. If you have lost income from being sick or unable to work, or do not have enough money to buy extra food and supplies, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact Rev. Kristen: minister@saltwaterchurch.org. Do you need to go to work but don’t have childcare? Are there other needs that your family has? Please be in touch with Melinda: melinda@saltwaterchurch.org.

Support for Children, Youth, and Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room https://zoom.us/j/2349227683?pwd=aG4yL3RRb240UjJyWUR1Y2p2V0lQUT09

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups
Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, family ministries zoom room

Junior and Senior High Youth Group
Sundays at 12 pm, family ministries zoom room

Family support circles
Thursdays at 6:30 pm, family ministries zoom room

Parents Facebook Group
You can also connect with other church families with children and youth for support through the Parents facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SUUCFamilyMatters/


Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May: Sound Alliance
Half of all undesignated basket donations received in the month of May will be shared with Sound Alliance. You can learn more about Sound Alliance here: http://www.soundorganizing.org/. You can make a donation to the basket through the donate button on our website: http://saltwaterchurch.org/stewardshipstewardship-overview/stewardshipdonate/ 

SCAN! Climate Message of the Week
Even as we practice social distancing and follow stay-at-home recommendations, we can be part of the climate solution. At the same time empty grocery shelves have become common, yearly food waste in the US consumes 21% of all fresh water and accounts for 21% of all landfill.
To reduce food waste, track what you waste then adjust your buying patterns. The EPA’s Food: Too Good to Waste Toolkit has helpful information and tracking sheets. Shop from a list and avoid buying more than you can use. Repurpose leftovers into a new dish like using leftover mashed potatoes to make potato soup. Be creative with food scraps by doing things like making stock and bread crumbs. Compost on an individual basis or through your residential waste management provider. Check online resources or books like My Zero-Waste Kitchen by Kate Turner. (Based on 6 Ways to Reduce Food Waste, Even during Pandemic  https://mashable.com/article/how-cut-food-waste-even-during-pandemic/)

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room for Worship & Support Groups

To access Zoom, go to saltwaterchurch.org/calendar/zoom-room/ and click on “To join a meeting—click here.” Or from the main church webpage, select Zoom Room from the drop down menu under “news and events” on the top menu bar. If this is your first time using Zoom, follow the prompts to download the application to your computer.

If you would prefer to join by phone, dial 1-669-900-6833 and enter Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 when prompted. You may need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact Melinda: melinda@saltwaterchurch.org

If you have a smartphone, you can download the Zoom app and join with Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 for video and audio connection.  You will need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact Melinda: melinda@saltwaterchurch.org

Updated information about the Church Zoom Room & Troubleshooting
In response to security concerns, Saltwater Church has added a waiting room to our Zoom Room. This means the host of the meeting must admit you to the meeting or worship space. 

When joining the Saltwater Zoom Room, you will see “Saltwater Church’s Personal Meeting Room. Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.”  This is the waiting room. You will see a spinning wheel while you wait, like you would if a webpage were loading slowly. You may need to wait a few minutes before you are admitted to the Zoom Room.

When many people are accessing the Zoom Room at once, the wait may be longer. If you can, please log in early for worship. If we can stagger the times when people are joining, the process may go smoother. When attempting to join early, you will see the waiting room screen. We will begin admitting people from the waiting room at 10:15 am (once worship leaders have had a chance to complete tech rehearsal). See below for some alternative ways to access the Zoom Room.

Alternate ways to join zoom:  If your computer is having trouble loading the church website, try accessing the meeting or worship directly with this link:  https://zoom.us/j/7361424210?pwd=Wk5IcmRtbVZNYTMrNVZQckwzWkVaQT09

Software Updates:  If you experience any technical issues on Zoom, the first thing you should do is confirm that you have the latest version of the Zoom client installed on your computer. To check for updates:

1.Open the Zoom desktop app and log in (if not already logged in)

2. Click your profile picture (in the upper right hand corner) then click Check for Updates

3. If there is a newer version, Zoom will download and install it

Please contact Melinda at melinda@saltwaterchurch.org if you need further help accessing Zoom.


How to Schedule a Meeting on Zoom

1.  Anyone with a church-oriented group can schedule the zoom room.

2.  You will need some training on how to host a zoom meeting using the church zoom
room.  Melinda has a video and hand-out: melinda@saltwaterchurch.org  

3.  Once trained, please check the church calendar to see if the room is available: http://saltwaterchurch.org/calendar/ 

4.  Once you have a date and time, you can schedule through the room request form on the website: http://saltwaterchurch.org/calendar/calendar-request/ or contact CJ by email: administrator@saltwaterchurch.org

5.  You must schedule it at least a few days in advance.  CJ will be scheduling meetings during her regular hours, Tuesday-Friday, 9 am-2 pm.

6.  You can even schedule the zoom room for a social gathering. Folks wanting to share music, poetry, art, etc. are welcome to do that.

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to all in-person programming, groups, and meetings. All staff are working from home. Staff will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus.

Staying in Touch
We will continue to provide updates. Please watch your email, the church website, and our facebook page. We also encourage you to stay informed about the recommendations being issued by King County Public Health: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus.aspx