Saltwater Church Newsletter August 13, 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.


Summer Worship Collaborative

This summer, in July and August, we will be worshipping together with Northlake UU and Tahoma UU over zoom. We will be using the Saltwater Church zoom room, and you will have the opportunity to connect with local UUs from other congregations.

August 15: Expanding the Experiment, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU.
How does our collective yearning for dismantling myths of supremacy in our world transform our faith into the thriving multicultural beloved communities we seek?

August 22: Beloved Companions: Blessing of the Animals, Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church.
Join us to celebrate our blessing of the animals. This is an opportunity to honor the connection we have with our beloved pets, and to express our gratitude and well wishes for the friendship and care they bring to our lives. There will also be a time to honor and remember pets who have died. We encourage you to bring your pets to worship with you so we can see them and bless them in our live zoom service!

Submissions needed for Blessing of the Animals

We are creating a slide show of members of our congregations with their pets. If you would like a picture included, please send it in an email to: with “Blessing of the Animals” as the subject. Photos are due by Monday, August 16.

August 29: The Joy of Collaboration, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church.
This summer we came together as three congregations in one worshipping community. In our final week of the summer collaborative we will reflect on the joys we experienced by being together. What gifts have we received? What have we learned together that we couldn’t learn on our own? Come celebrate the joy of collaboration!

Upcoming Events

front of church with flowering cherry tree

Salties Work Together
Saturday August 14, 10:00am – 2:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church

It’s time for another Work Party! Wear proper clothing for removing weeds and invasive plants (including NETTLES). Bring your own tools, gloves, and any other supplies. Pandemic precautions are advised and we encourage you to engage in conversation to establish best practices for the event.

There’s plenty to do and no such thing as being “late to the party” so come when you can.  We’re grateful for the help and support you all provide in maintaining our beautiful church campus and look forward to seeing you there. The Office Building will be open to use restrooms, otherwise we will remain outdoors.

In-person Opportunities

Help Rebuild A “Sound” Community
Saturday August 21, 10:00am – 2:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church

Preparing for multi-platform services and in-person activities takes a village. We need your help getting our space ready for all our exciting upgrades. Saltwater invites the members of Bet Chaverim, Haitian Christians, and any able bodied friends & family to join us in yet another work party. We need to relocate a lot of furniture and prepare the Welcoming Room for some construction. It’s a big task and we really need all the help we can get. It’s wonderful when our communities can all work together and this is the perfect opportunity. ***image credit: Yan Krukov

Our Facilities Team will have tools available but you may want gloves. Due to the surge of the Delta variant, masks are required for this indoor event. Disposable masks will be available to those who need one. If you’ve been sick or have any concerns about COVID-19, we appreciate your desire to help but ask respectfully that you stay home. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our Facilities Team Lead: Glenn Andrews.

Gather The Youth: Blackberry Picking
Sunday August 22, 4:00pm – 5:30pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church

Gather at Saltwater Church for some berry picking fun. This event is scheduled specifically for our High School and Middle School Youth. Please RSVP to Amanda at or 206-683-1330, so that appropriate adult ratios can be maintained. ***image credit: Thierry

Current In-person Activity COVID-19 Guidelines

For all in-person activities we will be following guidance from the UUA on masking, which includes either all persons masking regardless of vaccination status or having a conversation about consent among the participants. We believe that this approach reflects our commitment to welcome and care for those are you more vulnerable, including children, those who are immune-compromised, and those who are unable to be vaccinated.
Anyone who is unvaccinated needs to wear a mask at all times. For more details on the masking guidelines adopted by the Board: We will also continue to stay aware of all guidelines from the CDC and Washington State Public Health as recommendations change. 

From the Board and HCT

Board Focus for this Church Year

The Board and Rev. Kristen met for a retreat over zoom on July 24 to worship together, build relationship, and get oriented to the work of the Board. We also decided on the focus of the Board’s work for this church year. From August-December, the Board will be reading and learning together through the UUA report Widening the Circle of Concern. You can learn more about the report here: From January through June we will be facilitating a visioning process for the congregation informed by our learnings in the fall. The Board will also continue to support the committees of the Board, the Healthy Congregation Team and the Nominating Team, and the Taskforces convened by the Board, the Reopening Taskforce, the Pandemic Taskforce, and the Safety Taskforce. If you have any questions about the work of the Board feel free to reach out to any of our Board members. 

Saltwater Church Re-Opening Update

A Reopening Taskforce has been convened by the Board and met for the first time on July 21. Thank you to those who have agreed to serve on the taskforce: Rosie Olds, Robert Snipes, Diane Schairer, Anjali Lopez, Tom McDavid, Serena Spaulding, and Galen Guffy. The Taskforce will be supported by Lauren Crowder, Board liaison, Rev. Kristen Kuriga, and staff members Melinda Einander and Katherine Bubba Miller.

The purpose of the team is to develop a timeline and plan for reopening the church taking into consideration guidance from the Pandemic Taskforce and public health agencies while centering the mission of the church and our covenantal commitments. This team will also implement the logistics of the plan for successful reopening. The team is currently focused on working through the logistics of reopening Sunday morning worship and programming.

We are evaluating the timeline that is possible for starting multi-platform worship. This is contingent on a few factors, including: the trajectory of the Delta variant and case numbers in our local community and the timeline for installation of our audio-visual and sound equipment. The good news is that we have signed a contract with an excellent local company, NeuriLink, for our audio-visual needs. Due to manufacturer backorders of essential equipment, we are unsure of the timeline for installation. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

As the Reopening Taskforce, Pandemic Taskforce and Board continue to consider a possible timeline for restarting in-person indoor programming, we invite you check out the outdoor opportunities for connection that are being offered this summer. Additional details about indoor events will be announced in our weekly newsletter as they become available.

Volunteer Opportunities Serving the Saltwater Community

As we return to more in-person activities, the need for volunteers has increased. Saltwater relies on small volunteer teams to coordinate activities and projects. These team members are invaluable to our community and they need our support. Historically volunteers are able to discover opportunities by attending services and reading the bulletin boards in the Welcome Room. The pandemic has made it difficult to discover new opportunities to contribute to our community.

If you are interested in learning how you can volunteer with or without officially joining a team, please contact Katherine Bubba Miller at They would love to help you discover where your time and talents may contribute to Saltwater’s success. Sometimes, it takes a village to thrive. Can you help our village prosper?

Growth and Learning

UU Common Read
Tuesday August 24, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Please join the RJOT Racial Justice Organizing Team as we participate in the UU Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry. If you have not registered for a discussion session please email Susan at Contact our Office Administrator to borrow a book, or with any additional questions. Click the image for additional the details about the event.

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 August: BLUU Housing Initiative

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of August will be shared with Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism’s (BLUU) affordable housing initiative: 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.

Engage in Racial Justice

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection will be on exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum from July 31-November 28, 2021. The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection celebrates the achievements and contributions of Black Americans from 1595 to present times. Considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution, please do not miss this remarkable opportunity. Please visit for more information. (Click the image for a video about The Kinseys.) ***Image Credit: Tacoma Art Museum

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)

Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Our 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.

Sound Alliance

Monthly on the 4th Saturday, 10am – 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. 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.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)

Monthly on a Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room
SCAN! Our members have been very busy lately. Writing letters to your local paper is one way to advocate for climate action. Last week, another fellow SCAN! member had their Letter to the Editor published in the Seattle Times. Read what she had to say here:
Join in our commitment to Climate Justice and consider writing a letter to share with your local paper, or publish on social media. Share your passion, inspire others, and Act for Climate Justice! The next meeting of SCAN! will be on September 5. You participation is more than welcome and strongly encouraged. Thanks!

Climate Message of the Week

The newly released UN IPCC report – click here -makes it clear that serious climate change has already happened. But the extent of future climate change depends on what we do now. It’s important that we don’t give into climate despair (click here) and continue to Act for Climate Justice.

Kyle Armour, an associate professor and climate scientist at the University of Washington, who was one of the lead authors of the report says that “Every fraction of a degree matters…. Our future is up to us”. For maximum impact, cut your carbon emissions by reducing your fossil fuel use and eating less (or no) meat, especially beef. But don’t stop there. Keep the political pressure on by contacting your representatives at all levels on a regular basis to let them know that good climate policies are a top priority for you. Use the Saltwater SCAN! group as a resource to answer your climate questions. Contact Bill Adams at to be added to the SCAN! email list for information on the latest climate legislation and actions. Commit now to do everything you can to protect the future of the “interdependent web of all existence” (UU Seventh Principle).

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

Ways to Connect

Pair Sharing
(Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Sundays, twice a month 11:45am – 1:00pm
The next Pair Sharing meeting will be on and August 29 and will be temporarily suspended during the month of September.
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

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 September 8. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

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, August 18. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

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 only until further notice. 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

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

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

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
Sundays twice a month, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

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 
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 is closed to most in-person programming, groups, and meetings. Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator is on-site at least twice a week to collect the mail and address any additional needs. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. As of August 1st Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary.

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)