Saltwater Church Newsletter April 28, 2023

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30 am. 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 in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.


Theme for April: Resistance

Throughout the month of April we are exploring the theme of resistance. According to the oxford languages dictionary, resistance is “the refusal to accept or comply; the attempt to prevent something by action.” As Unitarian Universalists, what are we called to resist? What is the relationship between spirituality and resistance? Can resistance be joyful? Join us as we explore new possible directions and learn together!


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

April 30: Retreat weekend, there will be no in-person or online church hosted by Saltwater UU. More than 50 members and friends will be at the Church Retreat at Seabeck, which makes it so that we will not have the staff or volunteer capacity to have worship services and programming. That Sunday, we invite you to go on a field trip to a neighboring UU Church, either virtually or in-person. Below are some possibilities:

Theme for May: Creativity

Throughout the month of May we are exploring the spiritual theme of creativity. Peggy Taylor writes: “Creativity is our ability to dream things up and make them happen.” What do you want or need to create? What do we collectively imagine for our community and our neighborhoods? How can we co-create our dreams into reality? Join us to explore and learn together!

Notable & 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.

Article II WRAP UP
Wednesday May 3, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

If you have not yet done so, please submit your thoughts about the Article II proposed revisions using this form:

Join the Board and members of our community on Zoom for our last session about Article II. We will talk about the amendments and changes that church members would like. This, and the feedback form, will help our delegates represent our church at General Assembly in June. Please make your voice heard. Fill out the form, and Zoom in on May 3rd. Thanks!

For more information about Article II, please see

Family Ministry Listening Session for Saltwater Families
Tuesday May 9, 7:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Family Ministry Listening Session for Saltwater families Facilitated by the Faith Formation Team. May 9, 2023, 7pm in the Church Zoom Room. Please join us! This is a space to listen to one another about feelings related to the staff transition, the needs of families, and to think together about where we are headed. Join us and participate in planning our future.

Worship Associate Training: Calling all Past, Present, and Future Worship Associates!
Saturday May 13, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Sanctuary

Our newly formed Worship Team (Meri Murphy, Janeira St. Claire, Joanne Stonebraker, Janeane Weprin, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga,) will be offering a training session for those interested in serving the church as a Worship Associate. We would like existing and former Worship Associates to attend, as well as anyone interested in potentially serving as a Worship Associate.  Or, if you are just curious, please come!  All are welcome!

Congregational Budget Presentations
Wednesday, May 24 at 7:00pm, Church Zoom Room
Sunday, May 28, at 11:45am, multiplatform
In Person – Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

(The presentations will be the same, offered at two different times)
Join Gaye Greeves, Church Treasurer, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, for a presentation on the 2023-2024 church budget. The presentation will focus on changes to income and expenses, and copies of the detailed line-item budget will be provided. This is a great opportunity to learn about the church’s financial health and explore strategies for sustainability. We also want to hear your questions and feedback. The Board will vote on the budget at their meeting on May 31st, and a summary of the final budget will be presented at the congregational meeting on Sunday, June 11th.

Save The Date

Celebration of Life for Dale Miller (Bubba’s Dad)
Saturday May 20, 10:00am Multi-platform

Saltwater Church Sanctuary: 25701 14th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Church Zoom Room:
Join us as we celebrate the life of Dale Miller, father of our Office Administrator. The service is open to everyone and will be available in person or via live stream over Zoom. Additional details will be in future newsletters.

Celebration of Life for Frank Billington
Saturday June 3, 10:00am Multi-platform

Saltwater Church Sanctuary: 25701 14th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Church Zoom Room:
Join us to celebrate the life of Frank Billington. All are welcome to come together as we share memories and offer care to Frank’s family, friends, and community. A reception for those who are in-person will follow the service in the welcome room.

From Our Leadership

COVID-19 Policy Change — Masking Encouraged But Optional

On Wednesday, April 26th, 2023, the Saltwater Church Board met and reviewed its COVID safety policies. The Board voted to make the following change for all church programming, including worship: “Masks are encouraged, but optional. Please stay home if you are sick, or believe you may be getting sick, and join from Zoom.” A full update of the COVID policy will be available in next week’s newsletter. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to a member of the Executive Team of the Board: Karin Leisy, Aida Sanchez-Vela, or Rev. Kristen.

UUA Sponsored Article II Amendment Discussion Workshops

At General Assembly 2023, Unitarian Universalists will take an initial vote on proposed changes to Article II of the UUA Bylaws, which includes the current UUA purposes, principles, sources, and clauses on inclusion and freedom of belief.

The following Zoom workshops to discuss amendments to the Article II Study Commission proposal (PDF) are open to all Unitarian Universalists and are organized by the UUA. Whether or not you submitted a suggestion or idea, we encourage you to join us for one or more of these workshops.

Slate of Candidates for the Board and Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce our 2023-2024 slate of candidates for the Saltwater Church Board and the Nominating Committee. The Board and the Nominating Committee each have two open positions which will be voted on at our June 11th Congregational meeting. Galen Guffy and Pat Montgomery have agreed to run for the Board and Christine Frueh and Saphronia Young will seek your vote for the Nominating Committee. Nominations for the Board of Directors may also be made from the floor at the annual Congregational meeting.

Each of these Saltwater members bring a unique set of skills for your consideration and you can get to know them by reading their bios here:

Please take this month to ‘get to know’ the candidates and plan to cast your vote at the June 11th meeting. Our thanks to these four members for agreeing to participate in these important leadership roles for our Church.

-Your Nominating Team: Kathy Linnell, Laurie Bardill, Carol Mitchell and Mayda Taney

Join Our Staff
Job Openings

Hiring for a Nursery Lead & Childcare Coordinator

Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church in Des Moines, WA is seeking a Nursery Lead and Childcare Coordinator to support our family ministries program. 8 hours per week, $20-22 per hour, 9:30 am-12:30 pm on Sundays, other hours flexible. For the full job description and how to apply:
Please share this job description with your networks and anyone who you think might be interested in applying.

Hiring for a Audiovisual & Sound Technician

Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church in Des Moines, WA is seeking an Audiovisual and Sound Tech to support our multiplatform worship services. 3 hours per week, Sundays 9 am -12 pm, $25 per hour. For the full job description and how to apply:
Please share this job description with your networks and anyone who you think might be interested in applying.

Ways to Volunteer

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 Leanne (, our volunteer coordinator, if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

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

Other Opportunities

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
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 Thursday May 4. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 2nd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church 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. Our next meeting is Thursday May 11.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for April
The Black Future Fund

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of April will be shared with Black Future Fund

Our Racial Justice Organizing Team supports the Black Future Fund. The Fund is Washington state’s first all-Black-led philanthropic organization, and is uniquely positioned to lead transformational change with Black Washingtonians. They fund the pursuits of Black communities and Black-led organizations that strengthen health, education, and economic opportunity for Black people.

The Fund’s work is structured around four key areas:

  • Connecting Black communities for collective power.
  • Promoting a truthful Black narrative.
  • Investing in Black-led solutions for generational prosperity.
  • Shifting the paradigm of philanthropy.

The Fund works under the umbrella of the Seattle Foundation and supports south King County efforts. One of their many efforts include We-See-You Grants. They are listed here:

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

Please join us on Sunday, May 7  to see how you can help make an impact on our current climate crisis. Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.  *** image credit: Margo Rolf

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 3rd Saturday, 10:00 – 11:00am
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 13. 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.

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. Our next gathering will be on May 14 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas).  We will meet again on May 28 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)
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Wednesday May 17. 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.

Climate Message of the Week

How much water do you “eat” every day?

Your food choices directly impact your water footprint. What amount of water does it take to produce the protein that you choose? Is it 1,850 gal/lb (beef), 516 gal/lb (chicken), or 486 gal/lb (beans and legumes)? All nuts are not the same in terms of water requirements either: peanuts only need 200 gal/lb while almonds use 1,900 gal/lb. Maybe you can substitute something else or cut back on some of your favorite foods that “cost” a lot of water (chocolate 2,000 gal/lb!). And don’t forget the water lost in food waste.

According to the FoodPrint website: “The average person in America wastes 26,500 gallons of water per year by tossing just six common food items in the trash: lettuce, almonds, apples, tomatoes, eggs and beef.”

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

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 
Now In Person
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Our meditation group meets in person in the Saltwater Church Sanctuary. 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

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
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. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. Our next meet up will be on May 6.
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

Monthly Meetings

Paint n’ Sip
On Hiatus
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Childcare is being provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander 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. Our next meeting will be Sunday May 7. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin 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 10. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room
3rd Tuesday, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather monthly to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meeting will be May 16. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Support Circle
Church Zoom Room :
3rd Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, led by Rev. Kristen 
Support circle is open to all members and friends and is a space for deep check-in and reflection on a question related to our monthly theme. In support circle we come to be nourished by authentic relationship, to mutually support one another through the joys and sorrows of our lives, and to create space for spiritual insight. Our next meeting will be May 18. All are welcome.

Quarterly Meetings

After Service Potluck
In Person : Welcome Room
Sunday May 21 following service
Church-Wide Potluck, Yummy! Please bring a generous dish to share. Kindly mark ingredients if not clearly visible (like nuts, soy, etc.) We will also need folks to step up and help us set up before church and take down after church. Questions? contact Debra Valpey, 206-953-5704 or

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:
Toska Rodriguez:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Multigenerational Faith Formation’s Zoom Room

Middle and High School Youth Group (grades 6-12)

Youth will meet for social events several times a month. The Youth Group works with adult advisors to plan programs which include personal sharing, discussion of religious and ethical issues, guest speakers from other religions and from the community, service projects, participation in district youth conferences, and worship. This year youth will explore the monthly church-wide themes. Contact Amanda Radak or see the church newsletter for more information.

Tabletop Family Game Night!
Saturday May 6, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Welcome Room

Members and friends of all ages will attend the churchwide Game Night sponsored by SUUSC. Participants will play old classics or introduce new board or card games to the community.

Register for Camp Blue Boat
July 16 through July 21
Lazy F Camp & Retreat Center, Ellensburg, WA

It’s time to register for this year’s Camp Blue Boat. This is a Unitarian Universalist summer camp immersion experience for youth from rising 6th-grade to 12th-grade graduates, with age-specific housing and programming. Campers, counselors and staff will spend time exploring being in relationship with one’s self, others, and the wider world. At camp, youth learn about community, spirituality, justice, equality, and also have a ton of fun! For additional information and the link to register go to:

Our Whole Lives (OWL) 

Comprehensive sexuality education classes will be held jointly with Westside UU Church for youth in grades 7-9. The class schedule will be available soon. Contact Steve Radak for more information.

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:

Parents Support Group 

Our support group will not be meeting this month.

Childcare for Church Events & Services 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance. As our Director of Faith Formation position is in transition, at this time all requests for childcare should be directed to our Office Administrator via email 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 1pm. 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 or use the website form (click here)