Saltwater Church Newsletter July 23, 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 25: “Reviving Our Reverence”, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU.
How does our reverence for beloved community and the larger world we live in grow and change throughout our lifespan?

August 1: “Watering the Seeds of True Self,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church.
How do we foster our connection to something larger than ourselves? This service will explore the gifts of creating daily rituals to connect us to ourselves, nature, and all that is.

August 8:“Fun Times,” Rev. Nancy Reid-Mckee, Minister of Northlake UU.
The idea of having fun is associated with children, and play, but is it something adults can embrace? Do we know how to have fun, how to laugh, how to have pleasure? The service will look at what fun can offer us in life.

August 15:“Expanding the Experiment,” Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU.
How does our collective yearning for dismantling myths of supremacy in our world transform our faith into the thriving multicultural beloved communities we seek?

August 22:Beloved Companions: Blessing of the Animals,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church.
Join us to celebrate our blessing of the animals. This is an opportunity to honor the connection we have with our beloved pets, and to express our gratitude and well wishes for the friendship and care they bring to our lives. There will also be a time to honor and remember pets who have died. We are creating a slide show of members of our congregations with their pets. If you would like a picture included, please send it in an email to: with “Blessing of the Animals” as the subject. Photos are due by Monday, August 16. We also invite you to bring your pets to worship with you so we can see them and bless them in our live zoom service!

August 29: TBA, Rev. Kristen Kuriga & Rev. Joe Rettenmaier

Upcoming Events

Image credit – Leandro Valentino

Stance for Racial Justice
Sunday July 25, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
in person – Puyallup

Rain or shine, show up for racial justice. Join us in Puyallup at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). We gather on the 4th Sunday of every month to wave our signs, show support, and increase awareness. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing while participating in this event. Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

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. The next meeting to discuss the reading is this Tuesday. If you have not registered 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 additional the details about the event.

Gather the Youth – Hike & Beach Party
Thursday July 29, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
In person – Saltwater Church

Our Middle School & High School Youth are invited to gather for a fun hike along the Saltwater trails and down to the beach. We’ll spend time playing and exploring on the beach. For additional information contact Melinda at Click on the picture for details about Saltwater State Park.  ***image credit: Bubba

In-person Opportunities

Lammas Ritual

Saturday July 31, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
In-person, Saltwater Church Labyrinth

Saltwater’s CUUPS will be holding a late summer ritual, Lammas. To learn more about Lammas click the image on the right. This year’s ritual will include a drumming circle and walk of the church labyrinth. If you are not vaccinated, please wear a mask. Safety protocols, as defined by our taskforce, will be honored during this gathering. For information about Saltwater’s CUUPS community, please contact Galen Guffy

Labyrinth Walk with the Minister

Sunday, August 1, 2:00pm
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. ***image credit: Bubba

Gather the Youth

Middle School & High School Youth invited to gather in person for: 

Stance for Black Lives
Sunday August 8, 1:45pm – 3:00pm
In-Person, Des Moines
Meet in the Jack in the Box parking lot in Des Moines for a brief check in followed by demonstration and concluding with “coffee” & discussion.

Blackberry Picking
Sunday August 22, 4:00pm – 5:30pm 
Saltwater Church Grounds
We’ll meet at Saltwater Church for some berry picking fun. Please RSVP to Amanda so that appropriate adult ratios can be maintained. or 206-683-1330 ***image credit: Thierry

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.

A friendly reminder 

For those of you that have their pledges set up for automatic payment, either through your bank or Paypal, the 2021-2022 pledge year has begun. If you’ve changed your contribution for the year your automatic payment amount will need updating. Updates must be made through your bank or Paypal account, church staff can not do this for you. If you have any questions about your pledge for the new year please contact Gaye Greeves, Treasurer, at or (253) 508-3961.  

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

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.

Engage in Racial Justice

Support BIPOC-owned businesses at the upcoming Melanated Market at the South Hill Mall, in the former Charming Charlie space next to the Golden Corral, July 24-25 Saturday 11-7 & Sunday 12-6. A variety of small businesses that offer handmade goods that range from bath and body products, jewelry, home decor, clothing and so much more! This market is family friendly and for all nationalities. To read more, see their Facebook Event Page at

Sound Alliance

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. 

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)

Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
RJOT is not having a regular meeting this month. In August, 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.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)

Monthly on the 3rd Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room
SCAN! One of our members recently had a Letter to the Editor published in the Seattle Times. Read what he had to say here: Scan will meet up again in August to discuss our efforts to act for climate justice. Please attend and learn how you can be a part of that effort. Thanks!

Climate Message of the Week

How much does your food really cost? A new report from the Rockefeller Foundation says that to get the true annual food cost in the USA, we must add an estimated $900 billion to account for environmental damage and loss of biodiversity. (Click the image to learn about solutions for biodiversity loss.) Our taxes pay for these hidden costs: ag-related chemical cleanups and removal, farm subsidies that are skewed towards industrial mega-farms, and disaster-relief funds for flooding in farm country to name just a few. Take a quick look at why the way your food is produced matters and what you can do about it at A Tale of Two Chickens (

(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, twice a month 11:45am – 1:00pm
The next meeting will be on July 25. Pair sharing will also meet on August 8 and August 29.
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 August 11. 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, August 18. 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

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:

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)