Saltwater Church Newsletter July 1, 2022

Each Sunday we offer worship in two ways: our Worship Watch Party in the sanctuary and online through Zoom at 10:30 am. 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. Throughout the newsletter you will also find ways to connect and live our values through both in-person programming and through Zoom.


July Worship Services and Connection Details

July 3: “Freedom & Liberty, Justice & Liberation,” Rev. Mary Gear, Olympia UU Congregation

Worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary or connect through OUUC’s zoom room:
Dial +1 253 215 8782     Meeting ID: 873 210 124             Password: 995142
Or watch the service stream on YouTube:

On this Independence Day weekend, we explore what freedom and liberty mean when we are in community.  What does independence mean when we are interdependent?  How does our independence and interdependence inform our work for  justice and liberation? 

July 10: “To Hold Hope,” Rev. Monica Jacobson-Tennessen, Community UU Church

Worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary or connect through Community Church’s zoom room:         
Meeting ID: 933 2949 7025                 Passcode: 450683

Hope can feel elusive in times like these. The words of Mariame Kaba remind me that hope is not simply a feeling we have, it’s a practice we commit to. In this service, we’ll consider some ways to help each other practice hope.

July 17: “A Story of Forgiveness,” Janeane Weprin, Lay Leader, Saltwater UU

Worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary or connect through the Saltwater Church Zoom Room:
        Dial 1-669-900-6833             Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 

July 24: “The Deal on Those Days,” Rev. Gretchen Haley General Assembly Worship, pre-recorded and hosted by Olympia UU

Worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary or connect through OUUC’s zoom room:   
  Dial +1 253 215 8782     Meeting ID: 873 210 124            Password: 995142

Or find us on YouTube:

The last few years have not been easy, including in our local congregations. Whole swaths of members have simply stopped coming; COVID is confusing, and polarizing; many ministers have joined the great resignation; and Pew studies and friends alike have pronounced the end of the local church.

In this moment, when so many of us might be wondering if we should just give up, and relent, now’s the time instead to double down on our commitment to the local church -this unique community that saves us and also breaks our hearts – often much more of the latter than we’d like to admit. In the midst of our culture of death, the church is a place of life. Or it is, as long as we are willing to bring our own lives to it. Join us for a morning of celebration, witness, and future-visioning for the already and not yet power of the local Unitarian Universalist church.

Leading us in worship will be Rev. Gretchen Haley, Rev. Shari Halliday-Quan, Rev. Sean Neil-Barron, Lea Morris, Adam Podd, Joseph and Aimee Santos-Lyons, and Allison King with the GA Choir.

July 31: “TBA,” Janelle Durham, Lay Leader, Northlake UU Church

Worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary or connect through Northlake’s Zoom Room:   may need password: NUUC-W

Ways for All Ages to Participate in Sunday Morning Worship Time

 Children and youth are welcome to worship with their families in the sanctuary.  People of all ages who prefer hands-on activities or space to move or make some noise are welcome to participate in the Welcome Room, where we will have activities related to the morning’s worship theme. Childcare is also available during the worship hour from 10:30-11:30, and will include participation in the Welcome Room activities and outdoor free play. Youth are encouraged to volunteer as ushers, greeters, worship leaders, or tech support if they are interested. Volunteers are needed to assist with childcare as well. Please contact Melinda Einander, Director of Family Ministries at, with questions or to discuss your family’s particular needs for in-person participation.

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.

Save The Date – Blessing of the Animals

Save the date for our annual Blessing of the Animals Service on Sunday, August 14. This year the service will be multi-platform and we hope you will bring your beloved companions with you in-person and online!

Worship Watch Party
Sundays in July, 10:30am – 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Join us in the Sanctuary as we watch zoom service together on our big screen. Our doors open at 10:15. Connect with others, sing along together to the hymns, and experience the view of nature out the sanctuary windows.

Those attending will be required to wear masks. Family groups can sit together and will be asked to distance from others. Everyone is encouraged to gather outside after service, weather permitting.

People of all ages are welcome. We hope to see you in person for worship one Sunday soon!

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

Status of Community Listserv
Temporarily suspendeed

Our Community Listserv, as with all our online communications, offers an opportunity to build connections and help one another in times of need. When using it, an agreement is made to uphold our Covenant of Right Relations, our Electronic Communications policy, and to hold each other with respect while honoring our UU values. The closure of our listserv was prompted by a series of communications that did not uphold the agreement of use. The Board would like to reopen it as soon as possible as we recognize its importance to our members. If you are a user of our SUUC-Community Listserv, an announcement will be sent out when it reopens to all participants.

P.S. Did you know that the Electronic Communications Policy was created by a lay led Communications Task Force convened in 2019? The final policy was approved by the Operation Leads Team in March 2020 and distributed to the community. 

From Our Treasurer

The end of the fiscal year is quickly approaching. Any outstanding expense reports or requests for reimbursement from the church need to be submitted by June 25th. You can email your requests and copies of receipts directly to Gaye at: You may also mail them directly to the church or contact our Office Administrator and they will forward along your request. If you have questions about your pledge fulfillment for the 2021 church year, you are also encouraged to contact Gaye or our Office Administrator.

Learn More about the Article II Study Commission
and Share your Feedback
Deadline July 18

At General Assembly in Portland, the Article II Study Commission of the UUA shared updates about the review process of the UUA’ purpose, principles, and sources. They also engaged delegates in a process of reflection, discussion, and feedback. You are invited to learn more and share your feedback. See below. The deadline for participating in this round of engagement is July 18.

You can view all the public videos from GA online, including the Article II presentations, as follows:

Introduction to the work, Purpose, and Freedom of Belief in General Session II (beginning with Dan McKanan’s theological framing at 20:35 and presentation at 32:30)

Values and Covenant
 in General Session III (presentation begins at 24:15, followed by a break, and then Dr. Elías Ortega’s theological framing, which begins at 1:29:20)

Inclusion and Inspirations in General Session IV (presentation begins at 33:00, followed by a break, and then Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt’s theological framing at 1:20:34)

You can share your feedback based on the presentations and questions asked using this link

The commission will close the feedback hub for these presentations on July 18, but that doesn’t mean your chance to offer input is done. They will continue to have opportunities to contribute to the process of reimagining Article II throughout the early fall. Watch for more information on how you can be involved!

You can learn more at their website:
Follow the Article II Study Commission on Facebook: Article II Study Commission or Instagram: RevUU_A2
Feedback hub:

Staff Updates

Rev. Kristen Out of the Office
Month of July

From June 20-26, Rev. Kristen will be in Portland, Oregon attending Ministry Days and General Assembly. From July 1-August 1 Rev. Kristen will be out of the office on vacation. During that time, feel free to be in touch with Katherine “Bubba” Miller (, our Office Administrator, and Melinda Einander (, our Director of Family Ministries, with urgent program needs. For pastoral care, please reach out to Lay Ministers Debra Valpey or Toska Rodriguez. Their contact information can be found in the church directory or in the Grief Support section of our newsletter. All non-urgent needs will be responded to when Rev. Kristen returns to the office in August.

Staff Transition – Director of Family Ministries

We are grateful to Melinda Einander for the fourteen years of service she’s given to Saltwater UU Church as our Director of Family Ministries. Melinda has brought her passion, care, creativity, commitment to UU values, and teaching experience to this role, and supported countless families in our community. In August 2022, Melinda will be leaving the position as Director of Family Ministries to focus on her family and work in Aberdeen. In August, we look forward to celebrating Melinda’s gifts and offering our blessings on this transition.

The Board is currently identifying members to serve on a hiring team and we will update you with more information soon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rev. Kristen:

Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation Hiring Process 

I am writing with an update on the work of the hiring team for the current Director of Family Ministries position. In June a hiring team was formed including Lisa Key, Christina Frueh, and myself (Rev. Kristen). We met to discuss the purpose of the position, the main responsibilities, and qualifications for potential candidates. The team drafted a detailed job description, and then shared it with families, leaders in growth and learning, the Board, and Melinda. After receiving and integrating feedback, the position description is ready and being posted to receive applications. We will review all applications starting August 1 and begin the interview process then.

This position is reimagined. What has been the Director of Family Ministries, will now be the Director of Multigeneration Faith Formation. The Director collaboratively nurtures the spiritual growth of people of all ages, with a focus on children, youth, and their families. They coordinate multigenerational faith formation programs connected to monthly themes, including through worship, small groups, and educational classes. They welcome families into the congregation and inclusively support the unique educational needs of our community. We are excited about this new way of thinking about the work. This position will also be 20 hours per week.

You can access the full job description here:
We hope you will share this announcement with your networks.
If you have any questions about the process, you can contact Lisa Key or Christina Frueh.

Oleg Dusaev

Staff Transition – Oleg Dusaev

After serving as our pianist for the past four years, Oleg Dusaev will be leaving his position in July. We are so grateful for the gift of Oleg’s music and presence in our community. Oleg will be starting a new adventure with the Queer Heritage Foundation in Vancouver, BC supporting the creation of a Queer Museum. We are looking to see if Oleg can join us for a live service in August so that we can say farewell and offer him our blessings. More information to come.

Growth & Learning

click image

Find a Partner, Make a Team, Take the Challenge
The 21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
(running all summer long.)

Designed to lead us into lasting habits of furthering Equity and Racial Justice, the 21-day Challenge (click here), introduces us to many approaches to racial justice work and issues. There are a selection of themed challenges each full of resources, exercises, and ideas to contemplate and each includes readings, videos, music, blogs, actions, reflection questions and more. 

The free challenges are supported by optional (RJOT encouraged) donations and self-guided; You choose what you want to do for the day, how much time you want to spend, how many days or which days you want to participate (there is enough for months), and who you want to do the challenge with. It could be solo, or…

Find someone or a group to do this with. Your accountabilibuddies will help keep you going, chat with you about what you are discovering, or just give you email reminders. It’s up to your team to decide the structure for your challenge.

We look forward to hearing about your discoveries and your feedback at our fall participant reflection gathering. This challenge is brought to you by the Saltwater Racial Justice Organizing Team.

For more information, if you need help finding a partner, and/or to let us know you are taking the challenge please contact:  Miriam Woito

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 July:
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee 

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of July will be shared (and matched) with the Unitarian Universalists Service Committee.

For our shared Sunday services in July, we joined with Olympia, Northlake, and Tri-Cities congregations. We’ve all agreed to support the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) this month. UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and oppressive policies. Their work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity. Grassroots partnerships, justice education and advocacy plus mobilizing to
advance human rights are the foundation of the UUSC.

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.   

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

Please join us this coming Sunday July 3 and learn how you can help make an impact on combating the global climate crisis we’re all in. We’ll be talking and planning action on a number of things including making our church less fossil fuel energy dependent. Bring a friend too! Contact Bill Adams at for additional information. We encourage you to 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 July 9. 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.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines & 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 July 10 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) On July 24 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.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 4th Monday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Monday July 25Our 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.

Climate Message of the Week

image credit: Pierpaolo Riondato

The amount of wasted food in the United States is the equivalent of every American throwing 650 apples straight into the trash each year.

Twenty percent of that food waste is caused by confusion over food label dates. “Best by” is the date for peak flavor or quality. Products that say “Sell by” must be taken off store shelves by that date even though they are still safe. “Use by” is the date after which the quality of a product may be reduced. (Baby formula and over-the-counter drugs should never be used after the “Use By” or “Expiration” date.) For more information about food label dates go to

According to the World Wildlife Federation “The production of wasted food in the United States is equivalent to the greenhouse emissions of 37 million cars.”

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

Ways to Volunteer

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

Our Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenance of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. We encourage you to join our team. Your time commitment would include attending monthly meetings over zoom, occasionally helping with collecting bids for odd jobs, and supporting work parties throughout the year. Discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings. Our next meeting is Wednesday July 6. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church 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 will not be meeting in May. Our next meeting is Thursday July 21.

Ways to Connect

Weekly Meetings

Al-Anon Support Group
private zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Meditation Group 
In Person in the Saltwater Sanctuary & 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. 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
There will be no support circle in the second half of June and the month of July. In August, Rev. Kristen will invite participants to reflect on next steps for support circle and meeting the needs of our community.

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night — Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SUUSC)
In Person – Welcome 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.) We also play thematic games, card games, and party and social games. Almost anything is possible, bring your favorite game and let us know about it. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. Our next meet up will be on July 2.

Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Creative Hands is on hiatus during July. We will resume in August and will decide then if we can meet on site, virtually, or as a hybrid. Please watch the newsletter for details. Questions during July? Contact Debra Valpey,

Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. Our next meeting will be on July 10. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at

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.

Monthly Meetings

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 July 13. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Saltwater Chalice Circles
Our chalice circle program has offered the opportunity to deepen and broaden spiritual growth while forming closer relationships with others. Currently, our circles are scheduled through June, see the Saltwater Church Calendar for zoom links. If you have an interest in participating in our program contact Susan Aigner at

Ongoing Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
If you are grieving or supporting someone who is grieving any kind of loss (loved one, job, hope, faith) please join us for sharing, readings, and general support. We meet on July 14, 7 to 8:30 PM in the church zoom room. All are welcome. Contact our lay leaders, Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

Paint Night
In Person – Welcome Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander 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 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

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 has opened for in person small group gatherings. If you wish to plan an event please use our online request form:  Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator will be on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm begining May 24. 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)