Saltwater Church Newsletter January 21, 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.


Closed Captioning Now Available For Worship Services

We are excited to announce that closed captioning is now available in the church zoom room. In order to see the transcription, go to the bottom of your screen to the CC Live Transcription tab. When you click on it, automatically generated captions will appear at the bottom of the screen.

January Worship Services

January 23: Navigating the Age of Overwhelm,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

January 30: TBA, Rev. Tom Bozeman, Guest Minister

January & February Theme: Chaos

In the months of January and February we will 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.

Stance For Racial Justice
Sunday January 23, 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 January 23 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). On February 13 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.

Upcoming In-person Events

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

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

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 Re-Opening 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

On January 5, 2022, the Saltwater Church Board met and considered the significant rise in COVID-19 cases in our community due to the Omicron variant. As King County has moved into the severe risk level for infection, we have made the difficult decision to pause all in-person programming at this time. We believe this decision is in alignment with our mission and values, and reflects our commitment to care for each other, our wider community, those who are unable to be vaccinated, and the health care workers who are caring for those who are ill.

We know that this may bring up many feelings, including disappointment, frustration, and sadness. Please be assured that 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 continue to prepare for in-person worship options so that we will be ready to launch once our transmission rate goes down. Thank you to Robert Snipes who has been working through our technology logistics and has our new AV equipment ready to go. Our next step will be to work with the Reopening Team on the logistics for a watch party model for worship.

We invite you to continue to join us for worship and programming through Zoom. You can find ways to connect, grow spiritually, and act for justice through our newsletter: The newsletter is also the place to look for Reopening Updates from the Board.

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:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact members of the Saltwater Church Board:
Mayda Taney,President
Karin Leisy, Vice-President
Kathy Jorgensen, Secretary
Lauren Crowder
Aida Sanchez-Vela
Katie Baker ***image credit: Bubba

Growth & Learning

“My Grandmother’s Hands” – Book Discussion
Sunday February 20 & 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.

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,          .

WhaleCoast Alaska 2022

The UU Fellowship in Fairbanks Alaska would like to invite you to participate in Alaska’s UU Fundraising Tour. This program involves dozens of volunteers from 4 Unitarian Universalist congregations in Alaska who come together to offer a unique and wonderful opportunity to visit Alaska.

Have you ever wanted to visit Alaska? If so, WhaleCoast Alaska 2022 is for you! We invite you to experience our unique environmental and spiritual tour program next summer.  See Alaska through the eyes of local UUs, with friendly homestays and awe-inspiring tour activities. See wildlife, including moose, bears, caribou, whales, bald eagles, sea lions, etc. Visit Denali National Park. Experience Native Alaskan culture. WhaleCoast Alaska is an inspirational way to visit our beautiful state. Complete info at: Proof of Covid-19 vaccinations required. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss!

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 January: Sound Generations Meals on Wheels Program

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of January will be shared with Sound Generations Meals on Wheels Program Sound Generations Meals on Wheels accepts King County, WA residents aged 60 or more, who have difficulty shopping or cooking. Clients can order up to 14 meals each week and choose from 30 menu items that meet their individual nutritional needs. Special diets are also fulfilled. Staff and volunteers pack and deliver the meals, ensuring their food needs are met. 

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.

Engage in Racial Justice

JOIN A LEARNING CIRCLE: First Church Portland invites Saltwater to join other UUs in Antiracism Learning Circles, which are small discussion cohorts that go through a book or podcast over multiple sessions. The next round starts in February and each small group will cover one of these:

  • Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Lama Rod Owens
  • The Path to a Livable Future: A New Politics to Fight Climate Change, Racism and the Next Pandemic by Stan Cox
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Jonny Appleseed, a novel by Joshua Whitehead + Missing & Murdured, a podcast from CBC Media
  • Seeing White: Season 2 of Scene on Radio – Podcast

Sign up now for one or more Learning Circles starting in February. For full descriptions, schedules & to register go to:

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 January 24. Happy New Year! Our 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 Febuary 6 for our next SCAN! meeting. During January’s meeting we discussed which climate-friendly Bills Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!) should support in the upcoming state legislative session in Olympia. I’m happy to say that our support in last year’s session helped get the Clean Fuel Standards ACT and the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act passed. The latter which places marginalized and the BIPOC community at the head of the line as far as cleaning up air pollution in their neighborhoods is concerned. Please help us to get similar legislation passed for 2022. Thanks for all that you do and will do. 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 February 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 Febuary 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

Fast facts about clothing: Approximately 150 billion items of new clothing are produced per year, causing nearly 10 percent of global CO2 emissions. A person today buys around 60 percent more clothing than a person in 2000, but only keeps an item half as long. Polyester and other synthetic textiles that are made from fossil fuels account for 35 percent of ocean microplastics. Learn about the impact of your own clothing and how to reduce it by using an online tool like the Fashion Footprint Calculator (

Before you buy, ask yourself “How often will I wear it? Do I already own similar pieces? How long will it last”? Shop sustainable brands or thrift stores. Support small businesses that focus on reusing & upcycling materials. (example here) Reduce the carbon footprint of a piece of clothing by up to 25 percent by wearing it for an additional year. For more ideas about how to cut your clothing carbon footprint go to

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 January 23.

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, January 27. 

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. We meet on 2nd Thursdays in the church Zoom room. 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.

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

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room) OR In Person
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.

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd and 4th 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.

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 February 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.

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)