Saltwater Church Newsletter February 18, 2022

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.


February Worship Services

February 20: Covenant: Our Collective Loving Boundary,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

February 27: “Creative Chaos,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

February Theme: Chaos

In the month of February we will continue to explore the theme of chaos. Chaos is a reminder that we’re not in control, even though many of us would prefer that our world and our lives unfold in an orderly fashion and in alignment with our expectations. How can we practice living in chaos or uncertainty? What are the spiritual opportunities in chaos? Chaos is a given: how can we learn not only to survive it, but also to thrive in it? Join us as we learn and deepen our faith together!

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.

ALL on campus in-person events have been
suspended until further notice

Middle and High School Online Game Night
Friday, February 18, 6:30-8:30 pm

Join with youth from Northlake UU and other area UU churches this Friday evening to play board games online! We will use and zoom so we can chat and play at the same time. If you don’t have a account, hop on a few minutes early and we will help you get set up with a free account. The Zoom additional zoom information that you need is:
Meeting ID: 309 145 529
Password: NUUC

“My Grandmother’s Hands” – Book Discussion
Sunday February 20, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

“The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze.  My Grandmother’s Hands is a call to action for Americans to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but also the body. Menakem takes readers through a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods”.

Saltwater’s Racial Justice Organizing Team invites you to a 3 session book discussion based on “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW. If you were unable to join in our first discussion, you are welcome to join us in February for the next one. Please pre-register: Each session will include discussion and healing practice.

February 20, Part Two—”Remembering Ourselves
March 20, Part Three—“Mending our Collective Body

Saltwater RJOT has purchased some copies of the book to make available to participants. You may stop by the church at any time to pick up a copy. A watertight bin has been set out by the front door, please help yourself. If you wish to purchase your own copy, please consider a BIPOC owned store like Estelita’s,    

Chalice Circles are back!
Church Zoom Room

Three new Saltwater Chalice Circles will meet on Zoom March through June. Chalice Circles were an important part of Saltwater Church for many years.  The Chalice Circle program deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. Their goals are to listen and be listened to in a safe place, learn about the mysteries of our world and our spiritual paths, and build new and deeper personal connections.

Third Wednesdays, 7:00 to 9:00pm                         March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15
Fourth Tuesdays, 10:00am to 12:00pm                  March 22, April 26, May 24, June 28
Fourth Saturdays, 10:00am to 12:00pm                 March 26, April 23, May 28, June 25

Please email Susan Aigner to sign up for a Circle or if you have any questions.

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 The Board & HCT

Message from our Treasurer

With tax season quickly approaching, many are collecting documents to prepare for filing. If you would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2021 for tax purposes email or call our treasurer Gaye Greeves at or 253-508-3961.  Gaye will either email you an attachment or send a printed copy via the US Postal Service. ***image credit: mia r

Learn About Our Governance

Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church is governed by a Board of Directors. To learn about our Board and their activities, please visit our website at:

The Board has commissioned 3 tasksforces; The Pandemic Taskforce, The Safety Taskforce, and The Reopening Taskforce. These groups meet on a regular basis. Watch our Church Calendar and Upcoming Events (listed in our weekly newsletter) to learn when the next meeting is planned to take place. ***image credit: Thirdman

Reopening Update

The Board is monitoring our local transmission rates through COVID Act Now and will restart in-person programming as soon as we are able to. You can learn more about our local transmission rates here:

We know that this has been a very long and difficult period of uncertainty. Please know you are not alone. Lay Ministers and Rev. Kristen are available to listen and provide support. You can call a Lay Minister directly for support (Debra Valpey, Mike Yanega or Toska Rodriguez–their contact information is in the church directory), or by contacting Rev. Kristen:
***image credit: Bubba

Growth & Learning

Saltwater Pen Pal Project

Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence!

Every 2 months you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the current Sparks of Wonder theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for February: Federal Way Community Caregiving Network

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of February will be shared with the Federal Way Community Caregiving Network

The FWCCN provides help with emergency rental assistance, gas and bus vouchers, and 2 free meals a week in our local community. They also operate two large organic gardens which provide food for free meals.

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 would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2021 for tax purposes email or call our treasurer Gaye Greeves at or 253-508-3961.   

Engage in Racial Justice

Beloved Conversations Virtual Registration Now Open

Beloved Conversations Virtual registration is open now for the Spring 2022 “WITHIN” course!

Beloved Conversations is a program for Unitarian Universalists seeking to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice. In Beloved Conversations, we are here to heal the impact of racism on our lives, in order to get free together.  The curriculum includes specific lessons for individual work, including strategies to connect and reflect with both your personal past as well as with small groups of other learners in your area and/or across the nation. Saltwater members who have taken WITHIN have found the experience meaningful and an upcoming service will be based around their experience of the course.  

Register before February 22, 2022. Earlybird registration (10% discount) ends February 14th.  Course work, individual and group, runs March through May.   Cost: $250-$350 per individual (sliding scale).  Partial and full scholarships are available and no one is turned away for lack of funds.
If you wish to talk to someone who has taken the course or need help navigating the website, contact Rachel English at

Stance for Racial Justice
Monthly on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person

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. We will gather on February 27 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). On March 13 we will meet in Des Moines 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. ..

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 4th Monday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Monday February 28Our 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. ..

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Monthly on the 1st Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Join us on Sunday March 6 for our next SCAN! meeting. SCAN! is currently monitoring the progress of 10 bills before the Washington State Legislation. This is a short session ending 3/10 so time is of the essence. To learn how to join with our lobbying efforts, contact Bill Adams at If you are interested in participating in future SCAN! efforts, please join in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

Sound Alliance
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 March 12. 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.

Climate Message of the Week

Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe believes that one of the most important things we can do to fight climate change is to talk about it because “the hope we need to inspire us to act begins with a conversation.” Share what you have to say about climate change by writing a Climate Message. The Saltwater Wednesday Writers Group provided some writing prompts you might use to get started:

  • What is one thing you have done to help with climate change?
  • Have you changed any daily habits as a result of climate change?
  • What do you tell your children about climate change?
  • Have vacations to other regions affected your ideas about climate change?
  • How do you remain positive (or do you) about climate change?

Other ideas are: Why do you care about climate change? How do your feelings about it relate to your UU faith? All ages are encouraged to write, especially our children and youth, whose voices need to be heard and heeded. Please note that there is a 150-word limit per message. For questions or to submit a message, email ***image credit:  August de Richelieu

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, 11:45am – 1:00pm
There is healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. Our next Pair Sharing Session will be Sunday February 27.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at

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
Do you like to write? Would you like to share and receive feedback on your writing? We welcome all writers at all levels! Please join us. Our mission is to support one another in our writing. For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or

Support Circle 
(Church Zoom Room)
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Our next support circle will be on Thursday, February 24

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

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
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. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

Ongoing Grief Support Group
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief is a recognition of endings, but it’s also a birth and a beginning (Judy Lief). Saltwater’s Grief Support Group (facilitated by Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, lay ministers) is a safe place to explore loss and open ourselves to opportunity. Our next meeting will be March 10. All are welcome. Contact Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

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  It would be so great to hear from you and to welcome you to the Saltwater Weekend Writers’ Group. Our next meeting will be Sunday February 20.

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 March 9. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

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, & Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Children ages 5-11
Sunday mornings at 9:45am
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Middle School Virtual Youth Group for grades 6-8
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Family-based Religious Education
This is “church in a box” for families. Families who sign up will receive story books, manipulatives, craft supplies, and discussion questions to help you and your children explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist family. New supplies will be distributed every 1-2 months, and will include seasonal and holiday activities as well. (Kits may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home).  Email our Director of Family Ministries  at if you would like to participate.

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 Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary. 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 would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2021 for tax purposes 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)

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