Saltwater Church Newsletter December 24, 2020

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.

December: What Does it mean to be a People of Stillness?

In the month of December we are exploring the theme of stillness. As the days shorten and the cold comes, we are invited to slow down, turn within, and restore ourselves. Join us during the season of advent to allow space for stillness, hope, peace, joy, and love to emerge.

December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (7 pm), Rev. Kristen Kuriga

December 27: Worship field trip to Tahoma UU Congregation. “Releasing the Year, Envisioning What’s Next” with Rev. Linda Hart. See full article for connection details.

January: What Does it Mean to be a People of Imagination?
January 3: “If You Can Imagine It, You Can Organize It!”, Sound Alliance Team, Lay Led
January 10: “Utopian Visions,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24, 7 pm, church zoom room
Join us to sing carols, engage with the story of Christmas, and sit in candlelight from our homes, connecting with the hope, love, and the joy of being together in spirit at this sacred time of the year.

Worship Field Trip to Tahoma UU Congregation
On Sunday, December 27th, 2020, we will be virtually visiting Tahoma UU Congregation and joining them for their Sunday morning service on zoom. Be sure to make a note since we won’t be having service in the Saltwater Church zoom room. You can connect to the service through this link:
Webinar ID: 823 1838 4686
Password: 253
You can also listen on your phone by dialing 253-215-8782 with Webinar ID: 823 1838 4686 and Password 253 to hear the worship service. Their space opens at 10:15 am to say hello and share joys and sorrows by chat, and service begins at 10:30 am. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events

Youth Group Holiday Party

Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to a holiday party in the RE Zoom space, Sunday December 27 from 7-9 p.m. Friends welcome!
Please note the zoom address above, this is not in the main church zoom room.

Supporting Our Saltwater Community

Winter Bazaar
Did you miss out on the Online Winter Bazaar last month? There is still time to shop for handmade cards during the December 20% Off Clearance Sale! Your purchases from will continue to support Saltwater year round, with $5 from every item sold going to the church.

From the Board & HCT

Guidelines from the Pandemic Taskforce
The Pandemic Taskforce, appointed by the Board, and led by Sharon Crow, Karen LaFe, Judy Featherstone, and Anjali Lopez, has been hard at work. Although we believe it will be some time before it is safe for us to have church programming in person, it is important to have developed policies to guide these decisions. At this link you can read or download the COVID-19 guidelines the taskforce has created base on WA State requirements and CDC guidelines, and have been accepted by the Board.

Welcoming Your Feedback on our Draft CovenantThe Healthy Congregation Team (Debra Valpey, Bev Ross, and Quinn Rose) thanks all who provided feedback on our draft Covenant Proposal during the Congregational Meeting on December 13.  We welcome any additional feedback through the end of December, preferably by email ( can also find our phone numbers in the church directory. You can read the draft here: Thank you for working with us on our new covenant. 

Ways to Live Our Values

Gear Lending Library for Little Explorers Outdoor Preschool
Beginning January 2021, Little Explorers, a non-profit licensed outdoor preschool program, will open on the campus of Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church. Little Explorers aims to provide access to low-income families to outdoor education.  One obstacle to equity is the cost of gear. With our support, Little Explorers envisions offering a Gear Lending library so that families will be able to check out essential gear for their preschooler that will reduce the cost of participating in the program and increase access. The cost per child is around $300 and will keep them warm and dry in the elements of the Pacific Northwest.  The Racial Justice Organizing Team is spearheading this effort because we believe in founder and director Teshia Flowers’ vision of building a program that is both racially and economically diverse. 

You can help clothe a child!  Donate to build the gear lending library!

Holiday Messages for Prisoners  
Last year, we collected and bought cards for us to sign after church this year, so we could help Worthy Now Prison Ministry send cards to incarcerated UUs. Because of the pandemic, many prisons are no longer accepting greeting cards. In order to safely reach out to prisoners this year, Worthy Now has posted directions on how you can volunteer from home to print pre-approved festive designs on regular paper to send holiday cheer:

Share the Plate for January: Federal Way Community Caregiving Network
Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of January will be shared with the Federal Way Community Caregiving Network: 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.

Racial Justice Core Team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

SCAN! (Saltwater Climate Action Now!) meets the 1st Sunday of the month from 12:00 to 1:30pm, in the church Zoom Room.

Climate Message of the Week:  Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by the impact of climate change that we forget to look at what we’re working to protect. Now, in the shortest, darkest days of the year take a break just to enjoy and appreciate the natural world. If you can’t go outdoors or visit a park, a window gives you a great viewing spot for looking at the sky, birds, and plants. Works of art or poems by poets like Mary Oliver remind us of the beauty of our environment. Even watching nature documentaries can connect us more closely to the wonders of the earth.

Federal Way Day Center Donations Needed
The Federal Way Day Center for unsheltered adults is providing important support to our local community while practicing social distancing. Their remarkable record of providing safe care has resulted in ZERO Covid cases. Those who were most vulnerable were admitted to safe housing sites in Kent and SeaTac. Ten long-term Day Center guests will be approved for Permanent Supported Housing at the soon to open Thea Bowman Apartments in Kent.
Your help with the most needed items can go a long way to maintaining that safety record:  cup noodles, hand warmers, rain ponchos, and trash bags. You can park in front of the Day Center and call (253-893-7895) and someone will come out to pick up the donations.  33505 13 Pl S behind the Multi-Service Center.  Or you may contact Lucia or Diane to arrange for your donations to be picked up. 

Growth and Learning

Ongoing Opportunities for Racial Justice Education

Ways to Connect

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

Creative Hands (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
We will support one another in our creative ventures, as well as discuss ways that we can help our communities during this time.

Meditation Group (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 7-8:15 pm
We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting and walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation, now all virtual via Zoom. Contact Jean Spohn if you have questions. or 206-200-7524

Writers Group (church zoom room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am- 12pm

Support Circle

Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, Church Zoom Room
There will be no support circle on December 31st. The next support circle will be on January 7th.

Over Eaters Anonymous (church zoom room)
Fridays, 5-6 pm

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. Are you in a higher risk group and do not want to venture out to the grocery store? We may be able to connect you with someone in your neighborhood to help you get the supplies you need. If you have lost income from being sick or unable to work, or do not have enough money to buy extra food and supplies, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact Rev. Kristen: Do you need to go to work but don’t have childcare? Are there other needs that your family has? Please be in touch with Melinda at

If you are in need of emotional or spiritual support, you can reach out directly to a Lay Minister:
Debra Valpey:
Mike Yanega:
Lynn Crow:
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 9:30 am

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

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Game Night (Joint with Northlake UU)
3rd Friday of each month, 7-9 pm. 

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, 7:30-8:30 pm
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
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 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:

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to all in-person programming, groups, and meetings.  Staff are working from home.  Staff members will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus.  Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families.

Please Note:  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 at

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