Saltwater Church Newsletter February 23, 2024

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30am. Doors and Zoom open at 10:15. To join the Church Zoom Room go to: You can find more information about how to connect through Zoom towards the end of our Saltwater Church Newsletter. Our newsletter also provides ways to connect and live our values through both in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.


Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through Zoom!

Theme for February: Justice & Equity

Like love, justice is part of our mission here at Saltwater UU Church. Many of us have come to this faith in part because we want to create a more just word. Together in community, with the benefit of multiple perspectives, we hope to gain a wider vision of justice and equity than any one of us could hold alone, along with more power to make the vision real. For more on this topic, view Rev. Alison’s post here.

Worship In February at Saltwater Church

February 25 Celebrating Community – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (in-person) (multigenerational service)

We are Saltwater UU Church! Come join us as we welcome new members, acknowledge our dedicated volunteers, and celebrate that all of us have freely chosen to be part of this beloved community.

Worship In March at Saltwater Church

March 3 Reverend Olympia Brown’s Legacy – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (remote)

We are proud to claim as one of our foremothers Universalist Rev. Olympia Brown, one of the first women to serve as ministers in the US. But Rev. Brown achieved her ordination in the 1860’s in spite of barriers put in her way by the Universalist religious establishment. On the first Sunday of Women’s History Month, we’ll explore the ways our faith has transformed over the past 160 years from discouraging women from pursuing ministry, to now when more than half our UU ministers are women.

Upcoming Events

To view our complete calendar of events, click here.
If you wish to schedule an event, click here to fill out a request form.

Speculative Fiction Book Group
Saturday February 24, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Saltwater Conference Room and Speculative Fiction Book Group Zoom Room

Join fellow Saltys in reading science fiction (and maybe a little bit of fantasy) in UU community! This group is the brain-child of Rev. Alison and Lynette Pierce, who has agreed to facilitate our first meeting, where we’d like to choose some books to read together in the future. For that first group, Lynette suggested we read a novella available from many local libraries and as an audiobook: The Past Is Red by Catherynne M. Valente. We hope it will be a quick read, but please always feel free to come to the group even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book (as long as you don’t mind spoilers!).

For our first meeting, we’re going to try out a hybrid model, with some folks participating in-person and others joining in at this unique Zoom link: The Office Conference Room has a special set up that should allow online and in-person participants to interact smoothly. However, there will only be snacks provided if you come in person. Please feel free to bring some snacks to share. 

Coffee & Care with a Lay Minister
Sunday February 25, 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

After the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, one of our lay ministers will be available in-person in the Sanctuary to talk one-on-one with anyone who needs some support. Get your coffee or tea in the Welcoming Room, and then peek into the Sanctuary. If the lay minister has an open chair, please come in, sit down, and receive the benefit of compassionate listening from a trained lay minister.

Is “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” the Right Book Study for Me?
Starts February 21 (online) and February 25 (in-person)
In Person and Faith Formation Zoom Room

Take 45 minutes of your time to find out! CLICK HERE for an introduction to the information and the exercises we’ll be engaging in upcoming book study sessions and SIGN UP HERE for the book study, led by Saltwater’s Healthy Congregations Team. 

Quilt Raffle – Fundraiser for Saltwater Retreat
Sunday February 25 – March 3
In Person – Welcoming Room AND Online

Get your tickets soon for this queen-sized quilt! Tickets can be purchased before or after services on February 25 and March 3. AND online! One ticket for $5 / 5 tickets for $20. To purchase online go to: Be sure to write Raffle in the special instruction section.
The drawing will be on March 10th. Proceeds go towards scholarships and programing for the Seabeck Church Retreat April 26-28. The more money raised, the more people can come! If you have questions, please contact: Miriam Woito

Social Justice Happenings

Transgender Relocation Fundraiser – Drag Queen Storytime
Saturday February 24, 10:00am
Off-Site – Pierce College

Tahoma UU is doing a fundraiser for the trans relocation work the UUSC is helping to coordinate. They are trying to raise enough for an Airbnb for a family with trans member(s) who need to relocate. Folks can buy tickets or donate to the cause using the link on the flier: If you aren’t aware of the status of trans rights in the USA, I recommend checking out Erin in the Morning’s site: Erin In The Morning | Erin Reed | Substack. It is dire in many states, and it may be worse after this legislative session. 

Want to drive down as a group? Contact Lisa Key for carpooling options.

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization
February 26-March 11, Mondays and Thursdays 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization Offered Again–Don’t Miss Out! Saltwater’s Sound Alliance is again offering a series of these workshops this February and March (February 26, 29 and March 4, 7, 11 from 6-8pm) in the Church Zoom Room. Our goal is to have all members participate in this training (many already have) that lovingly but unabashedly helps us confront the historical and lingering effects of discrimination, governmental policies, and prejudice that mark our nation’s history with First Peoples of our area. Contact Diane Dobrowolski ( or Lucia Faithfull ( to sign up. Space is limited.

UUA Condemns Violence Against Gaza, Urges Immediate and Total Ceasefire

On February 14th, the UUA released a new statement regarding the events in Israel and Palestine. In keeping with the desire to keep the congregation informed of what our Unitarian Universalist Association has to say about these events, here is a link to that statement: 

Additional resources and statements from the UUA on this issue can be found here:

From Our Leadership

From our Treasurer2023 Tax Statements

If you would like a statement for tax purposes showing your contributions for calendar year 2023, please contact Gaye Greeves, Treasurer, at or 253-508-3961. They are sent out to those people requesting them. Thank you! ****Image Credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich

Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison posts weekly messages to our community through our church website. In this week’s message on The Spiritual Practice of Noticing, Rev. Alison shares the way that simply noticing the more-than-human world around her and the way it transforms through the seasons is a powerful spiritual practice that keeps her grounded and centered in the best and words of times. You can find Rev. Alison’s message via the home page of the church website or here: Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison is in-person at Saltwater Church through this Sunday, February 25.

Ways to connect with Rev. Alison
Phone (voice only): (206) 627-5119
Online Meeting Scheduling:

Ways to Share your Gifts

Your Community Needs YOU!
Volunteer Now

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! We need volunteers of all skills and ages. Opportunities include:

Sunday Morning Opportunities: Contact Bubba ( if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

  • Usher
  • Digital Usher
  • Greeter
  • Welcome Kiosk
  • Worship Assistant
  • A/V Desk Assistant
  • Multigenerational Activities Assistant

Other Opportunities

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Private Zoom Room

Our Safety Taskforce encourages members of our community to join in discussions about our facilities and community. Common topics include building safety, necessary upgrades to our facilities, and emergency planning. We are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand. The next meeting is March 14. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Facilities Team
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Facilities Team helps organize the maintenance of our buildings and the upkeep of our grounds. We are looking for volunteers to help contact contractors, manage coordinating repairs, and assist with volunteer events. Our meetings are monthly, and your time commitment is quite flexible. Discover how you can help support our community by attending our next meeting on March 20. ***Image credit: Bubba 

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for February
Black Future Co-op Fund

All undesignated donations received in the month of February will be shared with Black Future Fund:

Recall, our Share the Plate is fully matched, so all your contributions are given to the Black Future Co-op Fund.

The Black Future Co-op Fund invests in Black-led organizations who have invested in the wealth, health, and well-being of Black communities for generations. Grant recipients are Black-led organizations throughout Washington state that are serving their communities through arts and culture, restorative healing, educational innovation, policy development, and more —all to further Black self-determination. The Fund works under the umbrella of the Seattle Foundation.

Our Racial Justice Organizing Team supports the Black Future Co-op Fund. The Fund is Washington state’s first all-Black-led philanthropic organization and is uniquely positioned to lead transformational change with Black Washingtonians.

You can make a donation to share the plate through the donate button on our website or mail a check to the church office with “basket” in the memo line: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198. ****Image credit: Kindel Media

Pajama Party – Crafting for the Community
1st Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

The monthly Saltwater UU Pajama Party is a chance to put your crafting skills to work for those in need in our community. Bring your sewing machines if you have them, flannel and patterns will be provided by Pajama Party convener, Sally. The pajama bottoms we sew will be donated to those in need in our community, including local women’s shelters, and we can also make other items with the donated material as well. Remember, crafting knows no gender, so ALL are welcome to come and create for the wider community. Stop by for the crafting or for the community. Contact Sally Caldwell for more information. Our next meet up will be March 5. Join us in Sewing for Social Justice. ****Image credit: Evg Kowalievska

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
1st Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on March 1. Our Racial Justice Organizing Team meets monthly to discuss more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. We share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, plan events for our members, and work together to advance our commitment to Act for Racial Justice. ****image credit: Diva Plavalaguna

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
2nd Saturdays, 10:00am – 11:30am
Church Zoom Room

The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues in alignment with our commitment to Social Justice. The issues we focus on change from year to year, depending upon the concerns voiced by members of the congregation. All members and friends of Saltwater UU Church and Bet Chaverim are most welcome to join us in our conversations and Act for Social Justice. Our next meeting will be on March 9.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays
In PersonDes Moines at 12:30pm & Puyallup at 2:00pm

Rain or shine, we Stand for Racial Justice two Sundays a month.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Our next gathering will be on February 25 in Puyallup from 2:00pm – 3:00pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant).

We will meet again on March 10 in Des Moines from 12:30pm – 1:30pm at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
3rd Thursdays, 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Mark your calendar–The March SCAN! meeting will be Thursday, March 21 at 6:30pm. Join us then! Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

Climate Message of the Week

Even though our state’s RE-WRAP bill did not advance in this year’s legislative session, we have a chance to support a national bill that will have a very similar effect. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2023 (S.3127) has been introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Among other things, this important bill would help keep our food chains and waterways from being polluted by consumer products and packaging. It will most likely face fierce industry and lobbying opposition. Contact Senator Patty Murray to thank her for co-sponsoring this bill and contact our other senator, Maria Cantwell, to urge her to support it. You can find their contact information on their websites or go to this Senate website: ****Image Credit: Jan Kopřiva

Are there topics or questions you’d like to see covered in future Climate Messages? Email suggestions to Sheri Jacobson at

Ways to Connect

If you are planning to host an event in the Church Zoom Room please contact our Office Administrator ( the day before your scheduled event. They will need to verify your device has been registered to use the Church Zoom Room.

Weekly Meetings

Al-Anon Support Group
Private Zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Meditation Group 
Church Zoom Room

Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
For the fall and winter months we will be meeting over Zoom. We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting & walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation. Would you like to join our group? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.
Writers Group 
Church Zoom Room
Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Do you like to write? Would you like to share and receive feedback on your writing? We welcome all writers at all levels! For more information, contact Janeane Weprin (630) 824-8343 or
Lunch Bunch 
In-Person – Location Varies

Wednesdays, 1:00pm
We meet weekly for an informal lunch together. The restaurant location varies week to week. Email Diane Dobrowolski at to find out where to meet us. All are welcome!

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SWUUSC)
In Person – Welcoming Room

1st and 3rd Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join our Saltwater community for an evening of fun. Friends and visitors are welcome. We play all types of board games (ranging from lighter games like Clue to more complex games like Pandemic.) Our group also plays thematic games, card games, and party & social games. Almost anything is possible! Bring your favorite game and let us know about it. Our next meet up will be March 2.
  • 1st Saturdays are all-ages. Bring a game your whole family will enjoy! 
  • 3rd Saturdays, childcare will be available upon request. Please rsvp for childcare at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at
Coffee & Care with a Lay Minister
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary
2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:30am
After the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, one of our lay ministers will be available in-person in the Sanctuary to talk one-on-one with anyone who needs some support. Get your coffee or tea in the Welcoming Room, and then peek into the Sanctuary. If the lay minister has an open chair, please come in, sit down, and receive the benefit of compassionate listening from a trained lay minister. Join us next on February 25.

Monthly Meetings

Online Caregiver Support Circle
Caregiver Support Circle Zoom Room
1st Saturdays, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Are you caregiving for a significant other in your life? Having a parent, partner, or adult child experiencing physical, neurological or mental health challenges requires so much from the caregiver — YOU need care and support too! Join Rev. Alison and other caregivers in our Saltwater UU Community to share the joys and sorrows of caregiving and to give and receive support with others who are also in this essential and tender role of caregiver. Our next meet up will be March 2. Contact Rev. Alison at with any questions.
Quiet Connections
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary
1st Sundays, 11:30am – 12:00pm
If the Welcoming Room is too busy for you, or you are enjoying the conversations that start there, but would like to deepen them, the Newcomer and Visitor Team is offering “Quiet Connections” with the OG (original gang) in the Sanctuary to welcome both new folks and longer-term members. We want to get to know you, invite you to get to know us, on a bit quieter, deeper, and more intimate level. A few snacks and drinks are provided. Join us on March 3.
Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcoming Room
2nd Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Our next meet up is March 11. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at
Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
2nd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Do you love to talk about your family history and research? Saltwater Church has a Genealogy Club! We are not experts; we just share stories and research ideas. Our next meeting will be March 13. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Faith Formation Sunday
In Person – Saltwater Church
3rd Sundays, 10:30am-2:00pm
Join us for fun, growth, and belonging as we delve deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes our worship is built on. Faith Formation Sunday includes worship, lunch (sometimes potluck), then age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children). Our next gathering is March 17 and lunch will be provided. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcoming Room

3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meet up will be March 19. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Pair Sharing by Zoom
Janeane’s Zoom Room
One Sunday a month, 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you would like to attend, please contact Janeane Weprin at

Support Is 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. If you have been affected by the pandemic financially, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact our Office Administrator for additional information

If you are in need of emotional or spiritual support, you can reach out directly to a Lay Minister:
Debra Valpey:
Toska Rodriguez:
Jean Spohn:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Questions about Children’s and Youth Programming? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash: To join the Faith Formation Zoom Room go to:

Middle and High School Youth Group Game Night
Saturday March 16, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Due to High School Con on the first weekend of March, we are moving Youth Group Game Night to the 3rd Saturday in March. Join us on March 16. Youth are encouraged to come hang out and play some games! Bring a favorite game to share. If you wish to try out a new game, we have a wide selection that will leave your brain and belly tired. Laughter and popcorn provided.

Adults of Youth Support Group
Saturday March 16, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Those parenting Youth (grades 6-12) are invited to join Director, Jessica Nash, during the first hour of Youth Group Game Night. We will connect with each other through the Soulful Home curriculum, supporting one another on our shared journey of parenting. Our next meet up is Saturday, March 16. After the meet-up, join the game night for more fun and connection. ****Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Faith Formation Sundays – Elementary and Youth
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Join us the 3rd Sunday of every month for an extended day of fun, growth, and belonging tied to our monthly Soul Matters themes. Faith Formation Sundays include elementary and youth programming during and after worship with lunch in-between. Our next meet up is Sunday, March 17 where we will explore the theme of Transformation. Lunch will be provided. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

Easter Egg Hunt – Children and Youth Event
Sunday March 31, 11:30am – 12:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

On Easter Sunday, we invite you to come for this delightful springtime tradition! Children, bring your baskets (or borrow one of ours) and hunt for eggs for a prize. The hunt will begin after the church service. Youth grades 6-12 will meet during the church service to set-up the egg hunt and prize selection with their advisors.

Camp Blue Boat – Youth grades 6-12
Sunday June 30 – Friday July 5
In Person – Camp N-Sid-Sen in Harrison, Idaho

Get ready for an unforgettable summer experience at Camp Blue Boat at Camp N-Sid-Sen in Harrison, Idaho! This year, registration includes a bus from Denver, so no need for a second registration. Don’t forget to look for the discount if you’re not taking the bus. And the Sibling and Early Bird (by March 15) Discounts return.

This summer camp is perfect for youth from rising 6th-grade to 12th-grade graduates. It offers age-specific housing and programming, where campers, counselors, and staff will explore being in relationship with oneself, others, and the wider world. The camp is based on four basic pillars, including community, spirituality, justice, and equality. After attending, youth will be able to articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values, develop spiritual discipline, engage in social change, and build personal and religious resilience. There are plenty of fun activities such as field games, crafts, hikes, swimming, bonfires, and more. Come join us! Register here: Camp Blue Boat in the PNW | Pacific Western Region |

Why are we moving?  Because our old site wants to use their camp for their campers, so we get to go back to N-Sid-Sen, where Camp Blue Boat started.

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Parents Facebook Group 

Connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

Childcare for Church Events 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance by contacting our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at We will do our best to make accommodations whenever possible.

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room 

To access Zoom, go to 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 Bubba:

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 our Office Administrator:

A quick guide for our Zoom room can be found here. Feel free to download the file to keep a copy readily available at your fingertips.

Saltwater Church Building

The church building has opened for in person gatherings. If you wish to plan an event, please use our online request form:  All gatherings are asked to follow the current COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions about the guidelines or need assistance, our Office Assistant is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am to 2pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

Donations to Saltwater Church

When making a donation on the church website (click here), please indicate where you want your donation to go. After entering the amount of your donation, if you select “Donate with a Debit or Credit Card” you will see a line which starts with a pencil and has “add special instructions to the seller.” Please click on those words to specify “pledge” or your desired purpose. It will help our treasurer get money into the right places if that line is filled in. If you have questions, email or call our Treasurer, Gaye Greeves at or 253-508-3961.   

Please Note: Announcements, updates, and additions to the newsletter must be received by noon Wednesday to be included in that week’s newsletter. Send your submissions to the website form (click here)