Saltwater Church Newsletter April 12, 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 April: The Gift of Interdependence

Rev. Alison writes, “Like fractals that maintain a similar form at any level of magnification, interdependent webs are part of every aspect of life — our families and communities are interdependent webs, embedded in ecosystems that are interdependent webs. Noticing the webs of relationship, from the microscopic to the galactic, including the human and more than human, leads me to wonder at the incredible complexity of life on this airy, watery rock. It is in that space of wonder that I find the presence of the Sacred.”

Worship Services in April

April 14 Joyful Community: One Interdependent Web – Rev. Alison Sutherland-Duren (in-person)

As our pledge drive comes to a close, we celebrate the many ways we weave the web of community, and we take time to imagine a future that we can only create together, where our mission to Practice Love, Foster Connection, Nurture Spiritual Growth, and Act for Justice has come to pass.

Join us after the service for a potluck lunch celebration!

April 21 Earth Day: Honoring our Blue Boat Home – Rev. Alison Sutherland-Duren (in-person)

Rev. Alison and participants in Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!) share a multigenerational service to inspire people of all ages to care for the lands, waters, and fellow creatures of our Earthly home.

April 28 Steering in a Tornado: A Field Guide – Liz James (guest-speaker)

(Services at BOTH Saltwater Church and Seabeck Retreat) Liz James from the UU hysterical society returns! She writes: I recently overheard one of my teenagers saying “In my day…” to his younger brother.  Well, in my day, you had to be old enough to shave before you got to say, “in my day.” But the world is changing at a breakneck pace. How do you steer when everything is shifting all the time?  Join us for a humor-based, fun, practical look at navigating modern life.

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.

Annual Spring Leadership Convening
Saturday April 13, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Multi-Platform – Church Main Building & Church Zoom Room

If you are a leader in our church community, or want to be involved as one, come to the Spring Leadership Convening on Saturday, April 13, 1-3 pm. This is a hybrid event; you can come in person or Zoom in.

As a community, our mission is to practice love, foster connection, nurture spiritual growth and act for justice. The Leadership Convening is our chance to check our course. Are we on the same page? On track? What’s next? Let’s be creative together!

Joyful Community Potluck
Sunday April 14, following service
In Person – Welcoming Room

Join us for a church-wide potluck on April 14 as a celebration of our joyful community at Saltwater UU and beyond and completion of our pledge season. Please bring a generous dish to share. Kindly mark ingredients if not clearly visible (dairy, soy, etc.). No nuts, per Saltwater Policy. We will also need folks to step up and help us set up before church and take down after church.

Our Pledge Drive is almost over. But the joy and fun will continue as we Practice Love, Foster Connection, Nurture Spiritual Growth, and Act for Justice. Please turn in your pledge via pledge card or go to the website to make your pledge for the coming fiscal year ( Think not only about how much this community means to you but to all the others as well. Let’s all do what we can together, reaching out into community and Spreading the JOY!!!

April Faith Formation Sunday – Lunch Provided
Sunday April 21, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Join us the third Sunday of the month for Faith Formation Sunday, where we will explore our April theme of The Gift of Interdependence! Stay after the worship service for a provided lunch (Soup and Sandwiches – vegan and gluten-free options included) followed by a short ritual and all-ages programming. For our faith formation programming after lunch, we’re excited for our Healthy Congregation Team to guide adults and youth through an exploration of boundaries and how they help us build our beloved community. Children will enjoy stories and activities related to the theme with Director Jessica Nash.

Remote option: Adults and youth who would like to attend Faith Formation programming remotely are invited to our remote session on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00pm in the Faith Formation Zoom Room. We hope you will join us!

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States – Book Study
Continues Tuesday April 23, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Faith Formation Zoom Room

The Saltwater UU Racial Justice Team invites you to join a book study of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Youth Edition) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortez. The 2-hour sessions began March 26 and meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of April, May, and June. Worksheets and suggested resources will be provided for each session. The depth of your study will be up to you. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact: Miriam Woito – or (208) 890-6074

Special Event

Saltwater Church RETREAT 2024
Friday April 26 – Sunday April 28
Off-Site – Seabeck Conference Center

The Saltwater Retreat is coming up quick. Did you remember to turn in your dietary request? If not, contact Saphronia Young at If it’s your first time attending church retreat, Saphronia is the queen of knowledge! If you aren’t planning to attend for the whole weekend, one of the beautiful things about church retreat is that you can attend for the day events without needing to stay overnight. Our annual retreat is a time for rest, reflection, and fun…and they feed you! We hope you’ll join us for this treasured annual event, with guest speaker Liz James of the UU Hysterical Society. Don’t miss this great escape from the day-to-day hubbub. Join your Saltwater family at Seabeck.

From Our Minister

Many different dishes of food on a table with many different hands serving themselves food.

Minister’s Messages

This Sunday, April 14, we’ll have a potluck after our service to celebrate the conclusion of our Joyful Community Pledge Drive. A church potluck and a church pledge drive are similar: Both provide nourishment and energy to the church community, with a potluck nourishing our bodies, energizing us for the rest of our day, and a pledge drive nourishing our budget so we can energize our staff, programs, buildings and grounds with the resources needed to thrive in the next church year. You can read Rev. Alison’s full message through the home page of the church website or here. ***Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska

Rev. Alison will be in-person at Saltwater Church this Sunday, April 14 through April 21.

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

Social Justice Announcements

UU the Vote Postcard Writing
Now through Thursday May 9

It is not too late to support Saltwater’s UU the Vote postcard writing efforts. Postcards won’t be mailed until April 22. We are writing postcards to registered underrepresented voters in Georgia providing them nonpartisan information about voting in their Congressional primary election. Postcards need to be mailed between April 22 and May 9. Let me know how many postcards you want (in multiples of 20, please) and I will give you the postcards and all the info you need (scripts, directions, etc. You provide stamps.)
Susan Aigner—for your Saltwater Racial Justice Organizing Team:, (253) 569-8156

UUA Condemns Violence Against Gaza, Urges Immediate and Total Ceasefire

On February 14, 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:

Save the Date

Our Next Chapter – Live Auction
Saturday May 11, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

We’re having a party and a live auction to celebrate Our Next Chapter! Church members will offer opportunities and experiences such as a week in a vacation home or extraordinary art pieces. We will also be conducting a fundathon to fund a special project for the church. Come celebrate and support our church home!

Congregational Meeting
Sunday June 9, 11:30am – 1:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

Come to the June Congregational Meeting to hear about the coming year’s budget, and to elect two members to the Board and two members to the Nominating Committee. Celebrate a wonderful year together! If you will need childcare, please contact Jessica Nash at by June 2.

Ways to Share Our Gifts

Be a Part of Welcoming New Members
Join our Welcoming Team

The Welcome Team is seeking long-time Saltys to revive our tradition of pairing new members with folks who know the community well and can help answer their questions about getting involved. If you are interested in being a mentor or buddy to our newer Saltys, please contact Rev. Alison 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 April 17. ***Image credit: Bubba 

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 May 9. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for April
Hospitality House of Burien, WA

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of April will be shared with Hospitality House:

In September 2000, Hospitality House was founded by twelve sponsoring churches. Saltwater UU was one of the founding churches. Several of our members continue to volunteer, make a meal and provide supplies.

Hospitality House is a transitional shelter and 90-day program for homeless women. It can accommodate a maximum of nine women at one time. Each client’s objective is to find permanent housing and financial stability but how this is achieved is based upon the needs of the individual client. Case managers support clients throughout the program.

Due to the generosity of a matching donor, the total amount of all undesignated funds in the offering basket will be donated to Hospitality House AND half of what we collect will go toward Saltwater UU’s general operating fund.

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

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

The next meeting will be on May 3. 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 April 13.

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 April 14 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).

We will meet again on April 28 in Puyallup from 2:00pm – 3:00pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). 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, April 18 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

Our planet has a fever. That’s the message from NASA. According to climate scientists, March was the tenth consecutive month of record heat. Only a slim majority of Americans believe the climate crisis is caused by human activity even though 99.9% of just under 90,000 climate studies show that climate warming is due to people burning fossil fuels and forests. Help spread the word that our actions and votes can make a real difference. Get some helpful talking points from the NASA video at ***Image Credit: Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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 April 20.
  • 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 April 14.

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 May 4. 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” 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 May 5.
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 May 13. 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 May 8. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Speculative Fiction Book Group
In Person – Office Conference Room &
The Speculative Fiction Book Group Zoom Room
3rd Saturdays, Special April Date
Our next meeting is April 13 at 3:30pm. Our scheduled reads for the rest of the church year are:
April: All Systems Red and Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
May: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin
June: The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
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 April 16. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
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 April 21 and lunch will be provided. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at
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
1st Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Join us for Youth Group Game Night on May 4. 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.

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

Join us for our last children and youth’s 3rd Sunday of our church year. Our last meet up in person (restarting in September!) is Sunday, May 19. After a community provided potluck, bring your favorite food to share. After we are done filling our body, we will be exploring the theme of Pluralism to feed our soul. Playing along with our adults, we will learn about pluralism through playing together in community. We have invited our friends and neighbors and why don’t you bring along yours? We are playing our way into our summer break. Puzzles, games, oobleck, water beads, playground fun, chalk painting, large group games. We will have challenges and opportunities for everyone to win prizes from the Lighthouse store. Join us as we play together with plurarlism. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

Saltwater Church RETREAT 2024
Sunday April 28
Lighthouse Closed

The Saltwater Retreat is happening april 28. If you are joining us at Saltwater on Sunday April 28th the welcome room will be open for children to play in and their adults can watch easily as we stream out to the welcome room. We do not have enough volunteers this Sunday to be able to provide our normal Sunday children’s experience in our Lighthouse. Make yourself at home in the sanctuary as usual and if your children need more space to move and make more noise… feel free to head out to the welcome room where there are more play opportunities. Don’t forget to be in the sanctuary for the story for all ages!!! this will be a fun one!!! and our reader will need your help!!!! ****Image credit: Photo by Elen

Divination and Card Reading Workshop: An Introduction to
Cartomancy Including Tarot, Oracle and Other Cards

Saturday, May 4th from 3:30pm—6pm
In-Person at Westside UU Congregation in West Seattle
This is a special workshop that Leilani Davenberry and Jade Wilde are offering for 5th–9th graders from
Saltwater, University and Westside churches. We’ll offer pizza for everyone!
 In this workshop, we’ll learn about tarot and oracle card reading. To begin, we will create a sacred space
through space clearing and a collective altar. We’ll learn about considerations in selecting decks, how to get started, and ways to use the cards. We’ll offer suggestions for further learning, ritual making, beginning card layouts, finding meanings, clearing/cleaning energy on our decks and making our own decks. And we will provide etiquette and demonstrations of card readings and opportunities for youth to practice mini readings together.

Please complete this simple registration form to let us know if your youth is coming, so we can be

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 discounts return. Registration deadline is June 1.

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.