Saltwater Church Newsletter March 24, 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.


Theme for March: Vulnerability

Throughout the month of March we are exploring the theme of Vulnerability.


Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through zoom!

March 26: “Rise & Thrive!,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
At Saltwater Church, we want to rise and thrive. To prosper and flourish. To grow vigorously. To blossom. And we can only rise and thrive together! This Sunday is the beginning of our annual pledge drive. This is a time to celebrate the gifts of community and reflect on what those gifts mean in our lives. The service will also feature a mural project you won’t want to miss. Join us!

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.

Pledge Drive Kick Off
Sunday March 26, 10:30am
Multi Platform – Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Join us on Sunday March 26 for our Pledge Drive Kick off Sunday Service in person and on zoom. We will create a mural together as we explore how Saltwater UU’s Rise and Thrive now and into the future. Take a moment to think about your favorite memories at Saltwater and your dreams for our future together.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the Neighborhood Potlucks (click here to sign up) and the Celebration Feast and Sing Along, Click here and RSVP by April 2 to reserve your spot at the table.

Celebrating Our Staff
Sunday March 26, following service
Welcome Room

Maia Bjornson joined the Saltwater Church staff in 2019 as our nursery lead in the Lighthouse. Throughout the pandemic, she provided support to our children through online religious education classes. When we reopened, Maia took the lead on our children’s multigenerational program on Sunday mornings. We are so grateful for all the of the gifts that Maia has shared with our community, and especially our children. Maia’s last Sunday is March 26th because she is starting a full-time position as an educator at the Pacific Science Center. Join us this Sunday to send her off with our gratitude and our blessings! There will be a cake reception in the welcoming room after service, as well as a table to write cards of thanks.   ***image credit: George Dolgikh

Chalice Circle – Walk Ins Welcome
Sunday March 26, 12:30pm – 1:30pm DATE CHANGE
Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Our April 2 Chalice Circle Walk-in is rescheduled for this Sunday. You are invited to participate following service. This is an opportunity to foster connection and share our experiences with one another. If you are new to the community or haven’t participated in a Chalice Circle in the past, we encourage you to drop by and see what our gatherings are all about. This event adheres to the current COVID-19 guidelines as determined by the Saltwater Board. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Alexander at
***image credit: UU Medville

Article II Amendment Town Hall
Saturday April 1, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Multi Platform – Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

The Board cordially invites you to a town hall style discussion on the proposal. Come prepared with (up to) a two minute statement on your thoughts if you would like to speak. We look forward to hearing from our community on this important issue. For more information about Article II, please see

Neighborhood Potlucks are BACK!
April 1 & April 2, 6:00pm – 8:00pm (SIGN UP NOW)
In Person – Various Locations

Join your Saltwater neighbors for a potluck dinner, conversation, and fun! We have TWO dates, April 1 and April 2, 6-8pm. Times will be flexible depending on your neighborhood host. We will gather in Normandy Park, Tukwila, and Federal Way. Click here to sign up, selecting your preferred date and neighborhood. Your host will contact you with details! We will accept sign ups in person as well following Sunday services.

Community Passover with Bet Chaverim
Friday April 7, 6:00pm
In Person – Welcome Room

Bet Chaverim invites you to join them for this year’s Community Passover Seder. Please register in advance to and let her know how many are coming, how many are vegetarian or gluten free, and if you have any additional questions. Click here to download their registration form. ***image credit: Bubba

Easter Egg Hunt – an event for all ages
Sunday April 9, starting around 11:45am
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

You are invited to our in-person Easter Egg Hunt. People of all ages are encouraged to attend to connect with one another and build multigenerational community. Children ages 12 and under may bring a basket and hunt for eggs on the lawn. Youth group members are invited to help hide the eggs and hand out prizes.


Saltwater’s 2023 Seabeck Church Retreat
April 28 through April 30

Relax with us near the water, enjoy morning walks to breakfast, and join us as we create together. Register today to attend our weekend long Church Retreat. “Loving Creation” is this year’s theme and the Seabeck Conference Center, map available at:, will again be our host. Activities begin Friday evening lasting through Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss our Saturday morning workshop with guest speaker, Washington State Poet Laureate, Rena Priest, a Lummi poet inspired by nature.

What is available for retreat housing? We have roughly 20 beds left with housing options available in Annex, Huckleberry, and Madrona. Payment can be made online here or by sending a check to the church office. If you have questions, please contact Saphronia Young. Be sure to give her your room requests and dietary restrictions before April 15. Our weekend is looking like a great opportunity for fun and creativity for the whole family. Don’t miss out, register now! Click here for our official flyer and watch our newsletter for additional information.

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

Staff Transition: Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation

Stefanie Kelly, Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation, resigned on March 21, 2023. We wish Stefanie well. Rev. Kristen Kuriga will be working with the Board and the Faith Formation Team to determine next steps. In the immediate, if you have questions about children, youth and family programming, please feel free to be in touch:

Dear Members and Friends of SUUC, 
Thank you for having welcomed me into your faith family. I enjoyed beginning to get to know you. I am sorry to not be able to continue working at SUUC, but I realized this position required far more time and energy than I would be able to provide while also seeking and working additional employment (which I need to do to support my family). I wish you all the best. 

Blessings, Stefanie Kelly

image credit: Miriam Woito

General Assembly Delegate Applications Due April 1, 2023

There will be some momentous items on the business agenda for the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), including a vote on the proposed changes to Article II and the election of the next UUA President. While anybody can attend GA (including the business meetings), only the certified delegates of member congregations can vote or speak at the business meetings. The event is June 21 – 25, and the business meetings will be conducted virtually so travel is not necessary; in addition, this year there is a registration option for business-only virtual attendance that is by suggested donation only, so certified delegates do not need to pay to attend.

If you are interested in being a certified delegate, please submit an application by April 1, 2023 using this form ( To find the form online, from our home page click on the drop-down for “Members”, and click on the online application on the list. The Board hopes to choose a slate of delegates who represent the diverse viewpoints of the members of Saltwater Church. Preference will be given to those who have attended, or commit to attending, at least one of the planned Article II listening sessions to be scheduled in early 2023, so that they can vote according to their understanding of the preferences of the congregation.

Ways to Volunteer

Growing Sunday Morning Worship

On Sundays, we continue to grow our multi-platform service skills. We’ve had (40-60) people, average, in the sanctuary, and another (20-30) on Zoom. We’re preparing to hire a second part-time AV person so we have the resources and skills to support our services. We hope this will also free up volunteers to help in other essential areas, including welcoming visitors.

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! Consider this list of roles, and please get in touch with Leanne LaFramboise, our volunteer coordinator, at if one of these roles calls to you.

If you’re interested in helping on a Sunday morning (Greeter, Welcome Desk, Usher, Worship Assistant, AV Desk, Multigenerational Activities). 

If you’re interested in helping with these teams (or want to learn more about them):

For the Sabbatical Team, Healthy Congregations Team, and Worship Team

  • If you decide you are interested, email Diane Schairer (
  • We’ll follow up with those who contact us about next steps for forming the Worship Team (in conjunction with Kristen); or for selecting another member for the Healthy Congregations Team or the Sabbatical Team. 

Thank you for bringing your heart and energy to this community!

next facilities meeting

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Thursdays, 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 on Thursday April 6. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 2nd 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 are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand. Our next meeting is Thursday April 13.

Growth & Learning

Engage In Racial Justice

Learning Opportunities with other UU congregations

First Unitarian Portland invites Saltwater Church to join their Racial Justice Learning Circles starting in March. The first session was March 13 but it’s not too late to join in future discussions. For full descriptions, schedules, & to register go to:  LEARNING CIRCLE REGISTRATION

University Unitarian Church invites us to participate in April events with social justice educator Chris Crass. For more information go to Gathering for Collective Liberation and Anti-Racism with Chris Crass.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for March
The Fund for Global Human Rights – Turkey & Syria

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of February will be shared with The Fund for Global Human Rights to provide support and relief to the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. Global Fund for Human Rights

The UU Service Committee and our community are in solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria, the first responders and community activists.  They are mobilizing support for communities impacted by the devastating earthquake on February 6, 2023.

By donating to the Global Fund for Human Rights earthquake response, 100% of donations will be distributed to local civil society groups on the ground including the White Helmets supporting the earthquake response in Syria. The Fund is working to deliver emergency support to 20 local groups providing lifesaving support plus protecting the rights of marginalized people affected by the disaster. Thank you for your donation.

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.

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 March 26 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 April 9 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.

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

Please join us on Sunday, April 2  to see how you can help 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.  *** image credit: Margo Rolf

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 3rd 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 April 15 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.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Wednesday April 19Our 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.

Climate Message of the Week

According to the recent climate report issued by the IPCC, we have only ten years to make changes to avoid climate catastrophe.

Individual actions make a real difference, particularly when it comes to eating a mostly plant-based diet, using climate-friendly transportation, and flying only when necessary. But we also need to join with others to push for policies and practices that create systemic changes. Join SCAN! members at monthly meetings or get on the SCAN! email list to be notified about climate action events and opportunities through SCAN! and other groups.

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”—John F. Kennedy

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.

Online Interactions

Saltwater Church Private Listservs
For those who prefer to use email, we have 2 Listservs available. SUUC-Community is a group for connecting with each other, asking for or offering care, announcing upcoming events and activities. The other listserv is SUUC-World. That is for conversations and engagement in discussions. If you would like to be added to either of our listservs, please email Include what email you would like to use for your interactions with the group and the name of the group, or groups, you wish to join.
Saltwater Church Private Facebook Group
For those who use Facebook (Meta), Saltwater Church has a public page that only receives posts from our staff, specifically about upcoming events, last minute weather cancellations, and our newsletter. We also have a private group that you can join to interact with our community. It is a private group to help maintain a safe space for our participants. If you wish to join the group is: and you can click the “Join” group button.
Saltwater Church Private Facebook Parents Group
Connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

Weekly Meetings

Al-Anon Support Group
Private zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Meditation Group 
Church Zoom Room
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Our meditation group is currently available via Zoom only. 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. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. Our next meet up will be on April 1.
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

Monthly Meetings

Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcome Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Childcare is being provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at Our next evening of artistic expression will be March 27.
Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
Special Date for April – 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 April 5. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
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 April 18. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
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. Our next meeting will be Sunday April 16. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at
Support Circle
Church Zoom Room :
3rd Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, led by Rev. Kristen 
Support circle is open to all members and friends and is a space for deep check-in and reflection on a question related to our monthly theme. In support circle we come to be nourished by authentic relationship, to mutually support one another through the joys and sorrows of our lives, and to create space for spiritual insight. Our next meeting will be April 20. All are welcome.

Quarterly Meetings

After Service Potluck
In Person : Welcome Room
Sunday May 21 following service
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 Rev. Kristen:

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

Children and Youth Registration for our Multigenerational Faith Formation Program

Families are encouraged to fill out a registration form for any children and youth participating in classes and activities at Saltwater Church.  This helps our staff and volunteers with planning programs, and helps us know your family better.  Register online at:

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.

Tabletop Family Game Night!
Saturday April 1, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Welcome Room

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

Register for Camp Blue Boat
July 16 through July 21
Lazy F Camp & Retreat Center, Ellensburg, WA

It’s time to register for this year’s Camp Blue Boat. This is a Unitarian Universalist summer camp immersion experience for youth from rising 6th-grade to 12th-grade graduates, with age-specific housing and programming. Campers, counselors and staff will spend time exploring being in relationship with one’s self, others, and the wider world. At camp, youth learn about community, spirituality, justice, equality, and also have a ton of fun! For additional information and the link to register go to:

Our Whole Lives (OWL) 

Comprehensive sexuality education classes will be held jointly with Westside UU Church for youth in grades 7-9. The class schedule will be available soon. Contact Steve Radak 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 Office Administrator 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 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, 9am to 1pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians has resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has resumed events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary while also continuing to have virtual options. 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 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)