Saltwater Church Newsletter April 22, 2022

To join the church zoom room go to:
Each Sunday we offer online worship through zoom at 10:30 am. For any of our worship services or meetings, you can join by computer or by calling in on your telephone. You can find more information about how to connect through zoom towards the end of our Saltwater Church Newsletter.


April Worship Services

April 24: “What’s Your Climate Zip Code?,” Sheri Jacobson, Lay Leader

Service will be available over zoom or by attending our in person Worship Watch Party. Join us in the sanctuary where our zoom service will be shared on the big screen. Connect with others, sing along together to the hymns, and experience the view of nature out the sanctuary windows. At this time, worship leaders will continue to lead on zoom in the gradual process of reopening.

May 1: Virtual Field Trip to Tahoma UU

On Sunday, May 1 we are going on a worship field trip to join with Tahoma UU. As you may know, many church members, leaders, and staff will be at the Church Retreat at Seabeck that weekend. For those who are not able to join us for retreat, we invite you to experience worship with Tahoma online through zoom, or in-person (reservations required). At the link below you can learn more about the worship service. The link for the zoom service and to register for in-person worship will be available in next week’s newsletter. There will be no worship watch party at Saltwater Church on May 1.

A Quarter Turn From God,” Rev. Dr. Linda Hart

Theme for April: “Journey”

In the month of April we are exploring the theme of journey. Our individual journeys overlap with the journeys of other travelers, and those overlaps help us grow, learn and transform. Together we will explore the calling to search, wander, and experience. We will share our stories of transformation with one another. Where in your life is a journey unfolding? Let us explore together!

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.

UU 101 Class
Saturday April 23, 10:00am – 11:30am
In Person – Welcome Room

Do you have questions about Unitarian Universalism? Have you been attending worship for a while and want to get more connected? Join Rev. Kristen for a UU 101 class. Together we will explore:

  • What does it mean to be Unitarian Universalist?
  • Who historically were Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists?
  • What are the values and beliefs that shape our faith tradition?
  • What is the membership process at Saltwater UU?

Bring your questions and explore whether this might be your spiritual home. Questions or to RSVP, contact Rev. Kristen:   

Worship Watch Parties
Sunday April 24, May 8, May 15 10:30am – 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Join us in the Saltwater sanctuary where the zoom service will be shared on the big screen. Our doors open at 10:15. Connect with others, sing along together to the hymns, and experience the view of nature out the sanctuary windows.

The Board’s recent changes to our COVID-19 Guidelines allows the following:

  • The sanctuary will be open to a maximum of 40 people (3ft social distancing) and overflow in the welcome room. There is no need to register in advance.
  • Those attending will be required to wear masks. Family groups can sit together and will be asked to distance from others.
  • There will not be an in-person “coffee hour” after the service. However, we encourage people to connect after service outdoors when the weather is good.

People of all ages are welcome. We hope to see you in person for worship one Sunday soon!

Weeding and Groundskeep Party
Saturday April 23, 10:00am
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

Spring is here! That means flowers are blooming and weeds are spreading. Join us in ridding our outdoor spaces of the pesky invaders. We’ll begin at 10am and will head home a few hours later. Bring your favorite gardening gear and come play in the dirt. Masks will be available for those who wish to wear one, however they are not required.

In Person Security Alarm System Training
Thursday April 28, 6:00pm AND Wednesday May 4, 1:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

Our Office Administrator, Katherine “Bubba” Miller, is offering an in person training session for those who will be using are Security Alarm System. (Please arrive 5 minutes early so we can start on time.) If you have a need for access to our facilities, and would like training on our new system, you are encouraged to attend this in person session. It will be held indoors and as such, masks will be required. Masks can be provided as necessary.

If you haven’t already completed an Access Request Form, please do so at: . Members of communities that use our facilities are also invited to this training session. Watch our newsletter and website main page,, for additional training opportunities.

Special Invitation from Bet Chaverim
Saturday April 30, 7:00pm
Saltwater Church Sanctuary

In honor of Israeli Independence Day, Bet Chaverim wishes to invite you to an in person concert. This event is Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and the Women of Reform Judaism. If you wish to attend in person, you will need to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask. The event will also be aired over Zoom. The meeting ID is 411 839 0307 and the passcode is 244494. If you have questions, contact our Administrator at

Congregational Budget Information Sessions

Join members of the Board, the Finance Team, and Rev. Kristen for an informational meeting about the proposed budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 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. The presentations will be the same, offered at two different times.

Childcare Now Available for Church Events

To request childcare for church events, please contact Director of Family Ministries Melinda Einander at Please remember to request childcare in advance of your event. We ask that you give at least one week’s notice whenever possible. Childcare requests made the day of the event generally cannot be honored.

Save the Date
Congregational Meeting, Sunday June 12
following Sunday’s service over zoom and in-person.
More details coming soon.

Current In-person Activity COVID-19 Guidelines

Please see our website at for the most up to date information. We continue to review current guidelines for King County and the state of Washington to ensure we adhere to their standards.

Ways to Volunteer

Sunday Worship Watch Parties Need Your Help
Join our volunteer teams today!

We need to grow our team of volunteers. If you are available but are nervous about learning to fill one of our volunteer positions, don’t be. We will help you. Now that we are offering watch parties, our teams need a few more people to help share the time commitment. Each will take only a couple hours of your time and will ensure your seat in the sanctuary on the day you work. We have 3 roles that need more volunteers; Greeter, Usher, or to help run the AV equipment. Job descriptions can be found by clicking the title of the role that interests you. You can sign up for a position by emailing Reopening Task Force member Anjali Lopez:

NomCom is seeking new members

Our Nominations Committee is on a mission to find candidates interested in becoming more active in church administration and in leadership opportunities here at Saltwater. NomCom is responsible for finding volunteers annually for two positions on the Church Board and two positions for the “NomCom” itself. Team members serve a two-year commitment. The meeting time is variable. If you are interested in participating in one of these volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our current NomCom members.

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our next meeting is Wednesday May 4. The Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenence of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. There are a handful of preparations being made for the upcoming launch of “watch parties.” Learn about these projects and discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings.
***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

We will not be meeting in May. Our next meeting is Thursday June 16. The Safety Team is comprised of members of Saltwater and Bet Chaverim. We discuss building safety and planning for emergency.

From The Board & HCT

Reopening Update

Our services are now available over zoom and shared in the sanctuary during our worship watch parties. At this time, worship leaders will continue to lead on zoom in the gradual process of reopening. Please see our website at for the most up to date information about our COVID-19 guidelines for in person events.

Widening the Circle of Concern

Since the fall of 2021, the Saltwater Church Board has been reading together and discussing the Widening the Circle of Concern Report published by the UUA. On Sunday, May 15, join the Board as we start the next stage of our work.

During worship, Rev. Kristen Kuriga will share some highlights from the report, which is an analysis of systemic racism in Unitarian Universalism. After the service, the Board will offer facilitated small discussion groups, both over zoom and in-person. This will be an introduction, and we encourage members and friends to get familiar with the report:

We also want to give people time to read the report over the summer before we engage more deeply as a congregation with the recommendations. The entire report can be read or listened to at the link above. In the fall, the Board will convene further conversations and explore the possible actions we would like to take at Saltwater Church that are in alignment with our mission and emerging vision.

If you have questions, or would like more information, you can contact any member of the Board: Mayda Taney, Karin Leisy, Kathy Jorgensen, Aida Sanchez-Vela, Lauren Crowder, or Katie Baker.

Article II Study Commission Individual Survey – UUA
Deadline Extended: April 30, 2022

The Board wants the congregation to know about an important opportunity to contribute to the future of the wider UU faith. The UUA’s Article II Commission is seeking input from individual Unitarian Universalists on Shared Values, Inspirations, Purpose, and Covenant through a survey that closes on April 30. You can take as little or as much time as you wish to reflect on what UU principles, purposes and sources are important to your faith.

Every 15 years there is a study by the Article II Commission, to see how to keep our faith and focus relevant and adapt to a changing world. The survey is one way the Article II Commission is gathering information to guide the updating of the Bylaws, including the 7 Principles. Any recommended changes will be put to a vote at the 2023 GA.
Here is the link to the survey.
Below is a link to a statement by the Article II Study Commission from 2020 about work done so far. The deadline was extended to 2023 due to COVID.
What Brings Us Together: Reflecting on the First Six Months of the Article II Study Commission –

Apply to be a delegate at the 2022 UU General Assembly
GA is in Portland this year and available in person AND virtually
Deadline May 18, 2022

The Saltwater Board is asking for folks to apply to be a delegate and represent our awesome community at the GA this year in Portland, Oregon June 22- 26th, 2022. Additional details about this year’s GA refer to the UUA website:

We have a Delegate Application (click here) to make sure folks who are interested, but have not gone before, know they can apply. GA being in Portland is a wonderful opportunity to experience connection with the larger UU community. It is inspiring! We encourage our youth and young adults to apply.  It is important to support leadership development in our community and this is our chance to do that. Applications need to be received by May 18th, 2022. The Board will decide on our delegates at the May Board meeting the following week. 

Growth & Learning

Unitarian Universalist Logo

UU 101 Class
Saturday April 23, 10:00am – 11:30am
In Person – Welcome Room

Sunday May 29, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Do you have questions about Unitarian Universalism? Have you been attending worship for a while and want to get more connected? Join Rev. Kristen for a UU 101 class. Together we will explore:

  • What does it mean to be Unitarian Universalist?
  • Who historically were Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists?
  • What are the values and beliefs that shape our faith tradition?
  • What is the membership process at Saltwater UU?

Bring your questions and explore whether this might be your spiritual home. Questions or to RSVP, contact Rev. Kristen:   

Harold & Ogden: a COVID era love story
Pre-order the newest book by Saltwater Writers
Now through June 2022

Hello Saltwater Folks, many of you will remember this serialized tale by the Saltwater Writers of how a dog brought love to Harold and his friends during the height of the pandemic. Please let Debra Valpey know if you would like to purchase copies. We will be printing them on an as needed basis. Cost is $5 with proceeds going to the church. Questions? Just contact Debra or call her at 206-953-5704.

Saltwater Pen Pal Project

Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Every 2 months you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the current Sparks of Wonder theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for April:
New Horizon School, Renton, WA

We have some exciting news to share! Due to a generous donor, our Share the Plate donations will be matched starting in May 2022, doubling the amount that goes to a local organization working for justice.

Currently, our share the plate program splits all undesignated donations between the church and an organization recommended by our members that meets our criteria:
–Organization must be a 501 (c) 3 non-profit
–The organization’s mission must align with UU values and principles
–We prioritize organizations that serve South King County  

Under the matching program, if you give ten dollars, $5 dollars will go to the church, and $10 will go to the organization. We are excited about the ways in which this will increase our capacity to live our values as UUs. The program is currently planned as a one-year trial. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rev. Kristen at

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.   

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Monthly on the 1st Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Join us on Sunday May 1 for our next SCAN! meeting. To learn how to join with our other lobbying efforts, contact Bill Adams at If you are interested in participating in future SCAN! efforts, please join in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 2nd Saturday, 10:00am – 11:30am 
Church Zoom Room

The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues in alignment with our commitment to Social Justice. Our next meeting will be on Saturday May 14. The issues we focus on change from year to year, depending upon the concerns voiced by members of the congregation. Currently we are working to address and prevent homelessness, protect immigrant rights, and ease social isolation during the pandemic through the Social Connection Project. 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.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines & Puyallup

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on May 15 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) On April 24 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information. ..

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 4th Monday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Monday April 25Our Racial Justice Organizing Team meets monthly to discuss more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. During the meetings they 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.

Climate Message of the Week


Nearly 40 million tons of food get discarded every year by Americans—more than in any other country in the world! Washington State has created the Use Food Well Washington Plan as a roadmap with a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. Reduce your food waste now by planning how you buy, store, and eat food. Shop from a list, you can even download an app on your phone for quick reference. (Click here for app suggestions) Find recipes that use leftovers. Buy food in quantities you will actually eat. Compost. When you eat out, ask for small portions, share a meal, or bring home leftovers to eat later. Did you know that the average American family of four throws out $1,600 of produce every year? ***image credit: Polina Tankilevitch

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

Ways to Connect

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
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. Our meetings have returned to Zoom meetings with our first in person gathering set for May 3. Would you like to join our group? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.

Writers Group 
Church Zoom Room
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 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! Please join us. Our mission is to support one another in our writing. For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or

Support Circle 
Church Zoom Room
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Our next support circle will be on Thursday, April 28.

Over Eaters Anonymous
Church Zoom Room
Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night – sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SUUSC)
In Person – Welcome Room
1st and 3rd Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
We will not be meeting on April 15. 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). We also play thematic games, card games, and party and social games. Almost anything is possible, bring your favorite game and let us know about it. Our next meet up will be Saturday May 7. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. We hope to see you there.

Creative Hands
Church Zoom Room
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. We are returning to meeting over zoom until further notice. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making or whatever with you. Our next meeting will be Wednesday April 27.

Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Our upcoming gatherings will be on May 8, and May 22. There will not be another meeting during the month of April. Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at

Weekend Writers Group
Church Zoom Room
Alternating Sundays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
There’s no time like the present to start writing that novel you have been dreaming about for years!  Or maybe it’s time to share the poetry you have stashed away in your file drawer or to start immortalizing by writing down those unique memories that have been your precious life!  And it’s a lot more fun if you have an audience of other writers to share them with. We welcome new members, WE WELCOME YOU! Any questions?  Please phone me at 206-898-5452 or email me at  It would be so great to hear from you and to welcome you to the Saltwater Weekend Writers’ Group. Our next meeting will be Sunday May 1.

Monthly Meetings

Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
2nd Wednesday, 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 11. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Saltwater Chalice Circles
Our chalice circle program has offered the opportunity to deepen and broaden spiritual growth while forming closer relationships with others. Currently, our circles are scheduled through June. If you have an interest in participating in our program contact Susan Aigner at

Ongoing Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief is a recognition of endings, but it’s also a birth and a beginning (Judy Lief). Saltwater’s Grief Support Group (facilitated by Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, lay ministers) is a safe place to explore loss and open ourselves to opportunity. Our next meeting will be May 12. All are welcome. Contact Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

Paint Night
In Person – Welcome Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
New time and day: 6pm. Any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at Our next night of creativity will be on April 25.

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 Rev. Kristen:

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

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Family-based Religious Education

This is “church in a box” for families. Families who sign up will receive story books, manipulatives, craft supplies, and discussion questions to help you and your children explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist family. New supplies will be distributed every 1-2 months, and will include seasonal and holiday activities as well. (Kits may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home).  Email our Director of Family Ministries  at if you would like to participate.

Religious Education Class Schedule

Religious Education Class for Children ages 5-11
Sunday mornings at 9:45am
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Middle School Virtual Youth Group for grades 6-8
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Family Support Circles

First & Third Mondays, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Family ministries zoom room

Parents Facebook Group 

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

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room 

To access Zoom, go to 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:

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:

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 small group gatherings. If you wish to plan an event please use our online request form:  Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary. Currently our facilities are closed for all rentals involving indoor activities.

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 any 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 or use the website form (click here)