Saltwater Church Newsletter July 21, 2023

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30 am. 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 in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.


Worship In July at Saltwater Church 

In July our theme is Embracing Possibilities and the Worship Team is arranging for meaningful and fun opportunities in lieu of our regular services. For our in-person folks there will be Worshipful Workshops – informal, lay-led, participatory workshops centered on different spiritual practices. For our folks on-line, there will be facilitated Chalice Circles over zoom each week with discussion questions related to the theme of Embracing Possibilities.

Some things to note about these events:

  1. These workshops and chalice circles are replacing the regular worship services in July and will be at the regular time of 10:30 am on Sundays. 
  2. This is not a permanent change in how we do worship – this is something we are trying out for the month of July. 
  3. These will not be multi-platform services; the in-person and online events will be separate. This will allow staff and volunteers who have been working diligently to create the multiplatform experience an opportunity to rest, renew, and be ready to start up again in August!

We hope you will take this opportunity to embrace a new possibility by attending one or more of these different ways to worship. If you have any questions, reach out to one of the Worship Team members: Janeane Weprin, Meri Murphy, Joanne Stonebraker, and Janeira St. Clare.

Worshipful Workshop: 10:30 am, In-person at Saltwater Church

July 23:  Music and Movement as Embodied Spiritual Practice led by Tom Burt

Come sing and move together, connecting with our bodies, our spirits, and each other. No previous experience required! All bodies and abilities are welcome and wanted.

July 30: Yes! You Can Write! – led by the Wednesday Morning Writer’s Group

Join the Writers Group in a fun writing exercise. You will have the chance to write and to share your writing (only if you want to!) in a safe and friendly way.  No experience required! If you have favorite writing materials such as a journal, or special pen or pencil, please feel free to bring these.  Otherwise, paper and pens will be provided.  This Worshipful Workshop will include inspirational readings and music to put us in a creative mood.

Chalice Circle: 10:30 am Online in the Church Zoom Room

The format for our summer chalice circles is simple: a chalice lighting, check-in, and a reflection question on an aspect of the theme for July, embracing possibilities. In chalice circles we come to be nourished by authentic relationships, to listen and be listened to, to mutually support one another, and to create space for spiritual insight.

July 23: Facilitated by Miriam Woito

July 30: Facilitated by Rosalie Olds

Notable & 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.

Neighborhood Potlucks – SIGN UP NOW
Thursday July 29 & July 30, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
In Person – Various Locations

Join your Saltwater neighbors for a potluck dinner, conversation, and fun! We have two dates, July 29 and July 30, 7-8:30pm. Times will be flexible depending on your neighborhood host. We have volunteer hosts in Federal Way, Normandy Park, Tukwila, and are always looking for more interested parties. Signup here to express your interest so we can match you up with a host in your region. Please select your preferred date and neighborhood region in relationship to the church’s location. Your host will contact you with details!

Annual Blessing of the Animals
Sunday Service on August 6
Multi-Platform – Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Join Debra Valpey, long time member, and Joanne Stonebraker as we honor the presence of animals in our lives, be they pets, wildlife, birds, or even benevolent bugs. Your pets are welcome to attend in person or via Zoom. We will share a gallery view of our Zoom participants during the service. There will also be alter space for pictures and mementos of the beloved critters that have blessed our lives. All non-humans attending in person must be leashed or in a secure container.


Announcing the dates of our Annual Church Retreat! Join us at Seabeck for another weekend of fun and community. The retreat will begin on April 26 at 4pm and run until noon on April 28, 2024. Watch our newsletter in the Spring for details about our theme, our programming, and carpooling opportunities.

From Our Leadership

Dir Faith Formation

Director of Faith Formation Update

Join us in welcoming our new Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash. We are very happy to announce she joined our team on July 6, 2023. A few words from Jessica…

Hi, my name is Jessica Nash. I have been orbiting Saltwater UU church for 10 years now. I have loved volunteering with the kids. Supporting the children’s ministry led me to see the beauty of the principles that this UU community holds so dear.

Through my years I have been; homeschooling, volunteering, teaching, mentoring and crafting my way through it all. Last year I helped at Camp Blue Boat. The amazing youth I encountered there inspired me to expand my role in this community.  I look forward to making new connections and growing along side such supportive and caring people. 

IMPORTANT Update For Our Volunteers

The locks on our buildings have been updated with new access codes. If you have access to our facilities, please watch your email, or contact our Office Administrator, for the new entry codes. Your personal alarm code has not changed. Thank you.  ***Photo by Monstera

Transitional Ministry Update

We have posted a position for a one-year contract minister on the UUA Ministry Search website. We will consider all ministers who apply.

This is the process that UU ministers agree to; it helps us follow best practices and avoid unintended bias.

The start date depends on when we find the right candidate. We are taking the time to find the right fit. And we have time; Rev. Kristen did so much to help us that we have good lay and staff leadership to care for our congregation as we grow into this challenge.

Ways to Volunteer

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
  • Greeter
  • Welcome Kiosk
  • Worship Assistant
  • A/V Desk Assistant
  • Multigenerational Activities Assistant

Other Opportunities

Facilities Team
Thursday August 3, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
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. ***Image credit: Bubba 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Thursday August 10, 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 are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand.

Ways To Live Our Values

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. Our next gathering will be on July 23 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 August 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.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Summer Meetings – 4th Tuesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Tuesday July 25. 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.

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

SCAN! members work to make an impact on our current climate crisis. Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 3rd Saturday, 10:00 – 11:00am
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 August 19. 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.

emma johnson

Climate Message of the Week

Burning fossil fuels is drastically changing our world yet fossil fuel companies continue to do everything in their power to continue their destructive business.

Learn How To Urge Your Elected Officials To Take The Pledge, And Phase Out Fossil Fuels
Wednesday, July 26
5:00pm PT

Join UUs for Social Justice, UU Ministry for Earth, and Side With love as we come together to learn how we can engage our elected officials to take the pledge for a fossil-free future, by August 30th, ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in September 2023 in New York City. For more information and to register go to

***image credit: Emma Johnson, EESI

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 
Now In Person
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Our meditation group meets in person in the Saltwater Church Sanctuary. 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 (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.) 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 on August 5.
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 Our next meeting is on July 23.

Monthly Meetings

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 August 9. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
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
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room
3rd Tuesday, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather monthly to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meeting will be August 15. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.

Quarterly Meetings

After Service Potluck
In Person : Welcome Room
Sunday September 17
Church-Wide Potluck, Yummy! Please bring a generous dish to share. Kindly mark ingredients if not clearly visible (like nuts, soy, etc.) We will also need folks to step up and help us set up before church and take down after church. Questions? contact Debra Valpey, 206-953-5704 or

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:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Multigenerational Faith Formation’s Zoom Room

Family Night at Indian Days Powwow!
Friday July 21, 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center

Join us in support of our indigenous neighbors and attend this outdoor Pow wow sponsored by United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. The Powwow will occur come rain or shine! This is a FREE 3 day event with Friday being designated as family day. There is some bleacher seating for the powwow, but it is limited, so feel free to bring your lawn, camping, chair, and/or blanket. Local Native artists selling authentic, hand crafted jewelry, arts and crafts and clothing. There will be food vendors, at the powwow. Ever have Frybread? If not, then have one this weekend, (it is fried dough, a delicious indulgent!) It’s a good idea to bring cash, as some vendors do not accept credit cards.

Tabletop Family Game Night!
Saturday August 5, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Welcome Room

Members and friends of all ages will attend the churchwide Game Night sponsored by SUUSC. Join Bert and Fernando and discover new table top games. Participants will play old classics or introduce new board or card games to the community.

Middle and High School Youth Group (grades 6-12)

Youth will meet for social events several times a month. The Youth Group works with adult advisors to plan programs which include personal sharing, discussion of religious and ethical issues, guest speakers from other religions and from the community, service projects, participation in district youth conferences, and worship. This year youth will explore the monthly church-wide themes. Contact Amanda Radak or see the church newsletter for more information.

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 & Services 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance. As our Director of Faith Formation position is in transition, at this time all requests for childcare should be directed to our Volunteer Childcare Coordinator, Lisa Key via email 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, 10am 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 or use the website form (click here)

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