Saltwater Church Newsletter February 16, 2024

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


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

Theme for February: Justice & Equity

Like love, justice is part of our mission here at Saltwater UU Church. Many of us have come to this faith in part because we want to create a more just word. Together in community, with the benefit of multiple perspectives, we hope to gain a wider vision of justice and equity than any one of us could hold alone, along with more power to make the vision real. For more on this topic, view Rev. Alison’s post here.

Worship In February at Saltwater Church

February 18 My Grandmother’s Hands – Kokayi Nosakhere and Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (in-person)

Join Rev. Alison and author and activist Kokayi Nosakhere as they share lessons and practices from Resmaa Menakem’s book My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. This service offers an understanding of the way racialized trauma is passed down through generations — and practical tools we can use to heal that trauma in our own bodies and lives.

After the service and potluck, join Kokayi in embodiment practices from My Grandmother’s Hands as part of our Faith Formation Sunday.

February 25 Celebrating Community – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (in-person) (multigenerational service)

We are Saltwater UU Church! Come join us as we welcome new members, acknowledge our dedicated volunteers, and celebrate that all of us have freely chosen to be part of this beloved community.

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.

****Image credit: Jessica Nash

February Faith Formation Sunday – Multiplatform – Potluck
Sunday February 18, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church AND Church Zoom Room

Join us the third Sunday of the month for Faith Formation Sunday, where we will explore our February theme of Justice & Equity! Those who are attending in-person may stay after the worship service for a potluck lunch followed by a short ritual and all-ages programming.

Potluck guidelines: Please bring a generously sized dish to share, and mark ingredients if they are not easily visible. If you can, please plan to arrive before service and stay a bit afterwards to assist with set up and clean up. Questions? Contact any member of the Social Task Force (Pat Montgomery, Judy Featherstone, Carol Mitchell, Nancy Corr or Debra Valpey.

For our all-ages programming after the potluck, we’re excited for our adults, youth, and children to get to know three Saltwater teams that help us practice justice: Saltwater Climate Action Now!, the Racial Justice Organizing Team, and Sound Alliance will all have tables where you can learn more, ask questions, and get involved. Additionally, our guest speaker will have a station where she will lead us through embodied practices from My Grandmother’s Hands. Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, will be leading our children and youth from station to station, sparking their budding social activism.

Remote guidelines: Those who are attending Faith Formation Sunday remotely are invited to return to the Church Zoom Room at 12:45pm for our multiplatform programming. Zoom attendees will be able to participate in the opening ritual and will be led from station to station with a Zoom host. We hope you can join us!

Quilt Raffle and Book Sale – Fundraiser for Saltwater Retreat
Sunday February 18 – March 3
In Person – Welcoming Room

We are raising funds for scholarships and program expenses for the Saltwater Retreat (happening April 26-28) at Seabeck Conference Center. Our guest leader at the retreat will be Liz James of The UU Hysterical Society. Quilt raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 (drawing on March 3rd after church). We also have lots of books already donated for you to choose from. You can buy your tickets and books before and after services or online through the donation page. We will be able to take credit cards. The more we raise the more inclusive we can be!! If you have questions, please contact: Miriam Woito

Is “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” the Right Book Study for Me?
Starts February 21 (online) and February 25 (in-person)
In Person and Faith Formation Zoom Room

Take 45 minutes of your time to find out! CLICK HERE for an introduction to the information and the exercises we’ll be engaging in upcoming book study sessions and SIGN UP HERE for the book study, led by Saltwater’s Healthy Congregations Team. 

Speculative Fiction Book Group
Saturday February 24, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Saltwater Conference Room and Speculative Fiction Book Group Zoom Room

Join fellow Saltys in reading science fiction (and maybe a little bit of fantasy) in UU community! This group is the brain-child of Rev. Alison and Lynette Pierce, who has agreed to facilitate our first meeting, where we’d like to choose some books to read together in the future. For that first group, Lynette suggested we read a novella available from many local libraries and as an audiobook: The Past Is Red by Catherynne M. Valente. We hope it will be a quick read, but please always feel free to come to the group even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book (as long as you don’t mind spoilers!).

For our first meeting, we’re going to try out a hybrid model, with some folks participating in-person and others joining in at this unique Zoom link: The Office Conference Room has a special set up that should allow online and in-person participants to interact smoothly. However, there will only be snacks provided if you come in person. Please feel free to bring some snacks to share. 

Social Justice Opportunities

Transgender Relocation Fundraiser – Drag Queen Storytime
Saturday February 24, 10:00am
Off-Site – Pierce College

Tahoma UU is doing a fundraiser for the trans relocation work the UUSC is helping to coordinate. They are trying to raise enough for an Airbnb for a family with trans member(s) who need to relocate. Folks can buy tickets or donate to the cause using the link on the flier: If you aren’t aware of the status of trans rights in the USA, I recommend checking out Erin in the Morning’s site: Erin In The Morning | Erin Reed | Substack. It is dire in many states, and it may be worse after this legislative session. 

Want to drive down as a group? Contact Lisa Key for carpooling options.

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization
February 26-March 11, Mondays and Thursdays 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization Offered Again–Don’t Miss Out! Saltwater’s Sound Alliance is again offering a series of these workshops this February and March (February 26, 29 and March 4, 7, 11 from 6-8pm) in the Church Zoom Room. Our goal is to have all members participate in this training (many already have) that lovingly but unabashedly helps us confront the historical and lingering effects of discrimination, governmental policies, and prejudice that mark our nation’s history with First Peoples of our area. Contact Diane Dobrowolski ( or Lucia Faithfull ( to sign up. Space is limited.

The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Events in Israel and Palestine

Saltwater’s Racial Justice Organizing Team feels deep pain as we watch the news from the Middle East. We decided to make the congregation aware of what our Unitarian Universalist Association has to say about the events unfolding in Palestine and Israel. These links include a depth of resources, including other actions concerning Palestine taken or proposed by the UUA and its member congregations over the years.

From Our Leadership

****Image Credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich

From our Treasurer2023 Tax Statements

If you would like a statement for tax purposes showing your contributions for calendar year 2023, please contact Gaye Greeves, Treasurer, at or 253-508-3961. They are sent out to those people requesting them. Thank you!

Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison posts weekly messages to our community through our church website. In this week’s Valentine’s Day message, Rev. Alison shares about the sustaining love at the center of her primary relationship with her partner, and how that love for her can’t be fully contained in the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife.’ You can find Rev. Alison’s message via the home page of the church website or here: Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison’s next in-person visit to Saltwater Church is from this Sunday, February 18 – 25.

Ways to connect with Rev. Alison
Phone (voice only): (206) 627-5119
Online Meeting Scheduling:

Ways to Share your Gifts

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 Bubba ( if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

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

Other Opportunities

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Private 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. The next meeting is March 14. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Facilities Team
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
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 February 21. ***Image credit: Bubba 

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for February
Black Future Co-op Fund

All undesignated donations received in the month of February will be shared with Black Future Fund:

Recall, our Share the Plate is fully matched, so all your contributions are given to the Black Future Co-op Fund.

The Black Future Co-op Fund invests in Black-led organizations who have invested in the wealth, health, and well-being of Black communities for generations. Grant recipients are Black-led organizations throughout Washington state that are serving their communities through arts and culture, restorative healing, educational innovation, policy development, and more —all to further Black self-determination. The Fund works under the umbrella of the Seattle Foundation.

Our Racial Justice Organizing Team supports the Black Future Co-op Fund. The Fund is Washington state’s first all-Black-led philanthropic organization and is uniquely positioned to lead transformational change with Black Washingtonians.

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. ****Image credit: Kindel Media

Pajama Making Party
1st Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Please join Sally Caldwell and others to Sew for Social Justice. We make pajama bottoms and receiving blankets for local charities including Hospitality House and the Pediatric Interim Care Center. If you have a sewing machine, please bring it. Everything else will be provided. Don’t have a sewing machine or know how to sew? Please feel free to join us to cut out patterns and help with other tasks. Our next meet up will be March 5. ****Image credit: Evg Kowalievska

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
1st Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on March 1. 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. ****image credit: Diva Plavalaguna

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
2nd Saturdays, 10:00am – 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. 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. Our next meeting will be on March 9.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays
In PersonDes Moines at 12:30pm & Puyallup at 2:00pm

Rain or shine, we Stand for Racial Justice two Sundays a month.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Our next gathering will be on February 25 in Puyallup from 2:00pm – 3:00pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant).

We will meet again on March 10 in Des Moines from 12:30pm – 1:30pm at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
3rd Thursdays, 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Mark your calendar–The March SCAN! meeting will be Thursday, March 21 at 6:30pm. Join us then! Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

Climate Message of the Week

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we can use to take action to slow down climate change. Study after study has shown that facts alone don’t motivate or inspire people to be part of the climate solution, but stories do. The best way to be a climate storyteller is to talk to people around you about how something you care about is being affected by the changing climate– things like how you see fewer butterflies, how polluted air has made it harder for you to breathe, how salmon runs have changed over the years. And then connect that to climate change. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, says that that talking to others about climate change and voting are the two most important things you can do. ****Image Credit: Jopwell

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

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 
Church Zoom Room

Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
For the fall and winter months we will be meeting over Zoom. 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
Lunch Bunch 
In-Person – Location Varies

Wednesdays, 1:00pm
We meet weekly for an informal lunch together. The restaurant location varies week to week, so email Diane Dobrowolski at to find out where to meet us. All are welcome!

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SWUUSC)
In Person – Welcoming 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. Our next meet up will be February 17.
  • 1st Saturdays are all-ages. Bring a game your whole family will enjoy! 
  • 3rd Saturdays, childcare will be available upon request. Please rsvp for childcare at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at

Monthly Meetings

Online Caregiver Support Circle
Caregiver Support Circle Zoom Room
1st Saturdays, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Are you caregiving for a significant other in your life? Having a parent, partner, or adult child experiencing physical, neurological or mental health challenges requires so much from the caregiver — YOU need care and support too! Join Rev. Alison and other caregivers in our Saltwater UU Community to share the joys and sorrows of caregiving and to give and receive support with others who are also in this essential and tender role of caregiver. Our next meet up will be March 2. Contact Rev. Alison at with any questions.
Quiet Connections
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary
1st Sundays, 11:30am – 12:00pm
If the Welcoming Room is too busy for you, or you are enjoying the conversations that start there, but would like to deepen them, the Newcomer and Visitor Team is offering “Quiet Connections” with the OG (original gang) in the Sanctuary to welcome both new folks and longer-term members. We want to get to know you, invite you to get to know us, on a bit quieter, deeper, and more intimate level. A few snacks and drinks are provided. Join us on March 3.
Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcoming Room
2nd Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Our next meet up is March 11. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash 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 March 13. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Faith Formation Sunday
In Person – Saltwater Church
3rd Sundays, 10:30am-2:00pm
Join us for fun, growth, and belonging as we delve deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes our worship is built on. Faith Formation Sunday includes worship, lunch (sometimes potluck), then age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children). Our next gathering is February 18. Please bring a generous dish to share for our potluck lunch. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcoming Room

3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meet up will be February 20. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
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. If you would like to attend, please contact Janeane Weprin at

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 our Office Administrator for additional information

If you are in need of emotional or spiritual support, you can reach out directly to a Lay Minister:
Debra Valpey:
Toska Rodriguez:
Jean Spohn:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Questions about Children’s and Youth Programming? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash: To join the Faith Formation Zoom Room go to:

Middle and High School Youth Group Game Night
Saturday March 16, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Due to High School Con on the first weekend of March, we are moving Youth Group Game Night to the 3rd Saturday in March. Join us on March 16. Youth are encouraged to come hang out and play some games! Bring a favorite game to share. If you wish to try out a new game, we have a wide selection that will leave your brain and belly tired. Laughter and popcorn provided.

Adults of Youth Support Group
Saturday March 16, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Those parenting Youth (grades 6-12) are invited to join Director, Jessica Nash, during the first hour of Youth Group Game Night. We will connect with each other through the Soulful Home curriculum, supporting one another on our shared journey of parenting. Our next meet up is Saturday, March 16. After the meet-up, join the game night for more fun and connection. ****Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Faith Formation Sundays – Elementary and Youth
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Join us the 3rd Sunday of every month for an extended day of fun, growth, and belonging tied to our monthly Soul Matters themes. Faith Formation Sundays include elementary and youth programming during and after worship with lunch in-between. Our next meet up is Sunday, February 18 where we will explore the theme of justice & equity. All-ages programming will include Saltwater Social Justice team stations. Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, will be leading our children and youth from station to station, sparking their budding social activism. Please bring a generous dish to share for our potluck. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

Easter Egg Hunt – Children and Youth Event
Sunday March 31, 11:30am – 12:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

On Easter Sunday, we invite you to come for this delightful springtime tradition! Children, bring your baskets (or borrow one of ours) and hunt for eggs for a prize. The hunt will begin after the church service. Youth grades 6-12 will meet during the church service to set-up the egg hunt and prize selection with their advisors.

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:

Childcare for Church Events 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance by contacting our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, 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 2pm. 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 the website form (click here)