Saltwater Church Newsletter July 2, 2021

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.


Summer Worship Collaborative
This summer, in July and August, we will be worshipping together with Northlake UU and Tahoma UU over zoom. We will be using the Saltwater Church zoom room, and you will have the opportunity to connect with local UUs from other congregations. More details coming soon!

July 4:Your Happy Place,” led by Rev. Nancy Reid-Mckee, Minister of Northlake UU.
Writer Eric Weiner traveled around the world to visit places ranked as the Happiest Places. We will explore what he learned about what makes people happy, and what that might mean to our lives.

July 11: Title & Topic TBA, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU

July 18: “Becoming Real,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church
What helps us to become real? We will explore the wisdom in the story “The Velveteen Rabbit” and reflect on how the experiences of loving and living support us in becoming authentic.

July 25: Title & Topic TBA, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU

NEW!! In-person Opportunities

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

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday. 
Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on 7/11 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack- in- the Box and Arco gas). On 7/25 we will be in Puyallup at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant) Contact Colette DeMonte at for more info.

Meditation Group
Tuesday July 13, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
In-person, Saltwater Church Welcoming Room

Our Meditation Group will begin meeting in person on alternating Tuesday evenings. The first in-person gathering is scheduled for July 13th with plans to continue meeting on July 27, August 10, August 24, September 7, and September 21. Our COVID-19 Task Force and Re-opening Taskforce are currently identifying what the safety requirements will be now that Washington State has “re-opened.” Stay tuned for additional information.

Now Let Us Sing…Together!
Thursday, July 15, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
In-person, Saltwater Church Courtyard

Join us for an hour of hymn singing! We will gather in the outdoor space between the Welcoming Room and the Lighthouse. Please bring your own water bottle and your out-of-practice singing voice. Everyone is welcome. If you are un-vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to wear a face covering and maintain social distance, for your own protection. Let’s celebrate the re-opening of our state and county! Let’s gather together and join our voices in song! Now Let Us Sing…Together! (Questions? Email Tom Burt: )

Hike to Saltwater State Park
Saturday, July 17 at 10 am
In-person, Saltwater Church Grounds

Join Rev. Kristen for a hike from the church down to Saltwater State Park. We will gather at the church by the sanctuary at 10 am and depart on our hike at 10:15 am. For those who don’t want to hike but would like to meet up with us, we will gather down at Saltwater State Park by the playground around 10:45-11 am. Please bring some water, a snack, hat/sunscreen, and a mask.

Labyrinth Walk
Sunday, August 1, 2 pm
In-person, Saltwater Church Labyrinth

Join Rev. Kristen to engage in the spiritual practice of walking the labyrinth at the church. Please bring a chair, water, sunscreen/sunhat, and a mask.

From the Board and HCT

Saltwater Church Re-Opening Update

Thank you for all of the ways that you have adapted and stayed connected to the church throughout the pandemic! We are grateful for the service of the Pandemic Taskforce (Judy Featherstone, Sharon Crow, and Anjali Lopez) for their guidance about ways to keep our congregation safe this year.

After Washington State fully reopens on June 30, there will be new guidance for churches regarding worship and programming. The Pandemic Taskforce will take this guidance, along with recommendations from the CDC and UUA, to help guide the Board and Staff on church reopening decisions in ways that continue to prioritize our collective health and well-being.

As we move into the next phase, the Board is convening a Reopening Taskforce to handle the operations and logistics of reopening the church to in-person worship and programming. We will be looking into reopening in phases, prioritizing support for children, families, and youth, opportunities for small group connection, and developing multi-platform worship. 

As you may remember, last fall we had a break-in to the church and almost all of our audio-visual and sound equipment was stolen. Right now staff are prioritizing working with an audio visual company to replace and install new equipment that will allow us to have in-person and online worship and programming simultaneously. We are working hard to have the equipment installed in time to train volunteers in August and start worship with in-person options in September.

Although most of our worship and programming will continue through zoom over the summer as part of the Puget Sound Worship Collaborative, we are organizing small outdoor in-person gatherings in the next few months. We will have a clearer sense of what is possible in early July. Watch the newsletter for opportunities such as hikes down to Saltwater State Park, outdoor hymn sings, rituals, and work parties.

We look forward to seeing you this summer over zoom and in person when possible! And we will be sure to keep you updated about the process of reopening.

End of the Church Year is Here!!!
The end of June is the end of the church year. If you aren’t sure if you’ve fulfilled your pledge for 2020-2021 just contact Gaye Greeves, Treasurer, at or (253) 508-3961 and she can check for you. If you are sending a payment by check or PayPal, please be sure to mark that it is for June.  

Also, requests for reimbursement and receipts need to be in. 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.

Thanks for all your work and support of Saltwater!

Growth and Learning

UU Common Read
Tuesday July 27, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Please join the RJOT Racial Justice Organizing Team as we participate in the UU Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry. Saltwater RJOT has purchased some copies of the book to make available to participants. If you haven’t requested a copy yet, now’s the time to do it. Our next discussion will be in July. You are encouraged to attend even if you missed the first discussion.

To sign up for a discussion session please email Susan at Contact our Office Administrator to borrow a book, or with any additional questions. Click the image for all the details about the event.

Saltwater Pen Pal Project
Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Each month you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the monthly Soul Matters theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for July: Citizens for a Healthy Bay
Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of July will be shared with Citizens for a Healthy Bay: 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.

Sound Alliance Assembly Results
Over the course of the last 2 months members of Saltwater Church along with members from Bet Chaverim participated in Listening Sessions. We shared the concerns we, our families, loved ones and communities have been facing from the pressures of the pandemic. Our Sound Alliance team organized sessions that shed light on a wide range of concerns from isolation, childcare, housing and to our children’s education and mental health.

On Wednesday 6/23 representatives from Sound Alliance affiliated organizations came together at our assembly to share the concerns that surfaced from their listening sessions. These were pared down to eight outstanding concerns (racial justice, isolation, housing, mental health, equity in education, employment/Living wage, health care, and childcare). Our participatory breakout discussion sessions wrestled with building consensus for the areas that we have the interest and capacity to focus on. A final poll of the meeting demonstrated that housing, mental health and racial justice/equity were the highest areas of concern that members have the greatest passion for working on in the period to come.

These results resemble primary interests from our congregation’s listening sessions five years ago. Racial justice was a new addition to our focus. Our Sound Alliance team thanks all who committed time to share with one another your concerns and to help shape our next steps going forward in the work of strengthening our community and the wider community in South King County. If you would like a summary of Saltwater Listening Sessions email to receive a copy.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
July 18, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room
SCAN! We will not meet on July 4. We will meet on July 18. We’ll take all of August off and resume our 1st Sunday of the month meetings Sep. 5. Yes, I know that’s right in the middle of Labor Day weekend but we’ve done this before and it’s worked out quite well. Have a happy summer everyone. See you on the 18th of July. Stay safe. Please join us in the church zoom room starting at 12. Bring a friend too. You’ll be most welcome.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Join in our monthly discussions to discover more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. Share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, and work together to advance our commitment to racial justice.

Sound Alliance Team Meeting
Monthly on the 4th Saturday, 10am – 11:30am
Church Zoom Room
The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues. 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 and act for Justice! The next meeting will be Saturday, July, 24. 

Climate Message of the Week: Our recent extreme heat wave showed us that the effects of climate change are happening now, not at some far-off future date. How will you take action today for a healthy climate? Cut food waste, eat less meat, drive fewer miles? What’s your climate action plan after that?

Do something today, no matter how small, then commit to making bigger changes. To offer a variation on Zero Kitchen Chef Ann-Marie Bonneau, “We don’t need a handful of people doing climate action perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly”. Let’s be imperfect together. Share your thoughts and actions on the Saltwater UU Facebook page to help inspire others.

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

Ways to Connect

Pair Sharing
(Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Sundays, twice a month 11:45am – 1:00pm

The dates for July’s meetings have yet to be determined. Check back next week for an update.
There is healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin 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 July 14. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room)
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
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. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, July 21. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

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, now all virtual via Zoom. Questions? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.

Writers Group 
(Church Zoom Room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 12:00pm

Support Circle 
(Church Zoom Room)
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

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

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
Sundays twice a month, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The next meeting will be on July 11.

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, and Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups 
(Note the class address.)
Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Junior and Senior High Youth Group 
(Note the class address.)
Sundays at 12:00pm,

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Game Night (Joint with Northlake UU)
3rd Friday of each month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm 
We will be using an online game platform as one of the options for games ( – free account is plenty), so if possible, please let Margaret know if you plan to attend so we can get set up ahead of time. We hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 309 145 529
 Password: NUUC

If you are interested in having your youth (and/or yourself) receive reminder texts directly for game night and Sunday youth group, you can sign up for them by clicking this link and entering the information: Contact Margaret Rogers for more information:

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:

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The Saltwater Church Family Ministries Library Wants to Visit Your Home!
Have your children run out of books to read, with school and public libraries closed? The Saltwater Family Ministries library has books to share! Contact to borrow books.  

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. Staff are primarily working from home. Staff members will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus regularly. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings.

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 2020 for tax purposes to 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)