Saltwater Church Newsletter April 30, 2021


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 the newsletter.

May: What does it mean to be a People of Story?
In the month of May we’re exploring what is means to be a people of story. Stories are a way that we make meaning in our lives. Stories shape how we understand our past, our present and our future, both individually and collectively. Soul Matters describes the practice of being a people of story as living by narratives of our own making, reclaiming memory, and re-membering ourselves. Join us as we explore and deepen our faith together.

May 2: “Catching Up” with Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto
Rev. James left Saltwater Church five years ago this spring. This morning, he reflects on where life has led him since then, how his 16 years of ministry at Saltwater Church continue to shape him, and what a future relationship with the congregation might look like.

May 9: “Blooming: Our Annual Flower Communion Celebration,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga & Melinda Einander
Please send us a picture of you with a flower for a slide show that we will share during our annual flower communion celebration. Pictures can be emailed to with “flower communion” in the subject line. The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 3.

May 16: “The Power of Story,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
May 23: TBA
May 30: “We Act for Justice,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Upcoming Events

Listening to Understand: Facilitated Conversation around UUA Tensions
May 1, 9:30am – 11:00am
Church Zoom Room
You may have noticed conversations happening on the SUUC community listserve around the direction of the Unitarian Universalist Association, with different perspectives being shared. It can be challenging to have meaningful and relational conversation around controversial topics over the listserve and email. We invite you to join us for a deeper conversation on these topics, open to all. The conversation will be facilitated by members of the Executive Team of the Board and the Healthy Congregation Team of Saltwater UU Church.

Reimagining Church Workshop
May 8, 10am – 12pm
Church Zoom Room
Join us to reimagine what church might be like this fall and into the future! The Board, Operations Leads, and Rev. Kristen will facilitate an opportunity to reflect, learn, and imagine together. As we look to the possibility of returning to in-person worship and program, we want to be intentional. Join us as we talk about questions like: What have we learned in the last year? What do we want to keep? How are our needs different now? How might we do church differently? We hope you’ll join us for this important workshop!

We Act for Justice “Mission” Workshop
May 12, 7pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room
Join the Board for an evening of connection, reflection, and song! This is the last workshop in our Living into our Mission series. Together we will explore what it means to “Act for Justice” grounded in our values. Facilitated by Anjali Lopez, Karin Leisy, Lauren Crowder, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga.

From the Board and HCT

New Celebratory Art in the Saltwater Sanctuary
The Executive Committee of the SUUC Board suggests that Bet Chaverim Synagogue proceed with their desired plan to install a “Tree of Life” display adjacent to the Aron Kodesh (Ark of the Covenant). The purposes of the display are to celebrate the longstanding relationship that the Synagogue has with the Church, to be a Bet Chaverim story symbol, to honor the memory of one of the Synagogue’s founding members, Jack Kornberg, and to acknowledge gifts from donors to the Synagogue. The proposed “Tree of Life” would be approximately 7 ft. tall (not to extend above the wood cross-piece which is there) and up to 5 ft. wide. Click the linksfor a depiction of its placement on the South wall, approximate shape of the wooden tree, and the shape and size of the brass donor leaves. The quilts that hung in that location were requested back by their owner earlier this year. Please feel free to contact any one of us (Ray Valpey, Mayda Taney, or Rev. Kristen Kuriga) if you have questions or concerns. 

Congregational Budget Information Sessions
Saturday, May 15, 10am – 11:30am &Sunday, May 23 after church, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Church Zoom Room
Join members of the Board, the Finance Team, and Rev. Kristen for an informational meeting about the proposed budget for the upcoming 2021-2022 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.

From Our Pledge Team
We had more pledges turned in during the actual pledge season than ever! We currently have only 10 families who haven’t yet pledged…which means that about 110 of you HAVE!! That’s so wonderful, and the pledge team is so appreciative. If you still need to send in your pledge, you can make your declaration by mailing in your card or submit your pledge electronically (click here) via the church website. If you have any questions or experience any difficulties, please contact our Pledge Team or our Office Administrator.

Congregational Meeting
June 13, 11:45am – 1pm
Church Zoom Room
During the Congregational Meeting, we will vote on our new “Covenant of Right Relations” (click here). If you have any questions, please contact any member of your Healthy Congregations Team or our Office Administrator.

UUA General AssemblyRegistration is open!
June 23-27, 2021
The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be all virtual this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to worship and learn alongside UU’s from throughout the country. The cost of registration is $200. You can find more information here: you are attending General Assembly, we also invite you to consider being a delegate. At the next Board meeting, we will determine the process for selecting delegates from Saltwater Church to represent the congregation.

Growth and Learning

Racial Justice Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry
4th Tuesdays – June 22nd, July 27th, & August 24th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Minister’s Zoom Room
Please join the RJOT Racial Justice Organizing Team as we participate in the UU Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry. This will be a three-part monthly series over the summer. Saltwater RJOT is purchasing some copies of the book to make available to participants. Please contact our Office Administrator, Katherine Miller at to arrange how to get a copy! Books will be available by mid-May. If you wish to purchase your own copy, please consider a BIPOC owned store. You may also try your local library or a free online application like For more information about the UUA Common Read for this year as well as previous years please visit The UU Common Read |  We hope you will join us!

Saltwater Pen Pal Project
Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Each month you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the monthly Soul Matters theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May: Birth to Three Developmental Center
Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of May will be shared with Birth to Three Developmental Center in Federal Way: 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
SCAN! will resume meeting Sunday, May 2. Please come and join us for our monthly meeting. We’ll be recapping our efforts to help get climate-friendly legislation passed in the now concluded legislative session in Olympia. Each SCAN! member who acted as the point person for a particular bill or bills will give a report. So far, the results look good with the wins outnumbering the losses. We’ll also be talking about what our next environmental challenges will be. So, please come, join in, and bring a friend too. You’ll be most welcome.

Stance for Racial Justice
Monthly on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2pm-3pm
In person
Rain or shine, show up for racial justice every other Sunday. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on 5/9 in Des Moines from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack- in- the Box and Arco gas). On 5/23 we will gather 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.

Sound Alliance Listening Session
Sunday, May 16, 12pm &Wednesday, May 17, 7pm
Church Zoom Room
How has the pandemic impacted you, your family, people you care about, and community? Sound Alliance invites you to attend one of our small group listening sessions. Listening meetings guide us in focusing on what is most important to you and our community. By sharing our stories and concerns we are guided to focus on issues of greatest concern. Please sign up (click here) now for one of the 2 remaining sessions. We anticipate each session will be approximately an hour long. The remaining dates and times are: Sun 5/16 at noon, and Wed 5/19 at 7pm. If you have questions, contact Kathy Linnell, or Lucia Faithfull,

Sound Alliance Team Meeting
Monthly on the 4th Saturday, 10am – 11:30am
Church Zoom Room
The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues. 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 and act for Justice! The next meeting will be Saturday, May 22. 

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Saltwater’s RJOT will not be meeting in May but encourages you to join them in June to discover more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. Share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, and work together to advance our commitment to racial justice. The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 15.

Climate Message of the Week: Americans waste nearly 80 billion pounds of food per year! That’s approximately 219 pounds of food waste per person. The World Wildlife Federation calculates that the production of food waste in America is the equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of 37 million cars. Cut food waste by cooking with what you already have. There are many online sites (click here for an example) where you can search for recipes based on ingredients. Plan for using leftovers and vegetable scraps. Compost food that you can’t use.

Ways to Connect

Pair Sharing
(Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:45am – 1:00pm.
The next meeting is on May 9.There is 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

Al-Anon Support Group
(private zoom, contact for link)
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room)
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Please join us to learn or practice hand work (knitting and crocheting, sewing, drawing, jewelry making or?) along with fun conversation and a supportive atmosphere. Pour yourself a favorite beverage, grab a snack, and join in the fun. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 5. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

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, now all virtual via Zoom. Questions? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.

Writers Group 
(Church Zoom Room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 12:00pm

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
Alternating Sundays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The next meeting is May 9.

Support Circle 
(Church Zoom Room)
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

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

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, and Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups 
(Note the class address.)
Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Junior and Senior High Youth Group 
(Note the class address.)
Sundays at 12:00pm,

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Game Night (Joint with Northlake UU)3rd Friday of each month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm We will be using an online game platform as one of the options for games ( – free account is plenty), so if possible, please let Margaret know if you plan to attend so we can get set up ahead of time. We hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 309 145 529
 Password: NUUC

If you are interested in having your youth (and/or yourself) receive reminder texts directly for game night and Sunday youth group, you can sign up for them by clicking this link and entering the information: Contact Margaret Rogers for more information:

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

Parents Facebook Group 
You can also connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

The Saltwater Church Family Ministries Library Wants to Visit Your Home!
Have your children run out of books to read, with school and public libraries closed? The Saltwater Family Ministries library has books to share! Contact to borrow books.  

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:

Make Sure Your Zoom is Up to Date
It is a good idea to update your zoom software from time to time. If you are having difficulties with zoom, such as not being able to hear sometimes, or not being able to be heard, it may be time for an update. Updating zoom will occasionally also provide new helpful features. To update your zoom, click on your user icon on the desktop client, or login to your zoom account at This video has helpful instructions for updating Zoom: Contact Melinda Einander or Robert Snipes if you need additional help.

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to most in-person programming, groups, and meetings. Staff are primarily working from home. Staff members will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus regularly. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings.

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 would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2020 for tax purposes to 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)