Saltwater Church Newsletter December 9, 2022

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.

December Worship

Theme for December: Wonder

Throughout the month of December we are engaging with the theme of wonder.  Wonder: a marvel or a miracle. A feeling closely associated with awe. A move away from words into an experience of vastness, connection, or beauty. Wonder is often the result of paying attention and being curious: of approaching life with an open heart and an open mind. When was the last time you experienced wonder? What did it feel like? Join us to explore what it means to be on the path of wonder.


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

December 11:A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual,” led by Tom Burt, Music Director, the Saltwater Choir, and CUUPS Leaders

December 18:A Rose in the Wintertime,” Victoria Poling, Guest Minister
At the confluence of Hannukah, Winter Solstice, and Advent we’ll reflect on miracles, wondrous and ordinary, that welcome us to come home to ourselves.
Bio: Victoria Poling (she/her) is a Unitarian Universalist Ministerial candidate in Preliminary Fellowship and a Spiritual Director. She serves on the Board of Directors at Earth Ministry/WA Interfaith Power & Light. Victoria lives in Kent, WA on traditional Muckleshoot territories in the Green River watershed with her partner David and four cats.

December 25: No Service on Christmas Day. Please join us for our Christmas Eve Service on December 24th at 7:00pm

Special Holiday Services

Blue Christmas Vespers Service
Led by Rev. Kristen Kuriga and Lay Ministers Debra Valpey & Toska Rodriguez
Wednesday December 14, 7:00pm
Online Only : Church Zoom Room

Join us for a reflective service that allows space for all of our experiences this holiday season. The holidays may bring sadness, grief, or feelings of isolation. Come together to hear readings and poems, sit in the darkness, and connect with community.

Yule Ritual Sponsored by Saltwater CUUPS
Saturday December 17, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
In Person : Sanctuary & Church Grounds

Join us for an evening celebration of Winter Solstice a.k.a. Yule.

Our indoor ritual will be led by CUUPS members Jessica and Neysa Peterson, and Galen Guffy.  Come join us in Dancing the Spiral Dance, Manifesting our Dreams and Desires for the New Year, and Celebrating the Green Man and all Sovereign Kin of the Forest. Bring popcorn and cranberry garland or another bird-friendly outdoor Solstice Tree ornament such as a peanut butter pinecone.

Following the ritual we’ll toast the Yule Log and feast on cakes and ale (cocoa & cider). We ask that you provide your own mug or cup for your festive drink. Bring your drums and noisemakers to help us ring in the Return of the Light!

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – “Star of Wonder”
Led by Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Saturday December 24, 7:00pm
Multi Platform : Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

“Star of Wonder,”  Rev. Kristen Kuriga
December 24th, 7 pm, Multiplatform, Live in the Sanctuary and through the church zoom room
Join us to sing carols, engage with the story of Christmas, and sit in candlelight, connecting with the hope, love, and the joy of being together at this sacred time of the year.

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.

Congregational Town Hall
Sunday December 11, 11:45am – 1:30pm
Multi-Platform : Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Saltwater’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the upcoming December Congregational Meeting. We will include an update from the Board of the past few months, and a preview of 2023 activities and we will look at the UUA’s Article II timeline, our involvement at Saltwater Church, and provide a chance for participants to talk with, and listen to, each other.

For the Article II portion of our meeting, here are some key questions to reflect upon in advance. We encourage everyone to come prepared to discuss the following:

  • What values shape your thinking about Article II?
  • What would you be looking for in Article II? How would those values be supported?

During the meeting, we will discuss how Article II of the UUA Bylaws comes up for review every 15 years, the work of the Article II Commission, and how Saltwater’s congregation can play a role in the consideration of any proposed revisions through representation at GA and mini-assemblies. If you are unfamiliar with Article II, this link will connect you with additional information:

Please bring snacks/finger foods/hearty appetizers to share with the congregation.

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.

From Our Leadership

From Our Treasurer 

Statements are going into the mail today showing contributions made from July 1, 2022 through November 30th.  These are for pledge and other things such as Share the Plate, Ministerial Discretionary Fund, Giving Tree and so forth.  If you have any questions about your statement please contact Gaye Greeves at or call/text at 253-508-3961.  Thank you for your continued support of Saltwater Church.

Staff Update – Office Administrator 

Katherine “Bubba” Miller has returned to work at their full 20 hours per week. They will be in the Church Office on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9am until 1pm. The rest of their hours will be completed remotely. If you need in-person assistance outside of their regularly scheduled office hours, please email them to set up an appointment.

Rachel and Bubba wish to thank everyone who has contributed to their meal train during the last month. Your extra support has been extremely helpful and they ask that we continue their meal train through December 15. If you wish to participate please follow this link: There will be a Celebration of Life held for Bubba’s father on Saturday January 28. It will be a multi-platform service. All are welcome.

Growing Sunday Morning Worship

On Sundays, we continue to grow our multi-platform service skills. We’ve had (40-60) people, average, in the sanctuary, and another (20-30) on Zoom. We’re preparing to hire a part-time AV person so we have the resources and skills to support our services. We hope this will also free up volunteers to help in other essential areas, including welcoming visitors.

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! Consider this list of roles, and please get in touch with Leanne LaFramboise, our volunteer coordinator, at if one of these roles calls to you.

If you attend church on Zoom, you can be a “Digital Usher” once/month.
Digital Usher: virtual support for multiplatform worship services, which includes being part of tech rehearsals on Sunday morning for sound check, admitting people, posting lyrics and links in the chat box, and opening break out rooms after service. Comfort with zoom is important.
Time commitment: 9:30 am-12 pm, once per month, from home

If you attend church in person, there are several roles including:
Greeter & Usher: work together as a team to open up the space, set up sign in tables, welcome people, talk with visitors, make people aware of COVID-19 protocols, count offering, and close up the space.
Time commitment: 9:45 am-12 pm, once a month, or sign up for Sundays that work for your schedule

Coffee Hour: In the coming months, we hope to restart coffee hour. There is a group of leaders working on this as a follow-up from the leadership convening in late October. Please let us know if you would like to be part of the team! Time commitment to be determined by organizing team.

Worship Associate: Help co-create worship on Sunday mornings, including leading chalice lighting, welcome, announcements, reading, and chalice extinguishing. Also assists with rituals like Joys and Sorrows, sets up the chalice table, and puts away the chalice table. Worship associate training provided.
Time commitment: 9:30 am-11:45 pm, in-person

Growth & Learning

Transforming Conflict: A Congregational Opportunity for Learning and Skill Building

What’s your relationship with conflict? Is it difficult for you? As a congregation, we want to learn how to engage with conflict in loving and covenantal ways. Join the Healthy Congregation Team and the Board for a congregational study of the book Transforming Conflict: The Blessings of Congregational Turmoil by Terasa Cooley.

Over five months we will read, reflect, and learn new skills. Sessions will be offered on zoom and in-person, and we encourage learning to continue between sessions through learning pairs. You can purchase a copy of the book here: There will also be copies available to borrow from the church office starting on Wednesday, September 14. See below for the schedule and join us!

The same session will be offered each month in two different modalities:
1st Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Church Zoom Room &
3rd Sundays, 12:00pm – 1:30 pm, In Person – Church Welcome Room

December 7 & 18: Congregational Systems
& The Repercussions of Misconduct
January 4 & 15: Conflicts about Race
& Creating a New Culture of Learning
February 1 & 19: Tools for Change
& The Courage of Creative Imagination

Questions? Contact a member of the Healthy Congregation Team: Bev Ross, Quinn Rose, Debra Valpey, or the Board Liaison to the Healthy Congregation Team, Aida Sanchez-Vela.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for December
Hospitality House

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of December will be shared with Hospitality House

In September 2000, Hospitality House was founded by twelve sponsoring churches as an ecumenical outreach to the homeless community in South King County. Saltwater UU was one of the founding churches. Several of our members continue to volunteer, make a meal, and provide supplies. Hospitality House is a transitional shelter and 90-day program in Burien for homeless women. It can accommodate a maximum of nine women at one time. Each client’s objective is to find permanent housing and financial stability but how this is achieved is based upon the needs of the individual client.  Case managers support clients throughout the program. You can also provide support by volunteering, making a meal, shopping via Amazon, Fred Meyer and Bartell’s and donating.

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.

If you are planning to host an event in the Church Zoom Room please contact our Office Administrator ( at least one day before your scheduled event. They will need to verify your device has been registered to use the Church Zoom Room. If your device isn’t registered, Zoom will not allow you to host an event.

next alliance meeting

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 December 17 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 December 11 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). We will not be meeting on December 25. Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
DECEMBER DATE CHANGE: Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Wednesday December 28Our 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

Give a gift to the planet this year with climate friendly holidays.

Decorate with natural materials like pine cones and greenery. Use LED or solar lights for your holiday displays. Consider using the “one gift rule” for adults or commit to giving eco-friendly gifts. Give coupons for a gift of your time or services. Make craft or food gifts or write a letter with a special message. For wrapping gifts use baskets, tins, fabric, gift bags, colorful pillow cases or recycled paper–like the Sunday comics paper. Remember that foil and glittery papers can`t be recycled.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.—Dr. Jane Goodall, Scientist and Activist

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

Ways to Volunteer

next facilities meeting

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 January 5. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd 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 December 15.

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
Support Circle – Schedule Change
Church Zoom Room :
First & Third Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, led by Rev Kristen
There will be no evening support circle in November and December.
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. All are welcome.
Meditation Group 
Church Zoom Room
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Our meditation group has returned to zoom only for the fall & winter seasons. 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.
wonder what they are writing next
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! For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or
Saltwater Choir
In Person – Welcome Room
ON HIATUS until January
Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saltwater Choir is Back! This group will rehearse each Thursday evening and will sing in worship twice a month. Anyone who wants to share their vocal gifts and help create music for worship is welcome to join. We have found that singing together is a spiritual practice that helps us feel whole and well, as we minister to our congregation through our music. Come join us! We will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines and have special “singing” masks available. For questions or more information, please contact Tom Burt, Music Director. email: phone: 206-304-3830.

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 December 17.
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

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 December 14. 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 December 20. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
ON HIATUS until January
one Sunday a month, 11:45am – 1:00pm
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
Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcome Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at Our next evening of artistic expression will be December 26.

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

Children and Youth Registration for our Multigenerational Faith Formation Program

Families are encouraged to fill out a registration form for any children and youth participating in classes and activities at Saltwater Church.  This helps our staff and volunteers with planning programs, and helps us know your family better.  Register online at:

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.

December “Lights Walk” With Westside UU
Saturday December 10, 7:00pm
In Person – Westside UU Church

Saltwater will be meeting at Westside UU for snacks and join in their neighborhood Christmas Lights walk. The event will take place in person and outside, so dress accordingly. Please RSVP to Amanda Radak.

Holiday Party
Thursday December 29, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Welcome Room

We will spend the evening playing games and there will be a gift exchange. Please RSVP to Amanda Radak.

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

Family Support Circles

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

Are you are looking for like-minded parents to support you through the challenges of family life? Look no further than the Parent Support Group! Join us 1st and 3rd Mondays at 7:30pm in the Multigenerationl Faith Formation Zoom Room. For questions, contact Jessica Alexander at

Parents Facebook Group 

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

Childcare for Church Events & Services 

Childcare is available upon request for any church activity if requested at least one week in advance. To request childcare, contact Jessica Alexander via email at Childcare is currently being offered for the paint group 4th Mondays from 6-9 p.m. (This event is also open to youth participants.)

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 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.

Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians has resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has resumed events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary while also continuing to have virtual options. 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 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)