Saltwater Church Newsletter March 25, 2022

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 our Saltwater Church Newsletter.


March Worship Services

March 27: “The Journey Calls,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Theme for March & April: “Journey”

In the months of March and April we will be exploring the theme of journey. Our individual journeys overlap with the journeys of other travelers, and those overlaps help us grow, learn and transform. Together we will explore the calling to search, wander, and experience. We will share our stories of transformation with one another. Where in your life is a journey unfolding? Let us explore together!

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
Worship Watch Party Launch on Sunday, April 17!
Meet in the sanctuary to view worship services on the ‘big screen.’
More information coming soon.

Party with the Facilities Team
Saturday March 26, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Welcome Room

Are you looking for any excuse to get out of the house and socialize? Our facilities team is happy to oblige. Come join us for our first work party of the year. Many of our chairs in the sanctuary and welcome room are dirty and stained. Bring gloves, grab a sponge or rag, and help us make our furniture inviting. The more helping hands we have, the sooner we’ll get it finished. If you happen to have a shop vac, you are encouraged to bring it along.

Masks will be required and available if you don’t have one. Facilities will provide cleaner, buckets, and assistance. Please let our office administrator, Bubba, know if you plan to attend. Their email is

The Power of Us!
Our Annual Pledge Drive is happening now!

Our annual Saltwater Church pledge drive is an opportunity to reflect on what the church means in your life and to give generously towards the fulfillment of our shared mission. Every gift makes a difference. If this church has held you in love, inspired you to grow, offered you ways to live your most deeply held values, then we invite you to make a pledge to support the church.

At the below link you can access our Pledge Form, as well as a links to our pledge materials. The pledge drive runs through April 10, and we ask that all pledge cards be returned at that time:

Connection Circles
Various Opportunities
Please register in advance

You are invited to join the Board and Pledge team in a small group opportunity to connect with one another, share stories, and live out our mission at Saltwater Church. We hope that all members and friends will sign up for one session between
March 20 and April 10 to celebrate our resilience as a congregation, dream our emergence from this protective cocoon, and fund our mission into the future to fully express “The Power of Us!” At this time, all connection circles will be offered through zoom. You can see the full list of available dates and times below.

Saturday 3/26 10-11:30 AM Minister’s Zoom Room
Monday 3/28 10-11:30 AM Church Zoom Room
Wednesday 3/30 7-8:30 PM Church Zoom Room
Saturday 4/2 10-11:30 AM Church Zoom Room
Sunday 4/3 12-1:30 PM Minister’s Zoom Room
Thursday 4/7 7-8:30 PM Church Zoom Room
Friday 4/8 10-11:30 AM Church Zoom Room

In order to keep our groups small, registration is required. Pick the opportunity that fits your schedule and click here to sign up. If you wish to copy and past the web address it is:

Save the Date
Training for Sunday Morning Volunteers
Saturday April 2, 10:00am – 12:45pm
Additional details in our volunteer section of the newsletter. 

New In Person Opportunities

Seabeck Retreat 2022 – DRAMA!
Payment & Registration by MARCH 29
Lodging allocated on first come, first served basis

The Saltwater Annual Retreat returns!!! Don’t miss this opportunity for a weekend getaway with your family and community. This year’s theme is DRAMA! – dramatic rituals, arts, music and AWE! Costs are determined by your chosen lodging. Our choices are: Annex, Huckleberry, Madrona, Reeser, Tamarack, (and if we need more, Firs). We have to collect your money as soon as possible. We (the Saltwater Stewardship Team) add 10% to the Seabeck cost, for our added expenses. PLEASE ADD YOUR ADDITIONAL 10% TO YOUR PAYMENT.


SIGNING UP: Please fill out the roster with ALL information. At the top right, in the blank white space, write your preferred accommodation. If you do not NEED a less-abled accommodation, please consider the folks who do …and step over to an older building. Keep in mind, only service animals are permitted on campus.

PROGRAMMING: We are planning limited programs. Friday night in-gathering, Saturday morning Ritual Drama workshop, talent show, and Sunday worship service. The remaining programs are by you! Please come and share.

DEADLINES: MARCH 29, 2022 – This is a hard date, no exceptions.

Singing Circles Have Reopened!
Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Raise your voices and raise your spirits by singing together! Join our small group ministry to share the beauty, joy, and healing power of singing in harmony. We will also contribute to Sunday worship by sharing video recordings of our musical offerings.

Advance registration with proof of vaccination is required. Singing masks will be provided. It’s never too late to join our Singing Circle. For more information contact our Music Director, Tom Burt:

GAME NIGHT – sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Group (SUUSG)
1st and 3rd Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcome Room

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. Our next event is April 2. There is a capacity limit so please email Robert Snipes at to register. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. We hope to see you there.

Rodnae Productions

Outdoor Easter Egg Hunt – an event for all ages
Saturday April 16, 10:00am – 11:30am
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. ***image credit: Rondae Productions

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.

Ways to Volunteer

Sunday Worship Watch Parties are coming soon!
Help make them a reality

We’re looking forward to getting together again! Our first step in resuming in-person worship is with “watch parties”. The service will continue to be available to you at home on your computer, and will also be on the “big screen” in the sanctuary. To reduce the risk of illness as we emerge from this pandemic we are:

  • Open to a maximum of 25 people in the sanctuary. Due to limited seating, we’ll have a reservation system. More information about making your reservation will be available in the upcoming weeks.
  • Those attending will be required to wear masks. Family groups can sit together and will be asked to distance from others.
  • There will not be an in-person “coffee hour” after the service. However, you can socialize outside (maintaing a safe distance).

Please help us turn this idea into a reality! Volunteer as a Greeter, Usher, or to help run the AV equipment. These volunteer positions will take only a couple hours of your time and will ensure your seat in the sanctuary on the day you work.

Job descriptions can be found by clicking the title of the role that interests you. You can sign up for a position by emailing Reopening Task Force member Anjali Lopez: All volunteers are invited to our training session scheduled for April 2, after which we will create a volunteer schedule for the coming months.

Training for Sunday Morning Volunteers
Saturday April 2, varying times from 10:00am – 12:45pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Want to learn how to serve as a Greeter, Usher, or AV Desk volunteer? We would love to have you come train with us! Below is the schedule for training, based on the role you are interested in. All volunteers will need to be trained on opening the building and disarming the alarm system, either before or after the role-specific training session you are attending.

10:00am – 10:15am: Building & Alarm System Training
10:15am – 11:15am: Usher & Greeter Training
11:15am – 11:30am: Building and Alarm System Training
11:30am – 12:30pm: AV Desk Training
12:30am – 12:45pm: Building & Alarm System Training

Let us know you are planning to join us for training by emailing Reopening Task Force member Anjali Lopez:

NomCom is seeking new members

Our Nominations Committee is on a mission to find candidates interested in becoming more active in church administration and in leadership opportunities here at Saltwater. NomCom is responsible for finding volunteers annually for two positions on the Church Board and two positions for the “NomCom” itself. Team members serve a two-year commitment. The meeting time is variable. If you are interested in participating in one of these volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our current NomCom members.

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

Our next meeting is Wednesday April 6. The Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenence of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. There are a handful of preparations being made for the upcoming launch of “watch parties.” Learn about these projects and discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings.
***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our next meeting is Thursday April 21. The Safety Team is comprised of members of Saltwater and Bet Chaverim. We discuss building safety and planning for emergency.

From The Board & HCT

Article II Study Commission Individual Survey – UUA
Deadline Extended: April 30, 2022

The Board wants the congregation to know about an important opportunity to contribute to the future of the wider UU faith. The UUA’s Article II Commission is seeking input from individual Unitarian Universalists on Shared Values, Inspirations, Purpose, and Covenant through a survey that closes on April 30. You can take as little or as much time as you wish to reflect on what UU principles, purposes and sources are important to your faith.

Every 15 years there is a study by the Article II Commission, to see how to keep our faith and focus relevant and adapt to a changing world. The survey is one way the Article II Commission is gathering information to guide the updating of the Bylaws, including the 7 Principles. Any recommended changes will be put to a vote at the 2023 GA.
Here is the link to the survey.
Below is a link to a statement by the Article II Study Commission from 2020 about work done so far. The deadline was extended to 2023 due to COVID.
What Brings Us Together: Reflecting on the First Six Months of the Article II Study Commission –

Growth & Learning

Harold & Ogden: a COVID era love story
Pre-order the newest book by Saltwater Writers
Now through June 2022

Hello Saltwater Folks, many of you will remember this serialized tale by the Saltwater Writers of how a dog brought love to Harold and his friends during the height of the pandemic. Please let Debra Valpey know if you would like to purchase copies. We will be printing them on an as needed basis. Cost is $5 with proceeds going to the church. Questions? Just contact Debra or call her at 206-953-5704.

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 March:
International Rescue Committee for Ukraine Refugees

The IRC is on the ground in Poland and preparing to support displaced families. Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of March will be shared with International Rescue Committee.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is now at work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas.

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

This month’s meeting will recap our efforts to get climate-friendly legislation passed in this session’s Legislature in Olympia, which ends Thursday 3/10, so if you have yet to contact your state Reps to lobby your chosen Bill now is the time to do it. You can reference the state’s website to email your state Senator asking for their support. It’s a very user-friendly website. You can also contact your Senator by using the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. If you’re not sure of your Legislative District number and/or your Senator’s name, the very friendly person at the other end will help you find them.

Join us on Sunday April 3 for our next SCAN! meeting. To learn how to join with our other lobbying efforts, contact Bill Adams at If you are interested in participating in future SCAN! efforts, please join 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 April 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 April 10 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) On March 27 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 March 28Our 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

pixabay image credit

There were some big climate wins during the 60-day Washington Legislative Session that ended on March 10. The Growth Management Act (SB 5042) closed a loophole in the Growth Management Act that allows urban sprawl. The Accelerate PFAS Protections (HB 1694) shortened the times lines to reduce toxic PFAS chemicals in consumer products like cookware. The Move Ahead WA Transportation Package bills were a win for public transit and walking/cycling infrastructure which will help transition away from fossil fuels but it also included funding for highway expansion that will encourage more driving and create more pollution.

Unfortunately, some important bills did not make it through the process. Although The Lorraine Loomis Act For Salmon Recovery, the Energy for All Bill, and the Renew Act didn’t pass this time, they are expected to be introduced in future sessions. So commit now to supporting climate bills that will be considered in the 2023 Legislative Session.

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

Ways to Connect

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
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. Our meetings have returned to Zoom meetings with the hope that we will start meeting in person in April. 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
Our next support circle will be on Thursday, March 31.

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

Twice a Month & 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 April 13. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Creative Hands
Church Zoom Room
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. We are returning to meeting over zoom until further notice. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making or whatever with you.

Ongoing Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief is a recognition of endings, but it’s also a birth and a beginning (Judy Lief). Saltwater’s Grief Support Group (facilitated by Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, lay ministers) is a safe place to explore loss and open ourselves to opportunity. Our next meeting will be April 14. All are welcome. Contact Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
Sundays, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Our upcoming gatherings will be on April 10, May 8, and May 22. 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

Paint Night
In Person – Location TBD
2nd Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Bring your own canvas of any size. All paints and supplies provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at Our next night of creativity will be on April 12.

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. Our next meeting will be Sunday April 3.

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-based Religious Education

This is “church in a box” for families. Families who sign up will receive story books, manipulatives, craft supplies, and discussion questions to help you and your children explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist family. New supplies will be distributed every 1-2 months, and will include seasonal and holiday activities as well. (Kits may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home).  Email our Director of Family Ministries  at if you would like to participate.

Religious Education Class Schedule

Religious Education Class for Children ages 5-11
Sunday mornings at 9:45am
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Middle School Virtual Youth Group for grades 6-8
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

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 is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. 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 have any 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)