Saltwater Church Newsletter February 25,2022

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 27: “Creative Chaos,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
For this Sunday’s worship service, I invite you to bring a piece of paper and something to draw with: pen, pencil, crayon, or marker. As part of our service on “creative chaos” we will be engaging in a simple art-based practice. I look forward to creating with you!

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!

March 6: “The Radical Dharma of Lichen,” Guest Minister
We know from the UU Principles that we are held in a metaphorical interdependent web, a concept birthed from Buddhism and the early days of the ecology movement. Now mycologists have discovered that we are also held in a nearly-invisible network of plant life that composts on a scale big enough to allow life on our planet. What are the ethical and spiritual implications of owing our existence to fungi?

March 13: TBA, Guest Minister

March 20: “The Butterfly Effect,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

March 27: “The Journey Calls,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Theme for March & April: Journey

In the months of March and April we will be exploring the theme of journey. Our individual journeys overlap with the journeys of other travelers, and those overlaps help us grow, learn and transform. Together we will explore the calling to search, wander, and experience. We will share our stories of transformation with one another. Where in your life is a journey unfolding? Let us explore 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.

As of February 25, 2022
we are open for outdoor events and small group indoor events

Stance for Racial Justice
Sunday February 27, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – 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. 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). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information. ..

Chalice Circles are back!
Church Zoom Room

Three new Saltwater Chalice Circles will meet over 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 FULL
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

Article II Study Commission Individual Survey – UUA

The Board wants the congregation to know about an important opportunity to contribute to the future of the wider UU faith. The UUA’s Article II Commission is seeking input from individual Unitarian Universalists on Shared Values, Inspirations, Purpose, and Covenant through a survey that closes on March 31st. You can take as little or as much time as you wish to reflect on what UU principles, purposes and sources are important to your faith.

Every 15 years there is a study by the Article II Commission, to see how to keep our faith and focus relevant and adapt to a changing world. The survey is one way the Article II Commission is gathering information to guide the updating of the Bylaws, including the 7 Principles. Any recommended changes will be put to a vote at the 2023 GA.
Here is the link to the survey.
Below is a link to a statement by the Article II Study Commission from 2020 about work done so far. The deadline was extended to 2023 due to COVID.
What Brings Us Together: Reflecting on the First Six Months of the Article II Study Commission –

Reopening Update

On Wednesday, February 23, the Saltwater Church Board met and reviewed the covid transmission rates in our community. With the significant decrease in cases, the Board has approved reopening the church campus for outdoor in-person events and small group indoor events. The Reopening Team is also hard at work on a plan for launching an in-person watch party model of worship in April. Stay tuned for more details!

For all in-person events, we will continue to mask and practice social distancing in order to decrease the risk of transmission and care for the most vulnerable members of our community. To read the full guidelines for small group meetings indoors, please follow this link:

The Board will continue monitoring our local transmission rates through COVID Act Now. You can learn more about our local transmission rates here: ***image credit: Bubba

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

Growth & Learning

Pacific Western Region Leadership Training Opportunity: Leading from the Heart
3rd Wednesdays: March 16th, April 20 & May 18, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

In this three-part series for budding and experienced leaders, you will ground yourself in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge our shared roots, discern fruits of our faith, find abundance in serving, and preserve seeds to ensure the harvest of leadership for years to come. March-May, Details and Registration.

“My Grandmother’s Hands” – Book Discussion
Sunday March 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.

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,    

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.   

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

Dear SCAN! Participants & Friends of SCAN!, it’s that time of year again to lobby our state Legislators in Olympia to get some climate-friendly legislation enacted into law. Based on our SCAN! meeting earlier this month, we are replacing HB 1767 Targeted Electrification, which failed to pass the House, with the subject Bill which did pass the House 2/12/21 with a narrow margin of 51 yeas vs 47 nays. It’s a good one and worth our support as it will provide an optional stronger building code ensuring that all new buildings are ultra-efficient and solar ready post 2034. Remember that with the absolute necessity to wean our economy off of fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy, energy efficiency for buildings is a key element right alongside hydro, wind, solar and storage. It’s now in the Senate Committee on Environment Energy & Technology. Please help it to move along by using to know its status and to email your state Senator asking them to support it. It’s a very user-friendly website. You can also contact your Senator by using the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. If you’re not sure of your Legislative District number and/or your Senator’s name, the very friendly person at the other end will help you find them.

Join us on Sunday March 6 for our next SCAN! meeting. To learn how to join with our other 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

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our next meeting is Wednesday March 2. The Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenence of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. There are a handful of preparations being made for the launch of watch parties during Sunday services. Learn about these projects and discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

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.

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our next meeting is Thursday March 17. The Safety Team is comprised of members of Saltwater and Bet Chaverim. We discuss building safety and planning for emergency.

Climate Message of the Week

Take a few minutes to ensure that communities in Washington state plan for growth that protects against accelerating climate crises like droughts, flooding, and heat island effects while also being environmentally just. Washington House Bill 1099, which is currently in the House Ways and Means committee, will make crucial updates to the Growth Management Act, which was passed thirty years ago. Contact your State Senator to let them know that you support HB 1099 and urge them to vote yes on the bill. Check the bill’s status at Contact your Senator at or use the link at the bottom of that page to find your district and the name of your Senator.

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, March 3

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
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
3rd 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 17. 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 March 6.

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)