Saltwater Church Newsletter January 19, 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 January: Liberating Love

Liberating love is our heritage as Unitarian Universalists, and practicing that love is part of our mission at Saltwater Church. Our Universalist ancestors believed that God was too loving to condemn anyone to hell, and today the social justice arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association is called “Side with Love” because we understand our social justice advocacy work as bringing liberating love into being in the world. Join us in January to explore the gift of liberating love in our past, present and future.

Worship In January at Saltwater Church

January 21 Called by Love in the Clinic Counseling Office – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (in-person)

Today, when we ought to be celebrating the 51st anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, Rev. Alison will share the ways that her work in reproductive healthcare made her a Universalist and informed her life and her ministry.

January 28 Love – Janeane Weprin, Saltwater Church Member

Love is at the Center, here at Saltwater, and love is at my center. Love is my spiritual truth. It is everywhere, in everything, and in everyone. We are all connected in, and by, love. And we practice love at Saltwater. Our intention is to manifest love in everything we do. Come, let us celebrate love 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.

January Faith Formation Sunday – Multiplatform
Sunday January 21, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church AND Church Zoom Room

Join us on Faith Formation Sunday, where we will explore our January theme of Liberating Love! Those who are attending in-person may stay after the worship service for a provided lunch followed by a short ritual and age-specific programming. Adults will be with Rev. Alison where we will learn from and connect with our panel of neurodivergent members and friends. Youth will meet with their advisors for connection and conversation. Children will be with Director, Jessica Nash, creating welcoming and inclusive Sanctuary activity bags.

Those who are attending Faith Formation Sunday remotely are invited to stay on Zoom after the worship service for a brown bag lunch and conversation. Around 12:45pm, the multiplatform programming will begin. Zoom attendees will be able to participate in the ritual in the Lighthouse and the panel for adult programming. We hope you can join us!

Faith Formation Sundays are held on the 3rd Sunday of each month and include worship, lunch, and adult, youth, and children’s programming to nurture our spiritual growth in community. It is the intention of the Faith Formation Team to provide an online component each month, whether it is multiplatform on Sunday or at another time that month. ****image credit: Jessica Nash

New Member Class
Saturday January 20, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Are you ready to become a member of Saltwater UU Church? Have you been visiting the church and wanting to learn more? Our new member class is a necessary step to membership, offered in-person by Rev. Alison on January 20 in the Welcoming Room, and online on Saturday, February 3 in the Church Zoom Room from 1-3pm. RSVP to Hope to see you there!

Stop the Bleed Training
Saturday January 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

This free 2-hour class, originally intended as a follow up to the basic First Aid training, is now open to anyone in our congregation! Learn what you can do to stabilize a situation after traumatic injury, until the experts arrive. Please join us. In times of fear and trauma, your actions can save a life. If you plan to attend, please fill out this form just so we have an estimate of how to set up. There is no charge.

Neighborhood Potlucks
January 27 and 28, 6:00pm – 8:00pm(ish)

Get to know your Saltwater neighbors at Neighborhood Potlucks, the weekend of January 27 & 28. Enjoy conversation over a shared meal, leading to deeper connection in our church community. It’s also fun! Sign up here or look for sign-up forms at coffee hour after service. ****image credit: Fauxels

Coffee & Care with a Lay Minister
Sunday January 28, 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

After the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays in January (1/14 & 1/28) one of our lay ministers will be available in-person in the Sanctuary to talk one-on-one with anyone who needs some support. Get your coffee or tea in the Welcoming Room, and then peek into the Sanctuary. If the lay minister has an open chair, please come in, sit down, and receive the benefit of compassionate listening from a trained lay minister. ****image credit: Jack Sparrow

Save the Date

Quiet Connections (Newcomer and Visitor Team Conversations)
1st Sundays, 11:30am – 12:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

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 the 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. This is a no-commitment, no schedule kind of offer. FREE! No expiration date, and no purchase required!! Just show up, and a few snacks and drinks are provided. ****image credit: Matt Barnard

*** image credit: Patrick Leigh

Youth Bake Sale
February 11
In Person – Saltwater Welcome Room

Prepare your tummy and your wallets. The Youth are baking some treats!!!! Feb 11th will be a chance to get to know our youth group and their baking talents! Jan 21st we will start taking pre-orders so we meet the demand, that will be intense, for these special treats. Pre-order now and you will receive your treat on feb 11, freshly made the night before delivery. Don’t forget to let us know how many of our yummy offerings you need, look for the youth with pre-order clipboards on Sunday morning! Stock up for easy gifts for those that make a difference in your life. Share with others and our youth and even your belly… We can’t wait to start baking!

Wrestling with Colonization (Saltwater Sound Alliance)
February 26-March 11, Mondays and Thursdays 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Wrestling with Colonization Offered Again–Don’t Miss Out! Saltwater’s Sound Alliance is again offering a series of workshops on “Wrestling with Colonization” 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 Faithful ( to sign up. Space is limited. January 30 from 5-7pm or February 8 from 2-4pm are set aside for training previous participants to serve as small group facilitators during the evening workshops.

pUUget Sound Youth Con
March 2-3, 2024 11am Sat -11am Sun
In-Person – Shoreline UU Church

The pUUget Sound Youth Conference is back! In the past, youth conferences (aka youth cons) were a HUGE part in the lives of UU youth in WA/OR and around the entire country – kids would literally fly down from Alaska to come to youth cons, they were that cool!

So…what are they? Youth cons are weekend-long gatherings of UU high school students from many churches in the area. During a con, you’ll meet new people, play games, be silly, have good food, learn new things from each other in workshops, maybe participate in a talent (or no-talent) show, have a candlelit worship at night where you would connect on a deeper level with your new friends, often stay up super late (though you don’t have to), and generally create a temporary “UUtopian” society!

So why did cons stop? Simple: COVID. But now we’re ready to get them going again! Our first one will not be a whole weekend – instead we’re starting with a single overnight that goes from 11am on Saturday, March 2 to 11am on Sunday, March 3. This will be happening at Shoreline UU Church, just north of Seattle. Youth from about ten churches will have full run of the church the entire time! We want to expand our community of youth! We want all the youth we can find!!!

Come explore play and connect with our community of Youth. Find the excitement of new friends and lifelong connections that can be created at such a place of belonging and understanding. Registration is open NOW and closes on February 16. If you have any questions about this event, reach out to Chris Pollina at

Register at:

New Staff Announcement

Welcome Ariel, Saltwater Church’s New Pianist!

We are so delighted that pianist Ariel Candies has joined our staff team.

Hailing from the great state of Idaho, Ariel Candies is a creative and an ambivert who believes in the transformative powers of music.  Ariel grew up in a wonderfully creative and inventive family with parents who performed in choirs and various singing groups, a mother who was a prolific painter and brother who performed in various orchestras starting at a very young age. As a child her continued exposure to a wide and diverse range of genres and artists led her to develop her own eclectic tastes in music, despite being a classically trained pianist.  Despite having a diverse and varied job history, nothing has been as rewarding as teaching and playing music. When she isn’t teaching piano, she spends time with her two daughters who especially enjoy art, listening to stories, and spending time outdoors.

Ariel has been filling in at the piano in December and the beginning of January, so she’s become a familiar face at Saltwater Church, and we’re so grateful that she’s agreed to become our long-term pianist. 

Caring for Each Other

****Image Credit: New York Times

From Our Leadership

From The Board of Directors

Thanks to all who participated in our December Congregational Meeting on December 31st. At that meeting, we talked about all the amazing things that have been happening, over the past half-year, and plans for the next half-year. 

  • Please click here to see the slides that we shared, and 
  • for more information, click here for a detailed report — which includes who to contact to get involved.

Our meeting highlighted the inspirational power of being part of something larger than ourselves. Being involved is not just about “getting things done.” It’s a way to practice your values while creating a community guided by our shared mission.  In the end of the meeting, people shared their intentions; what they aspire to do, or with what spirit; how they will help build this community. 

As you see all that has been done and what’s to come, we invite you to imagine yourself bringing your gifts and presence to continue strengthening our community. With that in mind,

  • please click here to provide some information about yourself and your interests. This will help us get better at connecting with each other, and matching interests and activities.

Together, we can care for each other, make the world a better place, and have fun! 

Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison writes: I have found in my favorite works of speculative fiction “Words…of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love,” which is one of the stated sources of our UU faith. You can read Rev. Alison’s full message via the home page of the church website or here: Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison’s in-person visit to Saltwater goes through this Sunday, January 21.

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

Volunteer Opportunities

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 February 8. 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 January
Federal Way Day Center

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of January will be shared with Federal Way Day Center.

With the active involvement of Saltwater UU Church, the Federal Way Day Center opened in December 2016. It provides a welcoming space to adults who are homeless and vulnerably housed. The Day Center offers showers, laundry, computers, phones, mail reception services, space for meal preparation, and access to health care and social services. Case Management services and Family-Only hours are also offered. Remember, our funds are matched so your contribution is doubled!

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 February 6. ****Image credit: Evg Kowalievska

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

The next meeting will be on February 2. 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 February 10.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines & Puyallup

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 January 28 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant).

We will meet again on February 11 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.

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

Mark your calendar–The February SCAN! meeting will be Thursday, February 15 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

The climate crisis is a source of deep pain for people of all ages and is particularly difficult for young people who will inherit its effects. Carly Dober is an eco-psychologist who lists some steps that can help us deal with climate grief. She urges clients to focus on the good things that can be saved. She also advises seeking out news about positive climate actions and solutions. Joining climate groups is another helpful action. Getting outdoors to hike, swim, and just be in nature can be restorative. Art-making and movement are other options for relieving stress. Her most powerful suggestion may be for people to “envision a world that is fair; where everyone has enough resources to meet their needs and then to ask them what they can do now to contribute to this world, and ask them to move towards this.” (Adapted from The Guardian) Image credit: Maksim Goncharenok

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

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 January 20.
  • 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

Movie Night
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

2nd Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us at the movies! February 14 is our next movie night. Bring a snack to share. All are welcome, no need to RSVP. Send questions to Robert 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 February 14. 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 January 21. Lunch will be provided. 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.
Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcoming Room
4th 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 January 22. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at
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
1st Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Join us at the Tabletop Family Game Night on February 3. 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.

Elementary Faith Formation
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Lighthouse Large Room

Join us on Faith Formation Sunday during and after the worship service for fun, growth, and belonging with our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash. Our next meet up is Sunday, January 21, after the service and provided lunch.

During our extended portion of the day we will be creating fun ways to stay busy while sitting in the Sanctuary. Do your children enjoy coloring? Legos? Puzzles? Books? Toys? We will be expanding our idea of what it looks like to be sitting with the adults. We want to tickle all the neurodiverse pathways and find ways to keep our minds and bodies present while all we want to do is wiggle our way to the playground. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

Middle and High School Youth Faith Formation
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Lighthouse Youth Room

Our Youth Group meets on Faith Formation Sunday during and after the worship service. Youth Group discussions and activities are tied to the monthly Soul Matters themes. Come find some community and conversation around January’s theme of liberating love. Our next Youth Group is Sunday, January 21. Lunch will be provided.

****Image credit: Leigh Patrick

Middle and High School Youth Baking for the Future!
Saturday February 10, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

We are gathering Saturday Feb 10. at 4pm to start baking for the Youth Bake sale. All proceeds go to our youth funds to provide camp assistance, fun events, and what the youth choose to do in the future together. This fundraising has all the best parts. Yummy snacks, time together, baking for a purpose, and preparing for a future yet to be created.

Banter with us over the batter that we create together, create treats that tempt, and find joy in community. Join us as we work together to raise funds that provide support for our program.

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)