Saltwater Church Newsletter May 15 2020

Dear Saltwater Community,

We hope that you and your family are well. As we continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus through observing social distancing, we want to let you know about ways that you can stay connected through Saltwater Church.

Church zoom room (  
Each Sunday we are offering 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.

May 17: “What Matters Most,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
The pandemic may help us see in new ways what matters most to us. What do I miss? What can I do without? What is central to my well-being? In this service we will explore what matters most in our lives, as well as in the life of the church. During the service we will share the new proposed mission statement created by the Board, and after service you will have an opportunity to share your feedback.

May 24: “Breath by Breath: A Meditation Service,” led by Jean Spohn, Joanne Loeliger, Laurie Bardill, and Nancy Corr
Members of the meditation group will offer readings, teachings, practices, and reflections on the practice of mindfulness

May 31: “The Third Way,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Staying in the in-between place can be incredibly uncomfortable. We crave certainty. Yet, what if the in-between place, the liminal space, is the place where creativity and new possibilities emerge from? Together we’ll explore the threshold teaching of staying in not knowing until a third way emerges.

May: What Does it Mean to be a People of Thresholds?
In the month of May we are exploring what it means to be a people of thresholds. Thresholds, those liminal, in-between places, that can be both transformational and uncomfortable. Thresholds can be physical, like doorways and entrances. They can also be symbolic: rituals like graduations, weddings, memorials, and child dedications. The crossing of these thresholds are imbued with meaning. They mark a change or transformation in us and around us. What do we learn from being in-between? In the places where the sacred and the ordinary meet, where the known and the unknown meet, and where life and death meet. Soul matters describes being a people of thresholds as the practice of courageously stepping into the unknown and the new.

Upcoming Events

Congregational Budget Information Sessions

Saturday, May 16th at 10 am, Church zoom room
Join members of the Board, the Finance Team, and Rev. Kristen for an informational meeting about the proposed budget for the upcoming 2020-2021 church year. This will be an opportunity to learn about the financial health of the congregation and ways we are adapting to the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. The presentation will focus on changes to income and expenses and copies of the detailed line item budget will be provided.

Mission Statement Update
On Sunday, May 17th, the new proposed mission statement will be shared during worship! You won’t want to miss it. And we want to once again have an opportunity to listen to your feedback. After the service you will be invited into a break-out group to reflect on some questions about the new proposed mission statement. We hope you will join us on May 17th!
Mission/Vision Subgroup of the Board: Janeane Weprin, Mayda Taney, Anjali Lopez, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Estate Planning Workshop–Part 2
Saturday May 23, 10am to Noon, Saltwater Zoom Room
(You can attend even if you did not attend Part 1)
Saphronia Young and her partner, Jerrica Pierson Seeger, who are with Regeimbal, McDonald & Young, PLLC d/b/a   Des Moines Elder Law, will present an estate planning workshop for Saltwater Church. They expect to cover:
1.     Lifetime gifting
2.     Deep dive into living wills
3.     Special needs tools
4.     Long term care insurance
5.     Aging in place at home
Please sign up to receive course materials ahead of time by contacting Susan Aigner:

Membership Book Signing
Sunday, May 24, after service, Church zoom room
Are you interested in becoming a member of our church?  On May 24, following the worship service, we will have a small group room available on Zoom for anyone who wants to sign the membership book.  This is an opportunity to officially join our church community.  Members should be in alignment with the mission, vision, values and covenant of our church and Unitarian Universalism.  Members are asked to make a pledge to support the church financially within their means (waivers are available) and to seek ways to share their gifts by volunteering and/or serving our community.  If you would like more information about the membership process, or are ready to move forward, request an application for membership from Bev Ross; email:  Completed applications need to be returned by May 23.  At that time, a book signing page will be forwarded to you to be used on May 24th. PLEASE NOTE:  Anyone wishing to vote in the June 14th, 2020 Congregational Meeting, MUST be a member by May 24th, 2020.

Save the Date: Congregational Meeting
Church Zoom Room, June 14th, 12 pm
Please put Sunday, June 14 on your calendar for the all-important annual business meeting of the congregation.  The meeting will be held via Zoom, shortly after the music service that day.  The agenda will be announced at least 10 days prior to the meeting. To vote at the annual business meeting you must be a member for at least 20 days prior to the meeting.  That puts the deadline for signing the membership book on May 24.

Candidates for Board and Nominating Team
Your nominating team has secured three candidates for our two board openings and two candidates for our Nominating Team openings. We will be voting during our June 14 General Membership Meeting. As per our by-laws, if there are nominations from the (virtual) floor, those will also be accepted. 

Board Candidates: Lauren Crowder, Galen Guffy, and Karin Leisy

Karin Leisy has long worked on achieving set goals and would like to be part of the process of setting such goals. Taking the vision of the Saltwater community as a whole and turning that into a mission/policy interests her. She has served as Head of Facilities & Grounds well, is ready to hand that leadership opportunity to another, and looking for new ways to serve Saltwater Church, preferably as a new Board Member. She would like to see Saltwater continue to work with Haitians United and Bet Chaverim (note: she served Bet Chaverim in their safety planning and grant applications) on any issues or projects in which we hold shared interest.
Karin has held Saltwater volunteer positions on teams, such as Facilities & Grounds.  At work, her position is as a lead of a team and she is interested in expanding her leadership skills as a board member that sets policy and drives planning and mission.  Her strengths are in organizing and planning in order to identify and realize the steps needed to realize goals She has led Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops and ran the annual non-profit fair at a previous church. She asks for your confidence and your vote as a new Saltwater Board Member. And she will still make coffee for us, one of her favorite duties!

Galen Guffy believes it is important that involved and engaged members of Saltwater Church share the responsibility of service at a level that involves planning and strategizing for Saltwater’s future and she would like to better understand our church’s decision and policy-making process. She feels that this understanding would enlighten and inform her service in other volunteer roles here at Saltwater (family ministries, CUUPS, etc.)  
Galen has been a consistent, participating, and engaged member of Saltwater Church for over a decade now and has served on an ongoing basis in several other volunteer capacities at Saltwater. In addition she has served on interdepartmental committees through her work as UW Tacoma Staff Association Treasurer (four years), UW Sustainability Committee Finance & Administration Representative (2014-2015 Academic year), and UW Tacoma Safety Committee Secretary (four years). Galen understands how groups like this inform policy, process, and strategy and would like to use that understanding in her service to Saltwater as a member of the Board of Directors.

Lauren Crowder sincerely wants to give back to the Saltwater Community that has been so important to her ever since she joined four years ago.  She also wants to help more people who need or desire a liberal minded spiritual home to find their church home with us. Additionally Lauren wants to be more connected and in-the-know regarding what is happening at Saltwater and how important decisions about our future are made. 
Lauren works for quality assurance in the food industry; this involves carefully following food safety regulations, keeping accurate records, and working as a team.  She wants to use these skills to serve Saltwater. Lauren has been volunteering for four years as an AV tech person for Saltwater Sunday worship services, which has given her a sense of how many people work together to make Saltwater services happen.  She asks for your vote as a new Saltwater Board Member. 

Nominating Team Candidates: Marlies Scott-Wenzel and Toska Rodriguez

Marlies Scott-Wenzel would like to serve on the Nominating Team because she wants to increase her circle of friendships and thereby get to know congregation members better in order to recommend their suitability and interest in serving on committees and in leadership positions. 

Toska Rodriguez would like to serve on the Nominating Team because she supports the church and knows most of the membership. Thus, she would be able to offer reliable well qualified candidates.

Please take time to acquaint yourselves with these fine candidates and, if you have questions, you may contact any member of the current Nominating Team or the candidates themselves.
Sincerely, Your Saltwater Nominating Team
Debra Valpey, Nelson Schmitz, Sandra Petschek, and Colette DeMonte  

UUA General Assembly—Registration is open!
June 24-28, 2020
The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be all virtual this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to worship and learn alongside UU’s from throughout the country. The cost of registration is $150. You can find more information here:

Ways to Connect

Support Circles
(church zoom room)
We are offering a series of drop-in support circles on zoom. The format is simple: a chalice lighting, check-in, and a reflection question on our theme for this month. The circles are offered on Tuesday and Thursdays at lunch time, and on Tuesday evenings.

Tuesday, May 19, 12:30-1:30 pm
Tuesday, May 19, 7-8 pm
Thursday, May 21, 12:30-1:30 pm

Al-Anon Support Group (church zoom room)
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm  

Creative Hands (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
We will support one another in our creative ventures, as well as discuss ways that we can help our communities during this time.

Meditation Group (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 8-9 pm
Join the meditation group on zoom to help nourish your spirit. The group will have a teaching, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and an opportunity to share.

Writers Group (church zoom room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am- 12pm

Choir Fellowship (church zoom room)
Thursdays, 7-8 pm
Members of the choir are invited to join Tom Burt, Music Director, for a time of connection and fellowship.

Over Eaters Anonymous (church zoom room)
Fridays, 5-6 pm

Support 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. Are you in a higher risk group and do not want to venture out to the grocery store? We may be able to connect you with someone in your neighborhood to help you get the supplies you need. If you have lost income from being sick or unable to work, or do not have enough money to buy extra food and supplies, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact Rev. Kristen: Do you need to go to work but don’t have childcare? Are there other needs that your family has? Please be in touch with Melinda:

Support for Children, Youth, and Families
Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups
Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, family ministries zoom room

Junior and Senior High Youth GroupSundays at 12 pm, family ministries zoom room

Family Support Circles
First & Third Mondays, 7:30-8:30 pm, Starting May 18
Family ministries zoom room

All Ages Movie Nights
Saturdays, starting at 7 pm
Kid-friendly movies, all ages invited. Join us!
Family ministries zoom room

Parents Facebook Group
You can also connect with other church families with children and youth for support through the Parents facebook group:

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May: Sound Alliance
Half of all undesignated basket donations received in the month of May will be shared with the Sound Alliance. You can learn more about Sound Alliance here: You can make a donation to the basket 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.

SCAN! Climate Message of the Week
One of the most powerful tools we have to fight climate change is to vote for representatives who will pass and uphold policies that protect the climate. This is an especially crucial election year for climate change and science. Get ready to vote by registering or updating your registration. Support fair elections by researching current election proposals and writing election-related letters to the editor. Contact your representatives to let them know that addressing climate change is an important factor in your voting decision. Since climate change isn’t limited to any one location, think of actions to reach beyond your area. Contact friends or relatives in swing districts to urge them to support candidates who will address climate change. If possible, donate to candidates in swing districts or states who support climate action. And at election time when you receive your ballot, complete it and return it promptly.

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room for Worship & Support Groups

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 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:

Updated information about the Church Zoom Room & Troubleshooting
In response to security concerns, Saltwater Church has added a waiting room to our Zoom Room. This means the host of the meeting must admit you to the meeting or worship space. 

When joining the Saltwater Zoom Room, you will see “Saltwater Church’s Personal Meeting Room. Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.”  This is the waiting room. You will see a spinning wheel while you wait, like you would if a webpage were loading slowly. You may need to wait a few minutes before you are admitted to the Zoom Room.

When many people are accessing the Zoom Room at once, the wait may be longer. If you can, please log in early for worship. If we can stagger the times when people are joining, the process may go smoother. When attempting to join early, you will see the waiting room screen. We will begin admitting people from the waiting room at 10:15 am (once worship leaders have had a chance to complete tech rehearsal). See below for some alternative ways to access the Zoom Room.

Alternate ways to join zoom: 
If your computer is having trouble loading the church website, try accessing the meeting or worship directly with this link:

Software Updates:  If you experience any technical issues on Zoom, the first thing you should do is confirm that you have the latest version of the Zoom client installed on your computer. To check for updates:
1.Open the Zoom desktop app and log in (if not already logged in)
2. Click your profile picture (in the upper right hand corner) then click Check for Updates
3. If there is a newer version, Zoom will download and install it
Please contact Melinda at if you need further help accessing Zoom.

How to Schedule a Meeting on Zoom
1.  Anyone with a church-oriented group can schedule the zoom room.
2.  You will need some training on how to host a zoom meeting using the church zoom room.  Melinda has a video and hand-out:  
3.  Once trained, please check the church calendar to see if the room is available: 
4.  Once you have a date and time, you can schedule through the room request form on the website: or contact CJ by email:
5.  You must schedule it at least a few days in advance.  CJ will be scheduling meetings during her regular hours, Tuesday-Friday, 9 am-2 pm. 6.  You can even schedule the zoom room for a social gathering. Folks wanting to share music, poetry, art, etc. are welcome to do that.

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to all in-person programming, groups, and meetings. All staff are working from home. Staff will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus.

Staying in Touch
We will continue to provide updates. Please watch your email, the church website, and our facebook page. We also encourage you to stay informed about the recommendations being issued by King County Public Health: